Good Golf & Caddy Rules to Know on the British Junior Golf Tour
Golf is a game of integrity and honesty and it is these values we look to install in all players taking part on the BJGT.
The rules can be very confusing so here are some helpful, basic rules to know to help you on the course, if there are any others you would like us to address and add to this page please get in touch and we will share them.
We feel that allowing players to have a caddy is a very positive aspect of playing on the BJGT, however this relies on everyone adhering to the same rules.
Caddies are there to help keep play moving at a good pace by carrying the bag, making sure the player is ready to play when its their turn, assisting with club selection, basic direction and bunker raking etc.
Coaching is strictly prohibited, this is for lessons with their coach and the range, once on the course please just let them just play.
Players should not be lined up by a caddy before they hit a shot, standing behind them saying ‘left a bit, right a bit’ is not allowed.
Give them a direction or point to aim at in the distance then leave them to set up and play the shot.
We have decided that caddies are no longer permitted on the green, players should tend the flag for each other and work out the putts for themselves.
Please remember that all BJGT events are designed to help the players become better golfers and this means learning for themselves.
Most of them will say ‘I know what I’m doing’ and know their own game so you should trust them.
It really shouldn't matter if they misalign a shot or putt, this is how they will learn, and from experience over more than a decade, we know they learn very quickly and will benefit in the long run when they no longer want a caddy.
Pace of Play
Pace of play is a vital aspect of our junior events and we have noticed that some rounds are taking too long, leaving big gaps in the field.
This can spoil players rounds further down the field if they are being held up or waiting on every hole.
It is the responsibility of everyone in the group to maintain their pace and keep up with the group in front, there should never be a full hole between groups!
Should an incident happen where your group loses some time, please catch this up over the next couple of holes.
Caddies are there to help in this regard, making sure players are ready when it is their turn, ensuring the group is walking quickly between holes, players are filling out scorecards while their partners are teeing off etc. etc.
If a group falls behind, then it is the whole group who will be deemed at fault.
If you feel a player in your group is taking too long, which is causing your group to fall behind, please tell them you feel the group needs to speed up in order to catch the group in front!
We do not want to be putting groups on the clock or in the worst case scenario, giving penalty shots!
9 Hole players should not be taking longer than 2hrs and 18 hole players should be aiming at 4hrs.
It is the responsibility of every player and/or caddy to accurately record their own scores, plus that of the player whose card they are marking, on each hole.
We know it is difficult for younger players to keep count, which is one reason why they have a caddy and therefore it is their responsibility at the end of each hole to agree the number of shots for each player.
Every adult acting as a caddy is capable of adding up the shots taken, people use various methods to help, such as a tally chart on the back of their card, which they mark after each shot and then write in the correct number.
We are becoming more and more aware that issues are arising at the end of holes when incorrect scores are given and this is not acceptable.
Each player and/or caddy should always be aware of what each player in their group is doing and therefore know how many shots have been taken, so please make sure you are accurate when counting shots.
If you go into a water hazard off the tee you don't have to hit another ball from the tee, look for the type of hazard, it will have Yellow or Red posts round it, and use the rules below to help.
You also don’t have to take a drop if you are inside a water hazard. If your ball is only just over the hazard line (this is sometimes away from the waters edge), and you can take your stance to make a swing, then as long as you don't touch the ground before you hit the ball (hover it just above the ground) then you may play it from where it lies.
If your ball is lost or unplayable, going into this type of hazard means you should remember where your ball crossed the hazard line and then drop your ball behind the hazard keeping this point between you and the flag, taking a 1 shot penalty.
If your ball is lost or unplayable, this type of hazard means you can drop your ball to the side of the hazard, within 2 club lengths, no nearer the hole, taking a 1 shot penalty.
Grounding your club
If you are in a hazard, you mustn't touch the ground with your club (as stated above) however if you use your club to search for the ball, in long grass for example, this does not incur a penalty.
Out of Bounds or Lost Ball
If you hit your ball out of bounds, this is nearly always the boundary of the golf course and will be marked with White posts, you should hit another ball from the same place as your last shot and this counts as 3 shots (shot one, the first shot to target, shot two, replacing the ball back to the original spot, shot three, the 2nd attempt at hitting a ball to the target).
Even if you can see and retrieve your ball, it is out of play so cannot just be dropped back onto the golf course.
The same rule applies if you lose your ball, you should go back and play another ball from the same place as your previous shot, again adding an 1 stroke.
If you’re unsure as to the location of your first ball you should always play a provisional ball (make sure you tell your partners that is what you are doing), you may then just pick this second ball up if you find your first.
If you don’t find the first one, having already hit a second ball will save time, but will mean you have played 3 shots (original shot (1), penalty shot for lost ball (2), provisional shot (3).
If your ball lands or finishes in a bush or up against a tree for example, you don’t have to hit it, we don’t want anyone injuring themselves.
You have a few options, but all of these will incur a one shot penalty:
1. Play a ball from where your last shot was played.
2. Drop a ball any distance behind the point where the ball lay, keeping a straight line between the hole, the point where the ball lay and the spot on which the ball is dropped.
3. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the ball lay not nearer the hole.
On The Green
If you are on the putting green, the flag must be removed before you get your ball in the hole. This is why one player should hold the flag and take it out the hole before your ball gets too near.
If you’re putting on the green and your ball hits the flag, this is a 1-shot penalty, however, if you’re putting from off the green you may leave the flag in the hole.
Buggies or Motorised Trollies
Players are not permitted to ride on any motorised trolley or buggy during a competition round, unless supported by a doctors note.
If your group comes across a rule during a round that they are unsure about, or a situation occurs that you don't know the best way to proceed, a player should play 2 balls and mark both scores on the card. We will then clarify the ruling and make sure the correct score is signed for.
6 & Under + 7-8 Academy Rules
We have some of our own local rules in place to assist the younger players.
10 Shot Maximum - a player may pick up his or her ball and record 10 shots on any hole.
After 3 failed shots out of a bunker, players may take a free drop to the side of the bunker.
Out of Bound is considered a lateral hazard - drop back in play where it crossed the boundary.
Water hazards are all lateral hazards - players should drop to the side of any hazard rather than behind it, even if marked with yellow stakes. If a stream runs across the hole, players may drop the other side in order to take relief, even though this is nearer the hole.
Signing of Cards
Players should not sign their scorecard until they have been through the scores at the scoring desk after the round. We know it is tempting to sign the card as soon as you are off the 18th green, and this may well be what you do after a medal at your home club, but we ask players to verify scores and sign cards like a professional event at the scoring desk.