The Rules of Golf define the Committee as the person or group in charge of a competition or the course. The Committee is essential to the proper playing of the game. Committees have the responsibility of running the course on a day-to-day basis or for a specific competition and they should always act in ways that support the Rules of Golf. This part of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf provides guidance to Committees in fulfilling this role.
While many of the duties of a Committee are specific to running organized competitions, an important part of the Committee’s duties relates to its responsibility for the course during general or every day play.
A. General Play
Even when a competition is not being contested, it is still important for the Committee to ensure that the Rules of Golf can be followed by golfers playing casual rounds or playing their own competitions. This type of play is referred to as general play throughout the Committee Procedures.
During general play, the structure of the Committee is often more informal than in competitions, and in many cases the responsibilities of the Committee will be delegated to or undertaken by one or more course representatives, such as the golf professional, course manager or other employee of the course. The duties of this Committee include:
- Ensuring the course is properly marked (Section 2),
- Establishing any Local Rules for general play (Section 3),
- Establishing and enforcing Pace of Play and Code of Conduct guidelines (Section 4A),
- Considering when to suspend play because of weather or other conditions (Section 4B), and
- Providing Rules support for players when they have a question regarding general play (Section 4C).
When in charge of a competition, the Committee has responsibilities before, during and after play to ensure the smooth running of the competition under the Rules.
The resources available to a Committee will differ depending on the course or the level of competition being run, and so a Committee may not be able to implement every recommended practice. Where this is the case, the Committee will need to decide its priorities for each competition.
The period before the competition begins is arguably the most important to ensure the smooth running of the competition. The Committee’s duties during this period may include:
- Setting the Terms of the Competition (Section 5A),
- Reviewing and adjusting the course marking (Section 5B),
- Reviewing Local Rules and establishing any additional Local Rules (Section 5C),
- Defining if and where players may practise on the course (Section 5D),
- Determining the teeing areas and hole locations to be used (Section 5E),
- Establishing and publishing the draw for match play or groups for stroke play and the starting times (Section 5F),
- Defining Pace of Play and Code of Conduct policies (Sections 5G and 5H), and
- Preparing materials for players and referees (Section 5I).
Once the competition has started, the Committee is responsible for ensuring that players have the information needed to play under the Rules and to assist them in applying the Rules:
- Providing information to players so they are aware of any Local Rules, Pace of Play or Code of Conduct polices that are in force, as well as other important information such as which teeing areas to use and where holes are located (Section 6A),
- Starting matches and groups on time (Section 6A),
- Ensuring that the course is properly set up, marked and maintained (Section 6B),
- Providing Rules assistance for players (Section 6C),
- Enforcing the Pace of Play policy (Section 6D),
- Suspending play because of weather or other conditions and then determining when play should be resumed (Section 6E),
- Providing an area for players to report the results of a match or return scorecards in stroke play (Section 6F),
- Validating all scores from the round in stroke play (Section 6F), and
- Establishing and publishing any groupings and starting times for players if there are additional rounds that have not been previously published (Section 6G).
Once play has been completed, the Committee’s duties include:
- Resolving any ties in stroke play (Section 7A),
- Confirming the final results and closing the competition (Section 7B),
- Awarding any prizes (Section 7C), and
- Dealing with any issues that arise after the competition is closed (Section