Everything is straightforward and standard. Hopefully you already know all the rules but just in case, these listed below are the main focus and frequently asked about.
(We tried to rephrase it to describe the rules as simple as possible)
End of the hole
It isn’t over until you get that ball in the cup! No “gimme” allowed so just finish it. Conceded putts are only allowed in matchplay tournaments.
Position through the field
Do not pass ahead of whoever is furthest out. Allow them to hit, then move along together to the next ball. This is the only way we can prevent someone from doing things that can’t be seen from afar like replacing a ball because they couldn’t find theirs, or moving the ball to a better position.
Naturally it is a penalty stroke to hit your ball before the player furthest out. So there’s no point in going ahead!
Out of Bounds / Lost Ball (white markers)
The USGA rule states that a player must drive back to their original place of hitting if their ball is out of bounds or lost NOT in a hazard area.
BUT we will be using the "Local Rule" specifically for our tournament.
If a player's ball goes out of bounds or is lost in an area that is NOT a hazard, then the player may take a drop at that specific distance. There will be +2 penalty strokes for this drop. Distance for the drop is defined at the point-of-entry when the ball went out of bounds. The ball may be moved 2 club lengths ONTO THE FAIRWAY (thank the Local Rule for this generosity).
How to score this:
Stroke 1 = 1st shot which goes out of bounds
Stroke 2 = penalty for lost ball
Stroke 3 = penalty for not having to drive back and shoot at original postion
Stroke 4 = Your next shot on the fairway
Hitting into Hazard (tee and fairway)
You are allowed to take the distance with additional penalty. Find the closest red marker, drop a ball 2 club lengths away from the marker. Drop the ball from the height of your knees. If you don't like the lie of the ball, you may pick up and drop again.
If you are able to hit the ball inside the hazard area where it landed, then no penalty stroke will be added to your score.
Provisional Shot (tee)
If your shot from the tee may possibly be out of bounds but you’re not sure, then you are allowed a provisional shot. You must play your first ball if it is found. If you play the second ball because the first one wasn’t found, you are penalized a stroke. If you lost both balls, you must drive back to the tee box with an additional 2 stroke penalty.
What if someone needs to find their ball?
Allow them time to find it. Help them find it. It is under the group’s discretion to engage “ready golf” to continue the hole while the player is searching for their ball (this will prevent game delay). If you can’t find your ball in a timely manner you must take the penalty drop.
Pace of Play
No hole should exceed 14 minutes. Each group is responsible for monitoring and policing their pace of play.
Winter Rule / Clean Your Ball
You may pick up your ball from the fairway and clean off the dirt.
If your ball has plugged into the mud, then you may move your ball the distance of a scorecard (6 inches).
You may NOT touch the sand with your iron before your shot. Automatic stroke penalty.
Everyone in the group is accountable for eachother's scores
2 Scorecards need to be turned in from each group
If the scores do not match on both scorecards, ALL players in that group will be disqualified for the event
If only one scorecard is turned in, again ALL players in the group are disqualified
I hope this keeps everyone on their toes for eachother's strokes. I also would hope this prevents friends from scoring generously for their own friends.
RULE OF THUMB: Ask eachother what stroke they're hitting before their shot if you want clarification. Ask eachother their score for each hole, and count it up together if you felt like it was added wrong.