Ladies - Rules and Competitions


Here is a quick rundown of the most important basic rules you should know when you start out as a golfer.  After all, you don’t want to add any penalty strokes to your score for breaking them!  Obviously, this won’t be a big issue when you’re playing a casual round with friends, but when you enter a tournament, you should be aware that the #1 of golf rules is: know the rules!


First of all, here is a usueful guide to the new rules that have been inroduced for 2019.



(Extracted from Today’s Golfer – November 2018)


1. The three-minute warning

Your search party has three minutes (down from five) to find a lost ball. However, there’s no penalty for accidentally moving the ball while searching for it.


2. Taking Relief

No announcement is necessary when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it’s damaged. Players may also select the longest club in the bag – not the putter – when determining where a drop is taken.


3. Plugged lies

Free relief is granted if your ball is embedded anywhere (except bunkers) in the ‘general area’ – the new team for through the green.


4. Double-hits

Accidentally hitting the ball twice will now count as one stroke, rather than two. Hooray!


5. An alternative to stroke and distance

At club level, a new Local Rule offers the option of taking a drop in the vicinity of where the original ball is lost or out of bounds, including the nearest fairway area, under a two-stroke penalty.


6. Trusting player integrity

A golfer’s “reasonable judgement” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area of distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong.


7. Relaxed ‘penalty area’ rules

➤ Red and yellow marked penalty areas (new term for water hazards) may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock etc, in addition to areas of water.

➤ Committees are given the discretion to mark all penalty areas as red so lateral relief is always allowed.

➤ No penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.


8. Relaxed putting green rules

➤ Players may putt with the flag in or out

➤ Spike marks and other damage made by shoes or animals may be repaired without penalty

➤ No penalty for touching the line of a putt or accidentally moving a ball or ball marker


9. Relaxed bunker rules

➤ No penalty for moving loose impediments or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club (grounding the club right next to the ball will still incur a penalty).

➤ An extra relief option is added for an unplayable lie, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker under a two-stroke penalty.


10. Knee-high drops

Forget about dropping from shoulder height. Players must go lower and drop the ball from knee height.

11. Maximum score

A new strokeplay format means your score on a hole can be capped at a maximum by the committee.


Extracts from the R&A Website

Two simple examples of...


1. Knee high drops

No, you can't squat – and when did your shoulder become knee height?


2. Out of bounds

There's no excuse for being unable to determine whether a ball is in play or not. Just follow this...













Rules about the type of game you are playing

Stroke Play: whoever needs the fewest number of strokes to finish the entire round, wins.

Match Play: is played hole by hole. The player who finishes a hole in the fewest number of strokes, wins the hole.  The player who wins the most holes, wins the match.

NB:  In Match Play, the player who is farthest away from the pin hits first on each shot.


Rules about your equipment

You can have a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag.

If one of your clubs gets damaged during the “normal course of play”, you can fix it or replace it, but if you broke it because you threw it, you’re finishing the round without it!

In the course of play, if you hit your own equipment with your ball one penalty shot is added to your score for that hole.


Rules about entering a competition

Adding your name to the Entry Sheet prior to playing indicates your intention to enter the competition.  Failure to add your name to the list before you play will mean you are treated as not having entered the event.

Play with the correct handicap.  It is your responsibility to make sure your correct handicap is used, you can't blame the computer.

Be on time for your match, stay with your group and keep up the pace of play.

Don’t ask for or give advice to competitors (again, not so much an issue when playing a friendly round).


Rules about the different parts of the course

On the tee box: tee up your ball between or behind the tee markers but not in front. If your ball falls or is knocked off the tee before you took a swing at it, you can re-tee it.

On the putting green: you can mark, pick up and clean your ball and repair pitch marks.

When putting, your ball may not touch the flag stick, whether it’s still standing in the hole or laying down on the green.

In a hazard (water or bunker): your club may not touch the ground before you actually hit the ball, including practice swings.


Rules about your ball

Hit the correct ball: yours!  Mark your ball with your own identifying mark.

Play your ball “as it lies”, without improving its position.

When your ball is lost or no longer fit to play, you can replace it with a new one; otherwise you have to finish the hole with the same ball.


Record a correct score and sign your scorecard

At the end of a round make sure your card has been completed correctly - achieved by comparing scores you have marked on a playing partner’s card (you will have exchanged cards at the start of the round) with those he or she has recorded.

Once you agree, the card must be signed by both parties as a correct record of each hole.  Addition doesn’t necessarily have to be accurate but individual hole scores must tally.  Incorrect scorecards, if lower scores are included, and unsigned ones will lead to disqualification (the dreaded Rule 6-6).




Competition Rules

All competitions are played in accordance with the Rules of Golf as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Rule Books are available at reception. Local rules are displayed on the Club notice board and score cards. Kirkcudbright Golf Club has a local rule permitting the use of Satellite Navigation or similar measuring device during Club or Open competitions. Rules of etiquette must also be followed. Failure to follow the rules may result in disqualification or suspension under Rule 33-7.


Club Competitions

The main competition day for ladies is a Tuesday. Members can choose to enter for our 9 hole and 18 hole competitions at all draw times.  Draws will take place at 9.15 a.m., 12.45 p.m. and 5.15 p.m. for each section as per the rules set out for each competition. If members prefer to play at any other time of the day they can make their own arrangements.



In the event of a tie in a stroke play event, the winner will be decided by the better score on the inward nine. If the scores should still be equal, then the better last six, three and if necessary, the better last hole will be used in turn. (A scratch, fractional or nett assessment will be used as appropriate depending on the competition type). If still tied, a similar assessment of the front nine holes will be made. If this still cannot separate players, a comparison based on exact (rather than playing) handicap will be used.


Match Play Ties

McDonald Cup (Singles), Campbell Cup (Pairs)

Entry sheets for the Club Match Play Competitions are displayed on the notice board prior to the start of the season. They are only open to Full Members of the Club.

In both cases entry is on an individual basis, but playing partners will be drawn for the Campbell Cup.

The Campbell Cup Qualifier will be a Pairs competition usually scheduled on the first Tuesday in May. The 8 highest ranking pairs go forward to the match play competition and the final played on Club Finals Day.

Please make sure you are available to play on Finals Day before entering these competitions.


Ladies Championship

The 8 qualifiers for this event will come from the players who return the best scratch scores from the MacMynn Trophy, The President’s Prize, The May Medal and the Mary Wallace Trophy.


The Draw and Challenger and Challenged

All ties must be played by the due date. No individual date extensions will be given. The first name for each match is the Challenger and she is responsible for arranging the tie. Every effort should be made to arrange a mutually acceptable date to play and this should be done as early as possible.  A minimum of three dates must be given for ties (not all in the same week) with at least one date at a weekend. Ties not completed by the closing date shall automatically result in the Challenged being disqualified.  If a problem occurs, please contact the Match Secretary prior to the final date to be played.



A maximum handicap of 36 is required and strokes will be taken at the holes indicated by the stroke index.


A match which ends all square will be played off hole by hole, until one side wins a hole, unless a fresh match is agreed prior to commencement, or daylight precludes a continuation of the match

The play off will start at the 1st hole and strokes given or received as in the original round.


Alternative Day

The Committee has agreed to grant permission to all members who cannot play in the main Tuesday competitions, to play on the Alternative Day.


The Alternative Day takes place on the Saturday prior to the Main Day, subject to course availability. A list, on a monthly basis, will be placed in the locker room indicating alternative Day competition dates.


All medals and qualifying competitions will be included, together with as many of the competitions as is possible.


There will be tee times allocated on Saturdays for those wishing to play. The tee times will be labelled ‘Ladies Comp’. Any player wishing to play within these tee times must indicate their desire to play by entering on the sheet in the locker room by the end of the preceding Tuesday, otherwise these tee times will be released. Players can otherwise play at a time, and with whom, they wish. All players competing in the Alternate Day must enter on the sheet before playing.

The Alternative Day competition counts as a separate competition for handicap purposes. A CSS must be calculated for each day and handicaps adjusted accordingly. The results of the two days will be combined for allocation of prizes.


If either the Main Day or the Alternative Day competition is cancelled and cannot be rearranged the result on the day when the competition was played (i.e. Main Day or Alternative Day) shall stand.


Under no circumstances may any player play more than once in any one qualifying competition.