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Information for Players and Referees
Information for Players and Referees

Local Rules

The Committee should ensure that any Local Rules are posted for players to see, whether on a separate handout on the first tee (sometimes referred to as a "Notice to Players"), the scorecard, a notice board or the course website. Many organizations that run multiple competitions create a document which contains all the Local Rules they commonly use in all of their competitions. Historically this document has been printed on card stock and is known as a "Hard Card". If players are required to play balls on the Conforming Ball List (see Model Local Rule G-3) or use clubs on the List of Conforming Driver Heads (see Model Local Rule G-1) or that meet the groove and punch mark specifications (see Model Local Rule G-2), the Committee should consider making the lists available for players to view or provide access to the applicable online databases.

Grouping or Draw Sheets

Sheets that provide the groupings for the round along with their starting times should be produced and posted in locations where players can check them. While players are frequently sent their pairings electronically or can check them on a website, they should also be available at the course so that players can reconfirm their starting time.

Hole Location Sheets

The Committee may wish to provide players with a sheet that shows them the position of the holes on the putting greens. These may be circles with the distance from the front of the green and the nearest side, a piece of paper with just the numbers or a more detailed set of drawings of the green and its surrounds with the location indicated.

Scorecards Including Handicap Stroke Index Allocations

The Committee is responsible for publishing on the scorecard or somewhere else that is visible (for example, near the first tee) the order of holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received. This allocation will be used for handicap matches and in some forms of net-score stroke play such as Four-Ball, Stableford, Maximum Score (when the maximum score is linked to the player's net score) and Par/Bogey competitions. For guidance on how to determine the order, consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System operating in the local jurisdiction. Match Play - In a handicap match, the Committee should clarify the following in the Terms of the Competition:
  • If the full difference between handicaps or a percentage of the difference will apply.
  • The stroke index allocation to be used to identify the order of holes where players will give or receive handicap strokes.
Where the Committee has authorized a match to begin at a hole other than the 1st, the Committee may alter the stroke index allocation table for such matches. Stroke Play - In a net-score competition, the Committee should determine the handicap allowances in accordance with the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System operating in the local jurisdiction. For example, if full handicap, or a percentage of the handicap, will be applied.

Pace of Play and Code of Conduct Policies

Copies of the Pace of Play and Code of Conduct policies should be available to players before the competition begins. When players are unfamiliar with these policies, the Committee may wish to go over them with the players in advance of the competition. Referees and others who will be enforcing these policies should be trained and provided with any other additional materials, such as timing sheets or scripts with the specific language they should use to inform players of warnings or possible breaches.

Evacuation Plan

Each Committee should consider how to evacuate players in case of severe weather or another emergency. If it is felt necessary, an evacuation plan may be created and provided to the players. Additional information can be found in Model Local Rule J-1.
Section 1The Role of the Committee
The Rules of Golf define the Committee as the person or group in charge of a competition or the course. The Committee is essential to the proper playing of the game. Committees have the responsibility of running the course on a day-to-day basis or for a specific competition and they should always act in ways that support the Rules of Golf. This part of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf provides guidance to Committees in fulfilling this role. While many of the duties of a Committee are specific to running organized competitions, an important part of the Committee's duties relates to its responsibility for the course during general or every day play.
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