1.         GENERAL TERMS AND RULES FOR ALL COMPETITIONS

1.1       The General Terms and Rules in this section apply to all players and all County Competitions. Terms and Rules applying to specific competitions are shown in the relevant sections below.  

1.2       All players must be a member of a Golf Club affiliated to the Essex Ladies County Golf Association (“ELCGA”).  The ELCGA reserves the right to exclude Clubs or individuals that have not paid their England Golf Affiliation fees for the current year.

1.3       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.

1.4       No player may represent more than one Club in the current competition year. Where a player is a member of more than one Club the player must declare their home Club at the beginning of the current competition year.

1.5       CADDIES are allowed in the County Championship, Inter Club Competitions (Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield & Harris Bowl) Windfall Trophy, Munro Foursomes and County KO Finals only. Professional or Assistant Professional golfers are not permitted in any ELCGA competitions.

NB: Caddies are not allowed in any Junior Competitions.

1.6       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.

1.7       USE OF BUGGIES:  If, due to a registered long-term medical condition, a player or caddy can only play or take part with the use of a buggy, they must apply annually to the County Secretary, for this to be approved and recorded.  A letter of application should be submitted to the County Secretary together with a letter/certificate from their doctor. The ELCGA’s Transportation Policy follows that of England Golf. 

1.8       DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES:  Any player may use a distance-measuring-device.  The use of multi-functional devices, such a mobile phone (in silent mode) with a distance-measuring app or an electric golf trolley with built-in GPS is permitted. 

DMD devices may not be used to:

  • Measure elevation changes
  • Calculate effective distance based on elevation changes or other conditions affecting shot distance (often called the plays like feature)
  • Measure other conditions that might affect play (e.g. wind speed or direction)
  • Interpret distance of directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line or play or club selection).
  • Listening to music or other audio to eliminate distractions or to help with swing tempo
  • Viewing video showing play of the player or other players during the competition that helps the player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during the round.

Penalty for breach of Rule 4.3 (Rules of Golf) first offence – Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes. For subsequent offence – Disqualification.

1.9       MOBILE PHONES:  Mobile phones should be switched off* on the course whilst play is in progress except for 1.8 above. The making or receiving of calls, SMS and text messages (including unanswered calls) on the course by Spectators/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 (Inter-Club)/disqualification (individual competition); Stroke play:  First offence – 2 shot penalty; second offence – disqualification.   NB: *Except in the case of an emergency or to contact a Rules Officials when mobile phones may be switched on.

1.10     PACE OF PLAY:  Players should recognise that their pace of play affects others and they should play promptly throughout the round. For example, they should prepare in advance for each stroke and move promptly between strokes and in going to the next tee.

A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds - and usually less - after they are able to play without interference or distraction.  

To save time a provisional ball should always be played in cases where player’s first ball may be lost.
Players are reminded that the search time is 3 minutes and a player should note the time when the search commences. NB: The search time commences when the player with the lost ball reaches the vicinity where the ball is thought to be.

1.11     ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS:

1.11.1    If there has been continued adverse weather conditions (e.g. extreme high temperatures, continued heavy rain or high winds) prior to the commencement of a County KO or Inter-Club competition; individuals or Team Captains should contact the County Competition Organiser the day before the match, if possible,  to assess the situation and if necessary allow the match to be rearranged. This will prevent unnecessary travel. (See 1.12 Re-arranging matches)

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.

 1.11.2    If a course has been declared unplayable or deemed unfit for a competition, prior to the date of the match with agreement of the County Organiser, the match can be re-arranged. (See 1.12 Re-arranging matches)

1.11.3    SUSPENSION: If play must be suspended due to sudden bad weather (e.g. thunderstorms), players must mark their balls and shelter. Play should continue from the marked positions as soon as possible. The length of the suspension should be based on the likelihood of the course being re-opened later that day and travel times for the away players. (See 1.12 Re-arranging matches)

1.11.4    ABANDONMENT:  If when the match is abandoned, a result has not been achieved, then the Individual Player or Team Captains must re-arrange the match.  Any previous scores are discarded, and the match must start again.  In Inter-Club matches and Munro Foursomes it is not necessary for either team to field the same players.  (See 1.12 Re-arranging matches)

1.11.5    If an Inter-club match is abandoned and an overall result has been achieved i.e. one team has won three matches, the two remaining matches will be recorded as one win for each team and individual matched results will be recorded as 2&1.  If 4 matches have been completed the last match will be recorded as a half.

1.12  RE-ARRANGING MATCHES

  • Munro Foursomes matches must be re-arranged within one week of the original date of the match.
  • Individual Knockout competitions matches must be re-arranged before the cut-off date for the current round.
  • Inter-club matches must be arranged within the stipulated dates for the relevant competition.

1.13     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.         COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS

2.1       COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP:  Handicaps to 18; Scratch competition. 36 holes qualifying – best 16 scratch to qualify for match play. In the event of a tie for 16th place, there will be a sudden death play-off. Competitors must abide by the rules set out in the England Golf Hard Card .

2.2       SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP:  Players should be aged 50+ on entry.  Entry qualifications and rules as 2.1. above, except 18 holes qualifying – 16 or 8 to qualify for match play, depending on the number of entries.

2.3        JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP:  Entrants must be under 18 on the 1st January. Handicaps to 29 and will follow England Golf Regulations.  The number of holes played to be arranged by the Management Committee.

3.        COUNTY KNOCKOUT COMPETITIONS - Gold, Silver, Bronze,  HiLo Foursomes, Hunter Foursomes, Logan and Hitchcock Trophies

NB: Before entering a KO competition, you should be aware of the date for the Final and if you know you will not be available on that date do not enter the competition.

3.1       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.  Where a player/team has two consecutive home/away matches, 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 by the Competition Organiser. 

3.2       Once the draw has been published players/teams should contact each other as soon as possible to arrange a date for the match.  It is the joint responsibility of both players/teams 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 Organiser should be contacted and may rule that the match should be played at the away player(s) course.

3.3        Matches should be completed on time. No extensions will be given.  

3.3       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.

3.4       If a green fee must be paid it will be shared.

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

3.6       No substitutes will be allowed.

3.7       The result of each match must 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.

3.8       Quarter Finals (where required), Semi-Finals and Finals will be played on neutral courses stipulated by the County Organiser.  NB: Club’s whose players’ reach these final stages should be prepared to make their course available for other final stage matches.

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

4.         COUNTY OPEN MEETINGS

4.1       The Management Committee will decide each year on the number of Open Meetings to be held, the formats and review the Handicap Groups.  

4.2       If insufficient entries are received the meeting may be cancelled at the discretion of the County Organiser and the Treasurer.

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

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

4.5       All ties will be decided on the back nine score over the last 9, 6, 3 and final holes, irrespective of the starting tee.

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

5.         WINDFALL TROPHY FINAL

5.1       The Final will be an Individual 18-hole Stableford held at a course nominated by the Competition Organiser. 

5.2       Each Affiliated Club will play a qualifying competition, 18 holes individual Stableford and the winner of that competition will go forward to represent the Club in the Windfall Trophy Final.

5.3       Only one player from each Club can be represented in the Final.

5.4       If the winner of the Club competition is unable to compete in the final then the player with the next best score, who is available, can go forward. 

5.5       Entries must be submitted by 1st SEPTEMBER in the current year.  (See Windfall Trophy Guidelines at the ELCGA website for additional information)

6.          INTER-CLUB COMPETITIONS - Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield, Harris Bowl

6.1       These are all stand-alone competitions. All individual matches are played off scratch except Harris Bowl matches which are played off Handicap.

6.2       The entry fee and closing date for each competition will be approved by the Management Committee.  

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

6.4     HANDICAP RESTRICTIONS:  Silver Shield – none; Silver Trophy – 10+; Bronze Shield – 19+.  Harris Bowl - + to 36.   Handicap allowance for Harris Bowl as per CONGU rules.  

NB: Apart from the handicap the restrictions any player can play for any team, there are no other restrictions.

6.5       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 obtain permission from the player’s school to allow their participation.

6.6       No Club may enter more than one team in any competition.

6.7       All teams will consist of five players.  Players will go out in handicap order. Positions of team players with the same playing handicap will be determined by the Team Captain.

6.8       If a full team cannot be fielded on the day a team with a minimum three players can be fielded.  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) must be the last match(es).

6.9       Any Club not able to field a team under 6.8 above will automatically be withdrawn from the league. Matches already played by the withdrawing team will be nullified and any points won already by opposing teams will be disregarded.   Clubs that withdraw from an Inter-Club competition two years in succession will not be allowed to the following year.

6.10     Individual league matches will be 18 holes match play, starting from the 1st tee of the designated course.  Matches not concluded by the 18th hole will be designated as drawn.  In quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals matches will be played to conclusion unless an overall match result has already been achieved.

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

6.12     Team Captains must simultaneously exchange the names of their team and order of play in writing prior to the commencement of the match (usually done by exchange of score cards).  The Team Captains will be solely responsible for their team members playing in the right position according to their correct playing handicap. 

6.13    If any player plays the wrong position, that match and any other match affected by wrong positioning will be conceded as walkovers to the opposing players. 

6.14    With the consent of both Team Captains, the order of play (but not the match positions) may be altered (e.g. if a player is going to be slightly delayed arriving, or if a player needs to leave early).  Once the teams have been declared (i.e. score cards have been exchanged) they cannot be changed.  If a declared player subsequently becomes unable to play the match will be declared a walkover under rule 6.15.

6.15     Should a player fail to be on the 1st tee 10 minutes before the starting time of their team match, the opposing Team Captain has the right to claim a walkover in that individual match.

6.16     Team Captains only may give advice to team members during the match.

6.17     Matches must be played on or between dates stipulated by the Management 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 County Organiser.  No match dates may be altered after 1st April except under the Adverse Weather Conditions or if the County Organiser has agreed to a change due to exceptional circumstances.

6.18     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.

6.19     DETERMINING LEAGUE WINNERS:

  • The team with the greatest number of points will be the league winner. 
  • In the event of a tie the team with the greatest number of games won will be the league winner.
  • 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. 
  • S ilver 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.

6.20     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: 

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. 

  • If there is a tie in the number of points, it will be based on the team(s) with the greatest number of wins. 
  • If there is still a tie in the number of wins, the number of individual games 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 additional team(s) will be determined by a play-off on a neutral course.
  • 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).

6.21     The Management Committee shall decide the dates of the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals.  The Clubs involved will be notified of the venue and starting times.  NB: Clubs that 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.

6.22     No courtesy rounds 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.

7.         MUNRO FOURSOMES

7.1       The format is Foursomes Match play, played off scratch.

7.2       Teams consist of two players from each Club, who may be changed at any round of the competition.

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

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

7.5       A complete draw will be made, and County Organiser will notify the Clubs on which course the next round is to be played. (See Munro Foursomes Guidelines at the ELCGA website for additional information)

8.         COUNTY TEAMS

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 First Team, Second Team, Junior Team or Senior matches.  Any breach of these Regulations will be grounds for disciplinary action against a member in terms of point 4 of the    ELCGA Disciplinary Policy

9.         SELECTION OF COUNTY 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 exception of the First Team, where selection will take place as per the ELCGA Constitution Article 13, with the assistance of two other selectors. However, the County Captain’s decision will be final during County Week.