Tournament Administration and Conduct
Pairings, Starting Times and Ties
Pairings are done at the discretion of staff based on the event being played and quality of field. Pairings by TPA membership, handicap Index, and/or past performance may be used to separate the field into pairings groups. Assignments of players within groups are done randomly to offer each player an opportunity to play with a variety of other players of similar ability. No specific pairing preference requests will be honored in order to protect the integrity of the competition.
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 will never be larger than the number of players attempting to qualify, and will be the largest of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 the qualifying field allows. When players are seeded in advance of play or in lieu of qualifying, the lowest scores will receive byes in the first match play round if the size of the field is less than the bracket size. Specific events may provide for alternate means of qualifying players or determining byes, and will be stated in the event information.
Starting times for AGA-administered events will be available approximately 72 hours prior to the first round. Players may call the AGA office or visit the AGA website at azgolf.org. Expected starting time ranges that are known in advance are listed on entry forms but are subject to change. TPA members may request placement in a time segment, and will be accommodated if it can be done without a negative impact on event pairing criteria.
The official time is determined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s WWVB Radio Signal from the USA Atomic Clock. The official time is the time on the clock at your starting tee. Clocks located on the driving range, clubhouse, or elsewhere are unofficial. Official time is also available from the Bureau of Standards, 303-499-7111.
Play-Off or Ties
In the event of a tie for first place in a Tournament, the winner shall be determined by a hole-by-hole play-off if possible. The play-off will begin as soon as practicable once the participants are officially determined. Should darkness, weather or other conditions prevent completion of a playoff on the final day of the tournament, one of the following options will be employed at the sole discretion of AGA staff:
- Conduct a playoff on the following morning, or at a time agreeable to all participants
- USGA Rules of Golf method of settling ties, Appendix I
- Conduct a chip-off or similar method if acceptable to all participants
- Declare Co-Champions
Rules of Play Enforcement
The Rules of Golf as established by the USGA and R&A, except as modified herein together with any supplementary Rules published at the event site as drafted by the AGA/AzRC Rules Committee, shall be applicable. All interpretations of such Rules shall be made and the penalties for violation imposed by the AGA Rules Committee. The AGA Rules Committee will be responsible for determining hole locations, placement of tee markers and all course markings. Course Rules, whether printed on scorecards or posted, are not in force unless contained on the AGA’s published documents.
The AGA and the AzRC strive to provide correct application of the Rules of Golf in all situations, from course markings (Appendix B) to on-course rulings. Local Rules employed will be provided on the first tee or at registration for all events. The “AzRC Hard Card” with year-long local Rules and Conditions is published in the Index, and is available at the starting tee for all events.
Appeals of any ruling may be made to the Rules Committee prior to signing a scorecard in stroke play events. Rules of Golf 3.2 (Match Play) shall determine whether an appeal may be heard.
Players shall not take advantage of club and tournament facilities by bringing friends, guests or family into the locker room or Host Site hospitality area at any time during the tournament unless the area is designated for such guests.
Club Member Relations and Volunteers
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.
By submitting an entry for any AGA event, the player understands that his participation is at the sole 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.
The following is the Code of Conduct for 2019:
- Players must act with integrity and show respect for the course and others nearby.
- Penalty assessments which may be imposed by the OIC.
- Warnings may be given for minor or incidental violations
- One-stroke penalty
- Inappropriate language or actions heard or seen by others
- Minor physical damage to the course or course equipment
- Inappropriate attire
- Club throwing in anger (as opposed to tossing)
- Two-stroke penalty
- Verbal abuse of other players, officials or spectators
- Criticism of the course or its management
- Any inappropriate language or behavior which may reflect negatively on the Club or the AGA
- Repeated minor violations
- Purposeful interference with another player’s play
- Throwing a club toward another person
- Repeated major violations
- Verbal threats or physical aggression
- Suspension may also be imposed for serious violation
*Note: A player will be entitled to appeal any penalty to the event OIC. A suspension may be appealed to the Director of Rules & Competitions.
Practice rounds are not included in any AGA entry fees, and are at the sole discretion of the Host Site.
- Additional fees may be charged, and should be expected.
- Cart use may be required.
- When practice rounds are permitted at by a Host Site, a player is not entitled to bring a guest without advance approval of the Host Site.
- When playing a practice round, no more than one ball may be played onto each green during the round per player exclusive of chipping. No excessive practice from bunkers or putting is permitted. Penalty for a violation is withdrawal from the event without reimbursement of fees.
- Players are required to keep pace with the group in front. Delaying play of following groups may subject a player to withdrawal.
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 Site. 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 Site. The apparel policy is in effect at all times while on the property of the host course. Players not complying with this policy may be asked to change into appropriate attire or may be withdrawn from the event.
The AGA reserves the right to determine eligibility for employment as a caddie. Caddies are permitted in all events where a stipulation prohibiting caddies has not been posted in advance. The right to have a caddie does not extend to separate cart use for the player and caddie. Such rights are subject to the discretion of the AGA Staff
Caddies must adhere to all Host Site dress codes, and shall wear smooth, rubber-soled, preferably tennis or basketball shoes. Golf spikes, flip-flops, sandals or open-toed shoes are not permitted. Caddies shall not walk on greens when checking hole positions on the day of a tournament round; such activity will make a caddie ineligible to participate without penalty to the player. Use of a cell phone is not permitted while caddying.
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 a device, the player may be asked to end use. Failure to comply may result in the player being withdrawn from the event. Note that use of headphones during play except for occasional short intervals has been judged to be a violation of the Rules by the USGA.
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 as a courtesy to following groups and maintain a distance from the players and their caddies at all times.
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 are not permitted.
Use of Carts, AGA Accommodation and Guidelines for Qualification
- Cart use during play is permitted unless specifically addressed in the Tournament Entry Information (i.e. AGA Stroke Play), with the following stipulations: Carts are assigned only to contestants. A caddie may use a cart only if a contestant is not displaced by such use.
- Restrictions on cart use for players are at the discretion of the Host Site, and all players are bound by those requirements, subject to withdrawal for violations of that policy. Any such restrictions will be posted at the tournament site.
- Two persons per cart only.
- Carts must be kept on paths if available near greens and tees.
- Any non-player riding with a player is considered a caddie and subject to any potential rules violations
- Pull carts are permitted as long as not in conflict with the Host Club rules.
ADA Accessibility Rules
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affords individuals with a permanent disability the right to access public accommodations with advance notice. Accessibility arrangements are within the discretion of the AGA and will be determined by the person’s qualification under ADA Regulations. The AGA does not have the right by virtue of hosting a tournament to dictate to a Host Site, only the opportunity to ask for an accommodation. Anyone has the right to ask for ADA consideration as follows:
To qualify for ADA consideration, a player must request accommodation at least one week in advance of the first tournament round scheduled.
Upon the timely receipt of the required information, the AGA will evaluate a request to use a cart in tournament competition due to a disability condition on a case-by-case basis. In order for the AGA to evaluate an accommodation request, players must submit all of the following:
- A letter requesting accommodation for a particular event
- Current medical documentation (prepared within one year of the request), setting forth the exact nature of the disability and evidence it qualifies under ADA Regulations as a permanent disability.
- Information sufficient to enable the AGA to determine that providing a cart would not provide a player with an advantage over other players.
Later applications may not receive consideration, depending on the individual circumstances. A final determination will be provided for requests 48 hours in advance of the event.
Please note that requests from spectators will be evaluated separately, and that the AGA does not grant spectators rights at any tournaments. As the events are for AGA members, they do not fall under the ADA Guidelines for “public accommodation”. On the other hand, as ADA Regulations give access to any person providing a single-rider cart, the AGA will support any such request for access.
Accommodation Guidelines for Mobility Impaired Spectators
Spectators at AGA events are expected to move through the spectator areas of the course as they would in other public venues. This means that the vast majority of spectators are expected to walk the course. To accommodate spectators with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the AGA offers a number of accommodations to allow guests with mobility impairments the opportunity to watch our events. The following guidelines have been developed for Officials in Charge (“OIC”). For the purposes of these guidelines, an “individual with a mobility impairment” means any person who is subject to any physical impairment or condition regardless of its cause, nature or extent that makes it difficult or impossible for a person to move about without the aid of crutches, a wheelchair or any other form of support, or that limits the person’s functional ability to ambulate, climb, descend, sit, or rise, or to perform any related function. It is not permissible to make any inquiry about a spectator’s disability, or to require proof of the disability.
For those individuals with mobility impairments that require some form of motorized transport, they will generally be permitted to move through the course on whatever form of transport they regularly use if they have brought their motorized transportation device (“Device”) with them, unless it has been determined by the OIC that a particular Device would present a penalty area to other spectators, players, caddies, or course officials or would damage the golf course.
Examples of Devices regularly used as a mobility aid by an individual with mobility impairment include a single rider cart (or scooter), which is a four-wheeled, stabilized, battery-powered personal transportation device operated in a fully-seated position, or a single rider device that is operated in a standing or semi-standing position. A full-size golf cart is not considered a form of transport regularly used off the golf course in the day to day life of individuals with mobility impairments, so such use is prohibited.
These guidelines do not apply to the use of motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles, bicycles (whether or not motor-driven), skateboards, or other similar devices not otherwise permitted to be operated on or within a golf course.
- An individual with a mobility impairment, upon registering with the Official in Charge, is permitted to use his or her own Device within the tournament site in any areas open to pedestrian use, unless otherwise advised in advance that topography or course conditions in certain areas are not conducive to the use of Devices.
- Individuals without a mobility impairment are not permitted to operate Devices in any areas within the site, unless they have been authorized to do so to transport a mobility impaired individual.
- For those spectators with a mobility impairment that did not bring his or her own Device, reasonable accommodations should be made to assist the spectator. For example, to the extent there is sufficient staff at events, the mobility impaired spectator can be brought to a viewing area on the course at the discretion of the OIC. The number of viewing areas available will depend on the course set up, availability of transport, course topography and other conditions, all of which shall be determined at the discretion of the Official in Charge. It is not the intention of these guidelines to provide hole by hole viewing of any individual player or players under these circumstances.
- Full sized golf carts may not be offered to spectators due to insurance considerations.
- Players are encouraged to communicate with the AGA in advance of an event if they are aware of a spectator (usually a family member) intending to watch the player, and contact the AGA no later than five business days before the event to discuss available options for mobility impaired spectators. Available options may vary from site to site and the option requested by the spectator may not necessarily be one of the recommended or available options offered at the site (such as a full-sized golf cart or driving the individual from hole to hole to watch a particular player or group
- The Device, whether brought by the spectator or provided on the course, must be operated in a manner that does not compromise the safety of the user, other attendees, spectators, players, caddies, or course officials or damage the golf course.
- Individuals operating Devices must remain in control of their Device at all times and may not leave the Device unattended.
- Spectators using Devices must operate the device at the speed in which pedestrians are moving in the immediate area of the motorized transportation.
- Devices may not be used outside defined pedestrian areas. It is the responsibility of users of Devices to determine that the areas in which they choose to operate are safe for such operation. The AGA and the golf course property owner shall not be responsible or liable for the actions of any individuals, including spectators, or for any individual’s failure to properly use a Device, or to maintain his or her use on safe topography. In choosing to bring a Device or using one provided at the Qualifying site, the user assumes all risks.
- Individuals using Devices must yield to pedestrian traffic, should refrain from using the Device in a crowded or densely populated area and must exercise caution when turning corners, approaching an incline and approaching other course conditions.
- In the event the Official in Charge or others charged with administering the event observe the unsafe operation of a Device, or interference, interruption or undue delay of play as a result of using the Device, a warning will be issued. Should an individual using a Device continue to operate the Device in an unsafe manner or at an excessive speed after being advised of the speed restrictions, or otherwise interfere with, interrupt or unduly delay play, the Device user shall be required to remove the Device from the site, but may be allowed to return without the assistance of the Device. At all times, the AGA, Officials in Charge, and golf course property owners reserve the right to temporarily prohibit the use of Devices for safety or other legitimate reasons.
Please note that requests made in advance from spectators will be evaluated separately. Individual ADA-qualifying requests may be granted on occasion by the AGA Staff, pending a determination of liability, cooperation of the facility, and the availability of suitable transportation. If a spectator is granted an accommodation, any cart used must remain on paved paths where available.
Inclement Weather Delays
For delays due to inclement weather, the first priority will always be the competition of all scheduled rounds. Every reasonable effort will be made to achieve this objective by the last scheduled day of play, which may include playing more than 18 holes. If this cannot be accomplished, play may be extended at the discretion of the AGA staff and the Host Site.
If play is suspended, every effort will be made to resume play the same day, even when that round cannot be completed before dark. If it is impossible for at least half of the field to finish a scheduled round, generally the suspended round will be finished when conditions permit. If less than fifty percent (50%) of the starting field completes play on the first scheduled day of competition, the round may be canceled. Following rounds will be completed when possible without consideration of the percentage of the field playing on any one day.
The decision whether to cancel a round will be at the discretion of the Committee. If conditions demand playing a double round to complete play, a secondary cut may be implemented to permit completion of play on the day desired. Should points or awards be applicable to players in the secondary cut, the status at the cut shall determine allocations.
Cancellation of Tournaments Due to Weather or Weather-Related Course Conditions
The AGA may cancel an event if, in the judgment of the Committee, it is unreasonable for a fair competition to be completed in the time available. If an event is cancelled, every attempt will be made to reschedule as soon as practicable. If the tournament is cancelled prior to start, a portion of the entry fees may be refunded at the discretion of the AGA. Once an event has begun, if cancelled, any refund will be based on costs absorbed by the AGA in attempting to play the event.
Suspension of Play
Play may be suspended by AGA staff or Rules personnel at their discretion. In cases where completion of the event is not possible, a previous round’s leader may be declared the Champion. Where one or more rounds have not been completed, a revised payout may also be published based on expenses experienced.
Suspension of Play Due to Dangerous Situations
Note: Suspension of play for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one air horn blast; and, for a non-dangerous situation, three air horn blasts.
When Play is suspended for a dangerous situation, players must discontinue play immediately and not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. If a player fails to discontinue play immediately, he is disqualified unless circumstances warrant waiving the penalty as provided in the Rules.
All practice areas shall be closed during suspension for a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open for use. Penalty for violation is disqualification from the event.
No Financial Interest of One Player in Another
Players may not enter into any agreement with any other Player to share any part of a prize that he may win in conjunction with any Official Tournament, unless it is an event with a partner-type format. A Player who violates this provision shall be suspended from participating in AGA events for a minimum of one year.
Broadcast and Film Rights
All media rights, including without limitation television, radio, photo, motion picture and internet rights and quotes, of Players participating in Tournaments or any other golf event conducted in conjunction with such tournament, shall be granted and assigned to the AGA by virtue of the entry of any such Player into any such event. All such rights relating to Sanctioned tournaments shall similarly be assigned and granted to the AGA to the extent not conflicting with the rights of the Host Site.
All such rights granted and assigned to the AGA are thereafter the property of and reserved by the AGA. Any use thereof without its express and written consent is prohibited. Players further agree, by virtue of entering in any such tournament, to refrain from any action which would interfere with the AGA ownership of its authorized use of the specified rights.