Hard Card

The Rules of the United States Golf Association govern play. See applicable tournament Notice to Competitors, Tournament Information, PBCGA Code of Conduct and PBCGA Pace of Play Policies for additional Local Rules. Complete text of Rules and Appendix I may be found in the current “Rules of Golf.” Unless otherwise provided, penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play. In the Rules of Golf, the gender used in relation to any person is understood to include both genders.


PACE OF PLAY:  The current PBCGA Pace of Play Policy, as published in the PBCGA Tournament Policies, is in effect and is available at each tournament site. See separate memorandum to players for pace of play guidelines, when applicable.

GOLF BALLS: It is a condition of the competition that players must use a brand of ball on the current USGA List of Conforming Golf Balls.

  1. a) Penalty for breach of this condition is disqualification.
  2. b) The one ball rule is NOT in effect.

DRIVER: It is a condition of the competition that any driver the player carries must have a clubhead identified by model and loft that is named on the current USGA List of Conforming Driver Heads.

  1. a) Penalty for carrying a non-conforming club is two strokes per hole for a maximum of four strokes per round. In match play, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred; maximum deduction per round is two holes.
  2. b) Penalty for using a non-conforming club is disqualification.

DISCONTINUANCE OF PLAY: Optional condition as prescribed an Appendix I is in effect. Reference Rule 6-8, 6-8b and its note.

  1. a) Suspension for a dangerous situation: One long prolonged siren or airhorn note.
  2. b) All other types of suspensions (i.e. for darkness): Three consecutive airhorn notes.
  3. c) Resumption of play: Two airhorn notes.
  4. d) When play has been suspended for a dangerous situation, all practice facilities are deemed to be closed until declared open by the Committee.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS: Shoes with metal or traditionally-designed spikes (regardless of composition) are PROHIBITED during the stipulated round. Penalty for breach of this rule is disqualification.

CADDIES: Except when permitted by the PBCGA, players are prohibited from using caddies without prior medical approval. In stroke play, penalty for breach of this rule is two strokes per hole, maximum of four strokes per round. In stroke play, use of any unauthorized caddie shall be discontinued immediately upon discovering that a breach has occurred. Otherwise, the player shall be disqualified.


  1. a) In stroke play, competitions are deemed to have closed when all scores have been approved by the Committee or a winner has been announced.
  2. b) In match play, the result of a match is considered to have been “officially announced” when the Committee has approved the result as posted on the public scoreboard.

OFFICIAL EVENT: In all PBCGA Championships, an official event may be constituted by reverting to the results of an earlier round. Eighteen holes may constitute an official event.


EMBEDDED BALL THROUGH THE GREEN: Local Rule as prescribed in Appendix I is in effect.

  1. a)   “Through the green,” a ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground, except sand, may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole.

WOOD CHIPS AND MULCH: Wood chips and mulch are loose impediments (unless otherwise provided in the Notice to Competitors).

UNDUE DELAY: Reference Rule 6-7 and separate PBCGA Pace of Play Policy.


  1. a) Out of bounds is defined by the inside edge of white stakes and/or property fence posts at ground level. When defined by a white line, the line itself is out of bounds.
  2. b) The inside edge of a paved road or curb defines out of bounds. A ball that is on or beyond the road or curb is out of bounds, even though it may lie on another part of the golf course.

WATER AND LATERAL WATER HAZARD STAKES AND LINES: When a water hazard or a lateral water hazard is defined on only one side, it is deemed to extend to infinity. When a water hazard or lateral water hazard is bounded by out of bounds, the hazard margin extends to and coincides with the out of bounds line.

GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Ground under repair is defined by white lines. Other areas of ground under repair, even when not marked, include:

  1. a) French drains, which are trenches filled with rocks or stones.
  2. b) Fire ant beds or mounds (Note: For a player whose ball is in a water hazard and is affected by a fire ant bed or mound, see Decision 1-4/10).

SOD SEAMS: Except in a hazard, sod seams (not the sod itself) are deemed to be ground under repair, and relief is available under Rule 25-1 if the ball lies in or touches a sod seam or the sod seam interferes with the area of intended swing. All seams within the sodded area are considered the same seam.

INTEGRAL PART OF THE COURSE: Integral parts of the course are areas on the course from which relief is not granted. Integral parts of the golf course include (unless otherwise provided in the Notice to Competitors):

  1. a) Cables, rods, wires or wrappings when closely attached to trees.
  2. b) Artificial walls and pilings when located in hazards.

DISTANCE MEASURING DEVICES: For all PBCGA competitions, a player may obtain distance information by use of a distance-measuring device. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses distance-measuring device to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g., elevation changes wind speed, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3. Penalty for first breach of this Rule is two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play and any subsequent offense is disqualification.

ACCIDENTAL MOVEMENT OF A BALL ON THE PUTTING GREEN:  Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows: When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3, and 20-1. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental. Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstance is replaced.

(Revised 4/1/17)