Rules of Golf

USGA Rules Of Golf

All DVWGC events are played in accordance with the USGA Rules of Golf (augmented by specific Local Rules). These rules exist to level the playing field. They are the glue that holds the game of golf together for all of us. The words in the Rules have been chosen very carefully to be concise and definitive – they must be read and digested very carefully All members are urged to KEEP INTEGRITY AND SPORTSMANSHIP ALIVE IN OUR GOLF PLAY by learning and practicing the Rules.  Players should study and carry a USGA Rule Book. Be a learning expert of the Rules of Golf

USGA Rules of Golf and Rule Changes for 2019

As of January 2019 the USGA is implementing some signifiant rule changes.  A helpful web site to review these changes can be found at the Colorado Golf Association’s web site here.  

The USGA has published full text of rules “The Rules of Golf for 2019” which can be found here.  A summary of these changes can be found here.

A brief YouTube video on the changes can be found here.  You will need to skip through the ad to view the video.


 Approved by Golf Council December 2018 

OUT OF BOUNDS: Out of bounds is defined by white stakes and/or lines, the course edge of public roads, curbs, perimeter fences and residential boundaries. When stakes and/or fencing are used, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level.

PUBLIC ROADS: A ball which crosses a public road defined as out of bounds and comes to rest beyond that road is out of bounds, even though it may lie on another part of the course that is in bounds for another hole.

PREPARED ROCK: Areas of rock closely arranged for a functional purpose (e.g., drainage or erosion control) are deemed to be obstructions. Free relief under Rule 16.1b.

STONES IN BUNKERS: Stones in bunkers are moveable obstructions (Rule 15.2a).

IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTION NEAR THE PUTTING GREEN: If a ball lies in the General Area that is closely mown and line of play interference exists with an immovable obstruction that is on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club-lengths of the ball, the player may take relief without penalty. (Rule 16.1b applies).

ANIMAL DUNG: At the player’s option, animal dung may be treated as either a loose impediment that may be removed under Rule 15.1 or as ground under repair from which free relief is allowed under Rule 16.1. Approved by Golf Council December 2018 

DVWGC Local Rules

COMPETITION IN WEEKLY SWEEPS AND CLUB TOURNAMENTS:  Only a paid competitive member of the Deer Valley Women’s Golf Club may COMPETE in weekly sweeps events and Club tournaments.  New competitive members with an AWGA handicap may compete immediately in the Event of the Day.  New competitive members without an AWGA handicap may compete in the Event of the Day after they have 5 attested scores establishing a handicap trend. Prior to having 5 attested scores, a separate game competition may be identified for those competitive members.

Non-competitive members may play with the competitive members on weekly game days without paying sweeps but they must pay the Monitor Fee.

LOCAL RULE FOR WASHOUT RUTS IN SANDY AREAS:  Wash out ruts in sandy (desert) areas of the course are deemed to be Ground Under Repair.  Free relief under Rule 16.1b.


To enter the Club Championship, President’s Cup, and Match Play events, a player must have an AWGA handicap and Deer Valley must be her SCW HOME COURSE. She must also have been a Member of Deer Valley for thirty (30) days and must have played at least five (5) Tuesdays prior to the first day of the tournament.


Competition is open to all AWGA Members on the Member’s course on a Play Day and will consist of 2 best gross and 2 best net 18-hole rounds out of a designated 4 rounds. It is recommended by the AWGA that all Medallion rounds are to be posted as a “T” score (Tournament Score) as determined by the local Handicap Committee.

Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)

Each of us occasionally gets an unusually high score on a hole when everything goes wrong. In order to keep such occurrences from inflating the Handicap Index (which is intended to be a measure of our BEST capability), USGA has established a procedure (ESC) to adjust such a hole score down to an allowable limit for purposes of handicap determination. This maximum adjusted limit is lower for low handicappers and higher for high handicappers. It is specified in accordance with your COURSE HANDICAP (not your Handicap Index) as follows:


  • 9 or less                            D.Bogey
  • 10 thru 19                            7
  • 20 thru 29                            8
  • 30 thru 39                            9
  • 40                                       10

Whenever your GROSS SCORE on a hole exceeds this number (1), enter this number (2) as your ADJUSTED SCORE.


We must focus strongly on safety, both for ourselves and for others on or near the course. The danger of being struck by a golf ball or golf club, or the danger of a golf car accident, is always there. And the greatest concern of all is the dreadful possibility of hitting a person with a golf ball or a golf club. Only a sense of constant vigilance can succeed in reducing these risks. An additional potential for disaster is the danger of lightning. A golf course is one of the worst places to be in a thunderstorm!

Pace of Play

Ready Golf is defined as including Pace of Play and the following is recommended.  WE CAN REDUCE OUR ROUNDS BY AS MUCH AS 30 MINUTES BY FOLLOWING THESE SIMPLE RULES.


  • Go directly to your ball and hit it, as long as no one is in your way and is not ready to hit. (if you are 200 yards from the green, it is probably safe to go ahead and hit your next shot!)
  • Cart Driver – Go directly to your passenger’s ball and drop her off.  Immediately proceed to your own ball, hit it, and return to pick up your passenger.
  • Select your club while waiting to hit.  Be ready when your turn comes.  Hit a provisional ball if you think your ball may be lost or out of bounds.
  • If golf cars are not allowed on the fairways, take two or three clubs with you when walking to the ball.
  • Walk briskly between shots and know when it is your turn to hit.
  • 5 minutes maximum search for a lost ball.  The other players should hit before joining in the search


  • Putt out of turn if “away” players are not ready.  Lag up if a player is off the green and is not ready.
  • Continuous putting – keep putting until you hole out if comfortable.
  • Study your line while others are putting.  Be ready to putt.
  • Proceed to the next tee immediately after holing out. 
  • Put away your clubs and enter scores at the next tee box.

In general –  pace yourself by focusing on where you are in relation the group ahead of you rather than the group behind you.  If you lose pace, let the group behind you play through.

Scorecards and Score Posting

Scorecards must be signed, attested, have the gross and net scores extended, and placed in the basket located at the Monitor’s table.  A score must be posted before 5:30 on the day of play.  A score report will be run after 5:30 to verify scores.  Failure to conform may result in disqualification. 

For all rounds where at least 13 holes have been completed, adjusted scores must be posted for handicapping purposes.