SEGA Tournament Rules

Below are the NORMAL SEGA tournament rules.
As a member of SEGA, you are responsible to know and adhere to the rules below.
SEGA follows USGA Rules unless noted.

“Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.” – USGA Rules of Golf, Section 1

If a player disregards these rules during a round, the Board of Directors will take appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player.

Players should not score their own score cards.
Players need to sign their scorecard before turning it in. Players need to attest the scorecard they are scoring. An unsigned scorecard, unattested scorecard, or incorrect scorecard that is turned in will automatically disqualify a player from the tournament and any potential winnings.
If a question about a score arises, then note the hole and ask the SEGA tournament director to make a ruling after the round is complete.
Sky Caddies and Range finders are approved for SEGA tournaments.
All putts must be holed out.
The ball must be played as it lies except if Lift, Clean, and Place is invoked prior to the start of play. Then the ball shall be placed within one club length, but no nearer the hole.
SEGA Ready play rule: Your group must be able to stay behind the group in front of you. If you are able to play your ball while someone is looking for his or her ball, take your shot as long as you do not interfere with anyone. Play Ready Golf.
Water hazard (yellow stakes) rule: SEGA follows the USGA Rule which is below:
Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played; 1 stroke penalty< Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; 1 stroke penalty. Play the ball as it lies (no penalty) Lateral Hazard (red stakes) rule: SEGA follows the USGA Rule which is below: Limit your search to 3 minutes If your ball is in the lateral hazard, you have two choices: proceed under the Water Hazard rule, or drop within 2 club lengths from the point of entry no closer to the hole, or a point on the opposite side of the lateral hazard equidistant from the hole; 1 stroke penalty. USGA Rules will apply with the following exceptions: SEGA’s Rock and Root rule: If your ball is on rocks or roots (and your ball is NOT in a hazard) you may take relief to the nearest point of relief, no nearer to the hole and no line-of-sight improvement. No penalty. If your ball is behind a tree, it must remain behind the tree. The Rock and Root rule is to protect your club. You are NOT permitted to take free relief if your stance is on a rock or root. You must play it as it lies or take an unplayable lie using these options under penalty of 1-stroke; Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played or Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped; or Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole. Out of Bounds or Lost Ball: Limit your search to 3 minutes If with your tee-shot or any following shot you think your ball might be out of bounds or lost (not in marked hazard), you have two options: Play a provisional ball and take a 1-stroke penalty (for example on your tee-shot, your provisional would be your 3rd shot) or Drop within 2 club lengths from point of entry, no closer to the hole, and take a 2-stroke penalty If there is any doubt about a ruling, play a second ball, keep track of score for both balls for that hole and get a ruling when you come in. The most important thing to remember in determining a rules violation is that you should not accept a ruling from someone in the “Pro Shop” unless they can cite the Rule Number and the corresponding penalty associated with that Rule. Just because someone works in a golf shop does not mean that they know everything, or anything, about the RULES OF GOLF. Please! Keep up with the group ahead of you. Slow play will be monitored by course marshals. First offense is a warning; second offense your name will be taken by the marshal and given to the Board of Directors. How to Handle Rule Violations If you witness a rule violation: Be sure you are 100% certain; it may be that they are merely are unaware of the appropriate Rules. Be certain you know the rules as well. If convinced there is a rule violation, then quietly take the player aside and ask them about the rule in question; remember, the player may be unaware of a Rule. If there is a difference of opinion on the violation, note this on the scorecard and get a ruling when you get in the clubhouse. If appropriate, the player should play two balls that hole, keep the score for both balls and get a ruling when they get in. If you do not take the opportunity to take the player aside during the round, inform a SEGA Board Member immediately afterwards. In either case, you must be willing to take ownership of what you witnessed in an effort to reconcile the situation. You will not be able to remain anonymous if you contend a violation has occurred. If a member is reported as committing a rule violation, the following may occur: The member will be contacted by a SEGA Board Member. A member who has repeated reports of rule violations will no longer be welcomed in the SEGA organization; their association with SEGA will be terminated. New and Revised Decisions on USGA Rules for Golf for 2010-2011: The USGA has published their new and revised Decisions on the Rules of Golf for 2010-2011. These can be found on the USGA website: Of the new and revised decisions on rules, below are those which affect SEGA players more often: You can wrap a towel around your body to protect you from a Mesquite tree...but you cannot put the towel on the tree. 1-4/11.5 Player Wraps Towel Around Self or Places Towel on Cactus Before Taking Stance Q. A player’s ball lies near a cactus, and to play the ball the player would have to stand with his legs touching the cactus. To protect himself from the cactus needles, the player wraps a towel around his legs before taking his stance. He then plays the ball. What is the ruling? A. Provided the player does not breach Rule 13-2 (i.e., he takes his stance fairly), there is no breach of the Rules. However, if the player were to place the towel on the cactus, in equity (Rule 1-4), the player loses the hole in match play or incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play. (New) You can rake a bunker after you get your ball out...before you putt out...even if your ball goes into another bunker. 13-4/0.7 Player Rakes Bunker When Ball Lies in Another Bunker Q. A player’s ball lies through the green, and he plays the ball into a bunker. Before playing from the bunker, he smoothes footprints in a different bunker. As the player had not played from the bunker he raked, Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 did not apply. Is the player in breach of Rule 13-4a? A. The answer depends on the circumstances. Even though Decision 13-4/0.5 states that raking is a form of testing the condition of a hazard, it is not the intent of Rule 13-4a to prohibit players from practicing the proper etiquette of the game. Therefore, when the player’s ball lies in a bunker, it is not a breach of the Rules if the player smoothes the sand in another bunker, provided (a) the smoothing is for the purpose of tidying up the bunker, (b) the smoothing does not breach Rule 13-2 with respect to his next stroke and (c) there is not a reasonable possibility that the smoothing could affect a subsequent stroke by the player. If the player smoothes sand in the bunker in which his ball lies prior to making his first stroke in that bunker, he is in breach of Rule 13-4a. (New) You do not have to replace a loose impediment if you are in a bunker... and another player’s shot caused that loose impediment to move. 20-3b/8 Loose Impediment Affecting Lie of Ball Moved Q. A’s ball lies in a bunker, with a loose impediment immediately behind the ball. The ball of B, his opponent or fellow-competitor, lies near A’s ball in the same bunker, but farther from the hole. B asks A to lift his ball under Rule 22-2, which A does. B’s stroke moves the loose impediment that was behind A’s ball. Is A’s lie considered to have been altered as a result of the removal of the loose impediment, in which case Rule 20-3b would apply? A. No. Loose impediments are not part of the lie of the ball as contemplated by Rule 20-3b. Therefore, A is not required to replace the loose impediment before his next stroke. If he did replace the loose impediment, there would be no penalty. The same answer would apply on any part of the course. (New) You cannot stand behind your partner and watch him putt anymore. 30-3f/13 Partner Stands on Extension of Player’s Line of Play Behind Ball Q. A and B are partners in a four-ball competition. A’s ball is on the putting green 30 feet from the hole, and B’s ball is 20 feet from the hole on a similar line. To assist him with his own putt, B stands on an extension of the line of putt behind A’s ball while A putts. What is the ruling? A. A was in breach of Rule 14-2b by allowing his partner, B, to position himself on or close to an extension of the line of putt behind the ball while he made his stroke. As A’s breach assisted B, B also incurred the same penalty (Rules 30-3f and 31-8). In match play, Side A-B loses the hole. In stroke play, A incurs a penalty of two strokes and B incurs the same penalty. (New) The Rules of Golf are administered by the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A (Royal and Ancient) and they meet every four years (quadrennial) to discuss and approve any proposed changes to the Rules of Golf. In between the quadrennial, every two years these organizations meet to discuss and approve any proposed changes to the Definitions and Decisions of the Rules of Golf. The latest Definition & Decision changes were effective January 1, 2014. In 2014 there were three NEW DECISIONS: Rule 14 Striking The Ball 14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment 14-3/18 A player may access local weather information (e.g., wind, temperature, humidity) through an application or internet browser on a multi-functional device. Rule 18. Ball at Rest Moved. 18-4. By Fellow-Competitor, Caddie or Equipment in Stroke Play 18/4 The Definition of "Moved" - when a ball "leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place" - does not contemplate movements of the ball that are only discernible through the use of high definition television or any other form of sophisticated technology. Rule 18. Ball at Rest Moved. 18-2. By Player, Partner, Caddie or Equipment The effects of gravity do not satisfy the Exception to Rule 18-2b. There were also 24 DECISIONS listed as TO BE WITHDRAWN and 59 REVISED DECISIONS. Listed below are those that affect SEGA players more often: 12-1/4 Player Touches Ground in Hazard When Searching for Ball Believed to Be Covered by Loose Impediments in Hazard There is no penalty to touch or move loose impediments in a hazard in order to find a ball. 23/5 Ant Hill An ant hill is now defined as a loose impediment. 27-2a/1.5 Meaning of "Goes Forward to Search" A player is allowed to go forward up to 50 yards to search for a ball and still be allowed to return promptly to play a provisional ball. 30-3f/11 Request to Lift Ball That Might Assist Partner Not Honored In a four-ball match (the best ball of you & your partner vs. the best ball of your two opponents), while on the green if your opponent asks you to mark & lift your ball, and you refuse, and your partner putts, you are both disqualified for that hole.