The following are the PHMGA League Rules that pertain to the 2021 season

2021 PHMGA League Rules

All golf in the Pine Hills Men's Golf Association will be under the jurisdiction of the 2021 Rules of Golf as approved by the USGA, dated effective Jan. 1, 2019, with the exception of those local rules adopted under local rules provisions.  The above will be subject to Posted Rules of the Day.  

 The following local rules are adopted in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Rules of Golf:

1.     In case of ties in handicap events, the Association will use the USGA recommendations as shown in the Rules of Golf with the following additions:

Match Play - The playoff will be played on the same day as the match was started.  In the event of darkness or inclement weather, the playoff date and time will be mutually agreed upon by the players and subject to the provisions of local rules.  Strokes in handicap match play events occur in the same sequence on extra holes as in the original 18 holes.

Stroke Play - In weekly events, however, ties will result in splitting the prize money between all tied players.

2.      Since the Association will hold medal tournaments in conjunction with match play events, players must putt out on every hole including conceded holes.  Otherwise the player must disqualify themselves from the medal event.  Should disputes arise when competing in both tournaments simultaneously, a player should proceed by playing a second ball, completing the hole with both balls, then request a ruling when the round is completed.

3.   The following are deemed to be obstructions and you are not in a penalty area: shelter houses; wooden bridges; water fountains, sprinkler heads and faucets; man-made concrete foundations, and paved cart paths, a player is entitled to complete relief under the rules of golf.  

4.    Line of sight relief to the pin shall be permitted from all electrical boxes on the course. In such cases the player may lift and drop the ball, without penalty, within one club length of, and not nearer the hole, then the nearest point of relief. 

5.   The lake on #18 is a penalty area and should be played according to the rules of golf.  Both lakes and the cart path are considered one penalty area.  If a ball has been played across the water and has landed beyond the penalty area but rolled back in, the lake should be played as a penalty area.  You may play the ball on the green side of the lake where it last crossed the penalty area, no nearer the hole.

6.   The lake between holes #9 and #11 are a penalty area and should be played accordingly by the rules of golf

7.   Specific areas to the right and left of the #4 green will be marked as a penalty area.  Two drop zones will be established or a player can proceed under the normal rules of golf.  

    Wave up on Hole #4 if the group behind you is waiting.  If the group behind you is not ready to hit, then finish the hole.


8.   The stipulated round consists of playing 18 holes of the course in their correct sequence, starting on either hole #1 or #10.  

9.   In match play tournaments, each competitor must attempt to contact his opponent for the purpose of an agreed starting time or date.  If a Saturday time cannot be arranged, the match must be played upon mutual agreement before the following Saturday.  If no contact or agreement between players has been made, both should be available for play at the regular Association starting time on Saturday.  If an opponent is not ready for play by 10 minutes after his Association starting time, the Tournament Director will rule the match a forfeit.

In case of rain or threatening weather, both players must mutually agree to play at a later time or date. Otherwise, play must continue as scheduled.

10.  Rules of the Day will be posted in the clubhouse each Saturday by 8:30 a.m.  First group tees off at 8:50 and will head to tee around 8:40. Summer Rules, Winter Rules (pick, clean and place in own fairway) and Jungle Rules (pick, clean and place through the green.  Bunkers can be raked and ball placed in the prepared area) will be the only options.

Jungle Golf through the green - 1 club length no nearer the hole. If the one club length of relief allows you to change the cut of the grass, that is permissible.

11.     Free drop from divots in own fairway when playing Summer Rules.

12.     Stroke play scores count for Association purposes only when the round is played on Saturday and will be valid only when the player has played the full 18 holes with another Association member.

13.     Association members are responsible for posting their own score (gross score, net score, etc.) on the league Laptop in Golf Genius within 15 minutes after completion of the round.  Only posted scores will be eligible for prizes. Scorecards must also be turned in for each foursome and placed in a box designated for that purpose.

Members DO NOT need to post their league scores with USGA GHIN, the Golf Genius tool will do it for you.

14.     Guests will be permitted to play with Association members only during the last 15 minutes of the allotted starting times, provided such play does not interfere with Association play and that there is an open starting time available.  Association members have priority on starting times. The same guest can be invited no more than 3 times during a given year.

15.     (Amended by majority vote of the Competition Committee Mar 2021) Because our Club Championship automatically qualifies the winner for NOGA’s Cleveland Amateur and Senior Amateur events, below are the changes to the Championships:

  • PHMGA Club Championship will be separated from the rest of Flights
  • Anyone in the AA Flight is eligible to participate   
  • You must make your Declaration of Intent to Play the week before the seeding event     
  • Eligibility to qualify for the Seeding Tournament, you must have played in at least 4 weekly events prior to the start of Seeding Tournament    
  • The entire flight will be seeded 1-16, using best two gross scores from the 72 Hole Event.  (You must complete at least two rounds.  Otherwise you will be disqualified)
  • For the other Flight Championships (A, B & C) will be conducted in the same fashion as in year’s past.     Top 8 will be seeded based on the seeding event.  However there are some tweaks to the format.      All matches for the C Flight Championship are played from the Gold Tees: For these events each player we will also need to make a Declaration of Intent the week before the seeding event.
  • The seeding tournament  will be increased to a 72 Hole event.  This will be identified on the Events Calendar.  For these four events, players continue to use their “normal” weekly tees.


16.    The final round of the championship flight will be 36 holes of match play.  The finals in all other flights will be 18 holes of match play.  All championship matches must be completed within 14 days of their scheduled start date.

17.     Any ball coming to rest in a man-made aeration hole in your own fairway (including fringe) may be dropped without penalty.

18.     (Amended by majority vote March 2019) Reverting to Pine Hills Local Rules as written on the scorecard.  Free drop (within one club length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief or in the designated drop zones) from all flower beds and landscaped areas (landscaped areas defined by the presence of pine straw, mulch, wood chips with or without flowers present) and arborvitae (the tall thin bushes planted for protection from wild golf shots on holes 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, and 16. (The ball must be found in the arborvitae in order to get a free drop.) If the ball is not found, then it is a lost ball and the player must go back to the original point of play and re-hit the shot. Or a one stroke penalty and drop a ball in the drop zone. 


19.     The use of a device that measures distance is approved.  The use of a device that measures conditions that might affect a player's play (wind, gradient, and slope etc.) is permitted.

20.     Tee Box Rule amended by Competition Committee March 2021 as follows: at the START of the PHMGA Season, you will be seeded in one of the following four flights based on your GHIN.  If you meet the appropriate age criteria you can make a one-time irrevocable election that is season long for the following:

  • AA Flight Players, Age 60 and over on April 1st may play the Hybrid Tees, EXCEPT during the PHMGA Championship Events
  • A Flight Players age 65 and older on April 1 may play the White tees, EXCEPT during the Flight Championship Events
  • B and C Flight Players, Aged 65 and over on April 1st of each Season may play the Gold tees, EXCEPT during the Flight Championship Events 
  • C Flight Players, Aged 70 and over on April 1st of may play the Green Tees, EXCEPT during the Flight Championship Events where players will play from the Gold Tees
  • Please note should a member switch flights because of a handicap change you will not be permitted to move up or down two tee boxes from where you started the season.  


21.     (Amended by majority vote March 2019) Improve speed of play Hole #7, when a player’s shot is hit into the steep bank and thick grass area to the Left of #7 Green; if ball is not found, players will proceed with a lost ball penalty and hit from the drop area at the bottom of the bank area left of # 7 green rather than re-hitting a shot from the original location.  With regard to the fence separating Holes 7 & 3, if your shot is impaired by the fence, you are entitled to take relief within the drop zone located by the bunker and will be assessed a one stroke penalty.   

22.     (Amended by majority vote March 2019) Holes 15, 16, & 17, the area previously defined as out of bounds is now considered a penalty area and a player should drop according to the rules of golf.  

23. Under a newly established Local Rule, a club is “broken or significantly damaged” if it meets the following conditions:

  • 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


However, a player is not allowed to replace his or her club solely because there is a crack in the club face or clubhead.

Some new course pace of play guidelines

Your tee time is when we expect you to hit it, not when we are sending you to the tee.  We would like to have everyone ready 10 minutes prior to your time, not paying and getting ready 10 minutes before your tee time.  If we have problems with players being ready, we will send out your group and you will have to skip the first hole.  If you miss a hole, or don't finish one, to post a score you take par plus any handicap strokes you were entitled to.