AGA Tournament Policies
It is each contestant's responsibility to know the policies & procedures concerning participation in association events. By submitting an entry for an AGA event, you confirm that you have read, understand and agree to abide by the Policies & Procedures of the AGA. You also agree that there are certain risks inherent in the game of golf and that you accept personal liability for all such risks.
The Arizona Golf Association reserves the right to decline or withdraw any entry at any time. Any person whose entry is accepted shall be subject to the rules and conditions of play set forth by the AGA.
The AGA may cancel a tournament if there are less than 50 players entered by the stated deadline, if course conditions are not conducive to running a quality event, or if circumstances beyond the control of the AGA make it impractical to run the event, i.e. lack of hotel availability. If the AGA does cancel an event, players who have registered will be notified and will receive a full refund.
The AGA conducts events in the following age divisions:
|Open||Open to all ages||Course set-up at 6,700 yards or longer|
|Masters||Ages 45-54||Course set-up at 6,400 to 7,000 yards|
|Senior||Ages 55-64||Course set-up at 6,3000 to 6,800 yards|
|Legends||Ages 65 and older||Course set-up at 6,000 to 6,4000 yards|
Special Exemption Policy:
1.) Tournament Committee- Up to six exemptions
To be eleigible for an exemption, a player must either:
a.) Have made the cut in their last participation in the event; or
b.) Have a proven skill level that would indicate a strong likelihood of making the cut and have a legititmate conflict that prevents a player from
participating in a qualifier.
The Tournament Committee will review applications receieved prior to the final qualifying deadline, and in their sole determination, issue up to six exemptions
2.) Host Club - Up to four invitations to players with a handicap of 3.4 or less
3.) AGA Staff- Up to 4 inivitations may be extended to players at the AGA's discretion.
Events having Masters, Senior, and Legends flights are classified as Divisional Events. Tournament results are determined within and for each age division. Any event classified as an open event does not make a distinction for age in determining tournament results.
The course set-up lengths for each division represent approximate ranges and will vary due to individual course characteristics. For all divisional events, contestants compete in the division determined by their age and one champion is determined in each division. A contestant who has a birthday during the year that puts him into another age division will have the opportunity to continue to play down in the younger division. If the player decides to play in the division determined by age, any open points accumulated before his birthday will apply to both divisions.
If a contestant chooses to play in a younger division, he must notify the AGA when he registers for that tournament.
Anyone entering an AGA Tournament must be an active member of an AGA member club at a level of membership that includes a USGA Handicap Index.
AGA Major Championships are open to amateur AGA Members only. Non-majors are open to all AGA Members. Applicants for Reinstatement to Amateur Status (AR), who have formally filed with the USGA, may apply for entry for any event except the Amateur Match Play and Mid-Amateur. Their application will be accepted or rejected based on the applicant's reinstatement criteria.
Only fully completed entry forms with full payment will be accepted. Entries will not be accepted nor will spots be held by phone, facsimile or email. Credit cards may be used to enter events online at either azgolf.org or the TPA club website. Confirmation of entry is your cashed check or appropriate charge on your credit card. Should time permit, an email or postcard confirmation will be sent, but it is always the sole responsibility of the contestant to verify entry status.
The published entry deadline is the date by which entries must be received at the AGA (not the date that entries are sent to the AGA). Entries sent by mail or dropped off at the AGA office must arrive in the office no later than 4:30 pm on the date of the published entry deadline. Entries sent by mail should be submitted early to allow ample time for delay or error in service. The risk of delay or error in service lies solely with the entrant. Entries made online will be accepted until 11:59:59 pm on the date of the published entry deadline. The AGA reserves the right to re-open or extend registration for an event. If registration is re-opened or extended then the new entry deadline will be posted online on the applicable tournament page at www.azgolf.org.
Late entries will be accepted at the discretion of the AGA based on availability of spaces remaining in the tournament. Once starting times are published, the only late entries accepted will be those to fill vacancies at the discretion of staff.
Entry Acceptance and Priority
- TPA Eagle Members: TPA Eagle Members shall be given entry priority for individual (not team) events provided fully completed entries are received at least 21 days prior to the entry deadline. See the TPA Member section. See "Entry Deadline" in the 2006 Tournament Policies for time deadline for entries.
- Defending Champions: Defending Champions, individual or team (gross only, exact team and division) shall be given entry priority provided fully completed entries are received at least 21 days prior to the entry deadline. See "Entry Deadline" in the 2006 Tournament Policies for time deadline for entries. Divisional Entry Acceptance.
- Divisional Events: Up to 30 days prior to Divisional Events, entries will be accepted proportionately to accommodate age divisions: 25%-Masters Division; 50%-Senior Division; 25%-Legends Division. Entries received within 30 days of the event will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. There must be at least six contestants or teams entered in a Division. If this minimum is not met, contestants shall be notified and may choose to either play down in another division or have their entry returned.
Wait list status is determined by date and time entry was received.
Withdrawal and Refund Policies
In order to officially withdraw from an AGA event, contestants must: 1. Contact the AGA @ 602.944.3035 ext. 210 and leave a detailed voice mail in the Event Withdrawal Mailbox OR 2. If the withdrawal occurs on-site at an event, notify the AGA Staff in person (listed on the Notice to Contestants). Acceptable reasons for withdrawal during a tournament are physical injury/illness or an emergency. Poor play is not an acceptable reason for withdrawal. Failure to comply with this policy shall result in disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct. Any player leaving a course during play without notifying an official is subject to suspension.
A full refund of entry fees minus a $30 service fee shall be given if a contestant withdraws prior to the entry deadline. Any contestant who withdraws after the entry deadline, but more than 48 hours prior to the first start time, will be refunded half of his entry fee. Any contestant who withdraws 48 hours or less than the first start time, will not receive a refund. Refunds will not be given for weather issues or circumstances beyond the control of the AGA. Refunds are issued within one month following the event and no credits will be kept on record for future entries.
Handicaps and Tournament Scores
USGA Handicap Index
The current USGA Handicap Index, as of the last available revision prior to the event, will be used to determine the contestant's handicap for events. Players who hae not posted enought scores (at least five) to establish a USGA Handicap Index will play to a Course Handicap of zero.
When handicaps are being used for events, there will always be the chance for exceptional performances by certain members that can affect the integrity of the competition. An occasional exceptional round is not out of the ordinary, however a series of exceptional rounds defies the odds of handicapping statistics. The AGA reserves the right to adjust a contestant's INDEX prior to, during, or after the event at its sole discretion. Should a contestant return a score that falls outside the USGA's estimate of 'less than 250-1 odds', that contestant may be assigned a revised handicap in multiple-day events; in single-day events, such will be grounds for modification or re-flighting, at the sole discretion of the Committee. Any score 'less than 1,000-1 odds' is grounds for disqualification and suspension from future events.
Posting Tournament Scores to AZHN
The AGA posts scores for all AGA Members for individual stroke play events, including USGA Qualifying Rounds. At all team events the AGA posts the rating information and requests that all contestants post their own scores as T-Scores. If during random checking it is determined that AGA Members are not posting their T-scores from team events as requested, penalty scores may be posted and a suspension from playing events may be imposed.
General Policies and Information
Please take the opportunity to thank the volunteers. The AGA is able to conduct the number and quality of tournaments that it does due to the help and support of its volunteers. It is important to understand that our volunteers, whether acting as spotters, timers, starters, or rules officials, are giving their time and services for no compensation other than the satisfaction of supporting the game of golf and the opportunity to interact with other golfers.
Under no circumstances will abuse of volunteers be tolerated. Players who abuse volunteers are subject to disciplinary action. The Incident may be forwarded to the Tournament Committee for consideration for possible additional sanctions.
The official time is determined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's WWVB Radio Signal from the USA Atomic Clock, and is kept at the starting tee(s). The official time is the time on the clock at your starting tee. Clocks located on the driving range, clubhouse, or elsewhere are unofficial.
Pace of Play Policy
The purpose of the AGA Pace of Play Policy is to provide timely play for the entire field.
This policy and its guidelines have been established in accordance with Rule 6-7 which states, "The player must play without undue delay and in accordance with any pace of play guidelines that the Committee may establish." There are two types of violations: Undue delay under Rule 6-7 and Pace violations under the AGA Local Rule. Undue delay penalties are loss of hole in match play and two strokes in stroke play. Second violations result in disqualification. Pace penalties are one stroke for the first violation, two strokes for the second, and disqualification for a third in the same round.
Examples of undue delay include but not are limited to the following:
- Returning to some prior place to retrieve forgotten Item if doing so delays play more than two minutes (Decision 6-7/1)
- Going forward to gather information, if such an action delays either the player’s own play or that of a fellow competitor more an additional one minute while remaining in position
- Taking in excess of two minutes to play any stroke
- Searching for a ball after the five minutes permitted for search has expired
- Delaying a fellow competitors’ play by interfering with them unnecessarily when it is their turn to play
- Actions which cause a group to lose position that are unrelated to playing the game.
In AGA Open, Divisional, and qualifying events, as well as USGA qualifiers, the Committee will establish, and make available to all players, an allotted time (Time Par) for each hole of the stipulated round. This Time Par system will be used as a baseline for the Pace of Play Policy, but will not limit each player's responsibility to play in accordance with the Rules of Golf.
In AGA Senior Series, Club Team and Member Day events, groups are expected to be within one hole of the group in front. Groups not maintaining this position will be asked to move forward taking net par or 0 Stableford points, whichever is applicable.
From two to six checkpoints will be employed, determined by the scope of the event and volunteer support. Scoring/Pace monitors will be responsible for notifying players(by flags, not verbally) of their relative positions on the course and collecting scores for the Live Scoring services. Scores will be available to all players via the USGA app or at azgolf.org.
Monitors are not Pace Officials. A separate Rules or Pace Official will speak to players and hear appeals. As players complete a checkpoint hole, the Monitor will indicate their pace by displaying a flag: Green=under Time Par and in position(within 14 minutes of the group in front); Yellow= either under Time Par or in position; Red= both over time and out of position.
TIME PAR- Set for the first three groups. After the third group, proper pace is based on remaining within 14 minutes of the group in front. If a group falls behind, they have two "three hole" incremements to recover before receiving a penatly. For following groups, no penatly would be applied IF they maintain the scheduled pace from the time they miss their first checkpoint.
Pace Rules Application: 4 or more Checkpoints
First "miss"- Red Card; Penalty situation IF one or more players are making no clear effort to improve position. This would include failing to call a group through when in search, walking slowly, stopping between nines or holes without a legitimate reason.
Second "miss"- penalty must be applied to all players, unless one or more can be exonerated by an official. No penalty would be applied IF group matched Time Par from the time of first Red Card.
Third "miss"- penalty is mandatory.
Pace Rules Application: 2 Checkpoints
If a group finishes more than 14 minutes behind the group in front and over Time Par, the group will receive a one stroke penalty unless it completes the second nine under scheduled Time Par. If a group fails both checkpoints and is over Time Par on both nines, a two stroke penalty will be imposed. Monitors may or may not be present.
Pace Rules Application: Shotgun Events
Pace Chart will be published. If any group fails to return a scorecard within 15 minutes of the group in front of them, they are subject to a one stroke penatly; within 20 minutes, a minimum of a one stroke penatly will be applied; more than 25 minutes, a two stroke penalty will be imposed.
The AGA does not contract for practice rounds with host sites. The AGA will make efforts to arrange reasonable rates for practice rounds but those rates are purely at the discretion of the host course. Event information will be posted on that tournament's information page at www.azgolf.org. If no information is posted then the player must call the host site to determine the availability of practice rounds.
Groupings are done at the discretion of staff, based on the event being played and quality of field. Groupings by TPA membership, Handicap Index, and/or past performance may be used to separate the field groupings. Assignments of players in the groups are done randomly to offer each player an opportunity to play with a variety of other players of similar ability. No grouping preference requests will be honored in order to protect the integrity of the competition.
Starting times for AGA-administered events will be available approximately 48 hours prior to the first round. Players may call the AGA office, the host site or visit the AGA website at www.azgolf.org. Expected starting time ranges that are known in advance are listed on entries but are subject to change. First round starting time requests by TPA Eagle Members will be honored.
Match Play Brackets
The number of players in match-play brackets is determined by the size of the field attempting to qualify for a given event or Division. When match play is preceded by stroke-play qualifying, the bracket size for the first round of match play will never be larger than the number of players attempting to qualify.
Drinking Water on Course
The AGA generally does not provide the drinking water on the golf course. Players should plan to have an adequate amount of water. Drinking water provided on the course is the responsibility of the host course. When made aware of empty water jugs the AGA will attempt to notify the course to have the jugs re-filled.
Electronic Devices Policy
Usage of electronic devices that disrupt play is not permitted by players or caddies. If a player or caddie uses such devices, they may be asked to cease doing so. Failure to comply may result in the player being withdrawn from the event.
USGA Qualifying Rounds
Entering USGA Events
To enter USGA Qualifying events, you must either contact the USGA for an entry form or go to their website at usga.org.
Multi-Day USGA Events
There is a cut after the first day of a multi-day USGA Qualifying event to the low 30% plus ties and all those within 8 strokes of the leader.
The AGA has no role in Sanctioned Events other than to allocate points to TPA members participating in the tournament. The distribution, receipt & confirmation of entries, conditions of competition, entry fees, eligibility, pairings, start times, course setup, tournament policies, prize fund and submission of results to the media and the AGA are the responsibility of the host club.
It's important to be selective in which events receive "Sanctioned" designation. In an effort to insure that only quality events are awarded Sanctioned Event status, the following minimum criteria must be met:
- Event must have at least a two year history.
- Tournament must adhere to The Rules of Golf.
- Tournament must have at least 60 players competing in the Open/Championship Flight. If it is a Senior Event then there must be at least 15 players in an age Division for it to be eligible to earn points. The AGA age divisions are: Masters, 45-54; Senior, 55-64; Legends, 65 and older. The tournament need not follow the same age Divisions. If different age divisions are used, the youngest age in each division will determine its allocation category.
- The event must be open to non-club members. At least 40 Players must have a USGA handicap index of 4.4 or less and at least 70% must have a current USGA Handicap Index through an active licensed golf association.
- Names and scores for the top 10 places + ties must be returned by mail, fax, phone, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org within seven (7) days of the event. If it is an age division event then ages must also be included.
- Points are only awarded to players in the gross score category.
- Tournament must strictly adhere to the USGA Rules of Amateur Status and the value of awards may not exceed $750 per person.
- The event's tournament committee or organization must submit their request for Sanctioned Event status certifying the above criteria has/will be met to the AGA Tournament Committee for final approval to become a sanctioned event. The AGA will sanction events from year to year to insure that AGA tournament players are participating in the events and the integrity of the Performance Rankings is being maintained.
Conditions of Competition
Code Of Conduct
By submitting an entry for any AGA event, the player understands that his participation is at the sale discretion of the AGA. The AGA conducts its events at the highest level. As such, it requires its players to conduct themselves professionally at all times when at the event site. Players may be withdrawn from the event at the discretion of the committee for any breach of the following:
- Failure to show up for the event;
- Failure to personally notify the Tournament Director when withdrawing during a tournament;
- Willful destruction of golf course or AGA property;
- Public criticism or abuse of golf course, officials, volunteers or other players;
- Club throwing or unnecessary club tossng;
- Potential endangerment of others;
- Offensive conduct or unbecoming language;
- Alcohol and/or substance abuse;
- Serious breach of etiquette.
Players violating the code of conduct policy may be referred to the Tournament Committee for further action in the case of a serious offense. Penalties may include loss of playing privileges or other sanctions as determined by the Tournament Committee.
Distance Measuring Devices
Except in USGA qualifying events, players are permitted to use distance-only measuring devices. See Appendix I, the Rules of Golf.
Clubs and Balls
Clubs and balls used in AGA competitions must conform with the USGA Rules of Golf. Penalty for breach - Disqualification.
The AGA complies with the apparel policy at each host site. The AGA policy may be more restrictive than the apparel policy of the host course. The following apparel is considered Inappropriate at AGA events:
- Denim/chambray pants or shorts of any color or style;
- Sweat pants or workout clothing;
- Non-collared shirts except turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks with a collar at least 1 inch;
- Shorts of less than mid-thigh length;
- Cargo pants/shorts must be neat in appearance.
This apparel policy is in conjunction with any additional dress code restrictions adopted or accepted at each host course. Players not complying with this policy may be asked to change into appropriate attire or may be withdrawn from the event. The apparel policy is in effect at all times while on the property of the host course.
Motorized transportation for Players and Caddies is permitted unless otherwise prohibited in the specific tournament's Notice to Players.
Specific transportation policies:
- In events where carts are permitted, the maximum number of carts allowed per group is two (2), with a maximum number of two (2) riders per cart. Only players or their caddies may ride in the cart, but players have priority for use of carts and caddies are not guaranteed the right to ride.
- Spectators are not permitted to ride in player carts. Spectators found to be riding in player's carts will be asked to cease doing so- Failure to comply may result in the entry of the player involved being withdrawn.
Any player or caddie who wishes to use a golf cart in any event in which the use of motorized transportation is limited or excluded, or would qualify for accommodation under ADA guidelines when the host site imposes golf cart restrictions, must submit a written request for a waiver to the AGA by the entry deadline.
Any request must include the player's and/or caddies name, address, a description of the disability, and corroborating medical evidence attested by a treating physician. The staff of the AGA will review the request. The decision to grant a waiver will be based on the existing Federal guidelines for compliance with the Supreme Court decision In PGA Tour Inc. v. Martin, No. 00-24 of 29-Mar-01.
When caddies are permitted, an individual who assists a player in accordance with the Rules, which may include driving or riding in a cart is a caddie.
A caddie is expected to comply with the standards set forth in the AGA Apparel policy, except that caddies are permitted to wear appropriate non-collared shirts. Caddies not meeting the minimum apparel standards may be asked to change into appropriate attire or may lose the privilege to caddie.
When motorized transportation is permitted, each group is limited to two (2) carts with a maximum of two (2) riders per cart Players have priority.
While spectators are welcome at AGA events, it is Important that spectators do not jeopardize the play of any player on the course.
Spectators must have minimal verbal or physical contact with players to avoid the possibility of a breach of a rule. Spectators may follow groups but should remain on or near cart paths or in the rough and maintain a distance from the players and their caddies at all times. There must be no communication during the stipulated round that could be considered advice.
Spectators should stay out of the playing areas and avoid interfering with the play of the group(s) they are following, adjacent to, or behind the spectator. Spectators that are interfering with play or are judged to be having too much contact with players will be asked to discontinue or leave the course.
Usage of electronic devices by spectators that disrupt play is not permitted. If a spectator uses such devices he/she may be asked to cease doing so.
By submitting an entry the contestant agrees to allow the AGA to use the contestant's photographic/video image for any AGA media related use.