Benton Hall Golf and Country Club Wickham Hill
Witham Essex CM8 3LH
Tel 01376 502454
MENS CLUB RULES
The Men’s Committee
The Competition Sub-Committee
Conditions of Competition
Entering a Drawn Competition
Entering Non Drawn Competitions
Non Appearance on Competition Day
Junior Club Members entering Men’s Competitions
Undue Delay - Slow Play
Leaving the Course during a Competition
Use of Buggies
Mobile Telephones, Distance Measuring Devices and Similar Equipment
How to get a handicap
Competition Entry Fees
When organising competitions of any nature, there have to be clear and concise guidelines that everyone participating is aware of and adheres to.
Whilst the primary purpose of club competitions is to afford members an opportunity to compete against other members, it is also intended to be a sociable and enjoyable benefit to being a member of Benton Hall Golf and Country Club.
Nevertheless, there are certain rules, as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews that need to be enforced if the Club is to continue to provide legitimate English Golf Union handicaps.
In addition to these R&A rules, Benton Hall also has a number of “Club Rules” with regard to numerous aspects of Club competition play. These club rules have been introduced to ensure that, inter alia, timely and accurate competition results can be posted, correct handicap alterations can be made and to ensure everyone who plays in competitions has paid the appropriate entrance fee.
They have been formulated since the inception of the club in 1993 and, as such, are based on experience of organising our golf competitions.
Whether you are a new member, or have been playing in competitions at the Club for some years, please read through these rules carefully.
THE MEN’S COMMITEE
The Men’s Committee is comprised of the following roles:
THE COMPETITION SUB-COMMITTEE
The Competition Sub-Committee is comprised of the following roles:
CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION
R&A Rules of Golf, Rule 1
Players are responsible for applying the Rules to themselves and are expected to recognise when they have breached a Rule and to be honest in applying their own penalties.
Players are also responsible for complying with all "Terms of the Competition" adopted by the Committee (such as entry requirements, the form and dates of play, the number of rounds and the number and order of holes in a round).
Club Rule 1.1
Eligibility to various competitions is strictly controlled, dependent on membership status.
7 day Members are eligible to enter all Club competitions.
5 day members are eligible to enter all mid-week Club competitions.
Most Knockout Competitions are normally played at weekends. Consequently these are only open to 7 day members. Any Knockout Competition designated as a mid-week only competition will also be open to 5 day members.
Club Rule 1.2
A Club Member wishing to enter any Major Competition or any Knockout event must have a handicap which has competition (‘c’) status. This can be achieved by playing in and submitting completed scorecards in at least 3 qualifying Medal or Stableford competitions in the current or preceding 12 months. A player’s competition status can be identified by the presence of a ‘c’ next to the player’s exact handicap number. If this is not present then the player does not currently have competition status and the player must submit one or more qualifying score to regain competition status.
“Qualifying” competitions in this context means playing in Medal and Stableford competitions for which a competition Standard Scratch Score (CSS) is calculated and handicap adjustments are made. This would not normally be done if a fractional handicap is applied, if the course is reduced in its length by over 100 yards or if current course conditions are deemed unsuitable by the Competition Sub-Committee (supplementary cards should also not be accepted under these conditions).
For members who have submitted three cards to obtain their handicap, these three cards will count as qualifying scores for a period of 12 months from the date of the award of the handicap.
Supplementary cards are accepted as qualifiers (see Supplementary card section).
New Club Members must provide evidence of having a handicap which has competition status from their previous club if they wish to enter the aforementioned competitions.
Prizes will only be awarded to players who have current competition status.
Club Rule 1.3
Major Stroke Play Competitions:
Entry to the Club Championships (both handicap and scratch competitions) is open to all 7 day members, who were members of the club on 1st April of the year of the competition and have competed in a minimum of 3 Benton Hall club qualifying competitions in the preceding 12 months. A player having left the club and re-joining must establish 3 club qualifiers from the date of re-joining.
Captain’s Day, the Captain's Drive In and the Scratch Singles Knockout do not require players to have a handicap which holds competition status.
Knockout Match Play Competitions:
Club Rule 1.4
All new Club Members must have obtained a CONGU handicap before they are eligible to enter any Club Competition. This handicap will be posted on the Club website.
For further information on obtaining a handicap please refer to the “How to get a handicap” section.
ENTERING A DRAWN COMPETITION
Club Rule 2.1
Club Members entering a drawn competition must first sign up via the club web site or app before the closing date of the competition.
In the event that a player misses the sign up closure date and wishes to play in a competition they will be added to the reserve list and their entry to the competition will be at the discretion of the Competition Sub-Committee.
Club Rule 2.2
For all knockout competitions, eclectics, and the Winter League, entry fees must be placed in the envelopes provided by Reception and handed to reception as directed by the entry sheet or on the web site/app. The Competitor(s)’s name, competition title and entry fee must be written on the envelope.
For all other major competitions, payment must be made at Reception or sign-in desk on the day of the competition.
Club Rule 2.3
On the day of the competition and prior to playing, a competitor must either register with the recorders in reception or enter both his first and last names in block capitals and tee time on the start sheet held at reception (whichever is applicable).
The entry number must be recorded on both the payment envelope and the scorecard.
Club Rule 2.4
An individual or pair will be considered non entries if the relevant entry fee has not been paid or the entry sheet has not been completed, as previously described. In an event where a scorecard is submitted, the player(s) will be disqualified.
ENTERING A NON DRAWN COMPETITION
Club Rule 3.1
On the day of the competition and prior to playing, a competitor must enter both his first and last names in block capitals and tee time on the start sheet held at reception, and pay the necessary entry fee at reception using a payment envelope. The corresponding entry number from the start sheet must be recorded on both the payment envelope and in the Card No. section on the scorecard.
In the case of a player who tees off before or around the time when the club house opens the player must sign up online before 7:30 am (using the member site or Intelligent Golf app). The online sign up opens during the week leading up to the competition and closes at 7:30 am on the day of the competition. Upon completion of their round members must also sign in at reception and pay their entry fee. Any player that fails to sign up online before 7:30 am will be disqualified and their score entered as a No Return.
Club Rule 3.2
Any player submitting a Medal or Stableford card that has not entered the competition as per Club Rule 3.1 prior to starting their round will be disqualified from the competition. The score will be recorded on the player’s handicap record and any necessary adjustments will be made.
All scorecards MUST be entered on the touchscreen computer on completion of the round and cards deposited in the box (both located in the reception area at the entrance to the bar).
Club Rule 3.3
An individual or pair will be considered non entrants in a competition if the relevant entry fee has not been paid or the entry sheet has not been completed, as previously described. In an event where a scorecard is submitted, the player(s) will be disqualified. Where applicable, the score will be recorded on the player’s handicap record and any necessary adjustments will be made.
R&A Rules of Golf, Rule 5.3a
You must start at (and not before or after) your starting time.
Players are strongly advised to be present at their allocated starting hole at least 10 minutes prior to their tee time.
NON APPEARANCE OF COMPETITORS ON COMPETITION DAY
Club Rule 4.1
A Club member who fails to appear for a drawn Club Competition and does not inform the Club or the Committee will normally be barred from entering up to a maximum of three drawn competitions. Based on circumstances, the number will be determined by the Competition Sub Committee on behalf of the Committee.
The acceptable method of informing the Committee of non-appearance is to contact the competition contact, which can be found on the competition information page on the web site. In the event that a player needs to withdraw from a competition they must make contact with the competition contact as soon as possible.
Club Rule 5.1.1
The following information is required on all completed competition scorecards:
Failure to supply all of the aforementioned required information will result in disqualification from the competition.
The following scorecard information is optional:
Examples of fully completed scorecards for Medal and Stableford competitions are displayed on the Notice Board.
A marker is one who records a competitor’s score in stroke play competitions. Markers are defined as any 7 day Benton Hall golf member with a CONGU handicap. For mid-week competitions (Stablefords and medals) a marker must be a 5 or 7 day member with a CONGU handicap. The marker may be a fellow competitor who shall not necessarily enter the competition. Therefore qualifying lady or junior members may mark a male member’s card.
Club Rule 5.1.2
All scorecards must be input onto the touch screen computer when required and returned to the committee via the scorecard box in reception. In the event of the touchscreen computer not working, members should inform reception of the problem so they can attempt to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved then the cards should be posted in the scorecard box so they can be entered manually by the Competition Secretary.
If a member fails to input their score at the touch screen when it is working, it causes unnecessary additional work for the Competition Secretary. Accepting human error can occur, on the first occasion no action will be taken. A second offence will result in a warning being issued to the player by the Competition Secretary. In the event of a third occurrence in any 12 month period taking place, the player will be disqualified from the competition and the player will normally be barred from entering up to a maximum of three drawn competitions. Based on circumstances, the number will be determined by the Competition Sub Committee on behalf of the Committee.
All scorecards must be returned to the Committee (as soon as possible) at the conclusion of play. The earlier the cards are returned, the earlier the competition can be finalised. Scorecards not returned on the day of the competition will not be accepted unless there are mitigating circumstances (please contact the competition administrator as soon as possible in this scenario). Any player signing in but failing to return a scorecard will be disqualified, entered as a No Return and sanctions applied as per no input of scores at the touch screen above.
CONDITIONS RELATING TO JUNIOR CLUB MEMBERS WHEN ENTERING MEN’S COMPETITIONS
Club Rule 6.1
Juniors should have attained the age of 14 years and hold a playing handicap of no higher than 18.4 to qualify for Men’s competitions. Entry to Men’s competitions is at the discretion of the Men’s Committee and the club’s Junior Organiser.
Club Rule 6.2
Qualifying juniors must give precedence of entry to Junior Competitions when coinciding with Men’s Competitions (unless pre-approved by the club’s Junior Organiser).
Participation of qualifying juniors in club representative matches (if selected) must be given overall precedence.
Club Rule 6.3
The Men’s Committee retain the right to deselect any qualifying junior who fails to;
Qualifying juniors will receive a copy of these rules and conditions, and a copy of the Rules of Golf, following an initial interview with a member(s) of the Men’s Committee or the Junior Organiser.
UNDUE DELAY – SLOW PLAY
R & A Rules of Golf, Rule 5.6
In a Club Competition, if a Club Member is requested to increase his speed of play by a Member of the Committee, a Course Ranger or the Club Management and fails to do so, the following penalties will apply;
Penalty for first breach: One penalty stroke.
Penalty for second breach: General Penalty (i.e. Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play).
Penalty for third breach: Disqualification.
Club Rule 7.1
Monthly medals, Stablefords and bogey competitions are divided into one to four handicap divisions, depending on entry numbers and are played with a full handicap allowance. The handicap limits for each division will be adjusted to ensure, as far as practicable, there is an equal number of competitors in each division.
Club Rule 7.2
Major club competitions are subject to handicap allowances and limits as stated on the respective competition information web site pages and entry sheets.
Club Rule 7.3
The maximum handicap and handicap allowances for match play knockout competitions is stated within the rules for each individual competition.
LEAVING THE COURSE DURING A COMPETITION
R & A Rules of Golf, Rule 5.7
During a round, you must not stop play except in these cases:
The Committee suspends play.
You believe there is danger from lighting, in which case you must report it to the Committee.
In match play, you and your opponent may agree to stop play for any reason, except if doing so delays the competition.
Where a player leaves the course without completing the competition round the player will be disqualified. Exceptions will be made due to illness, injury or emergency situations (i.e. valid reasons to withdraw from the competition).
USE OF BUGGIES
Club Rule 8.1
The use of motorised buggies is not permitted in Club major competitions where a tee time has been allocated by the Committee.
Members with a medical condition may use buggies in these competitions if they receive prior permission from the Committee.
NOTE; If a member playing in a fourball betterball or foursomes competition has permission to use a buggy, his partner is not allowed to use the buggy or allow his clubs to be carried in the buggy.
Buggies are allowed in monthly Medal and Stableford competitions.
MOBILE TELEPHONES, DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES AND SIMILAR EQUIPMENT
Club Rule 9.1
Players are strongly encouraged to refrain from the general use of mobile phones during competition play. Acceptable uses of a mobile phone would be to report an emergency or to pre-order food from the halfway hut. In these instances, players should be mindful not to disturb fellow competitors. When a mobile telephone is taken onto the course, it must be switched to ‘silent/flight’ mode before play commences to avoid the possibility of causing a disturbance to other players.
Repeated general use of a mobile telephone may be subject to sanctions at the discretion of the Men’s Committee.
R & A Rules of Golf, Rule 5.7
Players are not permitted to use equipment to:
R&A Rules of Golf, Rule 4.3a
Allowed: Getting information on distance or direction (such as from a distance-measuring device or compass).
Not Allowed: Measuring elevation changes, or Interpreting distance or directional information (such as using a device to get a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball).
HOW TO GET A HANDICAP
Before entering a Club Competition, members must have a valid CONGU handicap.
Club Rule 10.1
All new members joining the club are required to complete a New Member Handicap History Questionnaire. When completed this document supplies the information required to enable your handicapping to be processed in line with CONGU rules.
The process of setting up a player’s handicap will be as follows:-
1. If a player has never held an official handicap, or has held an official handicap in the past but has not been a member of an affiliated club for more than 12 months at the time of joining Benton Hall, then to gain/regain a handicap the player must submit a required number of nine and or 18-hole cards. Any permutation of nine and 18-hole cards may be submitted but must total a minimum of 54 holes. Cards submitted over nine holes must be over a designated Nine-Hole course. Holes 1 to 9 and holes 10 to 18 are designated nine-hole courses at Benton Hall. All cards must be marked and signed by his playing partner who must be a member of Benton Hall or another affiliated golf club and who must already hold an official handicap. Where the marker is a member of another golf club the marker must write the name of his home club on the card.
Below is an Example of a completed handicap card showing fields required to be completed.
Title of the Competition: For Handicap Card 1, 2 or 3
Date and start time.
Players Name (printed legibly).
Indication of white, blue or yellow tee markers.
Markers Name (printed legibly) and handicap
Marker’s Home Club if the marker is not Benton Hall member
Gross scores for each hole. (N/R if hole is not completed).
Signature of Player.
Signature of Marker.
Note: Cards which do not comply with the above will not be accepted.
All completed handicap scorecards must be filed in the Handicap Secretary’s folder held by reception. When three handicap cards have been submitted the Handicap Secretary will calculate a handicap, update the player’s handicap on the Benton Hall website and notify the player of the handicap awarded.
2. If a player is joining Benton Hall who held a handicap at another affiliated club within the previous 12 months then:-
If the player still qualifies for a competition status handicap, his handicap will be transferred directly to Benton Hall as a competition handicap.
If the player no longer qualifies for a competition status, his handicap will transfer as non-competition handicap. To regain competition status the player will need to play three qualifying rounds at Benton Hall.
These three rounds can either be Supplementary Rounds or the player can play in three qualifying competitions. Should the latter route be chosen no prizes can be won for these three competitions. For rules on Supplementary rounds please see below.
If a member does not have an acquaintance at the club with a handicap, regular social golf meetings are run throughout the year. See the diary or the Notice Board for more information on Social Golf dates.
Club Rule 10.2
Scorecards handed in for handicap purposes must be fully completed following the guidelines laid down in Club Rule 5.1.1 and Club Rule 10.1
In place of “Title of Competition”, members must write “Handicap Card – 1, 2 or 3”.
The name of the marker must be clearly noted in capital letters below the signature.
COMPETITION ENTRY FEES
Club Rule 11.1
Fees for monthly medals, Stablefords and drawn competitions are to be paid on the day of the competition at Reception.
Club Rule 11.2
For match play knockout competitions, the entry fee must be paid in advance of the draw date. Fees are paid by entering the name of the competition(s) entered, the entry fee and your name on the small brown envelopes, which are held at Reception. The envelopes are then handed to reception.
Club Rule 11.3
When representing Benton Hall Golf and Country Club or for other competitions, such as Social Golf, payment must be made directly to the organiser.
Club Rule 11.4
Non-payment or late payment of a competition entry fee will result in disqualification at the discretion of the Competition Sub-Committee.
Club Rule 11.5
Disqualification from a competition for any reason does not qualify for a refund of entry fees paid.
In the event that a player has withdrawn from a competition and wishes to make a claim for a refund this will be at the discretion of the Competition Sub-Committee.
For monthly and midweek Stablefords and Medals, prizes are awarded for the top three places in each division (with the below exceptions). The number of divisions and viability of a competition is determined by the following criteria:
Unless otherwise requested, prize money will be added to the player's club levy card.
Trophies and prizes are normally awarded to the first five in an individual Major stroke and medal play competition, to the first three in a pairs Major stroke and medal play competition and to finalists and semi-finalists in knockout competitions, dependent upon level of entries and at the discretion of the committee.
This is normally held in mid-October where all major trophies for the preceding year are presented.
Supplementary Scores have been introduced by Benton Hall to provide players who find it difficult to regularly participate in competitions an alternative format in which to submit scores for handicap purposes and augment the often sparse information derived from competition play. The intent is to encourage the provision of more evidence of playing ability over a wider range of players and so make handicapping more equitable and golf under handicap conditions more meaningful for all concerned. Below is an extract from the CONGU 2016-2018 Rules Section 21 which sets out the conditions for the playing of Supplementary Rounds.
How to submit a card at Benton Hall
Players are required to:-
1. Register their intent to submit a Supplementary Card BEFORE playing by registering in the Supplementary Card folder at reception.
2. Complete their card as per the example in the Supplementary Card folder. Note: Any discrepancies may lead to the card not being accepted.
3. Have their card marked by a fellow club member who has a current handicap held at Benton Hall.
4. Submit their card, on the same day as play, which should be filed in the Handicap Secretary's folder held in reception.
Supplementary cards are accepted as Qualifiers (See club rule 1.2)
There is no charge for submitting a supplementary card but members may make a £2 donation at reception. This money is 'ring fenced' to aid our Junior Section expenses.
CONGU Rule Section 21. SUPPLEMENTARY SCORES
The UHS is based on the expectation that every player will return a sufficient number of scores to provide reasonable evidence of his current ability. To operate in the intended manner, the UHS requires information i.e. the return of Qualifying Scores to produce handicaps that reasonably reflect current ability. Although golf club committees and administrators may consider that in the course of a playing season they organise an adequate number of competitions to provide ample opportunity for Members to participate, investigation has confirmed that a substantial number of Members do not return sufficient scores in the period between Annual Reviews to maintain a handicap that reasonably reflects their current ability. This may in part be due to:
Supplementary Scores provide players in the above situations and the like an alternative format in which to submit scores for handicap purposes and augment the often sparse information derived from competition play. They can provide more evidence of playing ability for a wider range of players so making handicapping more equitable and golf under handicap conditions more meaningful for all concerned.
A Member may return a Supplementary Score for handicapping purposes in compliance with the conditions set out below.
21.1 Supplementary Scores apply to all Handicap Categories (subject to 21.4 below).
21.2 A Supplementary Score may be returned at any Affiliated Club of which the player is a Member.
21.3 An acceptable score for Supplementary Score purposes is any authenticated score under Competition Play Conditions in compliance with the conditions listed in this clause and played over either:
(a) an 18-hole Measured Course in either Stroke Play or Stableford format; or
(b) a Designated Nine-Hole Course in a Stableford format.
21.4 A Member is limited to a number of Supplementary Scores in each year as detailed in below:
(a) subject to (d) below, Category 1 players may only return Supplementary Scores during the period 1 September to 31 December and only to the extent necessary to ensure that the minimum requirement for Qualifying Scores under Clause 25 is met. Category 1 players may only return Supplementary Scores over 18 holes;
(b) up to a maximum of ten Supplementary Scores may be returned annually by players in Categories 2 to 4 ;
(c) there is no annual limit to the number of Supplementary Scores returned by players holding a CONGU® Club Handicap (Appendix);
(d) a Union has the discretion to permit Category 1 players with handicaps in the range 2.5 to 5.4 to return up to ten Supplementary Scores in a calendar year. Such scores may only be returned at the player’s Home club within that Union’s jurisdiction. Scotland directs that Category 1 players within this handicap range may take up this discretion. England, Ireland, and Wales make no such direction.
21.5 Unless the Affiliated Club decides otherwise, a Member is limited to the return of one Supplementary Score per week. For the purposes of this clause a week is defined as Monday to Sunday.
21.6 A player intending to return a Supplementary Score is required to signify his intention prior to commencement of play in the manner determined by the Affiliated Club.
21.7 A Competition Scratch Score is not calculated and adjustments to handicap, in accordance with Clause 20.6 for 18-hole scores, shall be made in respect of the Standard Scratch Score. For nine-hole Supplementary Scores adjustments to handicaps shall be made in accordance with Clauses 22.5 to 22.9.
21.8 Stroke Play returns are subject to Stableford/Nett Double Bogey Adjustment in compliance with Clause 19.
21.9 The Supplementary Score must be recorded in the Player Handicap Record.
21.10 If a player who has registered for a Supplementary Score subsequently does not return a card an increase in handicap of 0.1 must be applied.
21.11 Returns may be subject to action under Clause 23 B if malpractice is suspected.
21.12 When Supplementary Scores are returned at an Away club the Member: (a) must register his/her intent to play in the manner directed by that club; (b) must return the card to the Away Club; and (c) must ensure that the score is returned to his/her Home Club, taking a copy or duplicate card if necessary.
21.13 When a Member returns a Supplementary Score at an Away Club that club: (a) must retain the card as for cards submitted by Home players; (b) should, if the club’s ISV software so permits, enter the score into the system and return it to the Home Club via the CDH; and (c) shall assist the Home Club, if necessary, in confirming whether the player has discharged his/her responsibilities in ensuring that all Supplementary Scores from Away clubs have been returned. Note: In submitting Supplementary Scores, players need to ensure that they are not in breach of Rule 7 (Practice) of the R&A Rules of Golf. A club committee may apply the Note to Rule 71 and allow a Supplementary Score to be returned following the playing of a stroke play round earlier in the day.
21/1 Return of a Supplementary Score in a Non Qualifying Competition
Question. A club committee has declared a competition to be a Non-Qualifying Competition. May competitors play in the competition and concurrently return a Supplementary Score?
Please refer to scorecard, notice boards and club web site regarding local rules for Benton Hall Golf and Country Club.