AzRC- Chapter 3&4

There are many roles to fill at an event. Some people may fulfill more than one role; not all roles are required at every event:

SIC (Staff in Charge) 
ROIC (Rules Official in Charge) 
CPO (Chief Pace Official) 
Course preparation 
Course preparation lead
Local Rule writer 
Course marker 
Hole Locator 
Score Poster 
Score Data Entry 
Roving Rules Official (Rover) 
Stationary Rules Official – an official with restricted authority assigned to a hole, several holes or assigned to one or more groups for the round. 
General help – a volunteer that may perform any assignment other than work as a Rules Official. 
Checkpoint Monitor 

There are expectations for each role. Those expectations may include qualifications, knowledge and experience. When a score on a USGA exam is requested, that score must be verified by the AzRC Governing Board. That verification comes from the general member sending an original or an original copy of the letter from the USGA with the score displayed prominently to the AzRC Administrator. The Administrator will record the scores and consider if the score is new information suggesting a change in capability level. If so, it will be presented to the AzRC Governing Board.
Each of the Roles is described as a job with a target capability such that it is clear how to progress, in order to be considered for different or additional roles. Roles that may be performed leading up to and during golf tournaments are described as well as the skill level expected to perform a role successfully.
SIC (Staff in Charge)
The Staff in Charge is assigned by the sponsoring organization. The sponsoring organization decides the qualifications, and makes assignments. Is recommended that the SIC be experienced in all phases of tournament operations and be able to provide direction to tournament workers.
The Rules Committee [Committee] is in charge of the competition.
The Committee establishes the conditions under which a competition is to be played, and is responsible for writing and publishing the Local Rules for the competition. The Committee resolves disputes and makes any decisions leading to the disqualification of a player. All difficult or complex rulings are referred to the Rules Committee for a final decision. The Rules Committee is comprised of the SIC, the ROIC and a few others chosen by them.
ROIC (Rules Official in Charge)
The ROIC is an appointment for a single event. S/he may perform any duty at an event and must be qualified to perform all duties and provide guidance as needed to tournament workers.
A ROIC has scored 92 or better on a USGA/PGA Rules Exam within the last four years, or attained a score of 98 or better on the AzRC test. S/he has:

Demonstrated an exceptional Rules of Golf competency.
Demonstrated an ability to train others in the Rules. 
Demonstrated the ability to lead a Course Preparation team. 
Demonstrated the capability to construct Local Rules and the Notice to Players in accordance to the Rules of Golf. 

The ROIC may assign any official to perform the role of Chief Pace Official (CPO), but generally that assignment is made by the SIC with the ROIC’s agreement. The ROIC makes sure the CPO understands the role and is able to communicate proper information to checkpoint officials or rovers as needed.
An experienced Rules Official is familiar with most situations encountered on course and authorized to make all rulings, calling for second opinions when unusual situations arise. S/he capable of performing all duties of a stationary official, a checkpoint Monitor, a starter and scorer.

A score of 85 or better on a recent USGA/PGA Exam or the AzRC Exam in the last 4 years. 
Demonstrated a high level of Rules competency. 
Demonstrated ability to mentor others in the more unusual Rules. 

The designated “Rules Rover” supervises on-course training. S/he is capable and authorized to make all rulings that they have made before, however, they call for assistance or a second opinion when faced with a new or unusual situation.
Rovers assist other officials with the application of the Rules.
Officials assigned to a hole, set of holes or to supervise specific group(s) on the course.

Assist players with the Rules 
May set up golf course 
May mark golf course 
May act as official Starter 
May manage the Scoring table 
May be assigned as a Pace Official

 There are two roles in this category.
RULES OFFICIAL – (Authorized to make most rulings)
Rules Officials with a recent USGA Rules of Golf exam score of 75 or better on either the PGA/USGA or AzRC Rules Exams.
A Rules Official is authorized to make rulings as assigned. S/he may also work as a scorer, starter, or pace official. Other when starting or scoring, Rules Officials work as an official assigned to a hole, small set of holes, a group or a few groups. S/he may participate with course marking and hole selection team.
RULES ASSOCIATE (Authorized only to make rulings as assigned)
An Associate is a rules candidate who has taken a Rules test either locally or a USGA/PGA exam but may not yet have received a qualifying score. The main purpose of this role is to learn how to officiate, gain experience, prepare for examination on the Rules of Golf and eventually qualify as a Rules Official.
A Rules Associate is considered to be in training. S/he has limited ruling authority as assigned by the ROIC or the SIC, in keeping with proven knowledge. S/he will be assigned various tasks across all Rules Officials responsibilities under close supervision to enhance the learning experiences. Additional responsibilities will be assigned as capabilities are identified.
The CPO is assigned by the SIC. The main job is to oversee the activities of the Checkpoint monitors, assist them as needed, ensure they know how to perform their assignment and deal with breaches. The Checkpoint Official must get approval from the SIC to apply any pace of play penalty.
When a Checkpoint Pace of Play Policy is in effect at a tournament, Checkpoints are established by the SIC at specific locations on the golf course to monitor and record pace of play. Checkpoint Monitors record completion times for each group and inform the players and the CPO when groups are in breach of the Pace of Play Policy.
As each group completes play of the assigned hole, (defined as when the flag is returned to the hole), the Checkpoint Monitor records the time on the pace worksheet and calculates and writes in the area provided the time differential between this groups flag-in time and the previous group’s flag-in time. Referring to the Pace of Play Chart and using the Pace of Play Policy, the Checkpoint Monitor determines if the Group is out of position. If so, the Checkpoint Monitor informs the group and relays the information to the Pace Official as instructed.
This person, at selected events, will also collect scores from players as they pass the station, either recording on equipment provided or calling in to a central scoring location.
Assignments are either full or part-day.
Checkpoint Monitors must be able to keep accurate records of times, write clearly and do simple math. There are no training pre-requisites, although prior experience or observing another Checkpoint Monitor doing the work may be helpful.
Equipment and Materials:
Checkpoint Monitors must have an accurate clock set to the same time as the clock at starting, a clipboard, Pace of Play work sheets and pencils for recording times, a radio with an ear-bud or PTT MIC/ear-piece combination and at least one pace of play policy and one pace spreadsheet with other materials as provided by the OIC.
The Starter sets the tone for the tournament. Each player relies on the Starter for materials and information that is important for his tournament preparation.
The Starter is responsible for assembling the players, providing materials and information and starting the group on time in accordance with established processes and protocols.
Starters start players according to assigned starting times in keeping with the Rules of Golf and note and announce all variances. Duties are provided daily by the ROIC, and include providing player information and application of the Rules of Golf. Starters are often Rules Officials.
When a Starter is not a qualified Rules Official, s/he must have ready access to one qualified, and must never offer Rules information outside of the printed materials.
Volunteers, Rules Officials and Association staff may be assigned to the scoring area to receive score cards as players complete their round. Scoring officials assure that scores are legible, both marker and player have signed the card and any Rules issues have been resolved. Scoring Officials add the hole scores and pass the score card to the scoreboard official.
Scoring officials or assistants may also write scores on the scoreboards, collect cards, deliver to central scoring and when applicable, enter numbers into a computer and proof scores.
In the event a Rules Official is not present in the scoring area, the scoring official will call a Committee member whenever a rules question arises. For all Rule 3-3 situations, the ROIC must be called to resolve any issue.
The score poster is the one who posts scores on the scoreboard.

Receives score cards from either scoring or from data entry.
Checks addition and presence of signatures on each card.
Letters scoreboards as provided by the OIC. 

The score data entry person is the one who enters the hole-by-hole numbers from score cards into a computer, who manages data entry for the Tournament Program, checking all scorecard additions and signatures for accuracy.
A volunteer assigned to an area of the course where players may need assistance in locating balls or determining where a ball entered a water hazard.
A Forecaddie may be supplied with a radio (cell phone) to contact the Rover or nearby Rules Official when a player needs assistance with a ruling. A forecaddie should time any search for a ball, advising players and a Rules Official when the five-minute limit is reached.
A Forecaddie never makes rulings. Informing the player that his search time has expired is not making a ruling. If a question arises, the forecaddie should call the Rover or the ROIC.
A Forecaddie must have good eyesight, use of binoculars when able and be mobile enough to assist players’ searching for a ball.
A Tournament Assistant works with the OIC in event setup and otherwise to provision starting tees, scoring areas, officials’ information and on-course logistics from staging tents to delivering water and on-course services.
The course preparation team gets the course ready for tournament play. They mark hazards, boundaries and any ground under repair. They may stripe tees ahead of the placement of tee markers and select, record and dot hole locations; they write the Local Rules and the Conditions of Competition, all under the direction of the ROIC.
Team work is available to any interested AzRC members, no matter what previous experience they have, working under the ROIC’s direction.
The Team Leader must have experience preparing courses for tournament competitions; be capable of marking all situations and training others. S/he will be skilled at selecting hole locations considering the strength of the field, and able to construct Local Rules and conditions of Competition. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf and the application of Local Rules is imperative.
Individuals experienced in constructing the Local Rules and Conditions of Competition are eligible. S/he must have a strong understanding of the Rules of Golf, the application of Local Rules, and excellent English writing skills.
An experienced Course Marker will be able to discern proper markings for most situations. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf and the application of Local Rules is a critical asset.
A Hole Locator must understand the playing characteristics of the course being planned, have an appreciation for the quality of play to be expected, and understand the implications of course markings on difficulty of play. Candidates are welcome to accompany experienced Locators, and are encouraged to volunteer in order to expand knowledge of effective course preparation. A strong understanding of the Rules of Golf is desirable.
Golf is essentially a self-regulating game. The players are responsible for knowing the Rules and are expected to play by them. Playing by the Rules requires a properly marked golf course, appropriate local rules and conditions for play, and Rules of Golf oversight to settle disputed points.
After course markings are completed, Conditions of Competition and Local Rules must be drafted. The course must be set up carefully. The Rules must be applied equitably to all players. The purpose of this Guide is to provide a road map for preparation and proper oversight of a competition whether a friendly weekend game or serious professional multi-day event.
Each Committee must decide which parts of the Guide are applicable to the competitions it conducts. Any Club or group which conducts multiple events may wish to establish a “Hard Card” that specifies which Local Rules and Conditions are in effect for all competitions, supplementing that set of rules with any local conditions for specific days or events.
Reference is made throughout this document to the Rules of Golf and to the publication “Decisions on the Rules of Golf”. It is assumed that any Committee running a golf competition will have current editions of these publications.
The Rules of Golf define the Committee as “the Committee in charge of the competition” and Rule 33-1 states that, “the Committee must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played”. A Committee must be in charge of all aspects of running the competition.
At the Club Level, there may be different Committees within a Club. The Committee that runs the golf competition must be identified. Only the members of that Committee should have the authority to make decisions. Often the Committee will pass duties of running the competition to the Club professional or staff. These individuals are not automatically members of the Committee with final authority; therefore it is advisable to stipulate with whom final authority lies, e.g. approve a change in start time, suspend play, etc.
It is vital that the Conditions of the Competition are established in advance that the Committee can deal with any situations that may arise, from entry procedures to pace of play to authorized golf balls. This will eliminate many casual penalties incurred by uninformed players.
The Committee must decide who may participate in the competition, i.e. men, women, juniors, seniors etc.
It may be that a competition has handicap restrictions. If there is a limit to the number of players, the Committee must define procedures for determining the final field and access for alternates. A “first come first served” policy can be adopted, or alternatively, the Committee may accept the players with the lowest handicaps. The Committee must decide whether it will use the current course handicaps, a percentage of those, the lowest of a certain period. If exceptional play under handicaps occurs, the Committee should specify what adjustments or other measures may be taken.
If entry is restricted by age, then any condition in this regard should be clear. With any age limits (e.g. junior, mid-amateur or senior events), it is recommended that a player must have reached the minimum age by the first day of the competition. However, other dates such as date of entry, entry deadline or a specific handicap revision may be used.
The Committee must determine how players are to enter the competition, when the entry must be received, and when payment is due.
In club competitions, entry may be made by a player adding his name to a sheet by a certain date or simply arriving on the day of the competition and indicating his desire to play. Even with these less formal methods of entry, the Committee must establish clear procedural guidelines and state what should happen if the correct procedure is not adopted. For example, if a player is able to enter a competition by putting his name down for a starting time on the day of the competition, is he then restricted to that time or can he subsequently decide to play at another time? It is advisable to provide a condition stating that once a player has entered his name against a starting time, that starting time has the status of a time fixed by the Committee and, therefore, cannot be altered without the Committee’s authority.
Registering players at the site on the first day of competition is an excellent opportunity to familiarize players with the Committee’s expectations for the day, from reminding them of their starting time and tee, format, teeing grounds, local rules & conditions and most importantly, the pace of play rules for the day. This is the perfect opportunity to distribute any tee gifts and advise of food and beverage as well as other event information.
Handouts for all items, which may be duplicated at the starting tee(s), should be available as well. Registration should be available at least one hour prior to the first starting time.
While many competitions will have a traditional format, a Committee creating a new event must decide on the form of play it wishes to adopt.
Match Play:
Match Play, where scoring is hole-by-hole, can be singles, threesomes, foursomes or four-ball and either at scratch or on a handicap basis.
The method of determining the field in a match play competition may vary. It may be that the field is restricted to a certain number, there may be stroke play qualifying preceding the match play stage or the Committee may accept all entries and tailor the draw accordingly. Guidelines for this are included in the USGA Handicap Manual, also on-line at
In events that have stroke play qualifying, it would be normal for Committees to look for 16, 32 or 64 qualifiers in each flight. It is essential that the Committee decides in advance how it will settle a tie for the last qualification place, e.g. by hole-by-hole play-off, by matching score cards, a preliminary round to ascertain who will progress to the first round, or by lot.
Once the requisite number of qualifiers has been established, the Committee must make the draw for the match play. See the General Numerical Draw in the Rules of Golf, Appendix I.
For purposes of determining places in the draw, ties in qualifying rounds other than those for the last qualifying place should be decided by the order in which scores are returned, the first score to be returned receiving the lowest available number, etc. If it is difficult to determine the order in which scores are returned, ties should be determined by a blind draw.
If there are insufficient players to complete the draw then byes should be given in order of lowest qualifiers, i.e. if there is one bye, the No.1 player should receive it, if there are two byes, the No.1 and No.2 players should receive them, and so on.
Stroke Play:
If the competition is to be stroke play, it can be individual, foursomes or four-ball stroke play, however in addition; it can be played on the basis of Stableford or bogey/par.
The Committee must decide how many rounds are to be played, whether or not the field is to be reduced at any stage of the competition and whether it is to be a scratch or handicap event.
If the competition is based on handicap, the Committee may establish different handicap classes (flights) with prizes being awarded in each flight. The Committee determine flights in advance, sort the field at the entry deadline, or by the first round of play at gross or net.
Other Forms of Play:
The Rules of Golf include references to threesome and foursome play (each player plays “some of the time” as alternate shot), Stableford (points per hole), and seldom used Bogey and Par competitions (match play against a fixed score each hole).
When a form of play is not covered by the Rules of Golf, such as a “shamble” or “scramble”, the Committee must establish Rules and conditions that will be specific to these events. For example, in a “scramble” the Committee may need to determine how and where the ball of a player whose ball is not in play is to be dropped or placed at the spot from which a stroke is to be made. The Rules of Golf may not be applicable in many circumstances.
In any case, the Committee must be prepared to answer any question that arises during such a competition. The AzRC will be as helpful as possible. It can assist in advance to help avoid complicated situations, but may not be able to resolve such after the fact.
It is the responsibility of the Committee under the Rules of Golf to establish the times of starting and, in stroke play, to arrange the groups in which competitors play. In both match play and stroke play the Committee may permit players to determine their own starting times and, in stroke play, to decide their own groupings.
Field size:
Up to 156 players can play from one tee; with sufficient daylight (13 playing hours) 168 players can play from two sets of split tees (#1 & #10), 84 on each.
Without delays between nines, 84 players can play off two tees in a two-hour time slot.
Two tees can be used with 60 or more players. Shotgun starts can accommodate up to 144 players on some courses; but, for more than 104 players (26 groups of four), each additional group adds approximately 10 minutes to total time of play as unavoidable tee delays occur on par 3’s and two-shot long holes.
Some stroke play formats play more quickly than others, allowing more players to compete. These formats are foursomes (alternate shot), scrambles, chapman varieties (some alternate play on each hole), four-ball (better ball), and match play.
Course Maintenance:
Shotgun starts require complete course preparation prior to starting; single match play may result in three-hour rounds, requiring maintenance to complete earlier than usual so that course maintenance doesn’t delay play. Double tee starts likewise put pressure on the maintenance staff to have the course ready for play earlier than when all play starts off a single tee. Full course maintenance for a shotgun requires two hours or more from daylight (20 minutes prior to sunrise). Some maintenance can be rescheduled to evening hours to lengthen playing time.
Course Length & Difficulty:
Selection of tees to be used and hole locations are critical factors. The Committee should evaluate each hole based on the expected skill level of the average player in any event, and adjust tees and hole locations to provide a fair and balanced challenge for all. In major Championships or qualifying events for significant events and where the goal is to identify the best players in the competition, the tee and hole locations should be designed to reward the highest skill levels present. This does not lead one to use extreme hole locations, and in fact may do just the opposite, to advantage those players capable of hitting shots nearer the hole than the majority. The philosophy should be in all cases to reward shots closest to the hole with makeable putts.
Time Intervals Between Groups:
Compressing starting intervals will not result in more players completing play. The total number of players able to complete play on a given course is determined by the character and length of the course itself and management of slow play. The fastest players cannot move around a course more quickly than the average time it takes the group in front of them to play par 3’s. This simple fact dictates the most efficient manner of selecting group sizes and starting time intervals.
If the average TimePar for a group of four on par 3’s is 11 minutes, setting starting intervals at 10 minutes will necessarily add one minute per par 3 to each succeeding group’s time of play resulting in play taking longer than expected.
TimePar Calculation Example
TimePar (the expected time for the average group to complete play)
TimePar Formula:
(Course Yardage/60) + ((Distance Green to Tee)/60)-500) + ((# Players in a group x Par+Ave Hdcp)/2) + ((Scratch Course Rating – 72.0)x10).
Course Yardage/60 gives the playing time of any group. No matter whether riding or walking, the time to transit a hole is very close to one second per yard. The divisor 60 converts to minutes. Ex. 7200 yard course takes 120 minutes = 2 hours of transit time.
Distance Green to Tee – 500 is the additional time to transit between holes, 500 yards being the base number included in the Course Yardage calculation. Ex. A total of 1100 yards green to tee translates into an additional 18 minutes of time.
# Players x Par+Hdcp/2 is the actual stroke playing time for the average number of strokes anticipated (par + handicap). This assumes you have chosen 30 (60/2) seconds per stroke, an average club event stroke average. As there are many tap-ins that take little time, the par + handicap is a close estimate to a player’s actual stroke times. Ex. 4 players in the group x (72 par+10) = (4 x 84)/2 = 168 minutes
Scratch rating -72 accounts for course difficulty. Ex. (72.3-72)x10 = 3 minutes added for difficulty.
TOTAL TIME: 120 + 18 + 168 + 3 = 309 = 5 HRS 13 MIN.
Research on competition play has indicated no difference between time of play for a hole when all players walk or all players ride. However, combining walkers and riders adds significantly to time of play for some groups. When this is anticipated, one may expect serious inconsistencies in pace times between groups.
Correspondingly, providing 10min starting intervals for groups of three allows playing times on average courses of less than four hours total for normal (non-competition) play.
Given thoughtfully constructed starting intervals, and with players remaining in a reasonable position behind the group preceding them, the difference in total time of play from first to last groups will vary by one minute per group or less.
In both match play and stroke play, a tie can be an acceptable result. However, when it is desired to have a sole winner, the Committee has the authority, under Rule 33-6, to determine how and when a tie is decided. The decision should be published in advance.
The Committee should announce in advance the prizes that are to be awarded. In a competition in which gross and net prizes are awarded, the procedure in the event a competitor wins both a gross and a net prize should be made clear. It would seem reasonable to give the competitor his choice or award the player the larger prize.
The Rules of Amateur Status prohibit acceptance of a prize of retail value exceeding $750, except for prizes of only symbolic value such as a trophy or crystal. The Committee should do their utmost to ensure that the Rules of Amateur Status are not violated. In Open events, amateurs must indicate in advance either in the entry form or at the site that they will not accept a prize in order to avoid loss of status. The Committee should insure amateurs are protected by stating the USGA’s policy clearly. The Rules of Amateur Status may be found in the “Rules of Golf” book and on the USGA’s Web site,
The Committee may determine the rights of players to practice, and should state in advance any divergence from the USGA Rule 7-1.
It provides that a player may practice on the competition course before a round on any day of a match play competition, but a competitor in stroke play must not practice before a round or play-off on any day of a stroke play competition or test the surface of any putting green on the course by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface. However, the Note to Rule 7-1 states:
“The Committee may, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), prohibit practice on the competition course on any day of a match play competition or permit practice on the competition course or part of the course (Rule 33-2c) on any day of or between rounds of a stroke play competition.”
The “Notice to Players” contains Local Rules, variances, and procedural instructions. This is not the place for restating any Rules of Golf.
There should be a unique and correct Notice to Players that communicates and reinforces the Local Rules and conditions of the competition. The “Notice to Players” has six parts: (take note that is called the notice to “players”, not “competitors”, “contestants” or “participants”). The reference to “players” allows for consistency, as everyone playing in any form of golf is a “player”.

The Notice Heading should state the name of the event, the name of the facility or facilities hosting the event and the date(s) of the competition.
Following should be a statement regarding the governing Rules of Golf, such as, “Play is governed by the USGA Rules of Golf and the following Local Rules.” Any other rules references such as the NCAA handbook in collegiate competitions or conditions of the competition posted at the club may be noted for reference purposes. 
The first statement section contains the general information. It includes: 

a. Issues defining playb. The format of the competition,c. Definition of the teeing grounds,d. How the winner is determined or how qualifiers are selected,e. How ties are to be decided and related playoff information,f. If match play, considerations for a match extension,g. The number of holes to be played,h. If a qualifying event for another tournament, the number of qualifying places and the number of alternate positions,i. If qualifying for match play, the number of places on the match play tree.j. Any cut information when that appliesk. Identification of any flights; such as by age or by handicap
4. Second are event-specific conditions of the competition. Certain aspects of the competition may not be common or are so important that they warrant being restated on the notice. Items to include are:
l. Where the scoring area is and how it is definedm. In stroke play, when a score card is deemed to have been returnedn. In match play where to report the result of a matcho. Restrictions on clothing or footwearp. Third are the Local Rules in effect.q. Special Rules for local conditions. E.g. Dropping zones (Where they are and when they may be used)r. Obstructionss. Abnormal Ground Conditions
5. When referring to Local Rules in the Rules of Golf Appendix, state the applicable Rule number (i.e. Rule 26-1) and the Appendix where the recommended Rule can be found. 6. The Committee signature should name those members who would be involved in settling of disputes. It is a good practice to include a phone number that can be called when the players need to contact a member of the Committee.
The Notice to Players may contain Local Rules that are specific to the golf course being played. Rule 33-8 provides:
The Committee may establish Local Rules for local abnormal conditions if they are consistent with the policy set forth in Appendix I.
Waiving or Modifying a Rule
A Rule of Golf must not be waived by a Local Rule. However, if the Committee considers that local abnormal conditions interfere with the proper playing of the game to the extent that it is necessary to make a Local Rule that modifies the Rules of Golf, the Local Rule must be authorized by the USGA.”
Local Rules may be introduced to clarify the course marking (e.g. clarifying the boundaries of the course, ground under repair, etc.) or to provide relief from local abnormal conditions that are not covered by the Rules themselves. “Decisions on the Rules of Golf” provides detailed information regarding acceptable and prohibited Local Rules under Rule 33-8.
Samples of Local Rules are stated in Rules of Golf Appendix I.
The AzRC, while giving advice on the drafting of Local Rules and considering cases where a modification of a Rule of Golf is requested, will not interpret Local Rules which are in conflict with the Rules of Golf.
It is important to note that Local Rules must not be introduced or altered after a stroke play round has started. All competitors in a given round must play under uniform Rules. It is permissible when extenuating circumstances exist to alter the Local Rules between rounds in an event, such as to account for flooded portions of a course.