Local Rules


  • General Rules of Competition
  • Local Rules
  • Temporary Local Rules
  • Pace of Play
  • Reminders
  • Notes on 2024 changes

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.

Local Rules

    1. The maximum net score per hole that may be recorded is 3 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. If a player’s ball lies in or touches an aeration hole: (a) Ball in General Area, the ball may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped per USGA Rule 16.1b. (b) Ball on Putting Green, the ball may be placed at the nearest point of complete relief per USGA Rule 16.1d.
    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. The relief is comparable to what could have been achieved if the player had taken stroke-and-distance relief. The player gets two penalty strokes when using this relief option. 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
    5. Provisional Ball. A provisional ball may be played for a ball that might be lost in a Red or Yellow Penalty Area, or when it is unknown if a drop area exists. If the original ball is found outside the Penalty Area the player must continue play with it. The player may not use the provisional ball if a drop zone exists. Players may use this rule in the interest of pace of play and not to gain an unfair advantage.
    6. Local Rule for immovable obstruction. If an immovable obstruction (e.g. a sprinkler head) is on the line of play and is within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club lengths of the ball, the player may take relief under USGA Rule 16.1b.

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. The Rules of Golf generally rely on the integrity of the player. Players are allowed to proceed under the Rules without being required to involve another person in any part of the process.  This includes situations where a ball is lifted or when estimating and measuring. Still, you are encouraged to announce your intentions when time permits.
  4. 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 USGA Rule 20.1c(3).   A ruling will be provided by the Committee. 
  5. Relief procedure help: Find the Reference Point (the nearest point of complete relief in the general area) and drop within one club-length, no closer to the hole.

Notes on 2024 Changes

Local Rule #1 for max score is changed from net quad bogey to net triple bogey.  That’s difficult enough. If you are at that score pick up and maintain pace of play, please.

Local Rule #5 for Provisional Ball. Per USGA rules a provisional ball may be used only for a ball that may be lost or out of bounds.  This rule allows a player to also play a provisional ball in other circumstances.  Although not a USGA model local rule, we used a GAP local rule at a 2023 MPD event for language.  It’s a common sense rule in the interest of pace of play.

Local Rule #6 for immovable obstruction.  This is not a very common occurrence but a player cannot take the relief described unless it is a local rule.  Language is per USGA Model Local Rules.