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Rules & Regulations

*PLEASE NOTE: NEW USGA RULE BOOKS WILL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE AT THE REGISTRATION TABLE AT NO CHARGE.

All Red Hills Tour Play is governed by the 2012-2015* USGA Rules of Golf and its Decisions and, where applicable, by the following Local Rules, Conditions, and Definitions, subject to changes or amendments by the Red Hills Junior Golf Rules Committee. Appendix I refers to the Appendix of Local Rules and Conditions of the Competition in the 2012-2015* Rules of Golf Book.

Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.

If a player is unsure about a ruling or how to proceed when a rules question arises, the player should consult with a tour official as soon as possible or refer to the 2012-2015 USGA Rules of Golf and its Decisions.

1. Time of Starting/Late to Tee: If a player arrives at his tee, ready to play, within five minutes of his starting time, the penalty for failure to start on time is two strokes at the first hole. If a player arrives at the tee more than five minutes after his starting time he will receive a score of double-par on that hole and any future holes missed. Players may not join a group during play of a hole; they must join them on the next tee.

2. Double Par Rule: A player shall take no more than double-par on a hole. Once double-par has been reached, a player must pick up their ball and wait for the other players in the group to complete the hole.
Exception: This rule is suspended for 18-hole players in Junior Golf Scoreboard events, where there is no score limit.

3. Distance Measuring Device: Players are only permitted to use optical devices (rangefinders) that measure distance based on a through-the-scope calculation by the player. GPS (global positioning system) devices with pre-programmed distances, and devices (including cell phones) capable of gauging or measuring other conditions, are not permitted. Penalty: double par on any hole used.

4. Caddie Policy: All players eight years old and younger must be accompanied by a caddie 13 years or older. Boys 13 years of age and under are permitted to have caddies to help them play their best. It is vital for caddies not to over coach and to have their player hit each shot within a reasonable amount of time, and not to be disruptive to any player or caddie in the group.

IMPORTANT:  Caddies are NOT permitted on putting greens for Boys 12-13 age divisions.  Caddies are not permitted for Boys 14 and older age divisions. Please read complete Caddie Policy and Age Groups and Yardages for additional information.

If a caddie becomes disruptive he/she will be warned of the problem. If the problem continues the caddie will be dismissed as a caddie from that event and will not be allowed to caddie in any other events for the remainder of the year. The conduct of caddies will be monitored by all Red Hills Junior Golf officials and by other caddies and players in the group. The Red Hills Junior Golf Tournament Director will have the final decision on any incident that occurs.  It is very important for caddies to strictly adhere to these policies to make participating more enjoyable for everyone.

5. Pace of Play: Each player must play without undue delay, which is defined as taking no more than 45 seconds to play a shot. Those players who are first to play from a given area (tee, fairway, green, etc.) will have 10 extra seconds to play their shot. Caddies are asked to please refrain from over-coaching the player. It is the caddie’s duty to help the player hit each shot within a reasonable period of time.

A group will be deemed to be out of position on the golf course when they are over time par. Time par is determined by each hole taking an average of 15 minutes to complete a hole and/or by staying up with the group in front. When it is determined that a group is out of position on the golf course the group will be warned and asked to speed up play. If the group continues to fall behind each member of the group will be timed. If a player takes more than the allotted time, he may be subject to a penalty. First offense: warning; Second offense: two stroke penalty; Subsequent offenses: score of double par on that hole. The 45-second rule is in place to assure playing without “undue delay” and to prevent over coaching and slow play.

6. Out of Bounds: Where white stakes or fence posts are used, the nearest inside points at ground level define out of bounds. When out of bounds is defined by a white line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. A ball coming to rest on or crossing any public road is considered out of bounds, even if it comes to rest on another part of the golf course.

7. Water Hazards: Defined by YELLOW lines and designated by YELLOW stakes. In the absence of lines, the stakes both identify and define the hazard.

8. Lateral Water Hazards: Defined by RED lines and designated by RED stakes. In the absence of lines, the stakes both identify and define the hazard.

9. Ball Drops: A “DROP ZONE” is an area enclosed by a white line having the words “BALL DROP” printed inside it or on a sign adjacent to the line. A “ball drop” is not ground under repair. The line itself is in the “DROP ZONE.”

10. Ground Under Repair: Enclosed white lined areas define ground under repair. The white lines are considered in ground under repair. Other areas of ground under repair, even though not so marked include:

  1. French drains (trenches filled with stones or like)
  2. Fire ant beds and mounds

11. Flower Beds Identified by Blue Stakes: To be treated as Ground Under Repair. Relief is mandatory.

12. Sod Seams for Lie of Ball Only: To be treated as an embedded ball through the green. All seams in a given area are deemed to be the same seam.

13. Lifting an Embedded Ball: The “Embedded Ball Rule” as written in Appendix I, is in effect “through the green.” Remember that during relief, you are entitled to lift and clean the ball before taking your relief, but that altering or ”fixing” the resulting hole or turf in any way (esp. by stepping on it) is a penalty in itself of two strokes.

14. Disqualification Policy: No player will be disqualified for any violations of the Rules of Golf. Instead, the player will be assessed a maximum score of double-par on any hole where the infraction would normally lead to disqualification. In situations where the round or hole has been completed, the score of double par will apply to the last hole played or to the hole where the infraction occurred. Exceptions: A player or his caddie may be disqualified for code of conduct violations or unauthorized use of electronic devices. (See 19 below).

15. Signals for Suspension and Resumption of Play: If play is suspended by one long siren or horn blast or verbal direction by the Tour Director, Tour staff or any host course staff person, the player must immediately discontinue play, mark the ball position, and look for shelter. All practice areas are closed during suspension for a dangerous situation until the Tour Director has declared them open for use. Penalty for breach of this rule is a double par on the first hole when play resumes. It is the player’s responsibility to be ready when play resumes that will be signaled by two short siren blasts repeated or verbal direction. All players failing to start play on time after a delay will be assessed a score of double par on that and any subsequent hole(s) on which their group has already begun play. A player may not join a group during play of the hole; but must join them on the next tee. A player may discontinue play and seek shelter SOLELY AT HIS DISCRETION if he believes there is dangerous weather (lightning, tornado, hurricane, etc.) regardless of whether any tournament suspension siren has been heard. The player must report to the Tour Director as soon as practical. Bad weather (rain, wind, etc.) is not itself a good reason for discontinuing play.

The Red Hills Junior Golf Rules Committee makes all decisions regarding weather delays and/or cancellations on site the day of the event. The intention is to play the event on its scheduled day, and everything possible will be done in order to do so. See the RHJT Weather/Darkness Policy.

16. Electronic Devices: Cell phones, headphones, pagers and the like may not be used during play. First offense: warning; second offense: disqualification. Cell phones may only be used to alert rangers or seek rules advice from rules officials and/or Tour Director during play.

17. Tobacco & Alcohol: Tobacco and alcohol use by caddies is not permitted during the event. First offense: Warning, Second offense: Disqualification

18. Spectator Policy: Spectators may rent a golf cart at the discretion of the golf course but must remain on the cart path at all times. All spectators walking must remain on the cart path or in the rough at all times. Spectators may not give players advice during the round. Spectators may not use any electronic devices (cell phones, pagers, etc.) on the course. First offense: warning; Second offense: Immediate removal of the spectator from the golf course.

19. Code of Conduct (Caddie or Player): Violations of the code of conduct include: abusive language, club throwing, cheating, disrespect of volunteers or officials, abuse to the golf course or the facilities, littering, or any other conduct unbecoming of a player. Disqualification at the Director's discretion. Repeated violation will lead to rejection of future entries.

20. Dress Code: Players and caddies must adhere to the following dress code: Only acceptable golf attire is permitted. Players are prohibited from wearing shoes with metal spikes, gym or basketball shorts, short shorts, swimwear, denim of any kind, t-shirts, or tank tops. Players or caddies not appropriately attired will not be permitted to participate.

21. Result of the Competition: When all the scorecards have been signed, attested, collected and approved by the Red Hills Junior Golf Committee, the result of the competition is deemed to have been officially announced.

The RHJG Rules Committee reserves the right to modify the Rules & Regulations prior to the start of any event.