Rules & Policies

The Delaware State Golf Association is an amateur golf association whose purpose is to promote golf and to conduct competitions for golfers of all skill levels. All tournaments will be played using the rules of golf as established jointly by the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland.

It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the 2016 USGA Rules of Golf book from your pro shop or from the DSGA, read it and become familiar with stroke play rules.

The DSGA has established a standard policy, for its competitions, that includes “playing the ball as it lies” (sometimes referred to as “Summer Rules”). On occasion, local conditions may make it necessary to modify this policy. If “preferred lies” are going to be used, players will be notified at the tournament site.

2017 Local Rule – Ball Accidentally Moved on Green

The DSGA will adopt the new local rule for all competitions in 2017.

USGA Infographic  and   USGA Q&A

Full Text & Language to Use for Tournament Officials

Tournament Eligibility and Entry

To be eligible to participate in a DSGA tournament you must be a member of a DSGA member club and have a USGA handicap index using the DSGA authorized handicap computational system. (Juniors are not required to be a member of a DSGA club to participate in Junior events).

In events that include golf professionals, professionals must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Golf professionals who reside in Delaware as their primary residence (professional accreditation and proof of residency required)
  • Golf professionals who have been invited by the DSGA to participate
  • Past Delaware Open Champions
  • Golf professionals, who reside out of state, must be employed by a DSGA member club at the time of entry and during the championship.
  • PGA Members whose primary employment is ownership or management of golf products or services at a “PGA Recognized Facility”.

Entry Form Submission Guidelines

Tournament entry forms for all DSGA tournaments can be found in this handbook and on the website. Incomplete entries may not be accepted. Each tournament has an entry opening and closing date. To insure entry into an event, your entry must be received at the DSGA office by 5:00 P.M. on the closing date. Telephone entries will not be accepted. Once in our player database, you can register online at www.dsga.org. Other than Championships, entries received after the closing deadline may be accepted to fill a tournament field at the discretion of the DSGA.

If submitting an entry form, a check or money order covering the entry fee must accompany each entry. Do not send cash. Make checks payable to: DSGA. (There will be a $35.00 charge for each returned check to the DSGA). Online registrations requires a MasterCard or Visa transaction.

Handicapping

Handicap indexes will be verified for all tournaments. The index that will be used is the USGA index that is effective on the date specified on the entry.

Accepting / Rejecting Entries

The DSGA and the host club retain the right to accept or reject any entry, and shall also have the right to limit the number of entries in the field. In the event the field is oversubscribed, entries will be accepted based on when they were received by the DSGA, unless otherwise stated. All qualified entries from members of the host club will be accepted.

The DSGA has the right to deny participation in any tournament by any contestant who refuses to comply with the rules and regulations of the DSGA and/or the host club. Entries are subject to rejection at any time (including during the tournament) by the DSGA. The reason for rejection may include unbecoming conduct. All tournaments and events listed in this book are subject to cancellation, change of date, and/or change of venue.

Pairings

Pairings and starting times for all DSGA events will be posted on the website, and e-mailed to contestants prior to each tournament. You may also call the DSGA office for your starting time.

Additional Information

Subsequent information can be found by calling the DSGA office at 302-234-3365.

Refunds

Entry fees will not be refunded unless cancellation of entry is made prior to the entry closing date of the event. Anyone entering a Championship qualifier has been deemed to have entered the Championship itself. Therefore, anyone withdrawing from the Championship will not be entitled a refund unless the individual has withdrawn from the qualifier prior to the entry closing date.

Refunds, or partial refunds, for tournaments that are cancelled or shortened will be sent back to the player. Refunds for Four Ball and team events will be sent to the individual(s) who submitted the payment with the entry.

Carts and Cart Fees

Cart fees are included as part of the tournament entry fee. In events where walking is an option, a competitor who elects to walk is not entitled to a refund for the cart fee. All golf carts are leased from the host club. The cart driver/operator must have a valid drivers license and is responsible, to the host club, for any abuse or damages to the golf cart.

Player Responsibilities

Starting Times

All players are to be at their starting tee 5 minutes before their assigned tee time to receive instructions from the starter. Any player who is either late or fails to appear for their assigned time without notifying the DSGA or the host club is subject to a suspension from all DSGA tournaments for one year, including the following year’s event at which the infraction occurred.

Any player who arrives more than 5 minutes late for their assigned tee time will be disqualified from the event. A player who arrives late, but is ready to play within 5 minutes of his assigned tee time will incur a 2 stroke penalty for undue delay.

Returning Scorecard

Any player who fails to return a scorecard to the scoreboard official or who withdraws during play without notifying an official and personally surrendering his scorecard to that official is subject to a suspension from all DSGA tournaments for one year,, including the following year’s event at which the infraction occurred.

Marker Responsibilities

Any player or team that withdraws during play or suspension of play is still required to mark for their fellow competitor or provide a replacement marker. Any player who leaves a fellow competitor without a marker will be suspended from all DSGA tournaments for one year, including the following year’s event at which the infraction occurred.

Appropriate Dress

Players are required to observe good taste and dress appropriately for the golf course. Items of clothing such as jeans, cut-offs, short-shorts, tank tops, fishnet shirts, etc. are considered inappropriate and anyone attired in such manner will not be allowed to participate in any DSGA event. Member clubs may have a more strict dress code and will be enforced accordingly.

Code of Conduct

Unacceptable behavior at the tournament site or on the golf course at any DSGA tournament will not be tolerated at any time. This includes unacceptable language and/or gestures that might be directed at any DSGA official, fellow competitor, host club officials or spectators. An immediate expulsion from said tournament may result, along with a minimum one year suspension from all DSGA sponsored events, including the next year’s event from which the infraction occurred.

Tie Breaking Policies

Championship Tournaments

A sudden death playoff will be used to determine the tournament champion. All other ties will be divided equally.

Gross and Net Individual and Four Ball Tournaments

All ties will be broken using tie-breaking guidelines established by the USGA.

USGA Guidelines for Deciding

Back nine score, last 6 holes, last 3 holes, 18th hole, #1 handicap hole. In the event there is still a tie, the prize will be divided equally if the prize value is at least $20.00 per player, if not, the tie will be broken by drawing.

Tournament Credit and Gift Certificates

All tournament winnings will be credited, in the player’s name, with the host club golf shop. When two or more clubs are hosting the tournament, gift certificates will be given to the players, however the certificates are only redeemable at one of the host clubs. A $20.00 credit is the minimum prize that will be issued. Players should make every effort to redeem their credit as soon as possible. All credit must be redeemed by November 30. (Credit won at the Halloween Scramble must be redeemed by April 1).

Pace of Play

The following conditions and policies shall govern regulation of the pace of play by DSGA Rules Officials and Committee members.

Definition of Players Out of Position

  1. The First Three Groups off the 1st or 10th Tee – The group exceeds the time allotted to play at any time during the round.
  2. All Other Groups – The group, at any time during the round (a) exceeds the allotted time to play AND (b) reaches the teeing ground on a par 3 or par 4 hole when the group ahead has cleared the green OR on a par 5 hole when the group ahead has reached the green. This rule also applies to all groups on the golf course in the event the tournament is a shot-gun start.

Notification to Players Out of Position

  1. If a group is out of position, the players will be notified verbally by a member of the Committee or staff.
  2. Once notified, the players in the group will be subject to timing of their strokes as described in the section below.

Timing of players Out of Position

  1. When players in a group are being timed, the Committee member doing the timing will notify them verbally.
  2. When timing of strokes begins:
    • On All Parts of the Course except the Putting Green – Timing of a stroke begins when it is the player’s turn to play and he can play without interference or distraction. (Time spent determining yardage and conditions counts in the time taken to play a stroke.)
    • On the Putting Green – Timing of a stroke from the putting green begins when it is the player’s turn to play, he can play without interference or distraction, and has had a reasonable amount of time to (1) mark, lift and clean his ball, (2) repair his ball mark, (3) repair other ball marks on his line of putt, and (4) remove loose impediments from his line of putt. (Time spent reading the green counts in the time taken to play a stroke from the putting green.)

Criteria for Determining and Penalties for Undue Delay

If a group is out of position, a player will be deemed to have a bad timing and be subject to penalty under Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay) if he takes 45 seconds or more to play a stroke (except in extraordinary circumstances).

Stroke Play Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay):

  1. One Bad Timing – Warning
  2. A Total of Two Bad Timings – 1 Stroke
  3. A Third Bad Timing – 2 Strokes
  4. A Subsequent Bad Timing – Disqualification

Notes

  1. A player who incurs one bad timing will be notified of such by the Committee as soon as practicable and warned that any subsequent bad timing during that round will subject him to penalty under Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay).
  2. The Committee will notify a player incurring a penalty under this rule as soon as practicable.
  3. When a group being timed regains their proper position on the course, the Committee will immediately suspend the monitoring or timing.
  4. The position of the group following has no bearing in determining whether or not a player’s pace of play is satisfactory under this policy.
  5. The Committee will determine the time allotted for play. Pace of play will either be printed on your scorecard or will be provided at registration.
  6. Any Pace of Play decision by a DSGA rules official or committee member is final.

The DSGA reserves the right to change or modify the pace of play policy at their discretion.

Electronic Measuring Devices

The DSGA has adopted the local rule to allow players to use devices that measure distance only. The use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g., wind or gradient) is not permitted (whether or not it is disabled).

Beverages

All beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) not purchased at host club, are not permitted on club premises. Coolers are also not permitted. Violators will be disqualified immediately from further play and are subject to removal from the premises.

Cellular Phone Policy

All players/caddies are advised that the use of cellular phones for phone calls/emails/texts on the course is permitted as long as it is done so within the confines of Rule 14-3 and if the host facility allows those devices to be used. All players are expected to keep their phones in silent mode while on the course. If a player consistently disregards his fellow competitors, the DSGA will take appropriate disciplinary action. There could be a penalty for undue delay (Rule 6-7) or disqualification (33-7) based on a player’s actions.

Complaints

Complaints of any nature must be made in writing and sent to:

Delaware State Golf Association
7234 Lancaster Pike, Suite 302-B
Hockessin, DE 19707