Men’s Competition Policies
Policies & Procedures
Code of Conduct
Contestants are to observe proper golf etiquette at all times. Any abuse or disrespect of fellow competitors, officials, spectators, employees of the host facility, or other persons conducting or attending a TGA sponsored event can be grounds for disqualification from the event, and possible rejection of entry for future TGA events. Such abuse may be verbal or physical or threat thereof and includes, but is not limited to: the use of obscene language, physical damage to property or equipment including that of the TGA or the host facility, and being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances during a competitive round.
Each TGA Championship has its own specific tournament eligibility criteria (i.e., maximum USGA Handicap Index, age requirements, etc.) Please reference the specific championship you are interested in for further details. In general, to be eligible for a Texas Golf Association Championship, all applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a male amateur golfer belonging to a TGA member club/course. Have an active GHIN # and USGA Handicap Index established at their club/course
- Be a current resident of the state of Texas
Note: A resident is defined by any person who has established their legal residency in the state (i.e. holds a Texas driver’s license or files their federal tax return with a Texas home address). You are eligible if you graduated from a Texas high school and are attending college out-of-state. Further, you are not eligible if you are attending college in Texas and are classified as a foreign or non-resident student.
All players, including those that are exempt, must complete the online entry process by the published deadline(s) for each respective championship. Each TGA competition has a specific designated field limit. Excluding specific tournament policies, entries for TGA championships are accepted on a first-in basis until the entry deadline. Late entries, entries which are incomplete or inaccurate, regardless of cause or reason, will not be accepted. Each entry is subject to review and approval by the TGA; the Championship Committee reserves the right to reject an entry at any time.
Please be advised that exempt players maintain a priority for a spot in each field until the published exemption deadline, where applicable. Non-exempt entries may be wait-listed until such time when additional spots become available and/or the exempt player deadline has passed. In circumstances where multiple divisions comprise a single field, the TGA will adjust the size of each division to accommodate additional non-exempt entries in the starting field. After exempt player deadlines have passed, players will be added to the field in the order in which their entry was received on a first-in basis.
Beginning in January 2016, copies of an original entry form are no longer acceptable means of entry into any TGA Championship. Please click here for online registration information.
A player that wishes to request an exemption into a TGA competition must do so in writing; before doing so, the TGA strongly recommends that potential players review the current exemption criteria outlined in the given events ‘Entry & Eligibility Information’ on the corresponding Tournament Information Page. Entry and eligibility criteria are reviewed for each championship on an annual basis and appropriately identify exemptions as determined by the TGA Championship Committee.
Should a player choose to submit an exemption request, the request must be submitted by emailing [email protected] one week prior to the published exempt entry deadline (or entry deadline for those events with just one deadline). Exemption requests are reviewed by the TGA Championship Committee on a case-by-case basis, and only granted under exceptional circumstances. The TGA reserves the right to reject any exemption requests, for any TGA Competition, at its discretion.
For TGA competitions where a maximum USGA Handicap Index is required for eligibility, the handicap index as of the Thursday preceding the first round will be used unless otherwise specified on entry and eligibility information. For events where a USGA Handicap Index is used for scoring, or for purposes of determining flights, the handicap index as of the Thursday preceding the first round will still be used.
Partner Substitution (Team Competitions)
Partner substitutions for TGA team competitions are permitted. Substitutions for teams will be permitted prior to the start of competition and individuals must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the TGA, as well as the specific tournament requirements (i.e. USGA Handicap Index limit, residence location for regional events, etc.). A player may not select a substitute partner from those players who are already in the championship field. Players who are on the wait list are eligible substitutions. Contact the TGA Championship Department by calling (214) 468-8942 or emailing [email protected] to arrange your team substitutions.
Withdrawals – Disqualifications – Incomplete Scorecards
To provide further clarity to player withdrawals, no cards and disqualifications, the following categories and notations will be used on score cards and posted results, if:
Withdraw – WD
- A player notifies TGA Staff and/or Officials in advance of their starting time that they are withdrawing. Withdrawals occurring between stipulated rounds played over consecutive days will result in the player being withdrawn from the next round, not the previous round most recently completed.
- A player notifies TGA Staff and/or Officials that, during a round, they are withdrawing due to, but not limited to medical conditions, injuries or family emergencies, etc. Players failing to complete their round for reasons not covered above will be deemed a No Card.
Please note: A player who notifies TGA Staff and/or Officials in advance of their starting time that they cannot make their TGA Qualifying Round (Amateur or Mid-Amateur) will be marked as a ‘No Start’. See “No Start” below for details. For more information pertaining to the TGA Withdrawal Procedure, please see below.
No Card – NC
- A player who starts, but does not complete their round, will be classified as a no card if they fail to return their scorecard to the Committee, or fail to complete their round for reasons not covered by the withdrawal circumstances noted above.
Please note: Players who are deemed a no card during a TGA Qualifying Round (Amateur or Mid-Amateur) do not have the ability to follow the Walk-Up Procedure at another Qualifying Site.
Disqualification – DQ
- A player will be denoted as disqualified, if they are subject to a penalty of disqualification under the USGA Rules of Golf, TGA Conditions of Competition and Standard Local Rules. Please note: This classification includes players who fail to start at the time established by the Committee, without notifying TGA Staff/Officials, in advance of their starting time. This applies to all TGA competitions, including sectional qualifying for the Texas Amateur and Texas Mid-Amateur.
No Start – NS: Applies only to TGA Qualifying Events (Texas Amateur or Mid-Amateur).
- A player notifies TGA Staff and/or Officials in advance of their starting time that they cannot make their TGA Qualifying Round (Amateur or Mid-Amateur) starting time will be considered as a no start.
Please note: Players who do not notify the TGA or fail to start at the time established by the Committee, or within five (5) minutes of this starting time, will be subject to disqualification per Rule 6-3a. Disqualification, under these circumstances, prohibits a player from following the Walk-Up Procedure at another qualifying site. Players are subject to rejection of entries or loss of TGA Player of the Year points if they fail to adhere to the TGA Policies and Procedures set forth, that include withdrawals, no cards and disqualifications. Final decisions on these matters will be made by the TGA Championship Committee.
Prior to the entry deadline players looking to withdraw should do so online through their GolfGenius user profile to receive an immediate refund and withdrawal. After the entry deadline has passed players should either call the Texas Golf Association at (214) 468-8942 or email [email protected]. Only withdrawals on the day of the competition should be directed to the host club golf shop.
If a player withdraws prior to the entry deadline they will receive a full refund, less a $25.00 administrative fee. If a player withdraws after the entry deadline has passed, the player will not receive a refund unless the spot is filled by an alternate or wait listed player (The $25.00 administrative fee is still applicable in this circumstance). However, if a player withdraws within three business days, prior to the day of the first round, and the spot is filled with an alternate player, he will receive a 50% refund of the entry fee. Otherwise the player will receive no entry fee refund.
If a player must withdraw prior to Round 1due to Covid-19 symptoms (see updated Covid-19 Championship Guidelines), a player will receive a full refund.
Entries received after the field limit has been reached will be placed on a “wait list” for that event. Applicants will be ranked on the wait list in the order their application was received by the TGA, unless otherwise specified in tournament eligibility. Any spots in the field that become available will then be filled in accordance with the ranked wait list. The TGA will use the wait list up until 6:00 p.m. of the night prior to Round 1.
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, there will be no walk-up procedure at any TGA event.
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, there will be no On-Site Alternate substitutions the day of the first round. If a player is not in the field by 6:00 pm the night prior to Round 1, he will not have a chance to get into the field.
Appropriate golf attire is required at all TGA events. Appropriate golf attire includes collared shirts with sleeves that must be properly tucked in at all times, Bermuda length shorts, or slacks. Shoes with metal or traditionally-designed spikes must not be worn.
In the event of any conflicts between the dress code as outlined by either the TGA or the host facility/venue, the dress code of the host facility/venue will prevail. Please note that this policy is in effect for both players and caddies, without exception.
TGA Cart Policy: Information regarding the use and availability of transportation varies between TGA Championships – refer to Tournament Information for the championship in question. Please be advised that in championships where carts are provided, players are encouraged to utilize motorized transportation. New for 2020: While a caddie is not prohibited from riding in the cart, the TGA has adopted a ‘one-seat’ policy as explained below.
‘One-Seat’ Policy: The “one-seat” policy is no longer in effect for 2020 due to our current Covid-19 Guidelines.
The player can ride in or move a golf cart with another player’s caddie in it, so long as the player whose caddie is in the cart is not riding in another cart at the same time. As a reminder, players are responsible for the actions of their caddie.
Continued intentional disregard for the policy may result in disqualification.
TGA Medical Cart Request Policy: Spectators carts are prohibited. However, spectators in accordance of ADA compliance may request golf carts. Requests for golf carts must be supported by complete documentation, including the fully-completed Cart Request Form and the required accompanying medical documentation specified in that form for all first-time requests. Any medical cart request that is granted by the TGA will be good for that individual for the remainder of that calendar season. A request will not be deemed complete until all required information and documentation has been provided. For further information and details contact Director of Competitions – South Texas, John Cochran IV, [email protected].
Transportation: When riding in a golf cart, there may not be more than two (2) riders per cart at any time. Riders may NOT ride on the back of a golf cart, or on the dashboard of the golf cart. All riders must be seated on the golf cart seat.
During a suspension of play for a dangerous situation, there may be more than 2 riders per cart, but all riders must be seated on the golf cart seat. Riders may not ride on the back of a golf cart, or on the dashboard of the golf cart at any time.
During a suspension of play for a non-dangerous situation or a resumption of play, there may not be more than two (2) riders per cart. This includes the person driving the cart. even if that player is a spectator or volunteer.
When transporting players in a cart, all push/pull cart bags must be either strapped to the cart or broken down and put inside the cart. Spectators, volunteers, players or anyone else riding in the cart must not pull the push/pull cart with their hand outside the cart. this could result in severe injury.
Caddies policies will be established for each event based on event requirements and policies at the host club. If caddies are permitted for an event for which shared carts are being used, caddies are not permitted to ride.
Terms of the Competition
The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and the R&A govern play. These Local Rules and Terms of the competition are in effect at all TGA championships and qualifying rounds. See applicable championship or qualifying round Notice to Players and Tournament Information for modifications or additions to these Local Rules and Terms of the Competition. Complete text of the Rules and Local Rules may be found in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, effective January 2019.
The Texas Golf Association (TGA) Tournament Rules Committee shall have the final decision on all claims and disputes. The following Conditions of Competition apply for all TGA events.
Upon completion and confirmation of entry, all players have agreed to abide by all Texas Golf Association Policies and Procedures – including Conditions of Competition, Code of Conduct, Dress Code, and any special guidelines for specific events.
- WHEN A SCORECARD HAS BEEN RETURNED: Scorecards must be attested and returned immediately after the completion of a round to the designated TGA scoring area. The scorecard is considered returned when the player has left the designated scoring area.
- WHEN COMPETITION IS FINAL: The competition is final when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in absence of a prize ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee. The result of a match is final when the Committee has approved the result as posted on the public scoreboard or website.
Local Rules (Hard Card)
Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the general penalty: Match play – Loss of hole • Stroke play – Two strokes
Out of Bounds
Defined by the line between the course-side points, at ground level, of white stakes and fence posts.
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 the out of bounds.
Ground Under Repair
Defined by white lines. French drains are ground under repair. Rule 16.1. Ground under repair may include areas of unusual damage including areas where 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 that obstruction.
Seams of Cut Turf
Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule F-7: If a player’s ball lies in or touches a seam of cut turf or a seam interferes with the player’s area of intended swing:
- Ball in General Area. The player may take relief under Rule 16.1b.(b)
- Ball on Putting Green. The player may take relief under Rule 16.1d.
But interference does not exist if the seam only interferes with the player’s stance.
All seams within the area of cut turf are treated as the same seam in taking relief. This means that if a player has interference from any seam after dropping the ball, the player must proceed as required under Rule 14.3c(2) even when the ball is still within one club-length of the reference point.
Wood Chips and Mulch
Are loose impediments, unless otherwise provided for in Notice to Players.
A) White lined areas tying into immovable obstructions have the same status as the obstruction and are not ground under repair. B) Landscaped or garden areas (flower beds, shrubberies, or the like) completely encircled by an obstruction are part of the obstruction. C) Exposed liners in bunkers. D) Where the outside edge (non-golf course side) of a road or path defines out of bounds, the road or path is an immovable obstruction.
Integral Parts of the Course
Includes cables, rods, wires and wrappings when closely attached to a tree, artificial walls and pilings when located within penalty areas. Artificial walls and pilings when used to define the margin of bunkers are integral parts of the course and deemed to be in the general area.
Ball Deflected by Permanent Elevated Power Lines and Cables
If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hit a permanent elevated power line or cable during the play of a hole, the stroke does not count. The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made, see Rule 14.6.
Temporary Immovable Obstructions
Tents, signage, electronic scoreboards, circulation fans and any other temporary structures installed specifically for the championship are deemed to be Temporary Immovable Obstructions. Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule F-23.
If the lie of the ball, stance, and/or area of intended swing is interfered with by a stake that is attached to a tree, the stake/rope/wire is treated as an obstruction. Relief without penalty from the tree itself is not allowed. Rule 16.1.
Damage by Non-Burrowing Animals
Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule F-10: In the general area, areas of damage caused by non-burrowing animals are treated as ground under repair from which relief is allowed under Rule 16.1b.
Immovable Obstructions Close to Puttings Greens
Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect when the ball and the obstruction are in part of the general area are cut to fairway height or less. Model Local Rule F-5: Relief from interference by an immovable obstruction may be taken under Rule 16.1.The player also has these extra options to take relief when such immovable obstructions are close to the putting green and on the line of play: Ball in General Area cut to fairway height or less. The player may take relief under Rule 16.1b if an immovable obstruction is: On the line of play, and is:
- Within two club-lengths of the putting green, and
- Within two club-lengths of the ball.
Exception – No Relief If Line of Play Clearly Unreasonable. There is no relief under this Local Rule if the player chooses a line of play that is clearly unreasonable.
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.
Pace of Play
See separate memorandum to players and official TGA scorecard for pace of play policy and tournament-specific time charts.
Stopping and Resuming Play
Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule J-1. All practice areas are closed during an immediate suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open. Player who practices on closed practice areas will be asked to stop practicing; failure to stop practicing might result in disqualification. An immediate suspension will be signaled by one prolonged air horn note. All other types of suspension will be signaled by three consecutive air horn notes. Resumption of play will be signaled by two short air horn notes.
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.
- Players may have access to practice areas no more than one hour prior to their starting times.
- Safe distancing must be practiced at all times. Limits to the number of players allowed at each practice area (driving range, putting green, short game area) will be established based on space available at each site.
- There will not be shared practice balls and equipment available at the putting green or short game area. Each player may only use his / her own golf balls.
- Practice areas will not be available for use following the round.
- Practice Facility access policies are included in the Code of Conduct. Violations of the policies will be reviewed and players in violation are subject to penalty and / or disqualification.
Unless otherwise noted in specific Championship Information, TGA competitions and our host venues welcome spectators at no charge. Spectators are reminded of the following guidelines to ensure that they have an enjoyable experience while at a TGA Competition:
TGA Competitions focus on the competitors and our member clubs who graciously host competitions each year. Spectators are reminded that they are guests of our host clubs and must abide by their rules and regulations as set forth, which may include conduct, accessibility or dress codes.
- Spectators must self screen prior to arriving at an LJT event. Should a person have Covid-19 symptoms, they may not be on the premesis. Please check updated Covid-19 Championship Policies for further information.
- Spectators are strongly encouraged to bring their own mask and have it available when needed. In an event where safe distancing is not possible, all spectators MUST wear a mask.
- Spectators must social distance. The LJT will be monitoring safe distancing. Should someone not cooperate, they are subject to being removed from the premises.
- Spectators are expected to respect competitors, staff and volunteers from the host club, as well as TGA staff and tournament officials.
- Spectators may be asked to check-in at the entrance to a host club for further information. Host clubs reserve the right to limit access to their premises at their discretion. Any additional host club polices will be communicated at this time.
- Spectators may walk on the golf course, but must walk on the cart path or the perimeter of the hole. All spectators must not enter any area defined by signage, fencing, ropes or similar infrastructure, which limits spectator access.
- Spectator (golf) carts will not be permitted; however, those with ADA requirements may request the use of a medical cart through the TGA. Approval for the use of a medical cart will be granted by a host club representative and TGA staff, contingent upon proper ADA documentation being provided and cart availability. Individuals using a medical cart must follow the TGA medical cart guidelines provided at the time of approval, which may include but are not limited to authorization of a liability waiver, a nominal cart access fee and/or accessibility guidelines (i.e. staying on cart paths).
Any spectator who does not abide by the guidelines noted above will be asked to leave the grounds immediately and risks the ability to attend future TGA Competitions in any capacity.