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 ELIGIBILITY All players must be a full member of a Golf Club affiliated to the ELCGA or an associate member of Essex Ladies County Golf Association Limited (“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 To play in any ELCGA competitions or handicap meetings players must have a mature handicap record of at least 20 scores (made up of either 9 or 18 hole courses) and have submitted 12 scores within the 365 days prior to midnight on the eve of the inter-club match or competition they intend to play in . It is each player's responsibility to ensure they meet the qualifying criteria. Players who do not meet the qualifying criteria wil be disqualified. NB: cards marked with a P are penalty scores and are not counted.
1.4 No player may represent more than one Essex Club in the current year. Where a player is a member of more than one Essex Club the player must inform the County Secretary, by letter or email, which club they wish to represent before they play in any County competitions or handicap meetings. Failure to do so will result in the player being eliminated from County Competitions.
1.5 CADDIES are allowed in the County Championship, Inter Club Team Competitions (Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield & Harris Bowl), Windfall Trophy and Munro Foursomes. In County KO competitions caddies will be allowed for the Finals only. Professional or Assistant Professional golfers are not permitted as caddies in any ELCGA competitions.
NB: Caddies are not allowed in any Junior Competitions. Model Rule H-1.1 applies
1.6 SAFEGUARDING JUNIORS: In individual knockouts (Gold, Silver and Bronze) and inter-club team matches, individual adult players and Team Captains should be aware of the ELCGA safeguarding policy covering Juniors playing in singles matches .
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.
An authorised buggy user who is recovering from a medical condition may decide to not use a buggy for a match however they must notify their opponent of their decision at the beginning of the match. They may not change their mind partway through the round.
Where a player is the authorised buggy user their caddy (should they have one) may ride in the buggy with them. However, where the caddy is the authorised user the player may not ride with them, as this would give the player an unfair advantage over the other players.
Any buggy must be driven at walking pace during a match or competiton, keeping up with play.
Once a player or caddie reaches the age of the 80 they may use a buggy without a medical certicicate. They only need provide the County Secretary with a copy of their birth certificate.
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).
- Listen to music or other audio to eliminate distractions or to help with swing tempo
- View videos 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 General Penalty – Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes. If the breach happens between two holes, the penalty applies to thr next hole. Penalty for the second breach: Disqualification. This penalty applies even if the nature of the breach was entirely different than the breach resulting in the first penalty. This penalty only applies if there has been an intervening event after the first breach (see Rule 1.3c(4)).
1.8.1 Use Voice Activated DMDs are permitted in County Competitions. However, users should be mindful of other players and any request from a player to to turn down the volume should be met.
1.9 USE OF MOBILE/SMART
USE OF MOBILE/SMART PHONES
Mobile phones/Smart phones including pagers and similar devices must not be used on the course by Players whilst their round is in progress except in the following circumstances.
A. To access the R &A Rules of Golf App or information relating to the local rules or terms of the competition.
B. When being used as an DMD device as per competition condition 1.8
C. When rules officials are in attendance, the Players may use such a device to call for assistance with a rules matter.
D. In the event of an emergency
In all these cases Players should be mindful of causing a disturbance to other players and should keep their device(s) in silent mode.
NB: Team Captains should not use a mobile device on the course whilst play is in progress apart from the exceptions shown in A – D above.
1.10 PACE OF PLAY: (Rule 5.6b)
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 COURSES TO BE USED
Where a club has more than 18 holes it should made clear to opponents, when arranging matches, which 18 holes will be used for that match. Clubs with more than 18 holes must use the same 18 holes for all inter-club league matches.
1.12 ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS:
1.12.1 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 1.14 Re-arranging matches)
In the event of some holes being closed on the course to be played, 18 holes must be arranged in the best way possible. If advisable, nine holes may be played twice at the discretion of the ELCGA.
1.12.2 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 1.14 Re-arranging matches)
1.12.3 SUSPENSION: If play should be suspended due to sudden bad weather (e.g. thunderstorms), players should mark their balls and shelter. Play should continue from the original 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 1.13 Re-arranging matches)
1.12.4 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 1.14 Re-arranging matches)
1.12.5 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 matches results will be recorded as 2&1. If 4 matches have been completed the last match will be recorded as a half.
1.12.6 If extreme heat is forecast and clubs were due to have a match to play then with the agreement of the organiser and both Captains then buggies could be used or the match rearranged.
1.13 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 re-arranged within the stipulated dates for the relevant competition.
1.14 TROPHIES: Any Club or player winning a trophy will be responsible for ensuring they have adequate insurance to [Anchor] 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.
1.15 COMMUNICATIONS Where a Club Captain, Team Captain, Delegate or Member has an issue they would like addressed or communicated to the Association or other members, they should contact the relevant County Organiser or the County Captain who will take any action they consider necessary. They must not contact multiple Club Captains, Team Captains, Delegates or Members directly.
2.1 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP: Handicap Indexes to 18.4; 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. Handicap indexes + to 29.4 and will follow England Golf Regulations. There will also be a handicap competition for players to a maximum handicap index of 45.4. The number of holes played to be arranged by the Management Committee.
2.4 Once a player has entered a competition if their handicap increases and is outside the limit of the competition, they must play off the maximum handicap in that competition. If a player’s handicap reduces and is below the handicap range, she may stay in the competition but must play off her new handicap.
3. COUNTY KNOCKOUT COMPETITIONS - Gold, Silver, Bronze, HiLo Foursomes (HI categories have changed for this competition see Competition Formats for HI competition details) , 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 a player has entered a competition if their handicap increases and is outside the limit of the competition, they must play off the maximum handicap in that competition. If a player’s handicap reduces and is below the handicap range, she may stay in the competition but must play off her new handicap.
3.3 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.
3.4 Matches should be completed on time. No extensions will be given.
3.5 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. See 1.12 COURSES TO BE USED
3.6 If a green fee is payable, the cost must be shared by the two players.
3.7 Matches must be played in accordance with tees and greens of the day and commence at the 1st tee where possible.
3.8 No substitutes will be allowed.
3.9 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.
3.10 Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals will be played on neutral courses stipulated by the County Organiser. NB: Players who reach these final stages should be prepared to ask their clubs to host matches.
3.11 Finalists and semi-finalists will be placed in opposite sides of the draw the following year.
4.1 The Management Committee will decide each year on the number of Handicap 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 There will be separate for prizes for home players. However, the overall winner will be the player with the best score whether home or away player.
4.6 All ties will be decided on the back nine score over the last 9, 6, 3 and final holes, irrespective of the starting tee.
4.7 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.
5.1 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 INDEX RESTRICTIONS
Silver Shield – none; Silver Trophy – 9.5+; Bronze Shield – 18.5+. Harris Bowl - + to 36.4 - where a player’s handicap index goes above 36.4 that player may still play but must play of the handicap index limit of 36.4.
NB: Apart from these handicap restrictions any player can play for any team, there are no other restrictions. Team Captains must check to ensure that players meet the qualifying criteria set out in 1.3 above. Any player who does not meet the qualifying criteria will be disqualified as well as other players who will then be playing out of order - see 6.13.
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 index order. Positions of team players with the same handicap index 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 could, at the Committee's discretion, be excluded from the competition in the year following their withdrawal.
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.
6.15 Should a player fail to be on the 1st tee 10 minutes before the starting time of their individual match, the opposing Team Captain has the right to claim the first hole.
6.16 Team Captains only may give advice to team members during the match. Rule 24 applies
6.17 MATCH DATES
Matches must be played on or between dates stipulated by the Management Committee.
Home Captains are responsible for arranging the match dates. A minimum of three dates must be offered and must include at least one weekend and one mid-week date. This may mean using your Ladies Day. To avoid problems later the Home Captain should confirm the date in writing/email to the respective Away Captain.
Team Captains must notify the relevant Organiser as soon as all league match dates have been agreed and no later than 1st December 2023. No match dates may be altered after 1st April except under Rule 1.13 or unless the Competition Organiser has agreed to a change due to exceptional circumstances.
Any Club not able to field a team under Rule 6.8 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 enter the following year.
Depending on circumstances surrounding a team's withdrawal ELCGA may, at their discretion, impose a ban or other penalty they feel necessary.
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.
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.
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 runners up 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, quarter finalists will be recalculated as an average as follows:
Matches won divided by matches played (not points won) (a match is deemed to be 5 games).
If teams are still tied, then the method described above will be applied to determine the additional teams(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. The draws for the knock-out rounds will be random. 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
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 Articles of Association with the assistance of two other selectors. However, the County Captain’s decision will be final during County Week.