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IGA Hard Card (Local Rules)

IGA Pace of Play Policy


Players should take responsibility to ensure every member in the group follows the IGA Pace of Play guidelines.

  • The group is “on the clock” as soon as it plays from the teeing ground on the first hole.
  • Players should generally make an attempt to play READY GOLF whenever possible.
  • WALK WITH A PURPOSE between shots!


In general, all 18 holes are considered “timing checkpoints”.  A group’s position on the golf course, as it pertains to when individual timing can begin, can be determined at any time throughout their round. However, if a group has been in position throughout the round but only falls out of position due to a ball search or “one bad hole”, then that group will generally be given two full holes to catch back up to the group in front of them, before another “timing checkpoint” would occur.


  • Groups are expected to maintain their position relative to the group immediately ahead. The IGA expresses position in an established number of minutes. (the number of “seconds” is disregarded)
  • “Out of position” is defined as: completion of the checkpoint hole in more than the established time par and more than 14 minutes behind the group in front of them.

* The first group(s) of the day is judged only against time par until they get into position with any group ahead of them.


Overall time par is the amount of time in which the IGA expects players to complete a round.  This will be expressed on a per-hole basis and an overall time for 18 holes.  In part, time par is established with the understanding that more than 45 seconds to play a shot is excessive.

  • A group’s time begins when a member of the group has played a stroke from his or her starting teeing ground.
  • Checkpoint times are measured when the flagstick is replaced in the hole after all players in the group have holed out.
  • The IGA may adjust time par between tournament rounds.
  • The Overall Time Par is set to allow for a normal amount of ball searches and rulings. If a group has an excessive amount of ball searches or a long ruling, some discretion is allowed for them to get back into position before “timing” would begin.

When a group is “Out of Position” an IGA official will begin timing individual players of that group.  The group will be informed that timing has begun as soon as practicable.  Timing for a shot begins when it is that player’s turn to play and there are no distractions.  If a distraction occurs during a player’s pre-shot routine (i.e. loud noises, other player’s actions, etc), timing for that shot will be reset and begin again when the distraction ceases.

·       Bad times: A player has recorded a bad time when he has taken in excess of 45 seconds to play a shot once it is his turn to play and there are no distractions. The first player to putt will be given 55 seconds to play.  A player who has a bad time will be notified by the timing official as soon as practicable after the shot.
  • If a player records three (3) bad times during the round, he will receive a one-stroke penalty for undue delay. Players will be warned immediately after recording one (1) and two (2) bad times.
  • The player will receive a two-stroke penalty if he records five (5) bad times and the player will be disqualified after seven (7) bad times. Players will be warned after recording four (4) and six (6) bad times.
  • Penalties will be added to the holes in which the 3rd or 5th bad time occurs.
    • Example: If a player receives his 3rd bad time on the 8th hole and his 5th bad time on the 15th hole, 1 penalty stroke will be added to his score for the 8th hole and 2 penalty strokes will be added to his score for the 15th

The IGA reserves the right to adjust this Pace of Play Policy

IGA Conduct Policy

IGA Conduct Policy: By submitting an entry, or by participating in any IGA competition, the player understands that his participation is at the sole discretion of the IGA. The player’s entry may be rejected for any event, at the discretion of the Official in Charge, at any time before the close of the competition (as defined in the USGA Rules of Golf Book). Unbecoming conduct or actions at any IGA event, or state, national, or international event, or conduct or action deemed detrimental to the IGA, the spirit of the game, or to the host facilities will not be tolerated.

These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cheating
  2. Willful destruction of golf course or IGA property
  3. Abusive language or conduct towards IGA and/or host facility, staff, volunteers, or other players
  4. Abusive or derogatory criticism of the IGA and/or host facility staff, volunteers, or other players
  5. Club throwing and/or physical endangerment of others
  6. Offensive or excessively loud behavior, including swearing loud enough to be heard by others
  7. Alcohol and/or substance impaired behavior
  8. Repeated withdrawals or no cards during or after completion of a round
  9. Inappropriate golf attire
  10. Other conduct deemed by the Committee to be unbecoming

In most cases one warning for unbecoming conduct will be given before disqualification. However, any actions deemed excessive by the Official in Charge may result in immediate disqualification from the event. If a player is disqualified a report shall be given to the Rules and Competitions Committee where further sanctions may be imposed. Sanctions may range from a letter of reprimand and probation to suspension from future IGA events for a period of time. Sanctions may also include withdrawal of eligibility for IGA team competitions and/or player awards. This may include losing exempt status for future year(s). Incidents judged to be of a serious nature may be referred to the IGA Board of Directors, whose decision shall be final.

Local Rules for your home club

The Iowa Golf Association urges all clubs to write and publish a list of local rules under the title “Notice to Players”  This allows members and guests at your club to observe better the USGA Rules of Golf.

Local rules are covered thoroughly in the USGA Rules of Golf and the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (Interpretations).  Several questions about local rules are answered in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, Section 8 (Model Local Rules).

It is important to note that a committee or club cannot waive a Rule of Golf, such as a rule allowing competitors to use more than 14 clubs.  A local rule must not violate the Rules of Golf.  Section 8L (Unauthorized Local Rules) of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf further explains the guidelines for Model Local Rules.

There are many local rules a committee or club cannot write.  Many popular local rules that are not allowed by the Rules of Golf include:

  • Waiving the requirement to hole out in a stroke play or medal play event.
  • Creating a Dropping Zone on the green side of a Penalty Area for a ball that fails to clear the Penalty Area.
  • Agreeing to discontinue play because of rain.
  • Invoking a tree “root rule.”
  • Waiving the rule that penalized a player for a ball putted from the putting green that strikes the flagstick.
  • Stating that free relief is granted from bushes or trees that define yardage.
  • Defining part of a boundary (out of bounds) fence as an obstruction.  (see definition of out of bounds)
  • Allowing a player to drop a ball on the green side of a Penalty Area (yellow) without crossing it with a stroke, no matter how many penalty strokes are applied.

However, there are many valid local rules you will want to consider implementing for certain events or simply making them effective for everyday play.

The IGA strongly suggests each club create a “Notice to Players” that is posted for all to see – post this notice in locker rooms, the golf shop and/or first tee.

Please review the following pages and contact the IGA if you have any questions as you assemble and/or edit the Notice to Players document at your club.

Local Rules your club should adopt

Local Rules your club should adopt if applicable

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