Shoreline Seniors Golf Club tournament play is governed by:  (1)  the 2019 Rules of Golf and its Decisions: (2) Local Rules promulgated by the Committee in Charge of the Course; (3) additional Local Rules as may be supplied by the Committee in Charge of the Competition; and (4) these Conditions.  The complete text of Rules may be found online: Rules of Golf 2019 edition.


(1)  AUTHORITY FOR THESE CONDITIONS OF COMPETITIONS: The Committee (in this case, the committee in charge of the competition) must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played.  The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf. For those competitions which are not played at scratch, the club uses the USGA Handicap System, which makes the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to complete on an equitable basis. The United States Golf Association has licensed the Northern California Golf Association and its member clubs to utilize the USGA Handicap System.  As a member club of both the USGA and NCGA, the Shoreline Seniors Golf Club shall follow all of the procedures of that system as described in The USGA Handicap System manual.


(2) GENERAL PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE: When all players adhere to the Rules of Golf, no player has an undeserved advantage over any other player, and the competition is fair for all.  Unless otherwise specified, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play.


(3)  THE USGA HANDICAP SYSTEM: Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System:  (1) that the player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played; and (2) that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review.


(4)  USGA HANDICAP INDEX: A player must earn a Handicap Index. That index generally is to reflect potential ability.  No player has an inherent right to a USGA Handicap Index without providing full evidence of ability to the club’s Handicap Committee. This is ordinarily achieved by posting all (eligible) scores for rounds played.  The NCGA maintains a computerized system for determining a player’s USGA index (Handicap Index), which is updated regularly; is computed from no more than 20 scores plus any eligible tournament scores; and is based on the best handicap differentials posted for a given number of rounds, ideally the best 10 of the last 20 rounds. 

(5) COURSE HANDICAP: A player’s USGA Handicap Index is portable from course to course or to another set of tees on the same course that differs from the usual set played. This player’s USGA Handicap Index is convertible to a Course Handicap based on the Slope Rating of the tees played. In this way, when players compete, their Course Handicaps reflect their respective potential abilities for the particular course and set of tees played. All competitors in club events are responsible for ascertaining their current course handicap for the set of tees played and for entering such on their scorecards.


(6)  PENALTIES FOR FAILURES TO COMPLY WITH THE HANDICAP SYSTEM: It is a Condition of Competition that each player must return a scorecard and post an acceptable score immediately upon completion of play (“immediately” is defined a within twenty minutes of leaving the final green of the round played).  Failure to return a scorecard signed by the Marker and Attested by the Player with the player's first initial and last name in the proper place, current handicap applied and failure to post an acceptable score will disqualify the player from any and all prizes that would otherwise have been awarded. In addition, failure to return a scorecard (even if a player fails to complete a round or has been disqualified) or to post an acceptable score will result in: (1) the posting of such score, if such is available; and (2) the posting, by the Handicap Committee, of a penalty score to the player’s scoring record. A penalty score is a score and ratings equal to the lowest Handicap Differential in the player’s current scoring record (it is also known as a “low penalty score” or a “P” score, as it shows up on a player’s scoring record). 


(7)  HANDICAP INDEX ADJUSTMENT: The USGA Handicap System provides that the Handicap Committee may, under certain circumstances, adjust a player’s Handicap Index.  As set forth in the USGA Handicap System manual, these include: improving faster than the system can react; numerous away or Internet scores change index; temporary disability; repeated failures to post; player manipulating one or more rounds; and continued violations of Sections 5-1f (unacceptable scores).


(8)  COURSE DIFFICULTY: A golf course is rated on its effective playing length and its playing difficulty under normal conditions. While most of the club’s competitions are played from the white tees, play from different tees will provide different effective distances and course difficulties.  In the absence of course set-up measures to keep course difficulty constant, play from different tees is encouraged.  In the winter months with heavy rains, effective playing length of the course from its tees may effectively be increased by 200-250 yards due to less roll for shots played.  Under such conditions, play from a set of tees with lesser total distance (e.g. red tees instead of white tees) would avoid playing at an effective playing length not suited for a player’s game. It would also avoid playing a round of longer-than-normal duration and potential difficulties with Pace of Play Policies.  Players with course handicaps over 27 are also encouraged to play from the red tees under normal course conditions, as the total course yardage is more suited to their games. 


(9)  PLAY FROM DIFFERENT TEES: The USGA Handicap System provides for adjustments to a player’s course handicap if he competes from a different set of tees, presuming that the competition format does not preclude such play (e.g. all play from the red tees only). 


(10)  PENALTY FOR LATE ARRIVAL AT TEE:  In lieu of disqualification and presuming that the course operator allows late arrival at the first tee, a player who fails to start on time, shall be penalized loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes added to the score on the first hole in stroke play.


(11)  USGA SPECIFICATIONS FOR GOLF CLUBS AND BALLS:  Players shall use golf clubs and balls which conform to the Rules as set forth in Appendix II (Design of Clubs) and Appendix III (The Ball).


(12)  SERIOUS BREACH OF ETIQUETTE:  The use of abusive language, throwing of clubs or other disruptive behavior, contrary to the good conduct of the tournament, will not be tolerated.  PENALTY: DISQUALIFICATION (Rule 33-7).


(13) USGA RULE 3 (STROKE PLAY):  The general penalty (Rule 3-5) for breaching a Rule in stroke play is two strokes unless otherwise provided. Examples of the “otherwise provided” are: (1) Disqualification for failure to hole out (“gimmees”) pursuant to Rule 3-2; and (2) Disqualification for refusing to comply with a Rule affecting the rights of another competitor (also known as “waiving the rules”), pursuant to Rule 3-4.   An example of this would be two or more players agreeing to a player’s altering the lie of the ball (such as by ”bumping the ball” or rolling it with the clubhead) when the Rules do not allow such.


(14) SCORECARDS:  Unless a two-ball or four-ball format is being played, each player is responsible for entering his name and current course handicap for the competition (also indicating if play is from other than the white tees) on his scorecard and signing his name to attest to the accuracy of the Scorer’s record of strokes played.  The Scorer (also known as the “marker”) is responsible for the accuracy of the record of strokes played and is to sign his name, representing all other players in the competition as he does so.  Players are requested to enter the totals and net totals, but the Tournament Committee is responsible for verifying and correcting the accuracy of such totals.


(15)  DOUBT AS TO PROCEDURE - STROKE PLAY:  If a competitor is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during the play of a hole, he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls and report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning his score card. Rule 3-3.



(16)  PACE OF PLAY POLICY (STROKE PLAY): All players must play without undue delay and in accordance with pace of play guidelines established by the Committee in Charge of the Course. The penalties for breach of this Rule are loss of hole in match play and two strokes in stroke play, with special provisions for bogey, par and Stableford competitions. A subsequent offense shall result in disqualification. Rule 6-7. Players in a group that falls behind are expected to play efficient golf and get back into position, such as by playing ready golf and continuous putting, which are both allowed in stroke play. A group that is seriously out of position will ordinarily be warned and monitored. 


(17)  APPEAL PROCESS: PACE OF PLAY PENALTIES: If a player is identified as holding up the pace of the group, penalties may be applied to that player and rescinded from the others.  Pace of Play penalties may be appealed to the Committee and must be made before scorecards are signed and returned. In order for an appeal to be considered, there must have been: an action by the Committee, a circumstance beyond the players’ control or some similar occurrence that contributed to the delay, including an action by an individual member of the group.


(18)  DISCONTINUATION OF PLAY: A discontinuation of play and any resumption thereof will ordinarily be signaled by the Committee. NOTE: A player has the right to stop play because of the threat of lightning, even if play has not been suspended by the Committee. Rule 6-8a.


(19) DECIDING TIES WHEN A COMPETITION DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR A PLAYOFF: The Committee has the authority, under Rule 33-6, to determine how and when a tie is decided. When a play-off of any type is infeasible, the procedure in Appendix I, 11 c) for matching score cards will be followed.  In certain formats in which matching score cards would not be appropriate, a blind draw will be used to determine ties.


(20) CLOSE OF COMPETITION:  A competition is deemed to have closed when the result has been officially announced by the Tournament Committee.

(21)ADJUST YOUR SCORE according to the USGA rule of Equitable Score Control (ESC) before posting. Check Link below.

Equitable Score Control










Conditions of Competition/Revised March  2009