Hard Card


If you plan to participate in any tournament(s) conducted by the Palm Beach County Golf Association (PBCGA), it is important that you read the following information. It is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations concerning participating in PBCGA events.

The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and The R&A govern play. See applicable tournament round Notice to Competitors, Tournament Information, PBCGA Code of Conduct and Pace of Play Policies for modifications or additions to these Local Rules and Terms of Competition. Complete text of Rules and Section 8 Model Local Rules may be found in the Rules of Golf, effective January 2023. Unless otherwise provided, penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play.




  1. Out of bounds is defined by the line between the course-side points, at ground level, of white stakes and/or property fence posts. When defined by a white line, the line itself is out of bounds.
  2. The inside edge of a paved road or curb defines out of bounds. A ball coming to rest on or beyond the road or curb is out of bounds, even if it comes to rest on another part of the course that is in bounds for other holes.

PENALTY AREAS: When a penalty area is defined on only one side, it extends to infinity. When a penalty area is connected to the out-of-bounds edge, the penalty area extends to and coincides with out of bounds. When Yellow Penalty Areas (marked w/ yellow lines and/or stakes) and Red Penalty Areas (marked w/ red lines and/or stakes) are defined by both stakes and lines the lines take precedence. If lines and/or stakes are absent, then the natural boundaries (that is, where the ground slopes down to form the depression that can hold water) surrounding the penalty area, by default, defines the margin of a Penalty Area.


WHITE-LINED AREAS TYING INTO ARTIFICIALLY SURFACED ROADS AND PATHS: White-lined areas of ground under repair and the artificially surfaced roads, paths or other identified obstructions that they are connected to are a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1.


GROUND UNDER REPAIR: Defined by white lines. French drains are ground under repair. Ground under repair may include areas of unusual damage, including areas where spectators or other traffic has combined with wet conditions to affect materially the ground surface, but only when so declared by an authorized member of the Committee. When immediately adjacent to an immovable obstruction, such an area is part of that obstruction.


ARTIFICIALLY SURFACED CART PATHS AND ROADS: Cart paths and/or roads artificially surfaced with concrete or asphalt are immovable obstructions (abnormal course conditions) and relief will be provided under Rule 16.1. Coquina paths or paths covered with soil, dirt or crushed shells are integral parts of the course from which relief will NOT be granted. Wooden railroad ties embedded adjacent to cart paths are obstructions and relief will be provided under Rule 16.1


RELIEF FROM SEAMS OF CUT TURF: If a player’s ball lies in or touches a seam of cut turf or a seam interferes with the player’s area of intended swing:

  1. Ball in General Area: The player may take relief under Rule 16.1b.
  2. Ball on Putting Green: The player may take relief under Rule 16.1d.

But interference does not exist if the seam only interferes with the player’s stance.

All seams within the area of cut turf are treated as the same seam in taking relief. This means that if a player has interference from any seam after dropping the ball, the player must proceed as required under Rule 14.3c (2) even when the ball is still within one club-length of the reference point.


WOOD CHIPS AND MULCH: Are loose impediments.


INTEGRAL OBJECTS: Integral parts of the course are areas on the course from which relief is NOT granted. Integral parts of the golf course include (unless otherwise provided in the Notice to Competitors):

  1. Cables, rods, wires or wrappings when closely attached to trees.
  2. Artificial walls and pilings when located in penalty areas or in or adjacent to bunkers.
  3. Bunker liners (with the exceptions of an exposed bunker liner which may be treated as ground under repair. Interference does NOT exist if the liner interferes with only the player’s stance).


MISSING PLAYER OR MARKER CERTIFICATION: Model Local Rule L-1 is in effect. If a player returns a scorecard without the hole scores being certified either by the player, the marker or both, the player gets the general penalty (two penalty strokes). The penalty applies to the last hole of the player’s round.


REPLACEMENT OF CLUB THAT IS BROKEN OR SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED: Model Local Rule G-9. Rule 4.1a(2) is modified in this way: Rule 4.1a(2) applies except that a club that is damaged by the player or their caddie during the round (including while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a) may only be replaced if it is “broken or significantly damaged”.


STOPPING AND RESUMING PLAY: Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule J-1.

  1. Suspension for a dangerous situation: One long prolonged siren or airhorn note.
  2. All other types of suspensions (i.e. for darkness): Three consecutive airhorn notes.
  3. Resumption of play: Two airhorn notes.
  4. When play has been suspended for a dangerous situation, all practice facilities are deemed to be closed until declared open by the Committee.

PACE OF PLAY:  The current PBCGA Pace of Play Policy, as published in the PBCGA Tournament Policies, is in effect and is available at each tournament site. See separate memorandum to players for pace of play guidelines, when applicable.


CODE OF CONDUCT: See PBCGA Code of Conduct policy.


LIST OF CONFORMING GOLF BALLS: Any ball used in making a stroke must be on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the USGA.  Model Local Rule G-3. (Penalty for breach of this condition is disqualification)


ONE BALL RULE: Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is NOT in effect. Model Local Rule G-4.


LIST OF CONFORMING DRIVER HEADS: Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule G-1.


PROHIBITING USE OF CADDIES: Except when permitted by the PBCGA, players are prohibited from using caddies without prior medical approval. Penalty for breach of this rule is the general penalty for each hole which he or she is helped by a caddie. If the breach happens or continues between two holes, the player gets the general penalty for the next hole.


PROHIBITING USE OF HEADPHONE DEVICES: Rule 4.3a (4) is modified in this way: During a round, a player must not use headphone devices to block distractions, listen or watch content of any nature on a personal audio or video device. Penalty for breach of Local Rule – see Rule 4.3. Audio and Video devices without headphones are allowed within the rules and players must show consideration to others and not distract the play of another player – See Rule 1.2a.

:  The competition is final when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in the absence of an awards ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee. The result of a match is final when the Committee has approved the result as posted on the public scoreboard.

In all PBCGA Championships, an official event may be constituted by reverting to the results of an earlier round. Eighteen holes may constitute an official event.

(Revised 3/1/23)



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