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.

NHGA Rules of Play

Play is governed by the current Rules of Golf of the United States Golf Association, and where applicable, by the following Local Rules, Conditions and Definitions.  Appendix I refers to the Appendix of Local Rules; Conditions of the Competition in the USGA Rules of Golf booklet.  Unless otherwise provided, penalty for breach of a Local Rule is:   Stroke play – Two strokes    Match Play – Loss of Hole

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.

Exception: If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his score card, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified. In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule, but there is no additional penalty for a breach of Rule 6-6d. This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.
SUSPENSION OF PLAY DUE TO A DANGEROUS SITUATION:  When play is suspended for a dangerous situation, if the players in a group are between the play of two holes, they must not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play.  If they are in the process of playing a hole, they must discontinue play immediately and must not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play.
NOTE:  A suspension for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one prolonged siren or horn blast.  All other types of suspension will be signaled by three intermittent siren or horn blasts.  Resumption of play will be signaled by two intermittent siren or horn blasts. All practice areas will be closed during suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open for use. The penalty for the breach of this rule is disqualification.
GOLF BALLS/DRIVERS:  The ball and driver the player plays must be named on the current “Conforming Golf Ball List” and “Conforming Driver Head List” of the USGA, which can be found on the USGA Web Site.
DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES: Unless otherwise noted on the Local Rules Addendum, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. However, if, during a stipulated round, a player uses a device to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., gradient, wind-speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is a two strokes for the first infraction, disqualification for any subsequent infraction.
PACE OF PLAY: (Rule 6-7 Undue Delay) A player will be subject to penalty if he unduly delays play.  If a Local Rule for Pace of Play is in effect and posted, it shall be in force.

Note: The Committee reserves the right, at any time, to time a group when the Committee deems it necessary. Further, if a player is determined by the Committee to be unreasonably slow, he may be timed individually at the Committee’s discretion, regardless of whether his group is out of position. Player’s should also be aware that the Committee may assess a “bad time” to a player in a group that is out of position if the player makes no effort to help his group to get back into position. Penalty: 1st Bad Time=Warning; 2nd Bad Time=1 stroke penalty; 3rd Bad Time=2 stoke penalty/loss of hole; 4th Bad Time=Disqualification.
LIFTING AN EMBEDDED BALL:  The “EMBEDDED BALL RULE” as written in Appendix I is in effect “through the green”.

OUT OF BOUNDS:  Defined by inside edge of white stakes and/or property fence posts at ground level, and/or by white lines.
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.
ROADS, PATHS:  Asphalt and artificially surfaced roads and paths are obstructions.  White lined areas tying into roads or paths have the same status as the roads or paths, and thus they are obstructions and not ground under repair.

GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Areas defined by white lines (except ball drops) AS WELL AS French drains, which are trenches, filled with rocks or stones, even if not marked.
RETAINING WALLS AND PILINGS:  When located within water hazards or within and/or around bunkers, retaining walls and pilings are integral parts of the course, unless stated as otherwise in the Local Rules.  When railroad ties, curbing or the like adjoin cart paths, they are deemed to be part of the same obstruction.

STONE WALLS:  Stone walls on the course are deemed to be integral parts of the course. No relief unless stated otherwise on the Local Rules Addendum.
STONES IN BUNKERS:  Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions. Rule 24-1 applies.
TREE WRAPPINGS, ELECTRICAL WIRES AND CABLES:  Closely attached to trees:  No relief.  Tree wrappings, electrical wires, cables, signs and lightning rods closely attached to trees are not obstructions.  They are integral parts of the course.
SOD SEAMS: Except in a hazard, sod seams (not the sod itself) are deemed to be ground under repair, and relief is available under Rule 25-1 if the ball lies in or touches a sod seam or the sod seam interferes with the players area of intended swing. All seams within the sodded area are considered the same seam.

TENTS, SIGNAGE, SPONSOR MATERIALS: Tents, temporary signs, and sponsor materials such as banners, flags, vehichles, etc. are deemed to be Temporary Immovable Obstructions.  

TURF PLUGS ON PUTTING GREENS:  On the putting green, in addition to Rule 16-1c, the player may repair turf plugs of any size.
CASUAL WATER ON THE PUTTING GREEN: If a temporary accumulation of casual water exists on the putting green, the following policy will be in effect when the ball lies on the putting green:
a)          A player may take relief under the Rules of Golf (Rule 25 -1b (iii))
            or the player may request the Committee to squeegee the line of putt (but not both). Such squeegeeing may extend beyond the hole at the player's option.
b)          The Committee may squeegee the putting green at any time.

  1. The Committee may use any combination of a) or b) above.

RETURNING SCORECARD: For the purpose of applying Rule 6-6c, a competitor is considered to have returned his scorecard when he has first left the scoring area.
RESULT OF THE COMPETITION:  When all scores have been posted on the Official Scoreboard and approved by the NHGA Rules Committee, the result of the Competition is deemed to have been officially announced.