Golf League 2004 Rules

Welcome to the 2004 edition of the Blood Gas Boys golf league.

Remember that the goal of the league is to have fun.

##USGA Rules

[[USGA]] rules govern all play except where local rules of the course supersede them. The rules outlined below supersede the local rules of the courses where the league plays

##League Standings

Each week, those who play are awarded points. The points awarded are determined by ranking the net score (see below) of each player from lowest (i.e. the best) to highest (i.e. the worst). Points are accumulated as the season progresses, and the top four players at the end of the season will enter a match play tournament to determine the league champion. More on that later.

###Net Score

The net score is calculated by taking the gross score for the round and subtracting the course handicap for the player based on their league handicap (see below).
For instance, suppose two players, A and B have course handicaps of 9 and 13 each. If player A shoots a 42 for the week, and player B shoots a 45, their net score for the week is 33 for A and 32 for B, meaning that B finishes ahead of A and will get more points that week.

###Awarding the Points

The best net score each week gets 8 points, the second best gets 7 points, the third best gets 6 points, etc. In the case of ties, the points for those positions are averaged and given to each player. For instance, suppose the net scores for the top three players in a given week are the same, then, each player will be awarded (8+7+6)/3=7 points for the week. The next highest finisher is awarded 5 points. Please look at [[Golf League 2004 Scores]] to make sure that the values are correct each week, and keep an eye on [[Golf League 2004 Standings]] to see how you’re doing in the overall competition.

###League Handicap

The league handicap is calculated as specified by the USGA handicapping system, on league scores only.

For information only (the following will be handled automatically by the league software), the formula for handicap index is basically:

handicap index = 96% of the average stroke differential of the best 10 stroke differentials of the last 20 rounds of play. If less than 20 rounds have been played, then the best 50% of stroke differentials of all rounds are used

From this, the course handicap is obtained as follows:

course handicap = ((handicap index * course slope) / 113)

For more information, the [[USGA]] site has the complete description of the handicapping sytem.

##Pace of Play

We’ve been told by Stow Acres that they expect us to keep up a pace of play that completes a round in roughly 2:15. This means we have to play quickly. Because of this, and because generally people seem to enjoy golf more when the round isn’t too slow, and because **the quicker we play, the more we can play** (Stow Acres lets us play until its dark), the league plays ready golf.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions about how to speed up a round without being rushed during your shots:

* Once everyone finishes their tee shots, proceed to your own ball and get ready to play.
* As you approach your ball, prepare for your shot by figuring out yardages, conditions, etc.
* When you reach your ball, make your club selection and prepare for the shot.
* If you are ready to play a shot, and it is not your turn to play, but nobody else is ready, go ahead and hit the ball if it safe to do so (i.e. don’t hit it into someone in front of you).
* Once you hit your shot, proceed to your ball and get ready for your next shot.
* When putting, after a putt when the ball does not go in the hole, feel free to continue putting until it does, as long as you don’t step in somebody elses line or their through line.
* It is everyone’s responsibility to find their own ball. You can help look for someone else’s ball, but you should only do so if you have played your shot or you cannot play your shot because it is unsafe to do so.
* If you can’t find your ball, don’t spend more than a couple of minutes looking for it. Go ahead and drop a ball as close to where you think you lost it (see below the league rule for lost balls below), and give yourself a stroke penalty.
* Once you’re reached the maximum strokes for the hole (see below), pick up and take the maximum on your scorecard.

Note that none of this means that we should rush through rounds. All of the above should be done at a comfortable pace.

##Winter Rules

When the ball comes to rest in the fairway for the hole being played, it may be picked up, cleaned, and placed within 1 club length of its original spot, no closer to the hole.

##Lost Ball

The [[USGA]] rule for a lost ball requires the player to **return to the spot where the ball was last struck** and play another shot from there, taking a stroke penalty. Typically, the player hits a provisional ball when there is doubt as to whether or not the original ball will be found. If the original is found, that ball is played, and if not the provisional is played.

For the purposes of our league, and in order to speed up play, the player should **drop a ball in the fairway within 2 club lengths of the point at which the ball crossed the boundary of the fairway, no closer to the hole, incurring a one stroke penalty**. This is similar to the lateral water hazard rule.

The player may choose which rule to invoke (either the [[USGA]] rule, or the league rule) at the shot where the ball is lost, but once the choice is made (i.e. if a provisional ball is hit, the [[USGA]] rule applies), it is made.

Note that you may choose to hit a provisional ball, but if that ball becomes lost as well, that counts as another stroke penalty!

A ball is considered lost if it is not located **after 2 minutes** of looking.

##When to pick up

In order to keep up the pace of play, a triple bogey is the largest score that can be taken on any hole, and if your group is behind (i.e. the group in front of you is more than one shot ahead), the ball should be picked up and a triple bogey recorded.

A triple bogey on every hole is 27 over par, resulting in a maximum 9 hole league handicap of about 26.