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Rules and Regulations
Play is governed by the 2016-17 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 U.S. Kids Golf Rules Committee. Appendix I refers to the Appendix of Local Rules and Conditions of the Competition in the 2016-17 Rules of Golf Book.
U.S. Kids Golf Policies
Disqualification Policy: No player will be disqualified for any violations of the Rules of Golf. Instead, a maximum score of 10 will be applied to any hole where the infraction would normally lead to disqualification. In situations where the round or hole has been completed, the score of 10 will apply to the last hole played or to the hole where the infraction occurred.
Exceptions: A player or caddie may be disqualified for code of conduct violations, unauthorized use of electronic devices or tobacco/alcohol. Read below for specific explanations of these policies.
- Multi-Day Events: Players 10 years and older that invoke this rule may still compete in the championship, but will not be eligible to win a trophy, qualify for a Cup team or be submitted in the final results to Junior Golf Scoreboard.
- Local Tour: A player shall take no more than 10 strokes on a hole. Once 10 is reached, the player must pick up his ball and wait for his fellow-competitors to complete the hole.
- Multi-Day Events (9-hole age groups): A player shall take no more than 10 strokes on a hole. Once 10 is reached, the player must pick up his ball and wait for his fellow-competitors to complete the hole.
Pace of Play
- Local Tours and State Invitationals: Each player must play without undue delay, which is defined as taking no more than 45 seconds to play a shot. 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 without undue delay.
- Multi-Day Events: See the Pace of Play policy.
Time of Starting/Late to Tee: If a player arrives late to his tee, but ready to play within five minutes after 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 10 on that hole and any future holes missed. Players may not join a group during play of a hole; they must join the group on the next tee.
Stipulated/Final Round: The final round for all events will consist of two stipulated rounds. Nine-hole competitors will play one 5-hole and one 4-hole stipulated round and 18-hole competitors will play two 9-hole stipulated rounds. If a flight has split tees and the final round is reduced, the flight will be split into A and B flights. Only the A flight players will be eligible to win the championship.
Pull Carts: Pull carts are allowed for use unless prohibited by the golf course.
Caddies: Caddies must be 15 years of age or older to caddy for competitors.
Code of Conduct: Violations include profanity, 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. The U.S. Kids Golf TPA may assess any or all of the following penalties based on the severity or frequency of the violation(s).
- First and Subsequent offenses: One-stroke penalty for each code of conduct violation.
- Immediate disqualification from the tournament which the violation occurs.
- Repeated or severe violations may lead to rejection of future entries.
- Please review caddie conduct and evaluations for further information regarding caddie evaluations.
- Required to submit a written apology to the U.S. Kids Golf TPA.
U.S. Kids Golf reserves the right to dismiss any player, caddie or spectator at any time for any reason during the event.
Dress Code: Only acceptable golf attire is permitted. Players and caddies are prohibited from wearing shoes with metal spikes, short shorts, swimwear, denim of any kind, t-shirts, or tank tops. Shirts must be tucked in at all times. Those not appropriately attired will not be permitted to participate.
- First offense: Warning
- Second/Subsequent offenses: one-stroke penalty
Tobacco and Alcohol: Use of tobacco or alcohol is not permitted during the event.
- First offense: Warning
- Second offense: Disqualification
Electronic Devices: Cell phones, headphones, cameras, and the like may not be used during play. You may use a cell phone to call for medical help at any time during the event.
- First offense: Warning
- Second offense: Disqualification.
Other U.S. Kids Golf Policies
Distance Measuring Devices: Distance Measuring Devices, that measure or gauge distance only, are permitted in accordance with Decision 14-3/0.5. Penalty for breach of rule: score of 10 on any hole used.
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.
Water Hazards: Defined by yellow lines and designated by yellow stakes. In the absence of lines, the stakes both identify and define the hazard.
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.
Dropping Zones: A dropping zone is an area enclosed by a white line having the words “dropping zone” or “DZ” written inside it. A dropping zone is not ground under repair. The line itself is in the dropping zone. A ball that is dropped within the zone and rolls outside the line is in play and should not be redropped.
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: French drains (trenches filled with stones or like), fire ant beds and mounds caused by burrowing animals.
Flower Beds Identified by Blue Stakes: To be treated as Ground Under Repair. Relief is mandatory.
Sod Seams for Lie of Ball Only: To be treated as ground under repair through the green. All seams in a given area are deemed to be the same seam. See Appendix I, Page 129.
Embedded Ball: The Embedded Ball Rule as written in Appendix I, page 127, is in effect through the green.
Conditions of Competition
Grooves: Decision 4-1/1, groove and punch mark specifications effective January 1, 2010 including condition of competition will not be in effect.
Golf Balls: It is a condition of the competition that players must use a brand of ball on the current USGA List of Conforming Golf Balls. Penalty for breach of rule: Score of 10 on each hole where the infraction occurred.
Practice Between Holes: Practice between holes in NOT authorized in stroke play competitions. Reference Rule 7-2 and note 2. In the event of a breach between the play of two holes, the penalty applies to the next hole.
Result of the Competition: Competitions are deemed to have closed when all scores have been approved by the Committee or a winner has been announced.
Signals for Suspension and Resumption of Play: If play is suspended by one long siren or horn blast or verbal direction by a Rules Committee member, the player must immediately discontinue play and look for shelter. All practice areas are closed until the Committee has declared them open for use. Penalty for breach of this rule is a 10 on the first hole when play resumes.
Suspension of play for reasons other than dangerous situations (darkness, fog, etc.) will be made with three short blasts of a horn. Players in a group may decide whether to finish the hole they are playing but they may not start another hole. The choice to finish the hole is an individual decision. A player within the group may choose to finish the hole while others choose to wait until play has resumed.
Players may discontinue play and seek shelter if they believe there is dangerous weather (lightning, tornado, hurricane, etc.) regardless of whether a siren has been heard. The player must report to the committee as soon as practical. Bad weather (rain, wind, temperature extremes etc.) is not itself a good reason for discontinuing play. The Rules Committee makes all decisions regarding delays and/or cancellations. The intention is to play the event on its scheduled day.
Safety Announcement: Participation during tournament play can be dangerous. A player may discontinue play if he believes there are dangerous weather conditions (lightning, tornado, hurricane, etc.) or other good reason such as illness. Seek shelter or medical help when these conditions arise.
Please be aware of others near you at all times on the course and practice area. It is possible that you may get struck by a club or ball hit by someone else. When riding in a golf cart, please read and follow the manufacturer’s safety notices at all times. Riding in a cart or being struck with a club or ball can cause serious injury or death.
When attending event related functions such as opening ceremonies, awards presentations, pool parties, etc., please use extreme caution and be mindful of how your or your children’s actions may affect others in close proximity. While necessary precautions are taken to ensure everyone’s safety, it is critical that we all work together to provide a safe and fun environment for all in attendance.
U.S. Kids Golf reserves the right to change the Rules & Regulations prior to or during any event.
Revised January 14, 2016
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