Updated: 09/01/2019


The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A govern play. The following Local Rules and Terms of Competition, together with any additions or amendments as published by the JGTA at the golf course, will apply to all tournaments run by the JGTA. For the full text of any Local Rule referenced below, please refer to the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf effective January 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the general penalty (loss of hole in match play or two (2) penalty strokes in stroke play).

Local Rules

  1. Out of Bounds (Rule 18.2)
    • A ball is out of bounds when it is beyond any wall defining a boundary.
    • A ball that is played from one side of a road which is defined as out of bounds and comes to rest on the other side of that road is out of bounds. This is true even if the ball comes to rest on another part of the course that is in bounds for other holes.
  1. Penalty Areas (Rule 17)
    • When a penalty area adjoins a boundary, the penalty area edge extends to and coincides with the boundary.
    • When a player’s ball is found in or it is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in any penalty area where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area at a point that coincides with the boundary of the course, opposite side relief is available under Model Local rule B-2.1.

Exception: All recognized practice areas within the bounds of the course may be used by players for practice on any day of the competition.

Dropping Zones for Penalty Areas: Where a dropping zone is marked for a penalty area, it is an additional option for relief under penalty of one stroke. The dropping zone is a relief area. A ball must be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area.

  1. Abnormal Course Conditions (including Immovable Obstructions) (Rule 16)
    • Ground Under Repair
      • Any area bounded by a white line, including spectator crossing points where marked.
      • Any area of damaged ground (e.g. caused by crowd or vehicle movement) that is considered by a 
referee to be abnormal.
      • Grass covered cable trenches.
      • French drains (stone-filled drainage ditches).
      • Seams of cut turf; Model Local Rule F-7 is in effect.
      • Yardage painted lines or dots on the putting green 
or in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less are to be treated as ground under repair from which relief is available under Rule 16.1. Interference does not exist if yardage painted lines or dots only interfere with the player’s stance.
  • Immovable Obstructions
    • White lined areas and immovable obstruction they tie into are treated as a single abnormal course condition.
    • Landscaped garden areas and everything growing in them that are surrounded by an immovable obstruction are treated as a single abnormal course condition.
    • Mats that are secured and all ramps covering cables
    • Roads or paths surfaced with woodchip or mulch. Individual pieces of woodchip are loose impediments.
  • Embedded Ball
    • Rule 16.3 is modified in this way: No free relief is allowed for a ball embedded in the stacked turf face above a bunker.
  1. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Greens
    • Model Local Rule F-5 is in effect. This Local Rule only applies when the ball and immovable obstruction lie in part of the general area cut to fairway height or less. In addition to Rule 16.1a, interference also exists if an immovable obstruction is on the player’s line of play, is within two club-lengths of the putting green and is within two club-lengths of the ball. Exception: there is no relief under this Local Rule if the player chooses a line of play that is clearly unreasonable.
  1. Integral Objects
    • The following are integral objects from which free relief is not allowed:
      • Bunker liners in their intended position
      • Wires, cables, wrappings or other objects where they are closely attached to trees or other permanent objects.
      • Artificial retaining walls and pilings when located in penalty areas.
  1. Temporary Power Lines or Cables
    • Model Local Rule F-22 is in effect.
  1. Temporary Immovable Obstructions
    • Model Local Rule F-23, with any additions or amendments in the additional Local Rule published by the JGTA, is in effect.
  1. Clubs and Balls
    • List of Conforming Driver Heads: Model Local Rule G-1 is in effect. 
Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of Local Rule: Disqualification.
    • Groove and Punch Mark Specifications: Model Local Rule G-2 is in effect.
Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of Local Rule: Disqualification.
    • List of Conforming Golf Balls: Model Local Rule G-3 is in effect. Penalty for breach of the Local Rule: Disqualification.

Note: An updated List of Conforming Clubs and Balls is available on www.randa.org.

  1. Transportation
    • During a round, a player must not ride any form of motorized transportation except as authorized or later approved by the Committee. A player who will play, or has played, under penalty of stroke and distance is always authorized to ride on motorized transportation. The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which there is a breach. A breach between two holes applies to the next hole.
  1. Suspension of Play (Rule 5.7)
    • The following signals will be used to suspend and resume play:
      • Immediate stop for imminent danger – one prolonged note of a siren
      • Stop for a non-dangerous situation – three consecutive notes of a siren
      • Resumption of play – two consecutive notes of a siren Note: When play is stopped for imminent danger, all practice areas will be immediately closed.

 

  1. Practice (Rule 5.2)
    • In stroke play, Rule 5.2b is modified in this way: A player must not practice on the competition course before or between rounds.
    • In match play, Rule 5.2a is modified in this way: A player must not practice on the competition course before or between rounds.

Exception: All recognized practice areas within the bounds of the course may be used by players for practice on any day of the competition.

  1. Eligibility
    • Players must meet the eligibility provision established in the relevant Terms of Competition for the specific tournament.
  1. One Ball Rule
    • Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is not in effect. Model Local Rule G-4.
  1. Pace of Play
    • See the JGTA Pace of Play policy here.
  1. Code of Conduct
    • See the JGTA Code of Conduct policy here.
  1. Caddies
    • Except when permitted by the JGTA Committee, players must not have a caddie during the round. Model Local Rule H-1.1. Penalty for breach of this rule is the general penalty for each hole which he or she is helped by a caddie. If the breach happens or continues between two holes, the player gets the general penalty for the next hole.
  1. Distance Measuring Devices
    • The use of devices that measure distance only (i.e., the device may not be used to measure other conditions such as wind-speed or the slope of the ground) are permitted in JGTA competitions.
Terms of the Competition

  1. Returning of Scorecard
    • A player’s scorecard is officially returned to the Committee when the player has left the recording office/area with both feet.
  1. Determining Ties
    • In the case of a tie for the first place at the conclusion of play of 54 holes, a sudden-death play-off to determine the tournament winner shall be conducted in accordance with the JGTA Tournament Regulations.
  1. Result of Match or Championship – Competition Closed
    • Match Play: The result of a match is officially announced when it has been recorded in the Championship Office.
    • Stroke Play: When the Championship trophy is presented to the winner, the results of the competition are officially announced, and the competition is closed.