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Championship Policies



On this page:

 

For any clarification on the Championship Policies below, please contact the WSGA Championship Department at (206) 526-8605 ext. 2.

 


 

Reduction of Course Handicap

Reduction of Course Handicap PDF

The WSGA Championship Committee reserves the right to adjust the course handicap of any competitor in the WSGA Men’s or Senior Men’s Best-Ball Championship. A reduction of a competitor's course handicap will be based on the following criteria:

High finishers in the NET portion of the above named WSGA Championships during the past two-year period will be awarded points accordingly as per the table below. Points may also be given to include a team that collects a gross division prize as the points are not limited to the 5 highest net finishers, but the 5 best net scores in the field.

For the 2019 WSGA Men’s Best-Ball Championship, reductions will be based on points accumulated from the 2017 and 2018 WSGA Men’s Best-Ball Championships.

For the 2019 WSGA Senior Men’s Best-Ball Championship, reductions will be based on points accumulated from the 2017 and 2018 WSGA Senior Men’s Best-Ball Championships.

Any contestant, who accumulates 7 points over the two-year period, will have their course handicap reduced by 2 strokes for use during the championship. Any contestant who accumulates more than 7 points during the two-year period, will have their course handicap reduced an additional 1 stroke for each additional two points accumulated.

In the case of a tie for one of the first 5 places, each of the team members would earn the full number of points for that placing. For example: Two teams tie for 2nd place. Each team member would earn 4 points under this system. You would not give out 3rd place points (or add 2nd & 3rd place points together and divide by 2) under this scenario. The next finisher in line after the two teams that tied would earn 2 points for the 4th place. No fractions of points are awarded.

POINT ASSIGNMENT TABLE

Total Players in the Field

Finish

Up to 20

21-49

50-99

100+

First Place

3pts

4pts

5pts

6pts

Second Place

2

3

4

4

Third Place

1

2

3

3

Fourth Place

0

1

2

2

Fifth Place

0

0

1

1

 


 

Dress Code

Dress Code PDF

Download the Dress Code (PDF, 244KB)

The WSGA expects all contestants and their caddies to wear suitable attire on the host club property throughout the duration of the championship, including practice rounds. Suitable attire does not include cutoffs, short shorts, tank tops, halters, jeans or denim of any kind or color, tee shirts, sweat pants, bare midriff, spandex or unkempt clothing of any kind. Hats and visors must not be worn in the clubhouse. Shoes and socks must be worn at all times. Sandals of any kind are not allowed on the golf course at any time (including practice areas), even sandals with soft spikes.

Male contestants: must wear neat and clean slacks, bermuda or walking shorts. Shorts must be of an appropriate length and meet the policy of the host club. Golf shirts with collars or golf mocks are mandatory.

Female contestants: must wear tailored blouses or golf shirts (if a shirt is sleeveless, it must have a collar). Contestants must wear slacks, golf skirts or shorts. Skirts and shorts must be of an appropriate length and meet the policy of the host club.

If additional measures are required by the host club, they will be communicated to all contestants prior to the championship and must be adhered to. Gallery must adhere to the host club dress code policy. Failure to adhere to the dress code may result in disqualification and removal from the course.

Infractions of the dress code will be dealt with by the PNGA Staff. If not immediately corrected, such infractions may result in disqualification. The dress code for each championship is listed on the website, entry form, player confirmation, and the championship program players receive at registration.

 


 

WSGA Local Rules and Terms of the Competition

Local Rules and Terms of the Competition

Local Rules and Terms of the Competition for 2019 WSGA Championships

The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and The R&A govern play. These Local Rules and Terms of the Competition are in effect at all WSGA championships, tournaments and qualifying rounds. See applicable championship, tournament or qualifying round Notice to Players and Entry Application for modifications or additions to these Local Rules and Terms of the Competition. Complete text of the Rules and Local Rules may be found in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, effective January 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the general penalty.

  • Match Play–Loss of Hole
  • Stroke Play–Two Strokes
Local Rules

Out of Bounds – Defined by the line between the course-side points, at ground level, of white stakes and fence posts.

When a paved road or curb defines out of bounds, a ball that is on or beyond the road or curb is out of bounds even though it may lie on another part of the golf course.

Penalty Areas – When a penalty area is defined on only one side, it extends to infinity. When a penalty area is connected to the out-of-bounds edge, the penalty area extends to and coincides with out of bounds.

Ground Under Repair – Defined by white lines. French drains are ground under repair.

Ground under repair may include areas of unusual damage, but only when so declared by an authorized member of the Committee. When immediately adjacent to an immovable obstruction, such an area is part of that obstruction.

Relief from Seams of Cut Turf – Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule F-7.

White-Lined Areas Tying into Artificially-Surfaced Roads and Paths – White-lined areas of ground under repaid and the artificially surfaced roads, paths or other identified obstructions that they are connected to are a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1.

Wood Chips and Mulch – Are loose impediments.

Integral Objects – Include cables, rods, wires and wrappings when closely attached to trees, and artificial walls and pilings when located in penalty areas and bunkers.

List of Conforming Driver Heads – Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule G-1.

List of Conforming Golf Balls – Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule G-3.

Pace of Play – See separate memorandum to players for pace of play policy, when applicable.

Stopping and Resuming Play – Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule J-1.

All practice areas are closed during an immediate suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open. Players who practice on closed practice areas will be asked to stop practicing; failure to stop practicing might result in disqualification.

An immediate suspension will be signaled by one prolonged airhorn note. All other types of suspension will be signaled by three consecutive airhorn notes. Resumption of play will be signaled by two short airhorn notes.

Practice – Prior to and after a round in stroke play, a player may practice on the designated practice areas. Rule 5.2b covering practice in stroke play is modified in this way: A player may not practice on the competition course before or between rounds. Penalty for breach of Local Rule, see Rule 5.2.

Terms of the Competition

When Competition is Final – The competition is final when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in the absence of a prize ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee. The result of a match is final when the Committee has approved the result as posted on the public scoreboard.

 


 

WSGA Pace of Play Policy

Pace of Play PDF

WSGA PACE OF PLAY GUIDELINES

STROKE PLAY – Revised 2019

Rule 5.6a. Unreasonable Delay of Play states: “A player must not unreasonably delay play, either when playing a hole or between two holes.”

Rule 5.6b. Prompt Pace of Play states: “A round of golf is meant to be played at a prompt pace. Each players should recognize that his or her pace of play is likely to affect how long it will take other players to play their rounds, including both those in the player’s own group and those in following groups.”

Rule 5.6b(I). Pace of Play Recommendations states: “The player should play at a prompt pace throughout the round, including the time taken to:

  • Prepare for and make each stroke,
  • Move from one place to another between strokes, and
  • Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.

A player should prepare in advance for the next stroke and be ready to play when it is his or her turn. When it is the player’s turn to play:

  • It is recommended that the player make the stroke in no more than 40 seconds after he or she is (or should be) able to play without interference or distractions, and
  • The player should usually be able to play more quickly than that and is encouraged to do so.”

Summary
Players are expected to adhere to the pace of play recommendations outlined in Rule 5.6b(I) as well as complete play of each check-point hole in the time determined by the on-site Championship Committee. When a group is out of position at any check-point, the players in the group are subject to penalty under these guidelines.

Check-points will be on completion (flagstick in the hole) of either the 4th, 9th, 13th and 18th holes, or the 5th, 9th, 14th and 18th holes. Exact checkpoint locations will be determined prior to the start of each event. Players will be notified of checkpoint locations on the starting tee.

Allotted Time: Flagstick in the Hole
Maximum times to play will be determined for each day of the championship by the on-site Championship Committee. Maximum times to complete each hole will be printed on each competitor’s scorecard. Competitors will be advised, prior to starting, of that day’s maximum time to complete the round. It is the group’s responsibility to finish each check-point within the times outlined on the scorecard or within position of the group directly in front of them. When a group falls behind – regardless of the reason – it must regain its position. Time for ball searches, rulings, and walking time between holes is included in the allotted time.

Definition “Out of Position” – Stroke Play

First Group Only: The first group is out of position if it takes more than the allotted time to complete a check-point hole (see check-point time on scorecard).

All Following Groups: A following group is out of position if it:

    (a) Takes more than the allotted time to complete a check-point hole and
    (b) Completes play of a check-point hole more than 14 minutes after the preceding group completed play of that hole.

Group Out of Position
The first time a group is out of position at a check-point hole they will be issued a warning. When a group has been notified of its first breach, that group is expected to regain its position before reaching the next check-point. If that group is out of position at the next or any subsequent check-point, the group may incur the following penalties:

  • 1st breach* – warning
  • 2nd breach – one stroke penalty
  • 3rd breach – two stroke penalty
  • 4th breach – disqualification

* If a group clears the 3rd check-point without any breaches, but is out of position at the 4th check-point, the potential penalty for each player in the group is one stroke.

Any group that is out of position is subject to being monitored by a Rules Rover.

Player’s Rights
Any player may appeal the penalty at scoring.

A player concerned about a non-responsive fellow-competitor in his/her group should request a Rules Rover to monitor the group in case the group is/or becomes subject to penalty under these guidelines.

Final Determination Regarding Breach / Review Process
All breaches will be reviewed at scoring by the Pace of Play Committee. If the player/group appeals the penalty, the Pace of Play Committee will consider only the following in an appeal:

    (a) The player was delayed by the Committee; or
    (b) The player was delayed by a circumstance beyond the control of the player or group; or
    (c) The player was delayed by another player in the group.

A player who was out of position during his/her round and who elects not to consult with the Pace of Play Committee to determine whether he/she was in breach of these guidelines is considered to have been in breach of these guidelines and to have incurred a penalty or penalties according to the above schedule of penalties. If a group is subject to penalty, all penalties will be applied to the check-point hole where the breach occurred.

 


 

WSGA Preferred Lies Recommendation

Preferred Lies PDF

As the leader and primary resource in promoting and providing opportunities for anyone interested in the game of golf in Washington and Northern Idaho, the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) strongly recommends that when establishing conditions of play, golf clubs and tournament organizers adhere to the Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A.

One of the primary principles of the Rules of Golf is to “play the ball as it lies,” which the WSGA also strongly recommends in most instances. However, when extreme weather or lack of golf course maintenance for long periods make it necessary for golf clubs and tournament organizers to consider adopting a Preferred Lies (also known as “Winter Rules”) Local Rule for use, the WSGA recommends using Model Local Rule E-2 or E-3 or a combination thereof, listed below, which are recommended by the USGA under Committee Procedures in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (page 465-467).

Because conditions differ depending on the season and situation, the WSGA’s Rules & Competition Department stands ready to extend assistance and make recommendations with regard to adopting a Preferred Lies Local Rule.

It is important to note that any Preferred Lies Local Rule other than Model Local Rule E-2 or E-3 or a combination thereof, especially one that advocates improving the lie of the ball in the rough, is contrary to the Rules of Golf and we are unable to recommend, endorse or interpret its use.

Purpose. When conditions such as wet ground conditions throughout parts of the course may cause mud to stick to the ball, the Committee can choose to allow the player to lift, clean and replace the ball in the general area. Such relief should be limited to those portions of the course where needed.

While the Local Rule for Preferred Lies (Model Local Rule E-3) is designed for use only in areas cut to fairway height or less in the general area, this Local Rule can be used throughout the general area or restricted to specific areas. The Committee could choose to use both Local Rules permitting preferred lies in the fairways and cleaning the ball elsewhere in the general area.

It is not advisable to implement this Local Rule once play has begun for a stroke-play round. Doing so would allow players who had more holes to play the advantage of using it for a longer period of time. The Local Rule could be implemented once a match has begun between the play of two holes as opponents have an equal benefit.

For guidance on when and how this Local Rule may be used in order for scores to be submitted for handicapping purposes (for example, if it must be limited to fairway only), consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System.

E-2 – Cleaning Ball
Found in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (page 465-466)

Purpose. When conditions such as wet ground conditions throughout parts of the course may cause mud to stick to the ball, the Committee can choose to allow the player to lift, clean and replace the ball in the general area. Such relief should be limited to those portions of the course where needed.

While the Local Rule for Preferred Lies (Model Local Rule E-3) is designed for use only in areas cut to fairway height or less in the general area, this Local Rule can be used throughout the general area or restricted to specific areas. The Committee could choose to use both Local Rules permitting preferred lies in the fairways and cleaning the ball elsewhere in the general area.

It is not advisable to implement this Local Rule once play has begun for a stroke-play round. Doing so would allow players who had more holes to play the advantage of using it for a longer period of time. The Local Rule could be implemented once a match has begun between the play of two holes as opponents have an equal benefit.

For guidance on when and how this Local Rule may be used in order for scores to be submitted for handicapping purposes (for example, if it must be limited to fairway only), consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System.

Model Local Rule E-2

When a player’s ball lies in [identify area, such as the general area, at the 6th hole, in the general area cut to fairway height or less, etc.], the ball may be lifted cleaned and replaced without penalty. The player must mark the spot before lifting the ball (see Rule 14.1) and the ball must be replaced on its original spot (see Rule 14.2).

E-3 – Preferred Lies
Found in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (page 466-467)

Purpose. When occasional local abnormal conditions might interfere with fair play, the affected parts of the course can be defined as ground under repair. But adverse conditions such as heavy snow, spring thaws, prolonged rains or extreme heat can sometimes damage the course or prevent use of heavy mowing equipment.

When such conditions are widespread on the course, the Committee can choose to adopt a Local Rule for “preferred lies” (also known as “winter rules”) to allow fair play or help protect the fairway. Such a Local Rule should be withdrawn as soon as conditions allow.

The use of this Local Rule outside the fairway in the general area is not recommended as it may result in a player receiving free relief from areas where a ball might otherwise be unplayable (such as in areas of bushes or trees).

It is not authorized to implement this Local Rule once play has begun for a stroke-play round. Doing so would allow players who have more holes to play the advantage of using it for a longer period of time. The Local Rule could be implemented once a match has begun between the play of two holes as opponents have an equal benefit.

For guidance on when and how this Local Rule may be used in order for scores to be submitted for handicapping purposes (including the size of the relief area and if it may only be used in the fairway), consult the rules or recommendations contained within the Handicap System.

Model Local Rule E-3
When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less [or identify a specific area such as ‘on the fairway of the 6th hole’], the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.
  • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: [Specify size of relief area, such as one club length, one scorecard length or 6 inches] from the reference point, but with these limits:
  • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
    • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
    • Must be in the general area.

In proceeding under this Local Rule, the players must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.

In addition, the WSGA offers the following recommendations, considerations, and clarifications when considering whether or not to adopt a Preferred Lies Local Rule:

Recommendations – The WSGA considers the following when deciding whether or not to invoke a Preferred Lies Local Rule for our championships or when making a recommendation:

  • Preferred Lies should NOT be invoked if an abnormal ground condition is confined to a small area on the course. Such areas should be deemed ground under repair.
  • Adverse conditions such as the aftermath of heavy snows and spring thaws, prolonged rains or extreme heat can make fairway conditions unsatisfactory or prevent heavy mowing equipment from being used to maintain the course. When such conditions are prevalent throughout the course, Model Local Rule E-3 may be used to lift, clean, and improve the lie of the ball in closely mown areas.
  • If course conditions are such that an inordinate amount of mud is collecting on the golf ball, then Model Local Rule E-2 may be used to lift, clean and REPLACE the ball on its original spot.
  • Some have requested we recommend one single standard of measurement when improving the lie of the ball in Model Local Rule E-3 (e.g., six inches, one club length, etc.). However, it is important this discretion be left to the golf club or tournament organizer, as conditions differ from day to day and course to course. While six inches may work one day, a full club length may be needed another.
  • Under some circumstances, Model Local Rule E-2 and E-3 may be adopted for use at the same time. This will allow the marking, lifting, cleaning and improving the lie of a ball in closely mown areas (Model Local Rule E-3), while also allowing the marking, lifting, and replacing of a muddy ball in the general area (in the rough) (Model Local Rule E-2).
  • The use of Model Local Rule E-2 and E-3 may be confined to a specific area of the course (e.g., at the sixth hole only, etc.). There is no requirement they be used throughout the entire course.
  • The WSGA strongly discourages improving the lie of the ball in the general area (in the rough). It is a fact that when the lie of a ball is improved from a poor lie in the rough to one which is “teed up” only serves to provide an unfair advantage to a golfer who has hit a poor shot, artificially lowers handicaps, and places golfers at a disadvantage when competing elsewhere.
  • Additional Local Rules are also available (Committee Procedure, Part IV, Section 6) that help deal with poor course conditions or course protection including, Relief from Aeration Holes (E-4, page 467-468) and Relief from Seams of Cut Turf (F-7, page 481).

Considerations – A Preferred Lies Local Rule should only be invoked after careful consideration and only when warranted.

Consultation – The WSGA encourages golf clubs and tournament organizers to contact the WSGA Rules & Competition staff at the WSGA offices in Federal Way, Washington for further assistance with a specific recommendation.

Washington State Golf Association
Telephone: (206) 526-8605 x5
Email: scotty.crouthamel@thewsga.org

 


 

WSGA Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawal PDF

Download the WSGA Withdrawal Policy (PDF, 244k)

All refunds prior to the entry deadline are subject to a $10 administrative fee. Refunds are not available after the closing deadline except for documented and approved medical reasons. Refunds approved after the closing deadline, and up until round one pairings are released, are subject to a $25 administrative fee. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED AFTER ROUND ONE PAIRINGS HAVE BEEN RELEASED.

During play of the championship, a competitor must notify WSGA staff and state his/her need to withdraw. Entrants who unofficially withdraw (by not notifying the WSGA staff or without having sufficient reason to withdraw) will not be granted entry into any future WSGA championship for a minimum of two years.

 


 

WSGA Spectator Cart Policy

Spectator Cart Policy PDF

Download the WSGA Spectator Cart Policy (PDF, 353k)

Spectator Cart Policy

To provide an equal championship platform for all competitors, the use of carts by spectators is not permitted at any time by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA).

Championship Accommodations for Disabled Spectators

The WSGA is committed to providing an enjoyable spectator experience for people with disabilities at WSGA championships. Requests from spectators seeking transportation onto the golf course due to a permanent disability, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), must be submitted to a WSGA staff member on site. While spectator carts are not allowed, the WSGA will make every effort to accommodate these requests by assigning a WSGA volunteer driver based on availability. The driver will transport the spectator to viewing locations throughout the golf course, not shot by shot or hole by hole.

Spectators with transportation needs should contact the WSGA Championship Department at (206) 526-8605 prior to the championship so that arrangements can be made to have a driver on site.

Requests due to temporary injuries or impairments will not be granted.

Only spectators who have complied with the above procedures and met the requirements will be permitted to ride. Every possible effort will be made to ensure that spectators with permanent disabilities are able to view the competition.

 


 

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct PDF

The WSGA expects all contestants, caddies, gallery, and guests to exhibit proper conduct and behavior on the golf course and anywhere on club property during a WSGA championship. Unbecoming conduct or behavior may be grounds for immediate disqualification, at any time, from any WSGA event. The following are some examples of unbecoming conduct or behavior:

  • Repeated use of loud, abusive, and/or profane language
  • Throwing and/or breaking equipment (club, ball, etc.) in anger or frustration
  • Damaging host club, WSGA, and/or fellow contestant property
  • Public criticism or verbal abuse of host club, officials, volunteers or staff, and/or WSGA volunteers, staff or fellow contestants
  • Potential endangerment of others
  • Intentionally violating stated club policy
  • Violation of WSGA Dress Code and/or Footwear Policy
  • Other conduct deemed unbecoming

The Committee in charge of the competition shall be the sole judge of determining Conduct Code violations.

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