MAVGA Handicap Policy & Tournament Rules [pdf]
MAVGA Golf Rules for Tournaments and Weekend Outings
- MAVGA follows USGA golf rules. Members and guests can always apply USGA rules to
- Local (club) rules supersede USGA rules.
- For practicality and accommodation to higher handicap players, MAVGA applies the
- Maximum on any hole is par-par + 2
- Maximum strokes (par-par+2) is counted on failure to legitimately complete a
- Winter or wet condition rule (to be announced at the beginning of an event):
- Move (place) ball in the bunker, except when plugged.
- Free relief from a plugged ball in the general area.
- Lift clean and place the ball in the fairway.
Common Rules Explanation
- A player cannot improve the condition (or lie) of the ball while it is in play
- A player cannot break, bend, or twist living entities or depress on grounds around
- Loose impediments around the ball can be removed, without moving the ball.
- In the process of looking for the ball or taking a practice stroke on the putting
green, the ball was accidentally moved, the ball must be replaced to its original
position without any penalty.
- A player does not have options to choose which ball to play – If the original ball is
located, any provisional ball hit is no longer in play.
- If the ball is lost or out of bound (OB):
- A player may drop the ball in the area between the point of entry to 2 club
lengths onto the fairway, not nearer to the hole and incur a 2 strokes
- the provisional ball may be played from original ball location unless it landed in a
- Lost ball – Player is allowed 3 minutes to search for his lost ball starting from when he
begins the search. Past 3 minutes, the ball is deemed lost.
- Unplayable ball – The player may deem his ball unplayable at any place on the course,
except when the ball is in the Water Hazard with 1 stroke penalty and apply one of the
- Go back to the original spot.
- Drop 2 club lengths not nearer to the hole.
- Drop “straight” back as far as desired directly between the flag and the ball.
- Red and Yellow Hazard:
- The player with the ball in a red hazard area (lateral hazard) gets an additional option
compared to Yellow Hazard: Player can drop ball within 2 club lengths at of
POINT OF ENTRY not nearer to the hole and incur a 1 stroke penalty.
- Yellow stake water hazard. See USGA rule or this attached video
- Ball on the green:
- A Player can fix divots, spikes marks and other damages on the green – but
patting down your line of putt on the green is not allowed.
- Mark your ball to replace it exactly where it was.
- Mark your ball, then move your mark away from another player’s line of putt.
- Cannot test the condition of the green prior to completing the hole.
- A player must complete the hole with the same ball he started with – a player cannot hit a
ball to the green and putt with a different ball; unless the player is taking a relief then
a new ball may be played.
- Play the wrong ball – Player is allowed to lift or move the ball for identification prior to
playing. Penalty for playing the wrong ball is 2 strokes and he must drop the ball closest
to where the wrong ball was played to complete the hole.
- Man Made Object – If the ball is not in the hazard and is interfered by yardage marker, cart
path, sprinkler head, electrical box or any man-made object, a ball can be dropped within 1
club lengths not nearer to the hole with no penalty.
- Ball at Rest Moved by another Ball – There is no penalty to either player as long as this
the procedure is followed: The person whose shot struck the ball at rest plays his ball as it
lies; the person whose ball was moved returns the ball to its original position.
- Gimme Putt – standard putter length from putter head to where the grip begins.
- Mark your ball – Clearly mark your ball so others can easily identify and verify your ball.
- Ask your playing partner to verify your actions under unusual circumstances. Examples:
- When you need to pick up your ball to identify it.
- When you found your ball in the woods, have your partner confirm the identity of your ball.
- When you take a legitimate, free drop from man-made obstruction.
- Play Ready Golf – do not fall 1 hole behind the group in front
- Do not stand directly or in front of a player while he is putting or hitting a ball.