Minnesota Golf Association

2018 Rules of Play and Information

Minnesota Golf Association tournament play is governed by the USGA Rules of Golf, and by the following Local Rules and Definitions. Any changes or additions to these will be supplied on a Notice to Competitors and/or supplementary Local Rules sheet.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is:
Match Play-Loss of Hole; Stroke Play-Two Strokes.

DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES – The use of these devices is permitted in all MGA championships and qualifiers per the Local Rule found in Appendix I, Section A, #7.

PRACTICE BETWEEN HOLES (Stroke Play Only) – Per the Condition found in Appendix I, Part C, “Between the play of two holes, a player must not play any practice stroke on or near the putting green of the hole last played and must not test the surface of the putting green of the hole last played by rolling a ball.” This does not preclude a player from finishing out a hole where the score may not be used in team competition.
PENALTY: Two Strokes at next hole.

EMBEDDED BALL – The recommended Local Rule found in Appendix 1 is in effect for all MGA competitions.

DOUBT AS TO PROCEDURE (Rule 3-3) - Applies to stroke play only. If a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, the competitor may play a second ball. Before taking further action, the competitor must announce to his marker or fellow-competitor his decision to proceed under this rule and with which ball he will score with if the rules permit. The player must report the facts to the Committee before returning his scorecard; if he fails to do so, he shall be Disqualified.

PACE OF PLAY – The pace of play is governed by the MGA Pace of Play Policy and will be posted on the webpage associated with each competition and at the starting hole(s) of all MGA competitions.

ACCIDENTAL MOVEMENT OF A BALL ON A PUTTING GREEN – (Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows.) When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ballmarker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental. NOTE: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced. 

CONFORMING BALL RULE - Appendix 1 is in effect for all events. Penalty - Disqualification

  • Potentially dangerous situations - One prolonged air horn note, repeated.
  • Other types of suspension - Three consecutive air horn notes, repeated.
  • Resumption of play - Two short air horn notes, repeated. 
When play is suspended for a potentially dangerous situation, play must discontinue immediately and must not resume until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. All practice areas are closed during suspension for a potentially dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open. PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULE: Disqualification.

STONES IN BUNKERS – Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies). 

WRONG SCORE FOR HOLE – The Exception to Rule 6-6d is modified as follows:
If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to a failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his score card, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified.  In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule, but there is no additional penalty for breach of Rule 6-6d.  This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.

WOOD CHIPS & MULCH – Wood chips and mulch, unless otherwise specified, are to be treated as loose impediments.  Rule 23. 

OBSTRUCTIONS - An obstruction is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces of roads & paths and white lined areas tying into them, except: 
  • Objects defining out of bounds, such as a wall, fences, stakes & railings;
  • Any part of an immovable artificial object which is out of bounds; and
  • Any construction declared by the committee to be an integral part of the course.  See Rule 24.
TEMPORARY IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS - All tents, scoreboards, and other temporary equipment on the course, provided it is not readily movable, are considered to be Temporary Immovable Obstructions.  The Local Rule found in Appendix 1 is in effect. 

GROUND UNDER REPAIR - Defined by white lines.  In addition, French Drains and Flowerbeds on the course are deemed to be ground under repair even if not so marked.  Rule 25-1. 

Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes, flags or yellow lines. Rule 26-1.  
Lateral water hazards are defined by red stakes, flags or red lines. Rule 26-1. ?
  • When stakes, flags and lines are used to define water and lateral water hazards, stakes and flags identify hazards and lines define margins.
  • When a lateral water hazard is defined on only one side, it is deemed to extend to infinity.
  • When water hazards and lateral water hazards are bounded by out of bounds, the hazard margin extends to and coincides with the out of bounds line.
OUT OF BOUNDS - Defined by nearest inside points of stakes, flags, fence posts, and masonry walls at ground level.  When OB is defined by white line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds.  Rule 27-1.
AUTOMOTIVE TRANSPORTATION – Unless otherwise permitted, players must not use automotive transportation during a round.  Appendix 1, Part C, #8 - Conditions of the Competition. 

OVERHEAD POWER LINES - If a ball strikes an overhead power line or cable, while in bounds, the player must disregard that stroke, abandon the ball and play another ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played in accordance with Rule 20-5. 

REPORTING RESULTS - Upon completion of play, players should check their hole-by-hole score carefully.  Both the player and the marker must sign the card and return it to the Committee in a prompt manner. 

CLOSE OF COMPETITION - The competition is deemed to have closed when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in the absence of a prize ceremony, when the Committee has approved all scores.

The Minnesota Golf Association’s Executive and Tournament & Rules Committees authorize these Rules.

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