AzRC- Chapter 5
CHAPTER V- MARKING THE COURSE & COURSE SET-UP
PART 1 – MARKING THE COURSE
The Committee is responsible to see that the course has been properly and completely marked. If the Committee takes the time to accurately define the boundaries of the course and the margins of water hazards and clearly marks any areas that are to be treated as ground under repair, it reduces the possibility of awkward Rules situations arising. A properly marked golf course helps all golfers adhere to the Rules. Courses should be marked at all times, not just for competitions, so that golfers can play the game correctly.
The Committee must define boundaries, the margins of water hazards and lateral water hazards, areas of ground under repair, obstructions and integral parts of the course. When marking margins of water hazards, the Committee should take care to not disadvantage players. In Arizona, there are many “dry” watercourses. When a ball resting in a dry watercourse may be played, it is often wise to not mark the area as a water hazard as that can result in a disadvantage to the player.
The Committee should keep a record of markings for future reference, including the local rules chosen.
OUT OF BOUNDS
Out of Bounds defines the whole area of the course on which play is permitted. It is best for all involved when out of bounds markings are far from playing areas as possible.
The boundaries of the course must be completely defined if there are any contiguous areas where play should not be permitted, with either out of bounds or hazard to infinity.
Acceptable markings include white stakes, white lines, fence posts, walls and masonry bases for walls or any continuous physical or natural structure such that the position of the ball relative to the boundary can be easily determined.
Since out of bounds is determined at ground level, in the absence of a continuous border there must be clear visual lines of sight between the bases of marking elements, such as stakes.
When stakes are used, there should be no more than 25 yards between them where balls may likely come to rest, and no more than 40 yards elsewhere. It is acceptable to include other objects with stakes, such as large tree trunks or rock outcroppings, as long as the boundary line is continuous. Arrows as extensions of boundaries are not an acceptable marking. In the example 1, white stakes are used to define the boundary and a white line is placed on the surface to draw the boundary around the cactus and to tie into a wall.
Tie-offs that offer distinct sightlines may be employed where it is unlikely that balls will come to rest beyond them. The two tie-off stakes should be placed far enough apart (a few inches) so that a sight line to infinity can be readily determined. It is best to employ such markings when a ball coming to rest in such an area would likely be played under stroke and distance whether as lost, out of bounds, or unplayable.
The entire area of play should be identified such that the player never has any doubt.
When parking lots, clubhouse areas, maintenance areas, public walkways, adjacent holes where a “shortcut” would endanger other players, or large nurseries are near play, out of bounds is a reasonable marking. The definition(s) of out of bounds must be indicated in the Local Rules.
When white stakes are used, a white paint spot/circle should be placed on the ground at the base of each stake in case an O. B. stake is moved during play.
In addition to the suggested Local Rule for defining boundaries in Section 5, here are some more examples of language defining boundaries:
“Out of Bounds is defined by white stakes, fence posts, the bases of masonry walls, and white lines connecting these markings.”
“When a ball comes to rest beyond the boundary of the hole being played, it is considered out of bounds even if it lies within bounds of another hole.”
“During the play of hole #4, the #5 hole is out of bounds as defined by the white stakes. Such stakes are considered immovable obstructions in the play of holes other than #4.”
Margins of water hazards and lateral water hazards should be clearly and completely marked. Margins of water hazards, may serve as a boundary when defined as extending to infinity such as when play on the other side of the hazard is impractical or impossible.
Hazards may be marked by stakes or lines. When both are employed, the stakes merely identify the location of lines, and do not define the margin of the hazard.
Water hazards are defined by yellow stakes or lines. Whenever it is reasonable for the player to drop behind the hazard while keeping the point where the ball last crossed the margin between the hole and the place a ball can be dropped, it should have yellow markings.The hazard’s location or orientation on the hole has no bearing on the marking.
The first choice of color is always yellow, consistent with the philosophy that red markings are only for hazards where dropping behind the point of entry is not reasonable because of location, distances involved, or intervening vegetation.
In other circumstances, such as there is no area behind the hazard in bounds, or the area in which a ball would have to be dropped creates an unplayable lie (essentially an additional penalty because of the land contour or vegetation) or intervening trees or obstructions make play toward the hole unreasonable, red markings are employed.
When a hazard is adjacent to a green, and it is difficult for the player to see from a distance where a ball might cross into the hazard because of angles or curves in the line, it may be best to mark the area yellow and place a dropping zone in a place that provides fair relief.
HOW TO MARK:
Use paint lines to define water hazard margins and stakes to identify the water hazard when practicable. The use of stakes (alone) for defining the margins may be employed when applying pained lines is not practical.
When applying paint using an “inverted paint wand”, hold the wand so that the wand is pointed forward of your body far enough so you can see where the line is being applied and walk forward. This allows you to see the line as it is applied and also helps to apply a straighter line than when the wand is held vertically.
If stakes alone are used, sighting base to base is in the definition, so they must be placed so that in all circumstances the margin is easily identifiable. In most cases with clean turf, the stakes should be no more than five yards apart, less when there are severe curves or topography. When the margin of the hazard is not visible from the primary playing areas, then larger (4-foot tall) stakes should be employed to define the maximum extent of the hazards for players. This also assists them in determining point of entry. When the area where stakes would normally be placed is irregular or the ground is not suitable for placing a stake, place the stake as near as reasonable possible to the optimum spot, trying to not make the margin any farther from the hazard than is necessary.
Yellow – mark as near the fall line into the hazard as possible, making sure the line is visible from behind the hazard, using stakes where necessary to identify the location of the line. Make an effort to keep the line as straight as possible so that determining a point of crossing is easiest.
Red – mark near the fall line into the hazard, but far enough from the edge of the water so both right-handed and left-handed players will have an equitable stance and ball position after dropping. This is easily accomplished by walking a line along the break point of the slope into the hazard with the paint gun on the outside away from the hazard. In all cases, lines should be painted while walking with the paint gun on the outside. That separation provides adequate space for all players, left- and right-handed alike. When severe slopes or intervening vegetation makes it difficult to keep a simple line or the line may not be visible, it is reasonable to include high vegetation inside the hazard. The consideration is giving a player taking relief a reasonable next shot, avoiding a “double” penalty by creating a very difficult lie after a drop.
Changes of color: Often a hazard will affect shots from different directions or provide different challenges requiring a yellow marking in one area, transiting to a red marking in another. This is completely reasonable. When deciding where to change colors, consider all possible hole locations for the play of the hole, and make the change from yellow to red accordingly. Where this provides an inconsistent or difficult to determine result, then expanding the yellow marking and employing a dropping zone is appropriate.
A change of color is always identified by adjacent stakes (one red and one yellow) at the point on the line where the change occurs.
When the play of two holes is affected, and the primary effect on one hole leads to a yellow marking, but red is more equitable on the second hole, use the yellow marking paint and note on the rules of play that in the play of that second hole, the hazard may be treated as a lateral hazard. A consistent, smoothly shaped line is best so that players can better judge where a ball may have crossed. Intervening vegetation and obstructions can create difficulty keeping a line smooth. As a general rule, include vegetation and exclude obstructions where possible. In all cases, think about the shot that a player would have to make from a given position just outside the line, and attempt to avoid creating a secondary penalty.
GROUND UNDER REPAIR
“Ground under Repair” markings are to be employed only when necessary. They are not used to replace poor conditioning, but rather to ensure “similar playing conditions” in landing areas and green surrounds. It is not to create good lies for players throughout the course. On a course where conditioning is excellent, a bare area in a fairway landing area may be marked. That same condition would not be marked on a course where such areas were prevalent. Remember the adage of “Play the course as you find it!” from Richard Tufts.
Consider a local rule instead to address the problem if certain conditions are so widespread that markings might look like Swiss cheese. Consider where the condition exists. Rutted areas in fairway landing areas deserve attention, where the same areas in deep roughs or beyond tree lines do not. Strive to create a benefit for good shots, when the player has hit the ball where it is supposed to go, not when a marking will give relief for a bad shot. If the player can play a stroke to the back of the ball without difficulty or have multiple shot selections given his lie, relief should not be available. Uncomfortable lies exist throughout the course, like divots, where no relief is available. There should be no attempt to create options where they are not necessary. On the other hand, if a player’s only option because of an unusual condition is to play away from a desired target while another player a few yards away would not have to do so, then the first player may deserve something better.
Markings begin with an assessment of the quality of play of the majority of the field. Markings should target the middle 50% of the field in driving distance and skill level. The first establishes where markings begin, using a 2/3 of anticipated driving distance as the starting point on Par 4’s and 5’s. The second establishes how far from the center of the target area or the edge of greens to carry markings. Normally markings around greens should include five yards beyond the bottom of slopes.
Before beginning, tour the course driving the centerlines of holes to determine the general conditioning throughout the course. Beginning markings before a course tour leads to inconsistency. Once the tour is complete, consider what issues might be better addressed in the supplementary rules Notice to Players. General conditions belong on the Notice; marking solves exceptions to prevailing conditions. Never mark an area covered by another Rule with one exception – a wet area that will likely be dry for a significant portion of the field where large areas of mud may exist.
If it is unlikely that more than one or two players would encounter the area, do not mark it.
It is best to define GUR no more than three days prior to an event to ensure the areas marked will not change in character.
HOW TO MARK GUR:
When marking a damaged area, use smooth contours and attempt to isolate the problem from surrounding turf. Where multiple areas are adjacent to one another, look to provide clearly evident, one-step relief without creating a “Swiss-cheese” effect. On fringes and green surfaces, hold the paint can in the hand and keep markings as small as reasonably possible.
PAR-4’s and PAR-5’s:
For men’s championship events, begin 180 yards from the tee through the green, including 10 yards of the rough on either side.
For women’s championship events, begin 150 yards from the tee. Outside of that 10-yard margin, only unplayable lies in open areas are to be addressed.
For men’s senior events, member days and mixed events: begin 100 yards beyond the shortest tee being utilized, and extend 20 yards out from the edges of greens.
For women’s handicapped and senior events: begin 70 yards out from the tee.
Drive an “S” curve from fairway side to fairway side, crossing the fairway every 15 yards looking for conditions to mark. Follow this path up to the front of the green, then drive around the green, 15 yards from the surface and outside bunkers. Then walk the edge of the green, looking for issues with the definition of the adjacent bunker edges and the margin of the putting surfaces. These are the critical scoring areas where more attention to conditioning is valid. If this procedure is properly followed, a referee can answer any question from a player with full knowledge of what was marked, why or why not.
Begin 20 yards short of the front of the green for all levels of play and extend 20 yards out from the edge of the green.
OBSTRUCTIONS AND INTEGRAL PARTS OF THE COURSE
Although most obstructions are self-evident, it is sometimes advisable to identify certain items as obstructions in order to clarify matters for players who are not entirely familiar with the Rules. If there is likely to be doubt as to the extent of the obstruction, it should be clearly defined by stakes or tying white lines into the obvious portion of the obstruction.
The Committee has authority to declare any construction to be an integral part of the course with no relief option. For example, if the side of a bunker is shored up with wooden pilings, the USGA in its championships will normally declare the wooden pilings to be an integral part of the course. The choice is up to the committee.
If an artificially-surfaced road or path runs parallel to and is so close to a boundary fence that a player would incidentally get relief from interference by the boundary fence in taking relief from the road or path, consideration should be given to declaring that section of the road or path to be an integral part of the course. The section that is to be an integral part of the course should be clearly defined by stakes or lines of a distinctive color and it should be listed on the Notice to Players.
Dropping zones are used when it is impossible for a player to play from the area of relief provided under a Rule or play is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable. Dropping zones simplify relief from temporary immovable obstructions, especially where rules committee members are not thoroughly familiar with the applications of the Rule. Dropping zones solve issues when the design of a hazard or obstruction does not fit the hole being played. Yellow markings with dropping zones solve color-change issues, allowing continuance of yellow lines where dropping behind the hazard is not feasible. Use of dropping zones is the preferred marking when the approach shot to a green must contend with a hazard that somewhat surrounds the surface and is too large for a simple marking.
It is not necessary to have zones farther from the hole than where a ball crossed into the hazard. The Committee should attempt to situate Dropping zones so that they are not closer to the hole than where the player would be dropping the ball when using one of his options under the relevant Rule. For example, if a Dropping Zone is used as an additional option for a water hazard, the Dropping Zone should be located in an area that requires the player to negotiate the water hazard with his next stroke. The distance should be similar to a ball played under Rule 26-1b. Dropping zones are not always established in the fairway, but oftentimes are located in the rough. The area selected for the Dropping Zone should be relatively flat so that a dropped-ball is unlikely to roll very much.
Dropping zones should provide a reasonable shot to the target. The use of short teeing grounds on par 3 holes is effective, requiring no additional markings. In this case, the zone is defined by the “cut of the grass”.
Locating a Dropping Zone on the green side of a water hazard in order to assist players who cannot carry the hazard is contrary to the spirit of the game and is not authorized by the Rules. The character of the hole and the position of the water hazard should be preserved when locating Dropping zones.
Means of Defining Dropping zones: Dropping zones may be identified by any of the following:
For Competitions, white-painted enclosed areas are preferred.
For Club Member Play: Use of up to four tee markers, painted stakes or short poles with identifying flags (tee markers should be a different color from any teeing ground markers, stakes should not be red, white or yellow).
Use of an isolated teeing area (defined by turf or cut of the grass).
Note 1: When using tee markers, stakes or the like and when using an isolated teeing area, it should be clear to the players that playing from a “Dropping Zone”, no matter how identified, requires the ball to be dropped. It cannot be placed on the surface or on a tee.
Note 2: The use of tee markers may be applicable for competitions where hole locations or other conditions would change the character of the required shot significantly from day to day.
Note 3: When a Dropping zones is identified by other than a painted enclosed area the Committee must clearly define the bounds of the Dropping Zone, for example:
“Dropping Zone on hole #2 is defined by the green tee markers on the right side of the fairway short of the water hazard. The tee markers define the forward and outside boundaries; the Dropping Zone is two club-lengths deep”.
OTHER DROPPING ZONES FOR UNPLAYABLES, OBSTRUCTIONS, GUR
Use of dropping zones as additional options for relief is the easiest way to avoid singular relief options in difficult circumstances, such as large areas where nearest point is not easily determined, or when the relief would effectively penalize the player because of intervening obstacles. In all cases, such areas should be well away from primary playing areas, generally in the rough adjacent to the problem being addressed. These are also useful in providing a clear option when several adjacent relief areas intersect to simplify the problem for players. Nothing should be done to minimize difficulty that would exist if the relief area were not present (such as casual water behind intervening trees).
Dropping zones may be placed nearer the hole than where the ball may lie. Place the dropping zone where it will be used, and in such an area that neither provides a significant penalty nor advantage.
PART 2 – COURSE SET-UP
It is important that the Committee has a clear idea of how it wishes the course to play. Each hole should be evaluated in terms of distance, tee position and hole location so as to provide an appropriate test of golf. A course that is well set up will test a player’s ability to play a range of shots using all, or at least most, of the clubs in his bag without disadvantage to any group of players.
Establishing the correct course set-up will involve knowledge of the course and may require visits to the course in advance of the competition. It is important to ensure that expected green speeds, rough heights and fairway widths are understood well in advance of the competition, discussed with the course superintendent whenever possible.
It should be the aim of the green staff and the Committee to have the condition of the course virtually identical from the first practice day to the last day of the event. Significant changes in course conditions between practice and the event itself, particularly in relation to the putting greens, are undesirable.
The Committee must appoint someone to set up the course for each competition round. It may be that the Committee appoints two people to this task with one person covering each nine. If this is the case it is essential that one is fully aware of the other’s intentions so that there is no imbalance in terms of hole locations, etc. The appointed person may be a member of the Committee or a senior member of the green staff.
This person’s duties will consist of establishing the teeing grounds at each hole, determining hole locations (if not done in advance), ensuring that bunkers have been raked, and that putting greens, fairways and tees have been cut, and checking lines and stakes defining out of bounds, water hazards, etc. to make sure that they have not been worn away or removed without the Committee’s authority.
The AzRC always exp
ects the golf course to be in excellent condition. However, the reality is that several factors influence the course conditions at any moment in time. Nevertheless, this section describes the preferred conditions. The SIC and the ROIC work with each course superintendent in advance of many events to ensure the best possible playing conditions are available for the event. The Tournament Committee (ex: the SIC, ROIC and the Tournament Prep Team Leader) will meet (sometimes done via telephone) prior to the event with the course superintendent and/or representatives of to finalize event conditions and services.
The Tournament Committee Representative(s) may tour the course to identify issues and course conditions that need attention, and confirm the overall plan for the event. Notes should be shared with the Tournament Prep Team prior to course preparation. The ROIC will have final approval for AzRC events.
The following provides an outline of the AzRC course condition preferences:
Fairways should be cut no longer than ¾ inch with ½ inch preferred. Fairway widths are preferred to be no narrower than 25 yards wide on short holes or 35 yards on the longer holes. The AzRC does not intend the host course to narrow or widen fairways because of a specific tournament. Fairways should be firm and fast when possible, with minimum irrigation during play days. Fairway mowing should take place not less than every other day during the tournament days and is preferred to be done in the evening hours. Watering cycles should be used to minimize frost and dew. Divots in primary playing area should be filled daily (AzRC members can assist with this duty if needed).
Yardage markers and sprinkler heads with yardages should be neatly trimmed and exposed for easy identification.
All ancillary devices indicating centerlines, and all roping, signage, and player or cart directional devices should be removed from areas of play prior to play on any tournament day.
Primary rough should be cut to no longer than 2” length (Bermuda; 3” cool season grasses) for the start of the competition. This preferred width is 10 yards on each side of the fairway. Rough should not be mowed during the competition unless requested by the Tournament Director.
All putting greens and practice putting greens should be consistent in firmness and speed. Soft to medium surface firmness with putting green speeds of 10.0 to 12.0 feet when measured by use of a stimpmeter. Putting Greens are expected to be mowed daily prior to play with all edges clearly defined by use of a cleanup cut around the perimeters. Collars should be prepared adjacent to each putting green to a mowing height of approximately 1/8 for an area of 2 to 4 feet. Collar height mowing is preferred where putting greens fall off to area drains rather than primary rough.
Hole locations will be selected prior to the start of the tournament. It is suggested that hole locations for any practice rounds the days before the event be placed as close to the CENTER of the putting greens as possible, leaving the edges and corner locations for tournament play. The course superintendent will be supplied with the hole location and dot color used for each days hole locations. Holes should be cut in the morning prior to play and after the putting greens are mowed. It is preferred that each hole be painted on the interior with white paint.
Flagsticks must meet the requirements of the AzRC. Reflectors for range finders are approved. AzRC tournaments generally use the flags provided by the host course except for major events when flags may be provided to the superintendent. Coordinate flag usage with the SIC.
HAZARDS, GUR, AND ODDITIES
The Tournament prep team will mark the course in accordance with USGA requirements using the standard colors of marking paint and stakes.
Definitions of turf edges and margins should be easily determined on boundaries, greens, bunkers, water hazards, lateral water hazards, roads and paths to assist with rulings. When not clearly defined, a local rule or special marking may be needed to clarify for players.
Bunkers should be prepared prior to play and all should have the same depth of sand. Bunker liners should be adequately covered with sand to ensure they do not interfere with a player’s stance or area of intended swing. All bunkers should be free of track marks, ridges or footprints.
Areas in which play is restricted must be identified to the Course Preparation Team as they prepare the course. Planters, flowerbeds or special monuments that are identified will be specifically identified on the Notice to Players. All unidentified areas will be considered ‘through the green’ and play will not be restricted. Areas of environmental sensitivity that have been identified by an authority having jurisdiction will be treated in accordance with the guidelines established by the USGA. Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) are marked with stakes with green tops.
Practice areas are to meet the same criteria as on-course conditions. Practice stations are expected to be set with balls daily 1 hour prior to play.
All maintenance equipment should be removed from areas of play prior to play arriving in the area. In times of the year with minimal daylight, the course superintendent needs to work closely with the SIC to minimize any disruptions during play.
HOLE LOCATION PLANNING
There are no regulations regarding hole locations on the putting green, so there is no such thing as an “illegal” hole location. However, there are bad hole locations as well as good hole locations. Many factors affect selection of hole locations. The goal is to place holes to match the abilities of the average player in the field, which generally will be the more moderate hole placements. For championships with only very skilled players, the typical hole location will be receptive to a good shot, but still challenging.
Before arriving at the golf course to select hole locations for a competition, you should have a plan. Consider the playing skills of the players in the competition, the likely weather conditions, the condition of the course and most importantly the green speeds, firmness and availability of receptive areas. Know how long each hole is to be played and therefore which club will more often be used by the average player to reach the putting green.
HOLE LOCATION SELECTION
Many factors affect selection of hole locations. The first and most important is good judgment in deciding what will give fair results. Do not be tricky in locating holes. If you have any doubts about a hole location, it is probably better to look for another one.
Following are specific points:
First, select/review the playing yardages planned for each hole, the number of players, and average skill level or levels. Review the Accuracy Table (below) to understand the relative size(s) of the expected landing areas for approach shots. These are averages for average green conditions, so excessively fast or firm greens require larger target areas.
Dimensions of Expected Landing Area 2/3 of the Time- In Yards
Length of Shot
2. Also, review the following table. For most events, the goal is to setup the course fairly in order to challenge the average player in the field. Knowing the skill, proficiency of the average player in the field and their gender(s) helps to understand the clubs likely to be used for approach shots.
Typical Yardages by Club, Proficiency and Gender
3. In major championships, the goal is to present a fair challenge to the better 20% of the field, rather than the average player while still allowing the remainder of the field to play the course. What is a “fair” challenge? A player should have an opportunity to make a putt or expect to two-putt from within 2/3 of the full target area. That full target area could overlap a bunker or water hazard, but only if a shot avoiding those has a reasonable chance for success. The intent is to give an advantage for good play. Do not select difficult hole locations that negate the advantage a player would gain by hitting the target identified by the accuracy table. Providing an open line of play to a hole from one side of the fairway while requiring a carry over a hazard from the other side of the fairway is a great way to advantage the better player.
In some cases, based on players’ skill levels or the hole designs, the better hole locations available may not easily fit the skill profile of the players, with either too little or too much of a challenge. The goal is to create a reasonable challenge hole by hole. Total yardages mean little if the individual holes are not properly presented. Avoid having luck become a deciding factor.
Example: A short par-5 with no protected hole locations may fit better as a long par-4 for expert players; or for average players a medium-length par-4 with difficult placements may need to be shortened or the hole locations made more accessible.
Know how the shot to the putting green may be affected by the probable conditions for the day — that is, wind and other weather elements, condition of the turf from where the shot will be played as well as the capability of the putting green to hold a well-struck shot.
4. The hole location should be located at least four paces from any edge of the putting green and generally farther from the edge when players are not skilled. If a hazard is close to the edge, or if the ground slopes away from the hole, the distance should be greater, especially if the shot is more than a pitch-shot. Avoid too many front placements, where a poorly struck shot finishing short of the green has a better opportunity than a putt from behind the hole. Remember that a hole on a downslope from the front of the green penalizes almost all players, and creates a result contrary to the event’s goal of rewarding the best play.
5. In choosing the exact location, there should be little or no change in slope for a three-foot radius around the hole. The area around the hole does not need to be flat, but the slope should be consistent. A player above the hole should be able to stop the ball at the hole. One good test is to drop a ball from shoulder height next to the hole. If it rolls more than a few inches, there is too much slope. Consider also the condition of nearby turf, especially taking care to avoid old hole plugs that have not completely healed that are within five feet of the desired location. When using a “Breakmaster Digital Green Reader” or a similar slope-measuring device to measure slope near the hole, consider that each increment in slope makes putts more difficult, especially when the greens are fast. It is not just the slope at the hole, but you should measure for no change within three feet of the chosen location.
6. There should be a balanced selection of hole locations for the entire course with respect to left and right positions. For example, avoid too many left locations with resulting premium on drawn or hooked shots or all par-3 holes with front right locations. In general, a majority of holes should be located center to rear of greens, with front placements used only when short irons or long run-ups are likely.
7. For a competition played over several days, the course should be kept in balance daily as to degree of difficulty. In a stroke-play competition, the first hole of the first round is as important as the last hole of the last round, and so the course should not be set up appreciably more difficult for any round — balanced treatment is the aim.
8. During practice days before a competition, locate holes in central areas not to be used during the competition.
9. Anticipate the players’ traffic patterns. Locate holes for early rounds so that good hole locations for later rounds will not be spoiled by ball marks or players leaving the putting green – that means using walk-off areas first when possible.
10. In a multiple day event, select the hole locations on each putting green that are the best locations taking into account the format of the competition. Ideally, a four-round competition should use the best four placements on each green that meet the players’ abilities.
11. If heavy rain is expected, avoid low locations while keeping holes accessible from most locations so the weather conditions do not create too difficult a challenge.
12. The final step is to develop a chart containing the location for each hole in each round, i.e., a master plan. This should be finalized at least two days before the start of a championship. This method ensures that a balance will be achieved each day and, although the preliminary work requires considerable time, it makes the job easy during the long and hectic days of a championship.
13. Immediately after the hole locations for the competition are selected, provide a chart to the superintendent so that the desired locations can be protected. A day or two in advance, it may be best to “dot” all the placements in a neutral color (blue) with the daily selections noted the afternoon prior with a different color. Remove or cover over the prior dots. This saves a great deal of time during the event.
Choosing and Recording Hole Locations for “Hole Location Sheet”
Determine direction of ideal approach shot to green. This should also be viewed from the back of the green, while understanding the topology of the hole. Mark the point where the line of ideal approach meets the front of the putting green, (This point will not necessarily be on the edge of the green, as shown on the diagram). Use a small blue paint mark or inverted “T” to establish this point. Also, put a small blue paint mark just off the back edge of the green on a continuation of this line (the centerline).
Calculate the length of the green by measuring along the centerline. (from the point at the front of the green in line with the ideal approach shot to the small blue paint mark just off the back edge of the green)
For each hole location selected, measure along the centerline between the blue-marked spots at the front and rear of the putting green to determine the hole depth.
For each hole location selected, measure to the edge of the green on a 90-degree angle from the centerline to determine the distance from the hole to the edge of the putting green.
If the length of the green is 35 yards, the depth measurement of the hole location 23 yards and the distance of the hole to the right side of the green 6 yards, on a standard hole location sheet it would be recorded as shown to the left for hole #1.
COMPETITION COURSE SETUP
The Committee must appoint someone to set up the course before the competition and for each competition round. He may be a member of the Committee or the golf course superintendent. This duty should not be taken lightly. The object is to provide a strong test, but not a tricky one. Setting up the course consists of driving the golf course ensuring the course is ready for play and establishing the teeing grounds at each hole by placing the tee markers, verifying that the hole locations are correct, ensuring that bunkers have been raked and the rakes placed appropriately and that the course is ready for play. Setting up the course includes checking lines and stakes defining out of bounds, water hazards, etc., to make sure they have not been obliterated or removed without authority as well as for marking any abnormal ground conditions needing to be defined as GUR.
All Teeing Ground areas (tee pads) are expected to be relatively flat, with minimal divots and cut to no longer than 1/2”. Tree limbs near the tee pads that might obstruct player’s shots from the tee should be trimmed and removed prior to the first tournament day.
The Preparation Team may mark the maximum yardage used during tournament days by indication of an 8” white stripe near the center of the tee pad at the rearmost point for a teeing ground to assist players in practice rounds where shorter distances may be employed. Specify the tee markers to be used in advance. All tee markers not is use should be removed, or paired together at the side of the teeing ground prior to play except when necessary to accommodate regular course play by the setup personnel.
The tee markers should be installed forward of the rear-defining stripe on clean turf each day and balanced so that the course will play about the same length in each round.
Tee markers should be placed five to seven yards apart whenever possible. If the width of a teeing ground is wider than that, players are more likely to tee-up inadvertently, in front of the tee markers. Tee markers should be set up square with the center of the drive zone, so that a line from one tee marker to the other will be at right angles to a line from the teeing ground to the center of the drive zone, or the center of the putting green on par-3’s.
Tee markers should always be at least two club-lengths forward of the back edge of the tee (or forward of the rear-defining stripe), in view of the fact that the Definition of “Teeing Ground” states that the teeing ground is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth.
Normally, tee markers are not changed between rounds of a one-day, 36-hole competition. When players are playing rounds on multiple courses and a portion of the field plays the course each day, the tees should be left in the same location if the teeing ground is still in good condition. For par-3s and other holes where there may be a significant number of divots, the tees may be relocated slightly (typically within 1-2 yards) to give the players on the second day a more pristine area. When possible, move the markers up on one hole and back on another to balance the yardage.
Tee markers come in various shapes. While the marking pattern remains consistent, often the shape of the tee markers dictates attention to how the markers are pointed or aimed.
When tee markers are round or irregular, but generally round, they should be oriented so they can be recognized and as the golf course intended. Check with the SIC prior to setup to determine how to orient unusually shaped tee markers.
When tee markers are square or irregular, the side facing the player is to be generally pointed parallel (example 1) to the target area (landing zone or center of putting green). When the rectangular tee markers are to be placed perpendicular (example 2) to the target area, the tee markers should be square to the target area.
MULTIPLE SETS OF TEE MARKERS:
In some competitions, not all players will play from the same set of Tee Markers. When multiple sets are to be on the same tee pad, they are either placed adjacent or separated by at least three paces. When adjacent it is a best practice to place the Tee Markers for a flight generally playing the longer yardage to the outside.
DOTTING THE SPOT:
In establishing tee markers for the first round, the Committee should place a small white paint dot on the tee at the spot where each tee marker is installed, in which case if a tee marker is moved or stolen, the Committee can reinstall it at the spot where it had been located. Two white paint dots are suggested for the second round, and so on. See the examples below: