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Somerset Golf Union

Somerset 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 Modification of the Rules for Golfers with Disability.


    2. Amateur Status

    All players must be of Amateur Status as defined by The Rules of Amateur Status.


    3. Entry: Method and Fees

    All entries must be completed and received by the Somerset Golf Union by 12 noon on the date entries close. They must be accompanied by payment either by cheque (payable to “Somerset Golf Union”) via Paypal on the Somerset Golf Union website. Entries without payment will not be accepted. No entry will be included in the draw unless complete in every detail.


    Entries received after the competition closing date will only be considered if the maximum field size has not been achieved. 


    a) Entries may be made online at the Somerset Golf Union website (www.somersetgolfunion.co.uk). In order to enter online, a competitor must possess a CDH (Central Database of Handicaps) ID number.

    Payment will be taken when the online entry is submitted. Unsuccessful entrants will be refunded to the same card after the closing date.

    b) If Online Entry is not possible, a PDF entry form may be downloaded from the Somerset Golf Union website. This may be returned by post to Somerset Golf Union, c/o Weston-super-Mare Golf Club, Uphill Road North, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 4NQ, emailed to competitions@somersetgolfunion.co.uk

    c) An entry form may also be requested from the Somerset Golf Union Championship Department (Tel: 07476 319281). It can be returned by post.

    d) Entries by telephone are not accepted.

    e) No entry fee will be refunded unless written/email/fax 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.

    f) 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 CONGU handicap and wish to enter any Somerset Golf Union event must be in possession of a competition “c” handicap not exceeding 28.4 (men) and 36.4 (women), under the CONGU Unified Handicapping System, unless a lower handicap limit is stated in the Conditions of Competition for an individual competition. In order to enter online, players must possess a CDH 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 exact handicap must be recorded on the entry form. Any entry ballot will be based on the exact handicap of the relevant players, as at the closing date of entries using the Central Database of Handicaps (CDH). Where a CDH 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 CDH is up to date. Somerset Golf Union shall take no responsibility for any out of date handicap used for balloting purposes. 

    c) Players holding both a CONGU and an overseas authority’s handicap must enter the Championship using their CONGU handicap. Failure to comply with this Condition will result in entry being denied.

    d) If a player has relinquished their CONGU handicap in favour of a lower overseas handicap, they will be requested to provide a playing record comprising at least 10 scores from the previous 12 months showing they are able to meet the required playing standard for entry into Somerset Golf Union Championships. Otherwise, entry will be denied.

    e) Overseas entries will only be accepted when the player’s handicap has been verified by their Home Union/Federation/Association.


    5. Withdrawals

    a) If a player withdraws from an event before the closing date for entry an administration fee will be charged.  The player will forfeit their entry fee if they withdraw after the closing date for entries.

    b) Any player who:

    i. withdraws from an event after the draw has been published, or

    ii. 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

    iii. fails to appear on the tee at their appointed start time, or

    iv. having qualified to continue in an event, fails to do so*

    will 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 provisions and ‘spirit’ of the Etiquette section of the Rules of Golf 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.

    ii. It would be appreciated if the making and receiving of calls is done outside of the clubhouse.

    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. 

    If a serious breach of the above Regulations occurs, or where there are repetitive breaches, a player may be disqualified under Rule 33–7 for a serious breach of etiquette 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

    a) Conforming Driver Heads and Golf Balls

    The specimen Conditions in the Rules of Golf (pages 154-156 (1a and b)) are in effect.

    b) Grooves and Punch Marks (Appendix II-5-C, pages 174-176)

    The specimen Condition in Decision 4-1/1 of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf is in effect, except for all handicap tournaments.

    Note: An updated List of the above equipment is available on the R&A’s website (www.randa.org) and can be checked at the Somerset Golf Union Administration Desk.

    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 CONDITION: See Rules of Golf, page 157


    11. Practice (Rule 7–1)

    a) Match play: On any day of a competition, practice on the Championship course is prohibited before the player’s first match and between matches. 

    b) Stroke play: Rule 7–1b applies. 

    PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITIONS 11 a or b: Disqualification

    Note: i. All recognised practice areas within the bounds of the course may be used by players for practice on any day of a competition.


    12. Advice in Match Play Team Competitions (Note to Rule 8) 

    a) Each team may appoint one person (in addition to the persons from whom advice may be asked under Rule 8), who may give advice to members of that team. Such person must be identified to Somerset Golf Union before giving advice.

    b) That person may not:

    i. walk on to a putting green

    ii. give advice to a player on or around the putting green when the player’s ball lies on or has been lifted from the putting green.

    PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION:

    12 bi  : First offence: Warning; Second offence: Loss of hole

    12 bii : Loss of hole

    c) See also Note i, ‘Hard Card’ Local Rule 10.


    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.


    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 Championships will be decided by a sudden death 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.

    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.

    b) 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 and Nations Cups will be held by Somerset Golf Union and displayed, with the winner’s names, at the National Golf Centre or such other location as determined by Somerset Golf Union.

    b) A winning County or 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

    Players must not ride on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorised by Somerset Golf Union.

    PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION: See Rules of Golf, page 160.

    Note i: See also Somerset Golf Union’s Transportation Policy (www.somersetgolfunion.co.uk), 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 for a particular Championship


    20. Health and Safety

    Somerset Golf Union operates a Health & Safety Policy for the benefit of competitors and spectators and, as such, there will be first aid trained personnel available throughout practice and the Championship. Should there be any need to contact them competitors should contact the Somerset Golf Union Championship Office, which will be “control” for any such situation.


    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, 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. People on the course are responsible for their own actions in such a dangerous situation.


    21. Liability

    Neither 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

    • 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 www.englandgolf.org/championships


    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 competitions@somersetgolfunion.co.uk 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 have to 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







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