Tournament Tie Breakers
– USGA Tie-Breaker
Matching scorecards to break a tie is also known as a card count-back or
a scorecard play-off. Complete USGA tie-breaker rules and
guidelines can be found at
in Committee Procedures 5A, paragraph (6).
If this method is used in a competition with a multiple tee start
(shotgun start), it is recommended that the “last nine holes, last
six holes, etc.” are holes 10-18, 13-18, etc.
For net competitions where the stroke index allocation as set by the
Committee is not used, such as individual stroke play, if the last
nine, last six, last three holes scenario is used, one-half,
one-third, one-sixth, etc. of the handicaps should be deducted from
the score for those holes. Handicap stroke fractions should be
applied in accordance with the rules or recommendations contained
within the Handicap System operating in the local jurisdiction.
Overall Low Net
(2-day total low net)
Last 18 holes/round net score
USGA low net tie-breaker on last 18 holes/round
Also used from Members’ Memorial Cup tie-breaker (2 days over
Overall Low Gross
(2-day total low gross)
Last 18 holes/round gross score
USGA low gross tie-breaker on last 18 holes (same as low net
tiebreaker, but handicap not taken/used)
CoViD-19 Specific Rules
The flagstick must remain in the hole during play and golfers must not
touch the flagstick at any time. If a golfer should make a stroke from
anywhere on the golf course with the flagstick removed, the golfer will
be assessed a one stroke penalty for breach of the modified local rule
to rule 13.2. Maximum of one stroke per hole. If the flagstick is
removed inadvertently and then replaced before a stroke is made then
there is no penalty.
a golfer’s ball comes to rest in a bunker, it is played as it lies in a
general area (no stroke). General area no stroke and stroke
options can be taken if applicable.
Other USGA & Local Rules
for lost balls is 3 minutes. If you didn’t hit a provision ball,
fairway drop rule.
KPs (“Closest to the Pin”) and “Second Chance”:
Mark your ball with another golfer in your group present. If you will
be measuring, mark your ball BUT do not pick it up/lift it.
Measurements need to be done by a golfer other than the golfer whose
ball is being measured. Record measurements to the nearest ½ inch.
Except for hole-in-ones and chip-ins, no ties.
“Ready Golf”: Don’t
demand, expect or play “honors” or “your tee” if you are not ready to
play. It's okay to hit/putt before someone behind you (“away”) if
you can reasonably do so. Pace of play is very important. Each golfer
in your group will be penalized a stroke a hole if your group finishes
two holes or more behind the preceding group.
As always, no
gimmes - putt the ball until it stays in the hole. A foam
“noodle”, metal insert or upside-down cup may be used in the cups, but
the ball usually stays in the hole.
If a ball for any reason
bounces out of the hole, the ball is not holed. Golfer must hole out
period (Rules 3.3c and 6.5).
If you didn't hit a provisional, use the 2-stroke penalty, 2-clublength
fairway drop (https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html)
for lost and OB balls. Allow 3 minutes maximum for looking for a
Tee Box/Ground (Rule 6.2):
It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and the
sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers.
A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the
Advice given or requested between golfers in not allowed in
tournament/match play. USGA defines advice as: “Any verbal comment
or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke)
that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club,
making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. But
advice does not include public information such as the location of
things on the course, the distance from one point to another, or the
ball on the green:
When marking your ball, mark it exactly as it lies. Do not give yourself
an advantage by flipping your marker or sliding your marker under your
ball. If needed, move your mark not your ball. Use a
reference point/landmark when moving your mark.
Videos and Other RulesRules
<<<watch video of major changes for 2019>>>
<<<watch video of OB and Lost Ball changes for 2019>>>
<<<R & A version of major changes for 2019>>>
HGoOC Tournament Index/Handicap Rule>>>