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he NCGA offers 25 distinct championships for its members, and they all operate under the same conditions of competitions, known as the “hard card.” This card is made up of specific conditions and local rules that have been adopted by the NCGA’s Tournament Committee, which is comprised of the board of directors, tournament officials

and NCGA staff. The hard card can be found at and is also available at tournament sites. It is important to remember that Rule 6-1 states that the player is responsible to know the rules, and the definition of rules includes the conditions and local rules established by the committee. This is a general overview, and players should visit to review the hard card in its entirety. Here are the highlights:

Dress Code: The NCGA requires all

participants and caddies to be dressed ap- propriately on the premises of the club. The hard card specifically prohibits blue jeans, T-shirts and tank tops. There is no penalty for violation of this policy, however, a player may not play or a person may not caddie if they do not adhere to the dress code. Serious Breach of Etiquette: The NCGA

may, in exceptional cases, disqualify a player under Rule 33-7 for behavior that is contrary to the spirit of the game, such as throwing clubs, abusive language or causing damage to the course. Global Positioning Systems and Hand-Held

Range Finders: The NCGA permits the use of distance-measuring devices that measure distance ONLY. If the device has the ability to measure any other condition, it must not be used. Many smartphones have built-in ap- plications that are difficult, if not impossible, to delete. It is difficult to remove the com- pass application, and a compass is one of the devices that may not be used on a golf course (Decision 14-3/4). Therefore, it is prohibited to use it as an electronic distance-measuring device under the Rules of Golf. The penalty for violation of this condition is disqualifica- tion under Rule 14-3. When in doubt as to whether your smartphone conforms, do not use it as a distance-measuring device. Cellular Phones: The NCGA permits the use of a cellular telephone during its competitions as long as it is used in a way to not distract other players. Otherwise, the committee may exercise their rights under Rule 33-7. List of Conforming Driver Heads: The player

must use a legal driver head when competing in NCGA events. The USGA keeps a list of all driver heads that it considers conforming, and the list can be found at Official Time/Time of Starting: The clock at the tee where a player begins his or her round is the official time. The NCGA provides all starters with an atomic clock at the starting tee, and this clock is used as the

official time. It is common that the club may have a clock on display that has the wrong time. Be sure to check with the starter for the accurate time. Ground Under Repair: The NCGA has

declared French drains to be ground under repair in all competitions. Players may take relief as prescribed in Rule 25-1. Embedded Ball Through the Green: The

NCGA adopts the local rule that permits players to take relief from a ball that is embedded outside the fairway, but not in a hazard or a sandy area. Relief would be taken as prescribed in Rule 25-2. Sodded Areas: If a player’s ball lies in a sod seam or is close enough to affect the player’s swing, the player is entitled to relief. However, there is no relief if the player is standing on a sod seam. White-Lined Areas Tying Into Artificially Sur-

faced Roads and Paths: When there are areas of ground under repair near cart paths, the com- mittee will mark the area as one obstruction for the ease of taking relief. Without stating this, the player may have to take relief from one condition, and then the other. Aeration Holes: Since the NCGA uses

hundreds of different courses throughout the year and may have an event soon after a club has aerated its golf course, the NCGA has adopted the local rule permitting players to take relief from the holes in areas through the green and on the putting green. Permanent Elevated Power Lines and Cables:

If a ball strikes a permanent elevated power line or cable on the course, the stroke must be cancelled and replayed, without penalty.

The committee at the championship course will waive this local rule if it believes that the rule is unnecessary. Discontinuance of Play: The committee will

notify the players when it is necessary to sus- pend play and will blow a horn to let them know whether it is because of a dangerous situation or the course is unplayable. For All Net Competitions: The NCGA

reserves the right to adjust a player’s handi- cap or decline entry based upon previous performances. Disqualification: The NCGA requires a

player to leave the course immediately when he or she has incurred a penalty of disqualifica- tion. In team events, the players may, in excep- tional cases, be permitted to play throughout the competition at the end of the field. No Shows and Withdraws: If a player doesn’t

show up for his or her starting time, and doesn’t notify the NCGA that he or she wishes to withdraw, the player will serve a one-year suspension. This also goes for any- one who starts the round and doesn’t turn in a scorecard to the Committee. Close of Competition: The NCGA clari- fies when a competition has closed and the results are official, as described in Rule 34-1. NCGA Cart Policy: Spectator carts are pro-

hibited, and only two carts are permitted per group. When carts are permitted, the player and caddie may occupy the cart. NCGA Pace of Play Policy: The NCGA’s pace

of play policy is a check-point system that requires players to finish the play of their stipulated round within a maximum time, or they are subject to penalty.

These items are listed on the NCGA’s hard card for consistency

throughout all of its events. Your club should have similar policies established for its events. A hard card is not a substitute for an in- dividual course’s local rules, and should only include the situations that could apply to every event. If you are participating in competi- tions, it is important to review the conditions and rules. Remember, players are ultimately responsible for knowing these conditions and rules when competing.

By RYAN GREGG Director of Rules and Competitions


Rules and Competitions

FALL 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 69

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