Local Rules


  • General Rules of Competition
  • Local Rules
  • Temporary Local Rules
  • Pace of Play
  • Reminders

General Rules of Competition

  1. USGA Rules of Golf govern all play except when a local rule is in effect. The local rules listed below are in effect for all GTGP events.
  2. Any local rule specifically posted by the host course will be valid for GTGP competition unless noted otherwise. For example, identified drop areas for hazards/penalty areas.
  3. All members must have a valid USGA handicap in order to participate competitively in events. It now takes just 54 holes to get a handicap index.  If the player does not have a handicap index, we will work with the player to determine a temporary handicap.
  4. Each player shall act as “marker” and keep score for another player in his or her group. The marker must attest the player’s scorecard before it is turned in at the end of the event.
  5. All players must play from the tees indicated on their event scorecard. However the player may change tees by notifying their Marker before the round and the Scorekeeper by writing the change clearly on the scorecard.
  6. Any member who does not complete the round for any reason will be considered withdrawing from the event and will not be awarded any GTGP points for the round. They are also not eligible for any prize awards or pool awards.
  7. If the host golf course has a weather monitoring system, it will often make a determination on suspension of play in the event of inclement or threatening weather. If the golf course determines that there is a danger (such as lightning) and alerts players to leave the course, all GTGP players must leave the golf course immediately. If weather appears threatening and the golf course either does not have a weather monitoring system or has not yet called for a suspension of play, the Competition Committee may choose to suspend play and all golfers must then leave the course. The Committee will be responsible for any decisions regarding cancellation of an event that has been partially completed.

Local Rules

    1. The maximum net score per hole that may be recorded is 4 over par. Each player’s handicap will be identified on their scorecard for each hole. When a player takes the maximum and does not complete a hole, the player shall place an “x” on the scorecard next to their score for the hole. For example, when a player picks up and has a maximum score of 8, he/she will mark “x8” on the scorecard.
    2. Free relief from aeration holes is allowed except in a penalty area. Through the green, the ball may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. On the putting green, a ball that comes to rest in or on an aeration hole may be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole that avoids the situation.
    3. If a par 4 or 5 hole is cart path only, lift, clean and place rules always are in effect on that hole.
    4. Local Rule 2019 is in effect for Lost or Out of Bounds Ball, Stroke-and-Distance Relief. See
      1. Local Rule 2019, or
      2. http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html

Temporary Local Rules

These rules are only in effect if the Committee determines a situation requires their use at a specific event.  See USGA Model Local Rules E-3, Preferred Lies, and 8F, Abnormal Ground Conditions.

    1. Lift, Clean, and Place Rule.  If the ball lies in a fairway or closely mown area, it may be lifted, cleaned, and replaced within one foot of the original spot, not nearer to the hole. The player may not move the ball from the fringe onto the putting green.
    2. Bunker Rule.  Areas in bunkers where severe lack of maintenance is obvious are ground under repair.  The player may take free relief or penalty relief following rules for relief from abnormal ground conditions. The player may drop a ball at the nearest point of relief in the bunker no nearer the hole.  The player may take penalty relief (one stroke) outside the bunker on a line going straight back from the hole.

Pace of Play

  1. Slow play will not be tolerated. Players shall play “ready golf” at all times. All rounds should be completed in no longer than 4-1/2 hours, and a group should never fall out of position. For example, if the group in front of you has cleared the green before you tee off on a par 4, you are out of position. Members who repeatedly engage in slow play will be warned, given late tee times, and if necessary, penalized.
  2. Be courteous of other golfers and exercise proper golf etiquette. However, remember that proper etiquette is not an acceptable justification for slow play.


Many clubs have local rules that are really just reminders or restatements of the Rules of Golf. Why should we be any different? Here are our “Reminders.”

  1. No “gimmes.” All balls must be putted out except in match play events, in which players may concede putts to their opponent.
  2. No “mulligans.”
  3. If there is a question over a ruling, and a player is in doubt as to how to proceed the player may discuss how to proceed with other competitors in the group. The competitors are encouraged to help the player in applying the Rules, but they have no right to decide a Rules issue. If in doubt the player may play two balls to complete the hole as per Rule 20.1c(3).   A ruling will be provided by the Committee. 
  4. Stones in bunkers are permitted to be removed per Rule 15.
  5. The embedded ball rule is now covered by Rule 16.3 and free relief is generally allowed except in a penalty area.
  6. Per Rule 4.3 Distance measuring devices are permitted. Players may use devices that measure distance only. However, the use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g. wind or gradient) is not permitted. There is no penalty for sharing distance information with other players in the group.