GAM Conditions of Competitions
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Play is governed by the Rules of Golf, Effective January 2019 and their interpretations and clarifications as approved by the USGA and The R&A.  Any changes or additions to this card will be supplied on a supplementary Rules sheet.   Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition of Competition is: General Penalty


Balls and Clubs: Only brands of golf balls on the latest USGA list of conforming balls shall be used.  Only conforming driver heads on current USGA list may be used.  Non-conforming golf clubs, balls or tees shall not be used (Local Rules G-1 and G-3). Penalty for making a stroke in breach of Rule 4.1a or 4.2a: Disqualification.

Limitation on Golf Balls Used During Round: The “One Ball Rule” (Local Rule G-4) shall be in effect at all stages of the Michigan Amateur, Michigan Women’s Amateur, GAM Championship, and GAM Women’s Championship. Once discovered, player must stop using that ball before playing from the next teeing ground, Penalty for breach- Disqualification. The “One Ball Rule” is not in effect at all other GAM Championships.

Replacing a Broken Club: If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4). When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1). For the purposes of this Local Rule, a club is “broken or significantly damaged” when, the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented), the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched), the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed, the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or the grip is loose (Model Local Rule G-9).
Exception: A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked.

Limiting When Stroke Made from Putting Green Must Be Replayed Under Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b — Local Rule as prescribed in the 
Clarifications to the 2019 Rules of Golf is in effect. Model Local Rule D-7.

Undue Delay: See GAM Pace of Play Policy, Local Rule 8K-2, and Local Rule 8K-5. Players in violation of policy may be penalized.

Code of Conduct: See GAM Player Code of Conduct and Committee Procedure 5H. Players in violation of policy may be penalized or disqualified. 

Ball Played from Outside Relief Area when Taking Back-on-the-Line Relief: When taking Back-On-the-Line relief, there is no additional penalty if a player plays a ball that was dropped in the relief area required by the relevant Rule (Rule 16.1c(2), 17.1d(2), 19.2b or 19.3b) but came to rest outside the relief area, so long as the ball, when played, is within one club-length of where it first touched the ground when dropped. This exemption from penalty applies even if the ball is played from nearer the hole than the reference point (but not if played from nearer the hole than the spot of the original ball or the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area). This Local Rule does not change the procedure for taking Back-On-the-Line relief under a relevant Rule. This means that the reference point and relief area are not changed by this Local Rule and that Rule 14.3c(2) can be applied by a player who drops a ball in the right way and it comes to rest outside the relief area, whether this occurs on the first or second drop (Model Local Rule E-12).

No Play Zones:  Mandatory free relief must be taken for any ball in a No Play Zone that is not in a penalty area. Penalty for Breach – General Penalty under 14.7a. Mandatory free relief does not apply for a ball in a No Play Zone located within a penalty area; a player must take penalty relief under Rule 17.1d or 17.2.

Penalty Area Stakes and Lines: When both stakes and lines are used to define penalty areas, stakes identify the penalty area and lines define the edge. Penalty areas are marked by either painted yellow or red lines. This affects the player’s relief options. See Rule 17.1d.  

Practice: Prior to and after a round in stroke play, a player may practice on the designated practice areas. Rule 5.2b covering practice in stroke play is modified in this way: A player may not practice on the competition course before or between rounds. Penalty for breach of Local Rule, see Rule 5.2.

Cell Phones: Cell phones may be used for legal distance-measuring, scorekeeping, and viewing of approved tournament information (e.g., notice/hole-location sheet, live leaderboard, Rules of Golf). Should a player use a cell phone for matters other than this in a non-urgent situation, the player may be subject to penalty under the GAM Player Code of Conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, social media usage, texting, e-mail, calls and web browsing.

Motorized Transportation: Unless otherwise permitted by the Committee, players and caddies shall not use motorized carts.  Penalty for breach- General Penalty for each hole where there is a breach. Spectators are not permitted to ride. When carts are permitted only two carts per group and only two people in or on a cart.

Integral Objects: No Relief: Includes rods, cables, wires or wrappings when closely attached to trees. The integral objects of the course may be touched with a club or otherwise.

Suspension of Play Due to a Dangerous Situation (Note to Rule 5.7b):
Local Rule as prescribed in J-1 is in effect. Rule 5.7b requires players to stop play immediately if the Committee declares an immediate suspension of play. The following signals are used unless notified otherwise:
Immediate stop: One prolonged blast of the siren
Normal stop: Three consecutive notes of the siren
Resume Play: Two short notes of the siren
Any immediate suspension of play requires players to discontinue play immediately and not resume play until the Committee has so ordered.  Players may not play a stroke or complete the play of a hole before discontinuing play.  Players MUST evacuate to a place of safety.  Suspension and Resumption of play: Everyone is urged to take every precaution for protection against lightning.  Players have the right to stop play if they think lightning threatens them, even though the Committee may not have specifically authorized it by signal. Penalty for breach of Rule 5.7b: Disqualification.

Return of Scorecard: A scorecard is considered returned when it has been certified properly and the player has left the scoring area. The scoring area will be defined by the committee at each competition.

Close of Competition: The competition shall be deemed to have closed when the trophy has been awarded to the winner or in the absence of a prize ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee and results have been announced.

Updated 4/5/21