Competition Rules

Ingleby Barwick Golf Academy follows the rules of golf as laid down in the Rules of Golf

Effective 1 January 2016 as approved by R&A Rules Limited and The United States Golf Association

In addition all players who enter a competition at Ingleby Barwick Golf Academy agree to abide by the following local rules.

R&A Rules of Golf

General & Local Rules

General and Local rules apply to all competition. It is the responsibility of every player to obtain a copy, and understand the rules – copies available from the Handicap Secretary. Local rules are published on the card, and additional local rules may be published on the notice board – players should check the notice board periodically for changes to local rules.

If in doubt or if a ruling is needed, continue with your round and contact a member of the Competitions and Handicaps committee on completion of the round for clarification of rule.

White stakes or white lines are used to indicate out-of-bounds. (A course can mark out-of-bounds in other ways, too; for example, a fence might mark the boundary along certain parts of a course.) When stakes (or a fence) indicate out-of-bounds, then out-of-bounds begins at the nearest inside point of the stakes at ground level (excluding any kind of angled supports). When a line is used to indicate out-of-bounds, the line itself is out-of-bounds.

Out-of-bounds brings the dreaded stroke-and-distance penalty – a golfer must assess himself a 1-stroke penalty, return to the spot of the previous shot and hit it again. Of course, that’s time consuming. So when a golfer believes his ball may be OB, it’s a good idea to hit a provisional ball.

Out of Bounds at IBGA is beyond any of the fences or walls forming the course boundaries. In the River Tees to the right side of the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 12th, 14th & 15th holes. Beyond the line of white posts to the left of the 8th & 17th holes. The line of white posts to the right hand side and behind the 9th & 18th holes. All car parks, the Clubhouse and surrounds of the Clubhouse and the practice putting green.

Yellow stakes are water hazards.

Options – Play the ball as it lies, without grounding your club. Take a one-stroke penalty and either,

• Play a ball as near as possible from the spot where the original ball was played.

• Drop a ball any distance behind the water hazard on the extension of the line from the hole, (pin) through the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped. Red stakes are lateral water hazards. Options – Play the ball as it lies, without grounding your club. Take a one-stroke penalty and either,

• Play a ball as near as possible from the spot where the original ball was played. Or

• Drop a ball any distance behind the water hazard on the extension of the line from the hole, (pin) through the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped.

• Drop a ball outside the hazard within 2 club lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard provided it does not come to rest nearer the hole. Or

• Drop a ball on the margin of the hazard opposite to the point of entry within 2 club lengths of a point equidistant from the hole and provided it does not come to rest nearer the hole.

Blue stakes are plantations and all golfers MUST without penalty drop the ball outside the plantation, 2 club lengths from POINT OF ENTRY and no nearer the hole. Where a drop zone is provided this should be used in accordance with the relevant local rule, which takes precedence over the above.


Stone sin bunkers are movable obstruction (rule 24-1). Relief from immovable obstructions is obtained under (rule 24-2). Protection of young trees identified by stakes or markings, all plantations marked by blue posts.

All golfers MUST, without penalty, drop the ball outside the tree plantation/staked trees, 2 club lengths from point of entry and no nearer the hole.


Gimmies shall not be given in any competition (except matchplay) unless notified by the Competition Committee.

Completion of Competition Round

Other than an emergency or for a medical reason, the player must complete a competition round. The penalty for not completing a round will be suspension from the next eligible competition. A player may enter the next competition, but not be eligible to win a prize. The card will be used for handicap purposes. The player may make an appeal to the Handicap and Competitions committee and their considered verdict will be final.


It is the player’s responsibility to check the handicap list before each competition and to ensure that he applies the correct handicap. During the summer season handicaps may change weekly, so don’t assume what your handicap is.

If a player uses a higher handicap than he is entitled to, he will be disqualified. Using a lower handicap will not cause disqualification, but will result in the player receiving less shots than he is entitled to.

Score Cards

It is the player’s responsibility to sign and hand in all cards, including Nil Returns. Cards not signed or filled in correctly will lead to disqualification. The following information must be filled in on the card, or it will be disqualified:

• Competition name and date

• Players’ name(s)

• Handicap(s)

• Gross score for each hole

• Players and markers signatures.

• Circle which tees are being played off.

Each player must have their card marked and signed by another player who has an official handicap, is a member of IBGA club and also who is playing in the same competition.

Slow Play

Beware of slow play; players must keep up with the group in front, not ahead of the group behind and where necessary wave players through rather than delaying their game. Consistent slow play will result in players being banned from the next Competition. If you hit a ball, which may be lost (i.e. in the rough) or out of bounds you must play a provisional ball. If the 1st ball is not found within 5 minutes then it must be declared lost and the provisional ball played (stroke and distance apply). (Note that, if the 1st ball is found, and it is not out of bounds, it is “in play”, and the provisional ball cannot be played under any circumstances, even if the 1st ball is in an unplayable lie.)

If one player’s ball is hard to find, then the entire group should not immediately join the search. The others in the group should play their shots one at a time, so allowing a maximum of 2/3 players to look for the lost ball. Consider your club selection and next shot while others take their own shots, not when it becomes your turn to play. Mark cards on the next tee, not on the green, but not when it is your tee shot; wait until after.

Bad Weather

Unless informed by the club that the course is closed, players must turn up for the Tee-off time. Failure to do so will result in Rule 3 applying. If the weather is bad, it is the player’s responsibility to check that the course is open – ring the club to check.

Prize Giving

Prizes will be presented on Presentation Night, and will be advertised in advance on the notice board and on the web site. It is the responsibility of prize winners to make sure that they:

• Turn up to collect their prize

• Arrange for someone else to collect the prize on their behalf, or

• Tender their apologies to the Captain, in advance, if unable to manage the above.

Failure to follow these rules (i.e. not turning up & not notifying the Captain) will result in prizes being forfeited.

Use of Buggies.

At a meeting held on 17th April 2013 it was decided that, “Buggies can be used as a single occupancy only when a person is clearly suffering from a medical condition. This allows for a fair draw to take place and people will not be doubled up with the same partner every competition. Other competitors will not be allowed to share a buggy”.

A Guide to Handicaps

Obtaining a Handicap To obtain a handicap a member is required to submit three cards (of 18 holes) each of which shall be signed by the player and marker (who has a recognised handicap).

Any score more than two over par at any hole shall be amended to 2 over par. The maximum reduction under this clause shall be 6 strokes. After these reductions have been made an Exact Handicap shall be allotted equivalent to the number of strokes by which the best of the submitted rounds differs from the SSS of the course.

Members shall have their handicap controlled and adjusted by the Handicap Committee in accordance with the stipulations contained in the current CONGU Standard Scratch Score and Handicapping Scheme 1983.

A players Exact Handicap is his handicap calculated to one decimal place, a players Playing Handicap is his Exact Handicap calculated to the nearest whole number (0.5 is rounded upwards).

Handicap Categories

Handicaps are divided into the following categories:

Category 1: Handicaps 5 or less. (Buffer Zone 0 to +1).

Category 2: Handicaps of 6 to 12. (Buffer Zone 0 to +2).

Category 3: Handicaps of 13 to 20. (Buffer Zone 0 to +3).

Category 4: Handicaps of 21 to 28. (Buffer Zone 0 to +4).

Category 5: Handicaps of 29 to 36. (Buffer Zone 0 to +5 Ladies Only).

The Buffer Zone is the margin within which an exact handicap remains unchanged.

Alteration of Handicaps

Consideration is given to alteration of handicap following submission of a card completed during any qualifying competition.

If a player after the application of Clause 19.8 returns a score with a nett differential:

Within the Buffer Zone the handicap is not changed.

Above the Buffer Zone or records a no return the exact handicap is increased by 0.1.

Of less than zero the Exact Handicap is reduced by an amount per stroke being determined by the Handicap Category as follows:

Category 1 = 0.1, Category 2 = 0.2, Category 3 = 0.3, Category 4 = 0.4, Category 5 = 0.5.


Standard Scratch Score (SSS) is the score allotted to an 18 hole golf course and is the score that a scratch player is expected to return in ideal conditions over a measured course.

Competition Scratch Score CSS is the adjustment that may be necessary to the SSS to take account of weather and course conditions and must be calculated for all Qualifying Competitions.

Qualifying Competition is any competition in which Medal Play Conditions prevail and a CSS is calculated. A Qualifying Score is any score including a no return returned in a Qualifying Competition.

Nett Differential is the difference (+ or -) between the nett score returned in a Qualifying Competition and the CSS after the application of Clause 19.8. Clause 19.8 Where all holes are completed the players Nett Differential is reduced by the number of strokes taken on any hole in excess of nett double bogey.

Maintaining a Handicap

To maintain your handicap throughtout the season it is expected that you provide at least 3 completed handicap rounds each year, this can be obtained by either playing in club competitions or by providing additional supplementary rounds. By doing this your handicap is maintained, if you allow this to lapse, then you would basically have to start again by completing three 18 hole cards.

Competition Format

The Members committee would like to welcome and encourage all members to take part in competitions and matches what ever their ability; juniors, seniors, ladies, etc.

The exact method for handicapping used for each competition will be determined on the day for each specific competition.

For those less familiar with competition play the following is a brief guide to the main types of competition that may take place.

Stroke play [Medal competitions]

The player totals their score for each of the 18 holes, giving a gross score before the deduction of the handicap. (The handicap is deducted from the gross score to give the net score). This is usually considered the most testing form of golf.


In this, the player takes his or her handicap against par, according to the Stroke Index of the holes on the course. Stroke Index indicates the rank of difficulty of a hole on the course and is shown on the scorecard usually in the column marked “S.I.” A player gets strokes per round equalling his/her handicap, which is then allocated by hole according to Stroke Index.


A 12 handicap would get 1 stroke each for holes of Stroke Index 1-12.

An 18 handicap would get 1 stroke for every hole.

A 24 handicap would get 1 stroke on every hole (equalling 18 strokes) plus an additional stroke on those holes of Stroke Index marked 1-6 (equalling 6 strokes). Therefore he/she would receive a total of 2 strokes for the 6 most difficult holes on the course and 1 stroke for all other holes.

On the card the gross score is filled in and then, after deducting the strokes received, counts two points for a hole completed in net par, one point for a score of one over par, three points for a net birdie, four for a net eagle, and so on. The player with the most points for the 18 holes wins.

Match play

This is a head-to-head match between two players. If played off handicap, the lower handicap player normally gives 3/4 of the handicap difference to the higher handicap player – the strokes being taken by following the stroke index column on the scorecard.


In this, four golfers play together in pairs, but use one ball between a pair, and take alternate shots for each hole. One player elects to drive the first hole and will then drive on every odd numbered hole; the other takes the even ones. This can then be played on a match play or stroke play format.

Four Ball Better Ball

This is a form of play in which four players play together, each using their own ball. It is played in partnerships, recording the lower score for each of the partnerships. Four Ball Better Ball can also be played in stroke play form. In a match, the handicapping is normally taken on a 90% basis, the players taking handicap strokes from the lower handicap of the four.


In this competition, players go out in fours, made up of two pairs. All four players drive on each hole. The players of each partnership choose the better drive of the two and finish the hole playing alternate shots. The player whose drive was not taken plays the second shot.

Texas Scramble

This is a team competition, usually four-up. Each player drives off the first tee. The team captain then chooses the best drive and all the players take their ball to this position. They all then hit a shot from there. The captain again chooses the best second shot. Everyone else takes their ball to that spot and continues until the first player has holed out.

Bogey Competition

This is in effect, a Match play competition in which the golfer plays a hole-by-hole match against par (bogey). The player normally receives 3/4 of their handicap and takes those in the form of strokes from par according to the stroke index. Unlike a true match, the whole round is completed and the player on each hole whether, after receipt of the stroke, they have won or lost the hole against bogey. At the end of the round they record how many up or down they are against par, for example three up or six down.

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