Policies & Procedures, Conditions of Competition, Standard Local Rules & Spectator Guidelines (2017)

 

POLICIES & PROCEDURES

To ensure that our competitors have the best possible experience when competing in a Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) event, it is helpful to be knowledgeable of the following information, as established by the association.  Upon completion and confirmation of entry, all players have agreed to abide by all Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) Policies and Procedures (including Code of Conduct, Dress Code, No Cards, Disqualifications and any special guidelines for specific events), Conditions of Competition and Local Rules.  Players are subject to rejection of entries if they fail to adhere to the Policies and Procedures set forth.  Final decisions on these matters will be made by the Trans-Miss Golf Association Championship Committee.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Contestants (and their caddies) must observe proper golf etiquette at all times. Any abuse or disrespect of fellow competitors, officials, spectators, employees of the host facility, or other persons conducting or attending a TMGA sponsored event can be grounds for disqualification from the event, and possible rejection of entry for future TMGA events. Such abuse may be verbal or physical or threat thereof and includes, but is not limited to: the use of obscene language, physical damage to property or equipment including that of the TMGA or the host facility, and being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances during a competitive round.
 
ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:  Each TMGA Championship has its own specific tournament eligibility criteria (i.e., maximum USGA Handicap Index, age requirements, etc.) Please reference the specific championship you are interested in for further details.
 
For both the Trans-Miss Senior Championship and Trans-Miss Four-Ball Championship, entrants must be a member of a Trans-Mississippi Golf Association member club. If an entrant’s club chooses not to become a member club, they may make a minimum $100 individual contribution in lieu of club membership as part of the entry process, in addition to the championship entry fee.  Membership and contributions are considered on an annual basis; those making contributions only need to make a single contribution if competing in both events.
 
ENTRY PROCEDURE:  All players, including those that are exempt, must complete the online entry process by the published deadline(s) for each respective championship.  Each TMGA competition has a specific designated field limit.  Excluding specific tournament policies, entries for TMGA championships are accepted on a first-in basis as approved by the championship committee, until the entry deadline.  Late entries, entries which are incomplete or inaccurate, regardless of cause or reason, will not be accepted.  Each entry is subject to review and approval by the TMGA; the championship committee reserves the right to reject an entry at any time.
 
Please be advised that exempt players maintain a priority for a spot in each field until the published exemption deadline, where applicable.  Non-exempt entries may be waitlisted until such time when additional spots become available and/or the exempt player deadline has passed.  In circumstances where multiple divisions comprise a single field, the TMGA will adjust the size of each division to accommodate additional non-exempt entries in the starting field. After exempt player deadlines have passed, players will be added to the field in the order in which their entry was received on a first-in basis. 
 
PARTNER SUBSTITUTION (FOUR-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP): Partner substitutions for the Trans-Miss Four-Ball are permitted. Substitutions for teams will be permitted prior to the start of competition and individuals must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the TMGA, as well as the specific tournament requirements (i.e., age, USGA Handicap Index, etc.). A player may not select a substitute partner from those players who are already in the championship field. Players who are on the waitlist are eligible substitutions. Contact the TMGA at (214) 468-8942 or email at ccrawford@trans-miss.org to arrange your team substitutions.
 
WITHDRAWALS/DISQUALIFICATIONS/INCOMPLETE SCORECARDS: To provide further clarity to player withdrawals, no cards and disqualifications, the following categories and notations will be used on score cards and posted results, if:
 
WITHDRAW – WD:
  • A player notifies TMGA Staff and/or Officials in advance of their starting time that they are withdrawing.  Withdrawals occurring between stipulated rounds played over consecutive days will result in the player being withdrawn from the next round, not the previous round most recently completed.
  • A player notifies TMGA Staff and/or Officials that, during a round, they are withdrawing due to, but not limited to medical conditions, injuries or family emergencies, etc. Players failing to complete their round for reasons not covered above will be deemed a No Card.   
For more information pertaining to the TMGA Withdrawal Procedure, please see below.
 
NO CARD – NC:
  • A player who starts, but does not complete their round, will be classified as a no card if they fail to return their scorecard to the Committee, or fail to complete their round for reasons not covered by the withdrawal circumstances noted above.
DISQUALIFICATION – DQ:
  • A player will be denoted as disqualified, if they are subject to a penalty of disqualification under the USGA Rules of Golf, TMGA Conditions of Competition and/or Standard Local Rules.
Please note: This classification includes players who do not notify the TMGA or fail to start at the time established by the Committee, or within five (5) minutes of this starting time, will be subject to disqualification per Rule 6-3a.
 
Players are subject to rejection of entries if they fail to adhere to the TMGA Policies and Procedures set forth, that include withdrawals, no cards and disqualifications. Final decisions on these matters will be made by the TMGA Championship Committee(s).
 
WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURE: Prior to the entry deadline players looking to withdraw should do so online through their TPP user profile to receive an immediate refund and withdrawal. After the entry deadline has passed players should either call the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association at (214) 468-8942 or email ccrawford@trans-miss.org
 
REFUND POLICY: If a player withdraws prior to the entry deadline they will receive a full refund, less a $25.00 ($50.00 for the Trans-Miss Four-Ball) administrative fee.  If a player withdraws after the entry deadline has passed, the player will not receive a refund unless the spot is filled by an alternate or wait listed player (the $25.00 administrative fee is still applicable in this circumstance). Otherwise, the player will receive no entry fee refund.
 
WAIT LIST:  Entries that do not meet all of the required eligibility criteria or those received after the field limit has been reached will be placed on a "wait list” for that event.  Applicants will be ranked on the wait list in the order their application was received by the TMGA, unless otherwise specified in tournament eligibility.  Any spots in the field that become available will then be filled in accordance with the ranked wait list. The TMGA will use the wait list up until 6:00 PM of the night prior to Round One.  After that time, any player on the wait list may exercise their right to walk up on site.  Please see "Walk-Up Procedure” for further details.
 
WALK-UP PROCEDURE:  To be a part of the Walk-Up procedure you must be either a TMGA alternate or wait listed player. Players wishing to Walk-Up are required to check in with the TMGA official at the 1ST tee 30 minutes prior to the start of Round One. Alternates or wait listed players who are late to check in will be placed at the bottom of the Walk-Up list. At check in you will be ranked in accordance with your status as either an alternate or wait listed player.
 
Once play begins, if a player who is in the starting field fails to show up at the tee at the designated time, an alternate or wait listed player will be called. If the player does not show within five minutes, the alternate or wait listed player’s ball will be in play.
 
RANKINGS FOR WAIT LISTED PLAYERS:
  • Trans-Miss Senior Championship & Trans-Miss Four-Ball Championship – Wait listed players present for the Walk-Up Procedure will be checked in and then ranked based on the original order their application was received by the TMGA.  First priority will be given to wait listed players who are in the same division as the withdrawn player they are replacing
  • Trans-Miss Amateur Championship – Wait listed players will be ranked behind any players who were given alternate status by the Championship Committee and who are on-site as outlined in the “Walk-Up Procedure” policy above.
 
ALTERNATE SUBSTITUTION: Only those players who have earned alternate status as determined by the TMGA Championship Committee(s) are eligible for alternate substitution. Once the entry deadline has passed, any spots in the Championship field that become available will be filled by the most suitable entrant as determined by the TMGA Championship Committee(s).
 
Entrants who have been assigned alternate status will be notified of their status within 48 hours of entries closing and once again upon the release of pairings for their respective event.  While alternate substitution is dependent upon the withdrawal of confirmed players, these notifications are for informational purposes only; the TMGA cannot speculate on the likelihood of alternates gaining a spot in the field at any time.  The TGMA will contact alternates for substitution up until 6:00 PM of the night prior to the start of Round One. After that time, any player on the alternate list may exercise their right to walk up on site. Please see "Walk-Up Procedure” (above) for further details.
 
RANKINGS FOR ALTERNATE PLAYERS:
  • Alternate players present for the Walk-Up Procedure will be checked in and then ranked based on a ranked order previously determined by the TMGA Championship Committee(s).
  • The TMGA does not disclose rankings and reserves the right to select the most suitable entrant as a replacement for a withdrawn player.
DRESS CODE: Appropriate golf attire is required at all TMGA events. Appropriate golf attire includes collared shirts with sleeves that must be properly tucked in at all times, Bermuda length shorts, or slacks.  Shoes with metal or traditionally-designed spikes are prohibited. 
 
In the event of any conflicts between the dress code as outlined by either the TMGA or the host facility/venue, the dress code of the host facility/venue will prevail.  Please note that this policy is in effect for both players and caddies, without exception.
 
TRANSPORTATION: Information regarding the use and availability of transportation varies between TMGA Championships – refer to Tournament Information and specific event Conditions of Competition for the championship in question.  Please be advised that in events where carts are provided to the player and/or their caddie, players are encouraged to utilize motorized transportation.  In doing so, carts will be limited to two (2) carts per group/pairing and a maximum of two (2) riders at a time.  While caddies may not be prohibited from riding, they are not guaranteed a cart seat.
 
CADDIES:  Information regarding the use and availability of caddies varies between TMGA Championships – refer to Tournament Information for specific events and guidelines.  Caddies must adhere to the TMGA code of conduct and dress code.  If a caddie is an employee of the host facility or local caddie master, their respective uniform policy will prevail.  Caddies should not wear golf shoes of any kind.
 
POSTING OF TOURNAMENT SCORES TO GHIN: Tournament scores in individual stroke play rounds will NOT be posted as a "T-score” for handicap purposes to your home club/course.  Therefore, it is recommended that players in individual stroke play TMGA competitions post their tournament scores using the appropriate slope and course rating provided following the competition.

 

CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION

The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and the R&A govern play. See applicable championship or qualifying round Notice to Players and Tournament Information for additional Local Rules and Conditions. Complete text of Rules and Appendix I may be found in the Rules of Golf, effective January 2016.
 
The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) Tournament Rules Committee shall have the final decision on all claims and disputes.  The following Conditions of Competition apply for all TMGA events.
 
Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Condition is:
Match play – Loss of hole  •  Stroke play – Two strokes
 
Upon completion and confirmation of entry, all players have agreed to abide by all Trans-Mississippi Golf Association Policies and Procedures – including Conditions of Competition, Code of Conduct, Dress Code, and any special guidelines for specific events.
 
SPECIFICATION OF CLUBS AND THE BALL:  
a. List of Conforming Driver Heads
Any driver the player carries must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft, that is named on the current List of Conforming Driver Heads issued by the USGA.
Exception: A driver with a clubhead that was manufactured prior to 1999 is exempt from this condition.
 
PENALTY FOR CARRYING, BUT NOT MAKING STROKE WITH, CLUB OR CLUBS IN BREACH OF CONDITION:
See Penalty Statement in Appendix I, Part B, pages 154-155.
PENALTY FOR MAKING STROKE WITH CLUB IN BREACH OF CONDITION:
Disqualification.

b. List of Conforming Golf Balls
The ball the player plays must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the USGA.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION:
          Disqualification.
 
 
PACE OF PLAY (Note 2 to Rule 6-7): See separate memorandum to players and official TMGA scorecard for pace of play guidelines and tournament-specific time charts.
 
Out of Position – A group is out of position when it (A) completes play on a hole (replaces the flagstick) later than the time scheduled in the time chart provided and (B) reaches a par 3 hole and the preceding group has left the next tee or fails to clear the tee of the par 4 hole before the preceding group has left the putting green, or arrives at the tee of a par 5 hole when the preceding group is on the putting green. Both (A) and (B) must occur for a group to be out of position.
 
Timing – When the Committee determines that a group (or individual) will be timed, all players (or a specified individual) in the group will be notified by a Referee. Players will have 40 seconds to play a stroke. The timing of a player's stroke will begin when it is his turn to play and he can play without interference or distraction. Any time spent determining yardages will count as time taken for the next stroke.
On the putting green, timing will begin after the player has been allowed reasonable time to mark, lift, clean and replace his ball, repair his ball mark and other ball marks on his line of putt, and remove loose impediments on his line of putt.
 
Penalty for Exceeding 40 Seconds:
  • FIRST OFFENSE – Informed of “Bad Time”;
  • SECOND OFFENSE – One Stroke Penalty;
  • THIRD OFFENSE – Two Stroke Penalty;
  • FOURTH OFFENSE – Disqualification.
 
Rulings/Other Incidents – Should a ruling or other legitimate delay cause a group to lose its position, the group is obligated to regain its position within a reasonable time.
 
DISCONTINUANCE OF PLAY (Note to Rule 6-8b):  When play is suspended by the Committee for a dangerous situation, if the players in a match or group are between the play of two holes, they must not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. If they are in the process of playing a hole, they 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 Rule 33-7.
 
All practice areas are closed during suspension during a dangerous situation until the Committee has declared them open. Note: Players who practice on closed practice areas will be asked to cease doing so; failure to comply may result in a violation of the TMGA Code of Conduct.
 
The signal for suspending play due to a dangerous situation will be a prolonged note of the siren.
  • Discontinue Play Immediately: One prolonged airhorn note.
  • Discontinue Play: Three consecutive airhorn notes, repeated.
  • Resume Play: Two short airhorn notes, repeated. 

PRACTICE: Prior to and after his round in stroke play, a player may practice on the designated practice areas. Rule 7-1b applies to other practice in stroke play, and Rule 7-1a covers practice before the round in match play.
 
CLOSE OF COMPETITION: The competition is deemed to have closed when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in the absence of a prize ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee.
 
The result of a match is considered to have been “officially announced” when the Committee has approved the result as posted on the public scoreboard.
 

STANDARD LOCAL RULES (Hard Card)

The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and the R&A govern play. See applicable championship or qualifying round Notice to Players and Tournament Information for additional Local Rules and Conditions. The following Local Rules apply for all Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) championships; Complete text of Rules and Appendix I may be found in the Rules of Golf, effective January 2016.
 
The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) Tournament Rules Committee shall have the final decision on all claims and disputes.  The following Local Rules and Conditions of Competition apply for all TMGA events.
 
Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is:
Match play – Loss of hole • Stroke play – Two strokes
 
OUT OF BOUNDS: Defined by inside points, at ground level, of white stakes and fence posts. Rule 27-1b.
 
WATER AND LATERAL WATER HAZARD STAKES AND LINES: When both stakes and lines are present, stakes identify the hazard and lines define the hazard margin. When a water hazard or a lateral water hazard is defined on only one side, it is deemed to extend to infinity. When a water hazard or lateral water hazard is bounded by out of bounds, the hazard margin extends to and coincides with the out of bounds line.
 
GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Defined by white lines. Sod-covered trenching for temporary cables and French drains are deemed to be ground under repair. Rule 25-1.
 
EMBEDDED BALL THROUGH THE GREEN: Through the green, a ball that is embedded may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole.  The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.
 
Note: A ball is “embedded” when it is in its own pitch-mark and part of the ball is below the level of the ground.  A ball does not necessarily have to touch the soil to be embedded (e.g., grass, loose impediments and the like may intervene between the ball and the soil).
 
Exceptions:
  1. A player may not take relief under the Local Rule if the ball is embedded in sand in an area that is not closely-mown.
  2. A player may not take relief under this Local Rule if interference by anything other than the condition covered by this Local Rule makes the stroke clearly impracticable.
 
SEAMS OF CUT TURF: Through the green, seams of cut turf (not the turf itself) are deemed to be ground under repair.  However, interference by a seam with the player’s stance is deemed not to be, of itself, interference under Rule 25-1.  If the ball lies in or touches the seam or the seam interferes with the area of intended swing, relief is available under Rule 25-1.  All seams within the cut turf area are considered the same seam.
 
ANT HILLS:  Ant hills are loose impediments – see Decision 23/5.  For the presence of fire ants (i.e. a dangerous situation), see Decision 1-4/10.
 
ACCIDENTAL MOVEMENT OF A BALL ON A PUTTING GREEN: Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows: When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
 
The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.
 
This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
 
Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.
 
TURF PLUGS ON THE PUTTING GREEN: On the putting green, in addition to actions permitted under Rule 16-1c, the player may repair turf plugs even if they are not 4 ¼ inches.  Note: Aeration holes on the putting green are not turf plugs.
 
WOOD CHIPS AND MULCH: Are loose impediments, unless otherwise provided for in Notice to Players.
 
IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS:
A) White lined areas tying into immovable obstructions have the same status as the obstruction and are not ground under repair.
B) Landscaped or garden areas (flower beds, shrubberies, or the like) completely encircled by an obstruction are part of the obstruction.
C) Exposed liners in bunkers.
D) Where the outside edge (non-golf course side) of a road or path defines out of bounds, the road or path is an immovable obstruction. 
 
INTEGRAL PARTS OF THE COURSE:
A) Includes cables, rods, wires and wrappings when closely attached to trees.
B) Artificial walls and pilings when located within water hazards, unless otherwise provided for in Notice to Players.
C) Artificial walls and pilings when used to define the margin of bunkers are integral parts of the course and deemed to be through the green.
 
STONES IN BUNKERS: Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies).
 
PERMANENT ELEVATED POWER LINES AND CABLES: If a ball strikes a permanent elevated power line or cable, the stroke must be canceled and replayed without penalty (Rule 20-5 applies). If the ball is not immediately recoverable another ball may be substituted. (For temporary power lines or cables see Temporary Immovable Obstructions).
 
TEMPORARY IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS: A temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) is a non-permanent artificial object that is often erected in conjunction with a competition and is fixed or not readily movable.  Examples of TIOs include, but are not limited to, tents, scoreboards, grandstands, television towers, circulation fans and lavatories.  Relief is available as prescribed in Appendix I, Part A, pages 147-151 of the USGA Rules of Golf.
 
STAKED TREES: If the lie of the ball, stance, and/or area of intended swing is interfered with by a stake that is attached to a tree, the stake/rope/wire is treated as an obstruction. Relief without penalty from the tree itself is not allowed.
 
DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES:  A player may obtain distance information by use of a distance-measuring device.  If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., elevation changes, wind speed, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3.
              
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION: Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.  For subsequent offense – Disqualification.
 
All Policies and Procedures, Conditions of Competition and Standard Local Rules listed above will be in effect January 1 - December 31, 2017
 

SPECTATOR GUIDELINES

Unless otherwise noted in specific Championship Information, Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) competitions and our host venues welcome spectators at no charge.  Spectators are reminded of the following guidelines to ensure that they have an enjoyable experience while at a TMGA Competition:
  • TMGA Competitions focus on the competitors and our member clubs who graciously host competitions each year. Spectators are reminded that they are guests of our host clubs and must abide by their rules and regulations as set forth, which may include conduct, accessibility or dress codes.
  • Spectators are expected to respect competitors, staff and volunteers from the host club, as well as TMGA staff and tournament officials.
  • Spectators may be asked to check-in at the entrance to a host club for further information; host clubs reserve the right to limit access to their premises at their discretion. Any additional host club polices will be communicated at this time or posted on the TMGA Information Board on-site. 
  • Spectators may walk on the golf course, but must not enter any area defined by signage, fencing, ropes or similar infrastructure, which limits spectator access.
  • Spectator (golf) carts will not be permitted; however, those with ADA requirements may request the use of a medical cart through the host club golf shop.  Approval for the use of a medical cart will be granted by a host club representative and TMGA staff, contingent upon proper ADA documentation being provided and cart availability.  Individuals using a medical cart must follow the TMGA medical cart guidelines provided at the time of approval, which may include but are not limited to authorization of a liability waiver, a nominal cart access fee and/or accessibility guidelines (i.e. staying on cart paths). 

Any spectator who does not abide by the guidelines noted above will be asked to leave the grounds immediately and risks the ability to attend future TMGA Competitions in any capacity.

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Addison, TX 75001

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214-468-8942

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