Playing a course before a comp rule query.
Yesterday I played in an industry body golf comp. Nothing too serious although teams from competitor companies were all there as was another team from my company.
The comp didn't start untill 10.30am I was staying over in a hotel. The course btw was at the Menzies Welcombe hotel in Startford-upon-Avon and was a peach.
Anyway. As I had not played the course before and was there anyway and comp didn't start till 10.30 a team member and I thought we would play a few holes on the course and walk a few of the others to get a bit of a heads up. We could have done it the day before had we arrived early enough but didn't as we both had work to do.
So when we came in from our few holes were we (semi jokingly) told that this was against the rules and as such we ought to be disqualified. I told them where to stick thier ruling and we indeed carried on and played. In the end our team did not end very high up the leaderboard despite my 32 points and nett hole in one on the SI par 4 8th.
The query is then is this a genuine rule and does playing all or some of the course before the comp on the same day merit a DQ? It was not something I'd heard of before and guess that had I done I wouldn't have played the course. In my mind we were just making best use of a day when we could play as much golf as we could get in.
I could look in the R&A rulebook but if anyone knows the answer straight off (JP/SC?) then I'd be grateful of the ruling.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 18:46
Incidentally the comp was played off full handicaps and the team score was average of the team members score regardless of whether it was a 3 or 4 ball. I thought it stunk to be honest but guess it meant 3 and 4 ball teams could compete. The individual winner turned out to be my regional director who scored 40 points off his 28 handicap.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 19:19
Yes, Andy, I am afraid the person was correct. One cannot practice on the course on the day of the competition, for the obvious reason that it would give you an advantage that your fellow competitors had not been given. Disqualification is the usual penalty. If this rule was waived then the whole competition should be scrapped, as agreement to waive a rule of golf is not permitted.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 19:20
hello andy, i dont know about the rules but we once played castletown on the isle of man and when we turned up to play our 27 hole dayout we found the course was having its i-o-man open comp, we were invited to join in the comp by the pro at the course as long as we did not play the 9 holes before lunch, but he did say that if we played in the comp we could finish our day after we had the 18 hole comp..........
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 20:00
I have since looked it up and yes it was correct. I guess as it was a 'friendly' comp then everyone was fairly mellow about it. Might have been different had I won. A good time to learn the lesson rather than in a proper comp.
I can understand the reasons why for serious competition play but for amateur play it does seem a little harsh when the conditions playing the day before might be more akin to those in the comp than in the mist a dew at 8am but there has to be a rule that goes for all and that is it.
The best way to learn is through ones own mistakes so lesson learned.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 20:12
Our roll up is the same, I see players chipping around the first tee and that is a disqualification, but no one says anything. I have given up playing in the roll up because they have their own set of rules and they are so damn slow. I suppose because the cards are never entereed for handicap that they feel it is OK.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 20:20
Yup unfortunately so Andy, we once had this with our big big boss and it became 'who dares tell him he shouldn't have played 9 holes at 7am this morning before we all arrived!'
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 22:51
Andy this only applies to strokeplay in matchplay its acceptable to practice on the course proir to a match.Concour on the Welcombe it's a good track.
Reply : Fri 10th Sep 2010 22:55
Dave, hoping to play the Welcombe in a few weeks. If you hadn't have beat us so bad you might have got an invite
Reply : Sat 11th Sep 2010 07:10
Reply : Sat 11th Sep 2010 12:34
"Rules are Rules" and Golf is Golf.
The Rules (R7-1b) state that you can't practice on the course before a STROKE PLAY round. In summer you see a number of surprised Golfers who have been DQ'd from a Medal because they played after their KO Match the same day. Is is Ok to play a Medal in the morning and a KO in the afternoon.
JP, Rule 7-1b has an 'Exception' which states that it is OK to "Practice putting and chipping on or near the first teeing ground before starting a round or play-off is permitted".
Jamie C, It is OK to have a wonder around a course before a Stroke-play round.
Andy, I would say that a DQ for you would have been correct but harsh because the Scoring in the Comp was not a recognised format. Golf is usually played in Teams of a Set Number and a 'Better Ball' or 'Best Ball' score achieved.
And yes, a Stableford Comp is a Stroke-play round.
Reply : Sat 11th Sep 2010 13:48
Thanks Dave - very thorough.
The course was a cracker with a surprising amount of changes in elevation, a few blind drives and a bit of water. Not a long course but difinately one to think you way around.
Reply : Wed 22nd May 2013 12:26
Some great nuggets of information tucked away in the forums!
Reply : Wed 22nd May 2013 16:37
We have a comp running at the moment, 9 hole comp that runs weekly, front 9 one week, back 9 the next - for 10 weeks.
When we are playing the back 9 week, we have to play the back 9 first (if playing 18 holes) as playing the front 9 first would mean DSQ as falls under practice on the course.
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 16:16
Playing the 'other' 9 holes before the 9 hole comp is not practising on the course. The stipulated round (ie the 9 holes to be played in the comp) is The Course.
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 17:09
Not so DH. I played at Kenilworth last weekend and there are signs all over warning players that if they play the par 3 course before a competition round on the main course they will be DQ'd. This is because the par 3 course is considered and integral part of the course
Playing any part of "the course" before a comp will get you DQ'd, whether the comp is on that section of the course or not. For clubs with more than one course you will get DQ'd if you play the 'other' course before a comp
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 17:27
I take your point but I spoke to the R&A directly before I posted the message
Last edit : Fri 24th May 2013 17:29
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 18:10
DH, having covered this topic on an England Golf two-day rules course I would have to agree with what others have said about playing the 'other' 9 holes first.
The 'stipulated round' is not the 'course'. Under the definitions in the Rules of Golf, the 'course' and 'a stipulated round' are two different things. The 'course' is the hole area defined by the committee and whilst a competition can be played over a 'stipulated round' of 9 holes on the 'course' you would still be practicing on the 'course' by playing the other 9 holes.
As Chris correctly noted when he visited Kenilworth, our Par 3 course is an integral part of the course and, therefore, players cannot play on it before playing a strokeplay competition on the main course.
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 18:46
Yes, I think my contact was in a bit of a rush going off for the weekend. They had gone after I called back. The committee could of course (!) redefine the course.
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 19:25
We have two full courses at Minchinhampton. When I joined I was warned that playing the course not designated for the competition before my round would result in a DQ. I can see why as I know I would play better if I had a few "warm up holes" before
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 19:35
I assume they do not have an OOB segregation. But why not have a 'warm up' on the course down the road?
Of course, playing on one course at Woodhall Spa would tell you nothing about the other. But they are segregated.
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 20:57
Our courses run next to each other in places but there is no out of bounds between the two. They are very different though, with one being parkland and the other inland links (those who have played there will tell you how surprising it is that two courses so close could be so different). The greens play differently and are usually a different speed too
The next nearest course is 4 miles up the road, but that is ours too so I would be DQ'd for warming up on that too! I'll have to stick to the range
Reply : Fri 24th May 2013 23:00
Is that one separated by there being OOB between it and the other two?
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 10:21
Yes. All boundary fences mark OB. That and 4 miles of village, equestrian centres, farms and Princess Anne's estate!
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 11:16
I think this is getting interesting and I think it is a 'grey area'.
The Rule (7-1b) uses the phrase "on any competition course", so I would think that if a Club has two courses, only one is classed as The Competition Course. However the Rules allow for the committee to sanction practice (or not) in certain areas. So the debate can continue.
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 11:25
So here's one for you Lyth
The first hole on both our courses run parallel. I decide to have a couple of practice holes on the course not designated for the competition. Off the first tee I hook/slice my drive onto the first of the other (competition) course. There is no out of bounds so on an ordinary round I would be able to play the ball as it lies. However, if I play it this time would I be considered as having played the competition course?
As you say, so many grey areas but makes for really interesting discussion
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 12:10
I'll send you a return.
A guy lives next to the 17th green and on Comp days walks down the 18th to get to the Clubhouse (he keeps his clubs in a locker). He takes an old club and a tennis ball and just hits it down the semi\fairway, along with Pine Cones when they are about. His argument is that he is gaining no advantage because he is not testing the course by not using either his clubs, nor a golf ball. The committee had to agree after a long discussion.
How's that, 15 all.
Last edit : Sat 25th May 2013 12:12
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 19:14
You say The Rule (7-1b) uses the phrase "on any competition course",
But you only quoted part of it. It makes more sense when you see it all.
When two or more rounds of a stroke-play competition are to be played over consecutive days, a competitor must not practice between those rounds on any competition course remaining to be played,
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 19:16
I which case you can practice on that course if the competition is on either of the others.
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 22:11
Rule 7-1 also states
b. Stroke Play
Before a round or play-off on any day of a stroke-play competition, a competitor must not practice on the competition course or test the surface of any putting green on the course by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.**
Last edit : Sat 25th May 2013 22:11
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 22:50
I'm not sure what point you are making. The last quote refers to the competition course
The paragraph below in the rule refers to any course still to be played in a comp played on two or more courses courses
Reply : Sat 25th May 2013 23:23
It is the big thing with The Rules, the wording. The competition course is the course to be played, while any course "still to be played" makes the ruling clear and precise. Take them both together and it seems that on a 27\36 hole course, The Competition Course is the course for that competition and not all of the holes. But the committee can say that you can't practice on the other course, just the same way they can say it is OK to use a certain area within the confines of a competition course to allow practice.