Policies and Guidelines

Extreme Heat Policy (Jan 2017)

This policy includes measures that golfers, volunteers and officials should take to counter the impact of play in extreme heat conditions based on recommendations from the nationally based Sports Medicine Association, as follows:

  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing
  • Wear a hat and apply at least 30+ sunscreen
  • Take 20ml of fluid (water or sports drink) per kg of body weight, one hour before commencement of play
  • Carry adequate quantities of fluid and remain hydrated during play
  • On completion of your round drink water or a sports drink to re-hydrate
  • If feeling dizzy or unwell during play, immediately notify your playing partners to ensure arrangements are made for Pro shop staff to provide assistance as appropriate

The following additional provisions are to apply for all competitions.

Given that members are a minimum of 55 years of age, all events will be cancelled if the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) routine weather forecast at 4.20pm on the day prior to play or at 4.45am on the day of play, is for a maximum temperature of 38 degrees C or higher.

Where the BOM forecasts a temperature of 36 degrees C to 37 degrees C, the starting sheet will be modified to prevent any play starting after 9am. This will prevent play in the mid and later afternoon period, generally being the hottest part of the day. With a two-tee start commencing at 7.30am, 128 players could still participate in the competition.

If on the day of competition, extreme temperatures and/or humidity unexpectedly develop, play may be suspended or abandoned at the discretion of the Club Captain or Duty Match Committee. The assessment of extreme temperature will be undertaken with reference to information provided by BOM. Should play be suspended it will not resume until the conditions moderate. If the forecast for the remainder of the day shows no likelihood of moderating temperatures, play shall be abandoned for that day.

Where practical, players will be notified of any cancellation or modification of playing arrangements due to extreme heat via a website or email message.

Slow Play

Members are encouraged to ensure they keep up with the group in front while playing their round of golf. In all instances, common-sense should prevail. Members are reminded that three (3) minutes is the allocated time to search for a player’s lost ball. If for some reason this time is exceeded, then the searching group is to call-up the group behind to play through.

Where for some reason a group falls significantly behind, they will firstly be offered a warning for the group to catch up.  If this is not sufficient then a penalty of two points from the score per player in the group may be imposed.  Again, if this does not correct the situation then the group will be disqualified.

Member’s attention is drawn to Section 6.7 of the R & A Rules Of Golf.

The Correct Handicap

It is the responsibility of all members to know their exact Golf Australia handicap on the day of play. Members are to refer to the Slope Rating Charts according to the tees set up for that day at the golf course. This will enable you to know your correct handicap for that day’s play. The Slope Rating Charts will be posted by each club, and a copy is held by the ACTRVGA Captain. Note: If your correct handicap is not displayed on your card, and you play off the wrong handicap you will be disqualified.

The World Handicap System (WHS)

The World Handicap System (WHS) took effect in Australia on Thursday 30 January 2020. www.golf.org.au remains the only authorised website where you can view your handicap record.

The WHS is a joint initiative of golf’s two international governing bodies the Royal & Ancient and the United States Golf Association. These two bodies have worked together with the world’s major handicapping authorities to develop a single handicap system for the game. Golf Australia (GA) is one of the organisations that has been closely involved.

The WHS involves less change for Australia than it does for any other country. But whilst your handicapping experience will remain largely the same, we will see a few changes in Australia.

Here are the main ones that might impact you or your friends:

A. NEW REGULATION

Bonus Reduction for Exceptional Net Score

GOLF Link will apply an automated extra reduction to your GA Handicap for any net score that is at least 7 strokes better than it (go to your handicap record on www.golf.org.au and compare your ‘Sloped Played To’ result for the round with what your GA Handicap was before that round was played). 

B. NEW REGULATION

Soft Cap

In addition to the existing Hard Cap of 5 strokes, a Soft Cap is being introduced. The Soft Cap will take effect if your GA Handicap increases to 3 strokes above its best point for the previous 12 months. Once in the Soft Cap zone, your GA Handicap will only be allowed to increase by 50% of the calculated amount.

 C. CHANGED REGULATION

Adjustment made to Daily Handicap if Scratch Rating is different to Par

 Examples of the adjustment:

If Scratch Rating 73 and Par 70; 3 is added to the Daily Handicap calculation (ie 73 – 70 = +3).

If Scratch Rating 68 and Par 70; 2 is subtracted from the Daily Handicap calculation (ie 68 – 70 = -2).

We’re making this change to create some key benefits for golfers and clubs.

Firstly, it simplifies handicapping by making 36 Stableford points (or net par) the universal measure of a golfer playing to their handicap, regardless of the tees or course.

Secondly, it makes mixed-gender or multi-tee competitions simpler to run which enables clubs to provide members with a more diverse range of playing options – this will also make it easier for clubs to ensure compliance with gender equality laws (www.golf.org.au/equality-guidelines). 

D. CHANGED REGULATION

Transfer of 0.93 Multiplier

The 0.93 multiplier will be transferred out of the GA Handicap calculation and into the Daily Handicap calculation. Our statisticians confirm this change will have no overall impact on the handicaps players actually play off (ie Daily Handicaps). This is because the slight increase it will cause to GA Handicaps (by being removed from the GA Handicap formula), will be exactly the same as the decrease it will cause to Daily Handicaps (by being transferred into the Daily Handicap formula). As a result there will be no overall impact.

E. CHANGED REGULATION

Maximum GA Handicap under the WHS is 54.0 for both men and women

Note: Many clubs will operate Daily Handicap limits lower than 54 (for example 36 for men and 45 for women for any/all competitions).

There are several new regulations that could impact you.

·         For the vast majority of golfers, the only change that will have any effect on GA Handicaps is the shift in the position of the Multiplier (see change D), which will cause an increase of about 7%.

·         But if you’re trying to work out what your new GA Handicap will be, you should also consider the impact of some of the other new WHS regulations (where applicable to you).

·         One example is the new maximum GA Handicap limit (change E).

·         Another example of something to check is whether you have any ‘exceptional scores’ amongst your most recent 20 rounds (change A).

More information on the WHS is available from www.golf.org.au/whs

Playing Golf Under COVID Conditions

In 2020 the Royal & Ancient announced a series of temporary measures that will enable us to reduce any hygiene implications related to complying with the Rules of Golf due to COVID-19. 

The temporary measures came into effect and allowed the Rules of Golf, and Model Local Rules to be modified because of the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures have been issued to golf clubs and restrictions are in place for our benefit. 

Golf NSW has asked golf clubs to adhere to some common-sense guidelines for golf clubs to enable us to continue to play golf and it is our duty of care to make sure we all stay well enough to continue playing.

Competitions are still going ahead as scheduled with the expectation of team events. Dependant upon where golf clubs are located, different local COVID compliance requirements apply. Typically, some of the new rules are:

·         Payments at the pro shop are now cashless. Card payments only

·         Check local signage regarding the maximum number of customers allowed in the Pro Shop

·         Gold carts can be used normally

·         Booking a golf cart may be necessary due to the limited numbers available

·         Once you have completed your round, hand your scorecard to the Duty Committeemen

·         Please mark your own scorecard. You will still have a marker and will verbal agreement from your marker at the end of the round – on your card please print your markers name in the “Marker’s Signature” place on the card

·         Preferred lies in Bunkers, the ball may be placed within one card length and once you have played your shot, smooth the area with your feet and/or club

·         There will be no NTP prizes.  The ball rundown will be increased by ten balls

·         Flags are not to be removed from holes.  At some clubs a small ring has been placed in each cup to make it easier to remove the ball once holed. Some clubs have opted to remove flag sticks

·         Ball Washers are not to be used

·         Drinking Fountains around the course are not be used – taps are still available to fill water bottles

·         When playing golf remain mindful of the “social distance rules” of 4 square metres

·         Members are encouraged to keep their sand buckets with them and bring it along every time they play.

Common sense cleanliness practices to be maintained

·         Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands 

·         No presentations at the conclusion of competitions

·         Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands 

·         Don’t shake hands

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because your hands touch many different surfaces and can easily pick up viruses.

The committee is working very hard to maintain and rearrange rounds of golf and will continue to organise games where and when possible, until advised otherwise.