1.   GENERAL

1.1   All players must be a member of a Golf Club affiliated to the ELCGA.  The ELCGA reserves the right to exclude Clubs or individuals that have not paid their England Golf Affiliation fees.

1.2   All players must have a competition handicap and provide their CDH number when entering a competition.  Each player is responsible for playing off their correct handicap where appropriate.

1.3    No player may represent more than one club during the course of the current year.

1.4    CADDIES are allowed in the County Championship, Inter Club Competitions (Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield & Harris Bowl) Windfall Trophy, Munro Foursomes and County KOs Finals.  They are there to assist the players; with the agreement of both players, they may go on the green, and hold the flag if requested to do so, but play must not be delayed.  Professional or Assistant Professional golfers are not permitted in any ELCGA competitions. NB: Caddies not allowed in any Junior Girls KOs Competitions.

1.5     SPECTATORS are allowed but, except in the case of an emergency, must not walk with or communicate with the player(s), during a match.  Continued abuse of this rule could lead to disqualification.

1.6     USE OF BUGGIES at ALL ELCGA Individual and Inter-Club Competitions :  If, due to a registered long-term medical condition, a golfer or caddy is unable to play the game of golf without the use of a buggy, she may apply annually to the County Secretary, through her Ladies’ Secretary, for this to be recorded.  A letter from her doctor should accompany the initial application. 

The ELCGA’s Transportation Policy follows that of England Golf in this respect.  It should be noted that, even if registered, she would not be permitted to play at clubs where buggies are not allowed.  Captains and supporters’ use of buggies during the ELCGA competitions must be in accordance with ELCGA guidelines.

1.7     DMDs:  The use of Distance Measuring Devices as indicated in the Rules of Golf is allowed in all ELCGA competitions. A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance ONLY.  MOBILE PHONE DMD APPLICATIONS AND ANY DMD THAT IS DESIGNED TO GAUGE OR MEASURE OTHER CONDITIONS (E.G. GRADIENT, WIND SPEED, TEMPERATURE ETC as detailed in appendix 4) ARE NOT PERMITTED.  Penalty for breach of Rules – Disqualification.

1.8     MOBILE PHONES:  Mobile Phones should be switched off at all times whilst on the course whilst play remains in progress. The making or receiving of telephone calls (including unanswered calls) using mobile phones, on the course by Players/Caddies and Team Captains is not permitted in any County Competition.  Penalty for breach:  Match play:  First offence – loss of hole;  second offence - loss of game 10-8.  Stroke play:  1st offence – 2 shot penalty; 2nd offence – disqualification. Use of mobile phone as a DMD: Disqualification.  If a Player/Caddy or Team Captain is following a match and uses a phone that disturbs an ongoing match(es), their player in the disturbed match(es) would incur a penalty as above.  The exception is the use of a mobile phone in an emergency. 

1.9     SLOW PLAY:  COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP, SENIORS COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP, GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP, INTER-CLUB COMPETITION FINALS AND COUNTY KNOCKOUT FINALS:  Each player is responsible for playing without undue delay, and consideration should be given to other competitors in the field. If a competitor or group are seen to be playing slowly or losing ground then a Rules Official may warn the group or player to get back into position with the group in front. If this is not achieved then a penalty may be imposed if a player or group has to be warned again. Penalty for breach:  second offence in Match play – loss of hole. Stroke play – one shot penalty. Third offence in Match play – loss of hole. Stroke play – one shot penalty.   Subsequent offence – Disqualification.

1.10    TROPHIES: Any club or player winning a trophy will be responsible for ensuring they have adequate insurance to cover loss or damage, from the time it is presented until it is relinquished and shall ensure it is returned to ELCGA before the next year’s Final of that event duly engraved.

2.      ELCGA COUNTY MEETINGS

CHAMPIONSHIP REGULATIONS:  The Management Committee has the power to make and alter regulations governing the activities, etiquette and dress code of members of ELCGA when representing ELCGA in the 1st Team, 2nd Team, Junior Team or Senior matches. Such regulations will be known as the Championship Regulations and any breach of the Championship Regulations will be grounds for disciplinary action against a member in terms of point 4 of the Disciplinary Procedure.  Use of buggies in the County Championships is subject to England Golf Transportation Policy.

SELECTION OF COUNY TEAMS:  The selection of players to represent ELCGA in team events will be the responsibility of the relevant Team Captain in conjunction with the County Captain, with the

2.1     COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS

2.2.1.   Essex Women’s County Championship: Competitors must be full members of the County Association (ELCGA). Handicaps to 13; Scratch competition. 36 hole qualifying – best 16 to qualify for match play. In the event of a tie for 16th place, there will be a sudden death play-off (i) Competitors must abide by the rules set out in the England Golf Hard Card (ii) Competitors must use a conforming ball on the current R & A list.

Essex Senior Women’s County Championship: (50+ years at date of entry). Entry qualifications and rules as above, except: 18 holes qualifying – 16 or 8 to qualify for match play, depending on the number of entries.

Essex Junior Girls’ Championship: Handicaps to 29. Players with a higher handicap may enter although they will be required to play off 29. Age limit to follow England Golf Regulations. Number of holes played to be arranged by the Management Committee.

2.2     COUNTY KNOCKOUT COMPETITIONS – Gold, Silver, Bronze, Hunter Foursomes, Logan and Hitchcock Trophies

a)     The draws for each round will be published on the County Website.  In the first round the player at the top of the draw will have home advantage.  In subsequent rounds home/away will be drawn.   Where a player has two consecutive home/away draws, they will automatically be drawn to play home/away in the following round.  Unless their opponent is in the same position, when a draw will be made in the usual way. 

b)     Quarter Finals (where required), Semi-Finals and Finals will be played on neutral courses.  No extensions, for any round, will be given.  NB: Before entering a competition you should be aware of the date for the Final and if you know you will not be available on that date you should not enter the competition.

Finalists and semi-finalists will be placed in opposite sides of the draw the following year.

Once the draw has published the home player(s) should contact their opponent(s) as soon as possible to arrange a date for the match.  If no contact has been made after 4 days the away player(s) should contact their opponent(s) with available dates. It is the joint responsibility of players to arrange a date for the match.  Players should be mindful of their opponents travelling time together with work and/or school commitments.  Players should be flexible when arranging dates and times and be prepared to play midweek or at a weekend.  In instances where players cannot agree a date to play on the home course the Competition Organizer may rule that the match should be played at the away player(s) course.

Where a club has more than one course players must agree which course is to be played when arranging the match.  Once a course is agreed upon this must be upheld.

If a green fee has to be paid it will be shared.

Matches must be played in accordance with tees and greens of the day and commence at the 1st tee where possible.

Each round must be completed on time, no extensions will be given.

No substitutes will be allowed.

The result of each match to be entered on-line at the ELCGA website by either player using the appropriate submission form as soon as possible following the match.  If the match is played on the last date, the result must be submitted on that day.

Finals will take place on a course and date specified by ELCGA in the presence of referees from ELCGA.

ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS – COUNTY KNOCKOUTS:

In the event of a thunderstorm whist the match is in progress players should mark their balls, return to the Clubhouse, or take shelter and resume play as soon as possible.  If the course remains closed for the day the match shall be rearranged and play shall commence on the tee of the incomplete hole.  Original handicaps prevail.

If the course has been declared unplayable, or deemed unfit for a play prior to the date of the match and with agreement of the County Organiser, the match must be re-arranged.  If there has been continuous bad weather, players should try to give notice the day before if play is unlikely.  In the event of some holes being closed, nine holes may be played twice but they must be either 1-9 or 10-18.

The Committee’s decision is final if any incident, not covered in these rules, occurs.

(See Competition Formats)

2.3          OPEN MEETINGS

The Management Committee will decide each year on the number of Open Meetings to be held, the formats (either 18 hole Medals or Stablefords), and review the Handicap Groups.  

Entries at any meeting may be limited. If less than 45 entries, the meeting may be cancelled at the discretion of the Organiser and the Treasurer.

A Scratch Prize winner is not eligible to also take a Handicap Prize.

Aggregate Shields will be played for as arranged by the Management Committee.

A player may only represent one club.

All ties will be decided on the last 9, 6, 3 and 1 hole, irrespective of the order in which the holes were played

Late entries can only be accepted at the Organiser’s discretion, and a player having entered a meeting must consult the Organiser before finding a substitute.

 (See Competition Formats)

2.4          INTER-CLUB COMPETITIONS

SILVER SHIELD, SILVER TOPHY, BRONZE SHIELD, HARRIS BOWL

All are stand-alone competitions. All individual matches played off scratch except Harris which is off Handicap. Buggies are not permitted unless sanctioned firstly by the County Association (ELCGA) and then the host club.

Clubs shall, for each team entered, pay an amount as approved by the Management Committee.  Entries to be made by a date determined by the Committee.  Clubs must be affiliated to the County Association.

The number and composition of leagues shall be decided by the Committee dependant on the number of entries received.

Handicap restrictions:  Silver Shield – none; Silver Trophy – 10+; Bronze Shield – 19+.  Harris Bowl - + to 30.   Handicap allowance for Harris Bowl as per CONGU rules.

Juniors under the age of 18 are permitted to play in the Inter Club Competitions. If matches are played on a school attendance day, parents must have received permission from their school to allow their participation.

No club may enter more than one team in Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield and Harris Bowl, but clubs are allowed to enter more than one team in the Silver Shield.

Silver Shield Only:  Clubs may enter more than one team as 1st team and 2nd team.  Clubs who have two teams drawn in the same league must play each other first (both home and away) before their other matches.  The 1st team (5 lowest handicap players) must be nominated before the date of their first match.  Any one of these 5 nominated players is ineligible for the 2nd team.  Non-nominated players: if a player has played twice for the 1st team, she is no longer eligible to play for the 2nd team, and if a player has played twice for the 2nd team, she is no longer eligible for the 1st team.

Bronze players may play in Silver Shield/Silver Trophy matches without affecting their eligibility for Bronze Shield.

Anyone with a playing handicap of 18 and below who plays in any Silver Shield and/or Silver Trophy match is ineligible to play in the Harris Bowl. – And anyone with a playing handicap of 18 and below who plays in any Harris Bowl match is ineligible to play in the Silver Shield and/or Silver Trophy.

Teams shall consist of five players, with a player’s position in the team being determined by handicap, whether or not, she is playing as a reserve.  Positions of players with the same playing handicap shall be determined by the Team Captain.

Each individual league match will be 18 holes match play, starting from the 1st tee of the designated course.  Individual matches in quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will be played to conclusion unless an overall match result has already been achieved.

Points for the League Matches will be awarded as follows: 2 points for a Team win, 1 point for an away Team draw 0 points for a loss.

Captains must simultaneously exchange the names of their team and order of team positions in writing prior to the commencement of the match.  The Team Captains shall be solely responsible for their team members playing in the right position according to their correct playing handicap.  If any player knowingly or unknowingly plays in the wrong position, her match and any other match affected through wrong positioning shall be conceded as walkovers to the opposing players.  With the consent of both team captains, the order of play (but not the match positions) may be altered (eg if a player is going to be slightly delayed arriving, or if a player needs to leave early).

Team Captains may give advice to team members during play of a match.

Spectators should keep a reasonable distance and should not communicate with the players/caddies whilst a match is in play. Continued abuse of this rule could result in disqualification.

Should a player fail to be on the 1st tee within 30 minutes of the agreed starting time of the team match, the opposing Team Captain has the right to claim a walkover in that individual match.

A team may play only if it can provide a minimum of three players.

If a full team cannot be fielded on the day, players in that team must fill positions 1 to 3/4.  The opposing team will receive a walkover in the remaining matches, i.e. the empty position(s) has/have to be the last match(es).

Any Club unable to play on the agreed date or giving a walkover to the opposing team will be withdrawn from the league and all matches played cancelled.

Matches must be played on or between dates arranged by the Committee. When the dates for the league matches have been arranged, they and any subsequent changes must be confirmed in writing by the home Team Captain to their opposing captain and the relevant Organiser.  No match dates may be altered after 1st April except under the Adverse Weather Rule or if the Organiser has agreed to a change due to exceptional circumstances.

Depending on the number of leagues, and as previously determined by a draw, the winners of each league will play quarter, semi-finals or finals.

The team with the greatest number of points will be the league winner.  In the event of a tie in the number of points, the team with the greatest number of wins will be the league winner. If there is still a tie in the number of wins, the number of individual matches won will be the deciding factor.  If there is still a tie, an extra point will be awarded for each away team win.  If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the results between the teams in the league matches.  Silver Shield Only: if there is still a tie after the above, the league winner will be decided by the differential of holes won between the two tied teams.

Should additional teams be needed to make up quarter or semi-final places, after determining the winners as described above; the additional teams needed to make up the place/s will be decided as follows: 

1.            When there are the same number of teams in each League, the calculation will be based on the team(s) with the greatest number of points. 

2.            If there is a tie in the number of points, it will be based on the team(s) with the greatest number of wins. 

3.            If there is still a tie in the number of wins, the number of individual matches won will be the deciding factor. 

4.            If there is still a tie, an extra point will be awarded for each away team win. 

5.            If there is still a tie, the additional team(s) will be determined by a play-off on a neutral course.

6.            If there are a different number of teams in each League, points, wins and individual matches for the league(s) with less teams will be recalculated as an average (matches won divided by matches played), and then the method described above will be applied to determine the additional team(s).

The Committee shall decide the dates of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.  The clubs involved will be notified of the venue and starting times.  Note: Clubs who qualify for quarter or semi-finals are expected to make their courses available for another match in that round or later rounds.  Any lack of availability must be notified to the appropriate Organiser as soon as possible.

No courtesy round may be requested at any time for Silver, Bronze or Harris Bowl league matches, and no green fees are payable by an away team, if unavoidable the home club should bear the cost.

ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS - Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield and Harris Bowl

If the course has been declared unplayable, or deemed unfit for a competition prior to the date of the match and with agreement of the County Organiser, the match must be re-arranged.  If there has been continuous bad weather, Clubs should try to give notice the day before if play is unlikely.  In the event of some holes being closed, nine holes may be played twice but they must be either 1-9 or 10-18; otherwise[A4]  with agreement of the County Organiser, the match must be re-arranged..

Suspension: If play is suspended due to sudden bad weather (in accordance with Rule 33-2d of the Rules of Golf), players must mark their balls and shelter.  Play should continue from the marked positions as soon as possible. The length of the suspension is the responsibility of the two Captains of the day, based on the likelihood of the course being re-opened later in the day and travel times for the away team.

Abandonment:  If when the match is abandoned, and overall team result has not been achieved, then the Captains must re-arrange the match on a day suitable to both teams and inform the Organiser.  The previous scores are discarded, and all matches must start again.  It is not necessary for either team to field the same players.  Should the two Team Captains fail to amicably find a future date, then the Organiser must be notified immediately, and she will decide the result by a toss of a coin.  In this event, the result will be recorded as a 3/2 win to the team that has won the toss, and individual match results will be recorded as 2&1 wins to avoid unfairly penalising other participants in their league.  If when a match is abandoned, an overall team result has been achieved i.e. one team has won 3 matches, the 2 remaining matches will be recorded as 1 win to each team and individual match results will be recorded as 2&1.  If 4 matches have been completed, the last match will be recorded as a half.

(See Competition Formats)

MUNRO FOURSOMES

The format is Foursomes Matchplay, played off scratch.

The two players, who may be changed at any time during the competition, shall represent each club. No player shall represent more than one club during the course of the current year.

The preliminary rounds shall be played over 18 holes on neutral courses. The final will be played over 36 holes on a course decided by the Munro Foursomes Organiser. All matches must be played to a finish.

The Munro Foursomes Organiser shall arrange fixed dates for each round. These dates will be entered in the County Diary online at the ELCGA website.

A complete draw shall be made and the Munro Foursomes Organiser shall notify the clubs on which course the next round shall be played.

No courtesy rounds may be requested at any time.

ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS - Munro Foursomes

If the course has been declared unplayable, or deemed unfit for a competition prior to the date of the match the County Organiser should be informed and the match will be moved to another available course.  If there has been continuous bad weather, Clubs should try to give notice the day before if play is unlikely.  In the event of some holes being closed, 18 holes must be arranged in the best way possible.  If advisable, nine holes may be played twice.

Suspension: If play is suspended due to sudden bad weather (in accordance with Rule 33-2d of the Rules of Golf), players must mark their balls and shelter.  Play should continue from the marked positions as soon as possible. The length of the suspension is the responsibility of the two Captains of the day, based on the likelihood of the course being re-opened later in the day and travel times for the away team.

Abandonment:  If when the match is abandoned, a result has not been achieved, then the Captains must re-arrange the match on a day suitable to both teams within 1 week of the date of the match, and inform the Organiser.  The previous scores are discarded and the match must start again.  It is not necessary for either team to field the same players. Should the two Captains of the day fail to amicably find a future date, then the Organiser must be notified immediately and she will decide the result by a toss of a coin.

(See Guidelines)

WINDFALL TROPHY

Individual 18 hole Stableford for best qualifier entered from Affiliated Clubs’ qualifying round for this competition.  Only one player from each club can be represented in the final.

(See Guidelines)