Somerset Golf Union

Somerset Golf Union General Conditions

  1. General Conditions and Rules

    The following General Conditions and Rules apply to all Somerset Golf Union Championships and must be read in conjunction with the England Golf ‘Hard Card’. The word ‘Championship’ includes all Somerset Golf Union events. e.g. ‘Tournaments’, ‘Finals’ and ‘Competitions’. 

    1. Rules of Golf

    All Championships shall be played in accordance with the Rules of Golf and such Local Rules and Conditions of Competition as shall be approved by Somerset Golf Union.

    In the case of entry by a golfer with disability, he/she can apply to Somerset Golf Union for adoption of the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. 

    2. Amateur Status

    All players must be of Amateur Status as defined by The Rules of Amateur Status and a member of an affiliated club.

    3. Entry: Method and Fees

    All entries must be completed and received by the Somerset Golf Union by  the date entries close. They must be accompanied by payment by Pay Porta facilityl on the Somerset Golf Union website, or by  BACS Pymenrt (Cointact the SGU Secretary for more information) or  cheque (payable to “Somerset Golf Union Admin A/C, Ref name or club & Championship”) Entries without payment will not be accepted. No entry will be included in the draw unless complete in every detail and all entries must provide a valid email address unless the startsheet will not be available .

    Entries received after the competition closing date will only be considered if the maximum field size has not been achieved. Please note: If an age limit/restriction applies the player must provide his/her date of birth. Failing to do so will result in entry un-accepted.

    a) Entries may be made online at the Somerset Golf Union website ( To enter online, a competitor must possess a WHS ID number.
    b) Payment will be taken when the online entry is submitted. Unsuccessful entrants will be refunded to the same card after the closing date. 
    c) If Online Entry is not possible, a PDF entry form may be available on the website or from from the Somerset Golf Union website. This may be returned by post to Somerset Golf Union, c/o 7 Allen’s Lane Wells Somerset BA5 3NQ, emailed to
    d) An entry form may also be requested from the Somerset Golf Union Championship Department (Tel: 07476 319281). It can be returned by post.
    e) Entries by telephone are not accepted, unless in exceptional  circumstances.
    f) No entry fee will be refunded unless  notice of withdrawal is received before the closing date for entries, except to any entrant who may be balloted out and who does not subsequently compete. If an entrant withdraws after the start sheet is poblished, a rufund will only be considered if a substitue /reserve can be added to the start sheet
    g) All entries shall be subject to the approval of the Competitions Committee, which reserves the right to accept, refuse, or cancel an entry without giving reason for its decision. The Committee’s decision shall be final. In such cases, any entry fee will be refunded. 

    4. Entry: Handicaps

    a) All players who hold a WHS handicap index and wish to enter any Somerset Golf Union not exceeding 36.4 (men) and 36.4 (women), unless a lower handicap limit is stated in the Conditions of Competition for an individual competition. To enter online, players must possess a WHS ID number as stated in 3a above.
    b) When entering any Somerset Golf Union event by any of the methods in Condition 3 above, a player’s Handicap Index must be recorded on the entry form. Any entry ballot will be based on the handicap index of the relevant players, as at the closing date of entries  or when the official start sheet is published using the WHS platform. Where a WHS number is not available players are required to notify the Championship department of any changes prior to the closing date. Note: It is the player’s responsibility to ensure that their exact handicap on the WHS platform is up to date. Somerset Golf Union shall take no responsibility for any out of date handicap index used for balloting purposes.

    5. Withdrawals

    a) If a player withdraws from an event before the closing date for entry an administration fee may be charged.  The player will forfeit their entry fee if they withdraw after the closing date for entries., unless their entry failed to make the start sheet or a replacment is found if start sheet entered.
    b) Any player who: • withdraws from an event after the draw has been published, or • fails to register at the Somerset Golf Union Office or other designated location, or online or by telephone by 16:00 on the day before a Championship starts, or • fails to appear on the tee at their appointed start time, or • having qualified to continue in an event, fails to do so*
    c) may be subject to an automatic ban from entering or playing in Somerset Golf Union Championships for such period as the Championship Committee may decide. • If a competitor withdraws from the competition before the cut is made the players score shall still be included in determining the cut mark

    6. Reserves

    a) In individual stroke play Championships, a reserve list will be maintained and managed by the Competitions Secretary. Should a place or places in the draw become available, reserves will be invited to play in the order they are listed on the reserve list.
    b) In order to ensure a full field for a Championship and at the sole discretion of the Championship Department, a reserve or reserves may be offered a place depending on whether they can be contacted, i.e. irrespective of their place on the reserve list.
    c) At appropriate stroke play Championships, in the event of a late withdrawal of a player in the draw, a reserve who has entered the event in accordance with Condition 1 above and is present at the venue on the first day of the Championship may be offered the vacated start place. Should there be more than one reserve in attendance, such reserves will be invited to play in the order they are listed on the reserve list.  
    d) At the discretion of registration officials at the venue, and depending on a practice round space being available, a reserve who is present at the venue may play a practice round. They may also use practice facilities at the venue.  

    7. Registration  

    Players must register their intention to compete in a Championship on the day of the competition.  Failure to do so will result in the player forfeiting their place. The player concerned will also forfeit their entry fee. 

    8. General Conduct and Practice Round Regulations

    a) From Registration through to the close of competition or match (including practice days) players must conduct themselves accordingly to the Somerset Golf Union Code of Conduct and must not act in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute.
    b) During practice rounds, one ball only may be played with the following exceptions: i. If a player misses the green with his shot to the green, he may play one additional shot. ii. Where the Rules of Golf apply (e.g. provisional ball). iii. A player may practice putting (but not chipping or bunker play) provided play is not unduly delayed. Note i. Trolleys must not be taken onto tees or between a greenside bunker and the green and/or onto fringes of greens.  
    Note ii. It would be appreciated if the making and receiving of calls is done outside of the clubhouse Note iii. Making/ sending or receiving calls or texts: Mobile phones (and similar devices) may not be used on the course (including on practice days) for such purpose, except in cases of emergency or to contact the referee(s) of the day.  
    If a serious breach of the above Regulations occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be disqualified under Rule 1.2b for a serious breach and/or may be barred from entering or playing in Somerset Golf Union Championships for such period as Somerset Golf Union may decide.

    9. Clubs and Ball

    i. List of Conforming Driver Heads: Model Local Rule G-1 is in effect, except for all handicap events.
    ii. Groove and Punch Mark Specifications: Model Local Rule G-2 is in effect, except for all handicap events.
    iii. List of Conforming Balls: Model Local Rule G-3 is in effect.  Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of Local Rule 9i or ii: Disqualification.  Penalty for breach of Local Rule 9iii: Disqualification. 

    10. Caddies

    There are no restrictions on the use of caddies, except:

    a) in under 16 Championships when caddies are not allowed.
    b) in under 18 Championships when either caddies are not allowed, or they must be under 18 on 1st January of the year in which the Championship is being played. See Conditions of Competition for a particular Championship.  
    Penalty for breach of Local Rule: General Penalty - See Model Local Rule H-1.1 & H-1.2

    11. Practice (Rule 5.2)

    i) In Stroke Play, Rule 5.2b is modified in this way: A player must not practise on the competition course before or between rounds.  ii) In Match Play, Rule 5.2a is modified in this way: A player must not practise on the competition course before or between rounds.   


    a) Team members not playing in a series of matches at county finals may practise on the competition course.
    b) All recognised practice areas within the bounds of the course may be used by players for practise on any day of a competition.  Penalty for breach of Local Rule: see Rule 5.2 

    12. Appointment of Advice Given in Team Competition

    i. Each team may name one advice giver (in addition to the persons from whom advice may be asked under Rule 10), whom players on the team may ask for advice and receive advice from during the round. The team must identify each advice giver to the Committee before any player on the team begins his or her round.
    ii. The team may change its advice giver during the round but must tell the Committee when doing so.
    iii. The advice giver may not:
    a) deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play to assist the player.
    b) point out a line of play or intentionally walk on the putting green when the ball of a team player lies on the putting green.  Penalty for breach of Local Rule 12iii: General Penalty  

    13. Returning Score Card 

    A player’s score card is deemed officially returned to Somerset Golf Union when they have left the recording office/area. Note:  Players must promptly return their score cards to the Administration Desk, failure to do so may lead to disqualification.

    14. Result of a Match and when Competition Closed

    a) Match play: The result of a match is deemed officially announced when it has been recorded in the Administration Desk.
    b) Stroke play: The results of the competition are deemed officially announced and the competition is closed when the Trophy is presented to the winner. 

    15. Decision of Ties

    a) Ties for first place in all Major Championships will be decided by a  play-off over holes to be determined by Somerset Golf Union, unless otherwise provided in the Conditions of Competition for a particular Championship when General Condition 15b below will apply.
    b) Note: If a play-off involves more than two players, those eliminated will be deemed to have tied for second place, regardless of the order in which they were eliminated, and will receive Second Place vouchers of equal value.
    c) If General Condition 15a does not apply, ties for first place and for prizes in all Championships (with the exception in the Note to 15a above or unless otherwise provided in the Conditions of Competition for a particular Championship) will be decided as follows:
    i. In a four round Championship, ties shall be decided on the 4th round, then the 3rd round, then the 2nd round and then the 1st round.
    ii. In a three round Championship, ties shall be decided on the 3rd round, then the 2nd round and then the 1st round.
    iii. In a two round Championship, ties shall be decided on the 2nd round and then the 1st round
    iv. Should that fail to produce a result, ties shall be decided on the last 9, 6, 3 or 1 holes of the last completed round. If a tie still arises it shall be decided on the last 9, 6, 3 or 1 holes of the first nine holes of the last completed round. If a tie still arises, each of the preceding rounds played shall be treated in the same way (taking each round in the reverse order to that in which they were played) until a decision is reached. 
    v. In the case of a one round event, ties shall be decided on the last 9, 6, 3 or 1 holes of the round. If a tie still arises it shall be decided on the last 9, 6, 3 or 1 holes of the first nine holes of the round. 

    16. Inclement Weather

    If, in the opinion of Somerset Golf Union, it becomes impossible to complete a Championship in accordance with that Championship’s Conditions because of adverse weather or other circumstances, Somerset Golf Union may vary the Conditions to the extent necessary to achieve a result within the time available.

    17. Trophies & Prizes

    a) All trophies won by an individual player will be held by Somerset Golf Union and displayed, with the winner’s names, at the County Golf Centre or such other location as determined by Somerset Golf Union
    b) A winning Club will be responsible for a trophy and its insurance from the time it is presented until it is relinquished and shall ensure it is returned to Somerset Golf Union before the next year’s Championship.
    c) Unless otherwise stated in the competition conditions a player may win more than one trophy but not more than one prize voucher.
    18. Transportation  

    During a round (including practice), a player or caddie must not ride on any form of motorized transportation except as authorised or later approved by the Committee.  

    Penalty for Breach of Local Rule: The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which there is a breach of this Local Rule. If the breach occurs between the play of two holes, it applies to the next hole.  

    Note: Prior approval for the use of motorised transport is required.

    Note i: See also Somerset Golf Union’s Transportation Policy (, which includes provisions for people with disabilities.

    19. Dress Code  

    Players and caddies may wear standard golf apparel, including tailored shorts, unless otherwise specified in the Players Information.  

    20. Health and Safety.

    Under the Health & Safety Policy, if competitors or spectators require any assistance or witness any incident, they should report to the radio control operator in the Somerset Golf Union Administration Desk. All Somerset Golf Union referees, when on duty at Major Events, have a radio through which such contact can be made.  Details of the nearest A&E can be obtained from the Administration Desk.  Players should familiarise themselves with emergency procedures and fire exits in the Clubhouse.  

    In the event of thunder and lightning, Somerset Golf Union will signal a suspension  of play for a dangerous situation with one long note of the klaxons. This is the signal for everyone to evacuate the course immediatly. People on the course are responsible for their own actions in such a dangerous situation.

    21. Liability

    Nither the Club nor Somerset Golf Union can be held responsible for the loss of or damage to, equipment or personal possessions.

    22. Somerset Golf Union/ Championships’ Policies, Procedures, Codes, etc.

    All Somerset Golf Union policies apply, as appropriate, to Somerset Golf Union Championships. They include but are not limited to:

    Safeguarding Policy (Adults & Juniors)
    Equality Policy •
    Transportation Policy (including provisions for people with disabilities
    Anti-Doping Regulations
    Disciplinary Policy
    Gender Policy
     Photographic Policy

    All relevant policies are available to be viewed at

    23. Photography Consent

    By entering a Somerset Golf Union event all players are consenting to being filmed or recorded (images and sound) by or on behalf of Somerset Golf Union, or another authorised third party, and consent to these images (or likenesses) being used in any film, recording, photograph or other footage(“recording”) in the promotion of Somerset Golf Union activities. All rights in the recording shall be owned by Somerset Golf Union or the authorised third party. Players agree that any recording may be used by Somerset Golf Union or an authorised third party in any media and for any purpose throughout the world, including, without limitation, for promotional materials and activities, merchandise, or other commercial activities. Players acknowledge that no payment or compensation for use of their image or likeness shall be payable to them. 

    Please contact the Competitions Secretary at; if you have any queries regarding this General Condition.

    24. Ready Golf 

    “Ready Golf” is a commonly used term which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering strictly to the “farthest from the hole plays first” stipulation in the Rules of Golf. In stroke play competitions, to avoid slow play, Somerset Golf Union actively encourage players to play when they are ready, provided it is safe to play. Examples of playing out of turn without endangering other players on the golf course, whilst also being aware of player etiquette, include:

    Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options

    Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters must wait
    Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
    Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
    Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
    Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
    When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
    Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off.

    Edited October 2023

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