General Rules For Association Competitions


  1. Competitions shall be organised and run as set out in these general rules and the specific rules and entry forms for each competition.
  2. All play shall be in accordance with the Rules of Golf as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the Local Rules of the Club at which a competition is being played and any additional local rules or variations as stipulated by the NAPGC or its Competition Organisers. 
  3. All competitors in events organised by the Association must be amateur in status and hold a valid WHS handicap index.


The Committee

  1. At all NAPGC Competitions there shall be a “Competition Committee”, comprising NAPGC Board Members and duly appointed Committee Officials. 
  2. The term “Competition Organiser” used here in, or in the Rules and Conditions of any specific competition, relates to a person duly appointed by the NAPGC Board or Competitions Committee to organise that event. 
  3. The NAPGC is duly authorised to run competitions in accordance with WHS and all stroke play competitions where players return individual scores shall be counting for handicap purposes.
  4. Any cases of dispute shall be referred to the Competition Organiser as soon as possible (this is important as any subsequent action by the Committee is dependent on the nature of the incident, timelines of reporting and whether the result has been announced). 
  5. In respect of any rule which requires the Committee in charge of the competition to act, a quorum shall be three and their decision will be final and binding on all parties.  


Entry to competitions and fees

  1. Duly completed competition entry forms and fees should be submitted as directed on the website, by communications, or as set out in the entry form. This to be done before the published closing date. 
  2. Entry closing dates and entry fees shall be set by the Board of the Association or its Competition Committee and included on entry forms. All fees due must be received before the draw sheet issue date to confirm entry, otherwise club teams/players will be excluded.
  3. Team and/or individual entries will not be accepted as received until any entry fee or playing fee due has been paid as set out in the entry form and through other communications. 
  4. There will be no refunds of team or individual entry fees after the entry closing date.
  5. There will be no refunds of any playing fees after a start sheet has been issued.
  6. Where events are over-subscribed, subject to availability and where appropriate, players or teams will be offered places at alternative venues.
  7. A player must be a member of the Club they are representing and have their permission to enter or their entry will be void. Any entries inadvertently accepted will subsequently be voided and any team withdrawn and/or scores cancelled.
  8. The Competition Committee reserves the right to alter or amend the conditions or dates of any competition or to reject any entry.
  9. The NAPGC will endeavour to cover or subsidise green fees at national finals. 


Knock Out Events

  1. In knock out events each team will be placed in one of the national areas with a maximum of 16 teams in any area. Every effort will be made to minimise excessive travelling.
  2. Where required area winners will be drawn into national semi-finals, which shall be played on neutral courses, mid-point between each club. In the event of teams being unable to agree a neutral venue this will be determined by the Competition Organiser. The winners of these events shall meet in the national final which will be played on a neutral course usually in September/October. 
  3. Where matches are to be played on a home or away basis, the first named team in each match shall have home advantage in the first round. In subsequent rounds the team which has played the most games away shall have home advantage, if this is equal then home advantage will remain with the first named team (this will be confirmed by the Competition Organiser before each round).
  4. Teams will normally be withdrawn from competitions if they fail to play a match by the date designated on the official draw sheet. Extensions will only be considered in exceptional circumstances: such as inclement weather causing course closure on the last day of the round or a match having to be replayed. The Competition Committee may reinstate teams if they believe there are extenuating circumstances.


Arranging Matches

  1. For each event entered, Clubs shall be responsible for providing the names and contact details of those persons nominated as ‘Team Captains’.
  2. In the knock-out stages of team series events, the team captain for each Club shall jointly be responsible for arranging matches. Any difficulty in arranging matches should be reported to the competition organiser as early as possible.
  3. Underpinning this the Captain of the first named team drawn to play another, or the home team in single venue events, shall no later than fourteen days after the initial draw, or in subsequent rounds five days of the closure of the previous round, offer the opposing team three dates, weekend or bank holiday, on which to play the match. Of these dates, at least one shall be a Saturday and one a Sunday. The opposing team must then respond to the dates offered within five days. To facilitate tee booking, at least seven days notice should be given.
  4. In single venue events, where contact to offer dates has not been not made within 5 days, the away team can make contact offer dates and claim home advantage. 
  5. Whilst it is expected that the home and away legs of matches will be arranged to be played on the same day at both venues, matches may be played on different days and tee times may vary at each venue.
  6. Unless otherwise agreed between the two clubs, no matches in the team series competitions may be played on days when there are NAPGC regional or national finals being played.
  7. Team captains are responsible for finalising and agreeing match details, including food arrangements. For matches played on a home and away basis, the home club will be responsible for paying the green fees of the away team. For knockout matches and matches involving more than one team, played at a single venue, each club shall be responsible for its own green fees. Nb. Under the rules of Amateur Status, in team matches a player may be reimbursed costs for green fees, travel, accommodation and subsistence.  
  8. Once matches have been agreed the home team captain is responsible for informing the away team of the slope index relevant to the tee from which matches are to be played.
  9. The home team captain is responsible for informing the away team of any local rules and any essential course or venue information.


Playing Matches

  1. When NAPGC competition events are played without the presence of an NAPGC official (e.g. play in the team series competitions prior to the national final) team captains will be responsible for confirming the handicap index of their players. These shall be as recorded on score cards and as shown and signed for on the team result sheet (printed certificates will not be required).
  2. Any further verification of handicap index should be done by observation of a Club’s published handicap list. Issues or queries arising should be raised and clarified with the opposing side prior to play.
  3. Team sheets and the playing order in matches should be exchanged at least 15 minutes before play. 
  4. All play shall be from the competition tees of the course unless specifically allowed otherwise within the rules of a competition (or as otherwise directed by the NAPGC). In mixed events, players shall commence play from the tee relevant to their gender. At regional and national finals, the NAPGC committee shall direct in liaison with the course which tees are to be used.
  5. In team stableford events, where a pair is disqualified for failing to arrive within five minutes of their starting time, they shall be awarded zero points, the pair drawn to play them shall be awarded twenty points.
  6. Winning team captains are responsible for ensuring results of matches are reported to the competition organiser the day of the match is played. They are also responsible for ensuring the full details as required on the match result sheet are sent within 48 hours of the match being played.


Player requirements

  1. There is no upper or lower age limit for players, unless stated in the rules of a competition.
  2. The word “Junior” shall refer to players who are aged Under 18 on the day of play.  Junior players must produce completed parental consent forms when playing in any NAPGC Competition and be accompanied at the event by an adult who shall be responsible for them.
  3. Within a competition year a player may not represent more than one club in team competitions or play for more than one team within a competition.
  4. In all competitions, if it is subsequently discovered that a player has returned a score through playing off a handicap index higher than their entitlement, they and any team they are representing shall be liable to disqualification.


Playing in Regional and National Finals

  1. For all competitions run by NAPGC officials, Club officials or individual players must provide CDH and home club details to the competition organiser in advance. This should be done at the time of entry. The competition organiser will then verify against the WHS system.
  2. On the day of any competition run by NAPGC officials, at the time of registration players should confirm their CDH number, the name of the Club they are representing and, if different, their Home Club for handicapping purposes.
  3. Players are responsible for knowing their handicap index. If they have played recent competitions which are not reflected on their CDH record, then these must be reported to the Committee at registration. More generally if a player knows that the handicap index is higher than their current playing handicap index this must also be reported. Based on information provided the handicaps index will be adjusted and agreed in line with WHS guidance.  
  5. All score cards must be properly completed, signed off and promptly returned after play. At NAPGC organised events they shall be returned to the card return box or as otherwise directed by the Committee.
  7. Local rules shall be advised to all players at NAPGC hosted events before play commences. They shall be reflective of the England Golf Hard Card and other specific course issues as required.
  8. Withdrawn Entries and No Shows: If any competitor (individual or team) withdraws from an event after the draw has been published, fails to appear on the tee at or within five minutes of their appointed starting time, or having qualified to continue in an event fails to do so, must furnish to the NAPGC Competitions Committee an explanation, in writing, to the satisfaction of the Committee. If they do not do so they will be debarred from entering or taking part in any NAPGC event for such period as the Competitions Committee may decide. In such circumstances, the player (or a club in a team competition) will be required to reimburse the NAPGC for any monies the organisation has paid by way of green fee subsidy.


Adverse Weather

  1. Bad weather alone is not enough reason for not playing a match and in general, if a course is open as agreed by the CMA, then play in any competition should commence as arranged. However, if a course is otherwise considered unplayable in line with the rules of golf, or becomes unplayable (such as flooded holes), then the facts should be reported to the competition organiser for a ruling. At NAPGC hosted events such decisions shall rest with the competition organising committee.
  2. Where it is not possible for all players in a competition to complete their stipulated round, then that round shall be abandoned and rearranged. At two round events, if one of the rounds is abandoned the competition shall be determined over the 18 holes that are played.



  1. Golf Balls: The ball the player uses shall be named on the current list of conforming golf balls issued by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
  2. Mobile Phones: While mobile phones (including pagers and similar devices) may be used as distance measuring devices, they should not be accessed on the course by players or caddies for making, sending or receiving calls or texts, except in cases of emergency.
  3. Caddies: In all competitions except Junior events, players may use a caddie as defined in the Rules of Golf.
  4. Buggies: The use of an on-course buggy if available or their own personal buggy is permitted in all NAPGC competitions unless precluded from doing so following a decision of the Course Management Authority. 



  1. At NAPGC team finals, each team shall be permitted to appoint one person who may give advice to members of that team – in accordance with the Rules of Golf 24-4. The person shall be made known to the competition organiser in advance.
  2. Spectators and supporters must not offer advice to players. At regional and national finals they must not interfere with play, or cause any group playing in the competition to be unduly delayed. They should where possible avoid walking along fairways and observe play from the side of holes only.  



  1. Any competitor who during the course of a competition event, including between rounds, misbehaves by for example, swearing, throwing clubs, or vandalising the golf course or club house, or acts in any manner which might bring the name or the NAPGC into disrepute may be debarred from entering or taking part in any NAPGC competition for such period as the NAPGC Competitions Committee may decide.


Resolution of Ties

  1. Unless otherwise specified in the rules of a competition, tied scores will be determined by way of countback over the last 9, 6, 3, or 1 as necessary.
  2. In handicap stroke-play (medal) – the fractional system will be used. {ie. Gross back 9 less half of the playing handicap (unrounded) to calculate the net back 9. Then as necessary exactly one-third of handicap for the back 6, one-sixth for the back 3 and one-eighteenth for the back 1}.
  3. In handicap stableford – the number of net points scored with shots taken as per the stroke index table.
  4. Where this does not attract a winner joint winners or places will be announced.
  5. In the knockout rounds of team events, countback shall be based on the aggregate of all cards for a team. However, where this does not attract a winner the tie shall be replayed and for single venue events home advantage shall switch to the other Club.


Closure of Competitions

  1. The result of a match is deemed to have been officially announced once it has been recorded on an open results sheet and that sheet has been publicly displayed.
  2. A stroke play competition is deemed to be closed at the commencement of a presentation ceremony.
  3. In the case of team knock out matches, it is closed when the individual scores for each game have been agreed, signed off by a representative of each team and reported to the competition organiser.


Prizes and Presentations

  1. Winners of trophies and/or prizes, both team and individual, who do not remain for a presentation which follows a competition will remain entitled to receive any trophy awarded but may forfeit their right to any prize that may be awarded.
  2. The NAPGC Board will present any Player or Club that wins a competition on four consecutive occasions a trophy or memento marking the occasion, for them to retain (the Board will determine the choice of award).
  3. The winning team or individual is responsible for the engraving and safe return of their trophy prior to the next playing of their event.


Miscellaneous Points of Clarification

  1. Greensomes: Is a variation of Foursomes where both players play from the teeing area and one of the two tee shots is selected. The partner whose tee shot is not selected then plays the next stroke and each subsequent stroke is made in alternating order until the ball is holed. Otherwise the Foursomes rules of golf apply. A side cannot commence play if both players are not present.
  2. Provisional tee shots in greensomes: While both players are permitted to initially tee off in greensomes, where both tee shots may be lost or out of bounds, only one of the players is permitted to play a provisional tee shot which becomes the ball in play should both the original balls be lost or out of bounds. This is because the provisional ball would be the third shot of the hole and two shots are only allowed for the first shot. 
  3. In mixed greensomes: From the tee, if the man elects to play the provisional it shall be from the women’s tee and where the woman elects to play the shot it shall be from the men’s tee (this similarly applies where a player has to return to the tee because a provisional has not been played).
  4. Trolley and buggy bans: If a buggy or trolley ban is in operation, games and matches should still be played as arranged unless the rules prevent the use of caddies. It is therefore recommended that players and clubs have contingency arrangements in place for those unable to carry his/her own clubs in such circumstances.