NHGA Rules of Play

NHGA Rules of Play


NHGA POLICIES & PROCEDURES

 
Golf Cart Policy: When golf carts are permitted in an NHGA Championship, use of carts is subject to the daily policy of the host facility. The use of more than two golf carts per pairing group at an NHGA Championship is strictly prohibited.  Caddies are permitted to ride in the golf cart with a player if there is a seat available If there are more caddies than available seats, the players and caddies must decide who will use the seats in a timely manner.

Spectator Cart Policy:​ Spectator Carts are prohibited at NHGA Championships. If a spectator requires a golf cart due to a disability, the spectator must provide appropriate documentation to NHGA staff prior to receiving a cart. The spectator must abide by the spectator cart policies and may be subject to a cart rental fee from the host facility.

Cell Phone Policy: The use of cell phones may be necessary during certain NHGA events. The use of cell phones should be limited to necessary use (live scoring, weather, limited family events, etc.) only and shall be done in a way to minimize distraction to the player’s fellow competitors. In some cases, the NHGA may adopt Local Rule G-8 prohibiting or restricting the use of audio and video devices during a round. 

Non-Resident Eligibility: Click Here 

NHGA RULES OF PLAY


OUT OF BOUNDS:  Defined by the line between the course-side points, at ground level, of white stakes/lines, fence posts, or other boundary objects.
Note:  A ball, which crosses a public road defined as out of bounds and comes to rest beyond that road, is out of bounds, even though it may lie on another part of the course, unless stated as otherwise in the Local Rules.
 
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, including areas where spectators or other traffic has combined with wet conditions to affect materially the ground surface, 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 the 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 repair 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
 
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.
 
TEMPORARY IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS: Local Rules as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule F-23.
 
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.

REPLACEMENT OF CLUB THAT IS BROKEN OR SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED:  Model Local Rule G-9 is in effect. Rule 4.1b(3) is modified in this way: If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4). When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1). For the purposes of this Local Rule a club is “broken or significantly damaged” when the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented), the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched), the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed, the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or the grip is loose. Exception: A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked. Penalty for Breach of Local Rule – See Rule 4.1b

BALL PLAYED FROM OUTSIDE RELIEF AREA WHEN TAKING BACK-ON-LINE RELIEF: Model Local Rule E-12 is in effect. When taking Back-On-the-Line relief, there is no additional penalty if a player plays a ball that was dropped in the relief area required by the relevant Rule (Rule 16.1c(2), 17.1d(2), 19.2b or 19.3b) but came to rest outside the relief area, so long as the ball, when played, is within one club-length of where it first touched the ground when dropped. This exemption from penalty applies even if the ball is played from nearer the hole than the reference point (but not if played from nearer the hole than the spot of the original ball or the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area). This Local Rule does not change the procedure for taking Back-On-the-Line relief under a relevant Rule. This means that the reference point and relief area are not changed by this Local Rule and that Rule 14.3c(2) can be applied by a player who drops a ball in the right way and it comes to rest outside the relief area, whether this occurs on the first or second drop.
 
PACE OF PLAY: See separate memorandum to players for pace of play policy, when applicable.
 
TENTS, SIGNAGE, SPONSOR MATERIALS: Tents, signage, and other sponsor materials such as banners, vehicles, etc. are deemed to be Temporary Immovable Obstructions.
 
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.
 
STOPPING AND RESUMING PLAY: Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule J-1. 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. 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. 

TERMS OF THE COMPETITION 


RETURNING SCORECARD: For the purpose of applying Rule 3.3b, a competitor is considered to have returned his scorecard when he or she has first left the scoring area.
 
WHEN COMPETITION IS FINAL:  When all scores have been posted on the Official Scoreboard and approved by the NHGA Rules & Competitions Committee, the result of the Competition is deemed to have been officially announced.

NHGA CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY
Revised April 9, 2019

The NHGA expects all players at all times to act in accordance with the spirit of the game. Serious misconduct and repeated violations of this Code of Conduct will result in disciplinary action and potential banishment from future NHGA events. In registering for any NHGA tournament, players agree to abide by this code and its penalties. Players are responsible for the actions of their caddies and spectators that may be following their group.

Decisions on violations of the Code of Conduct will be made by the Executive Director and the Rules & Competitions Committee with assistance from the Board of Directors. Decisions are final unless appealed by the player.

NHGA Code of Conduct
The NHGA views the following actions as serious misconduct and violations of this Code of Conduct

  • Repeated and deliberate failure to care for the golf course. This includes not raking bunkers, not replacing or filling divots, and not repairing player damage to putting green, including ball marks
  • Use of repeated unacceptable language. The NHGA will take into account when and where foul and abusive language is used
  • Continued abuse of clubs and the deliberate damage to golf course property
  • Blatant disrespect or abuse of other players, referees, golf course staff, and spectators
  • Any other actions that include serious misconduct in breach of Rule 1.2a
Penalties for Breach
  • First breach of the Code of Conduct – warning or Committee sanction
  • Second breach – one stroke penalty
  • Third breach – general penalty (2-strokes in stroke play/Loss of hole in match play)
  • Fourth breach or any breach deemed to be serious misconduct – disqualification and potential exclusion from future NHGA events
Appeal Procedure
  • Penalties applied during the round may be appealed to NHGA staff or Committee members in attendance prior to scores being finalized
  • Disqualification penalties and expulsion from future events may be appealed in writing to the NHGA Board of Directors

Spectators found in violation of this policy may be asked to leave the grounds.