GWGA plays according to the USGA Rules of Golf. The USGA describes The Spirit of the Game:
Unlike many sports, 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.
GWGA members are expected to know and play by the rules. Players must count all whiffs. Mulligans and “gimmies” are not allowed. If the course requires “cart path only” due to the wet conditions, the league will follow the lift, clean and place rule.
Unmarked Ground Under Repair (GUR) situations: In situations where GUR on the fairway is unmarked (see hole by hole rules) ask your playing partners if you may take relief. If all agree, you may then take a drop; take one club length from the nearest point of relief. There is no penalty.
For details of Hole by Hole rules refer to the GWGA Course Guidelines document located on the GWGA Website.
RULES AND SCORING CONFLICT RESOLUTION
If during course of play, there is a disagreement as to the Rules of Golf, members should follow this procedure. The process has several steps, but in most cases, resolution will be immediate.
Step One: If a player believes that another player in their playing group has miscounted a score or there is a disagreement in the group about whether a rule was followed, there needs to be an immediate discussion to resolve the issue. If a score is in dispute, it should be resolved before teeing off on the next hole. The player in question must be able to recall every stroke taken. This doesn’t need to be confrontational; just talk to each other. If an agreement can be reached, there is no reason to go to step two. However, please send the rules chair an email to let her know about the issue.
Step Two: If an agreement can’t be reached, circle the number of the hole on the card and if it is a rules issue, the player affected should play 2 balls, one ball using her rule interpretation and another ball using the rule interpretation of the other members of the group. Both scores, if different, should be noted on the card. At the end of the round, if there is still a disagreement, no member of the playing group should sign the card. Contact the rules chair and she will talk with everyone in the playing group to try to resolve the issue. Most of the time, the rule will be clear and the issue can be resolved. However, there will be times when an issue will be left unresolved.
The rules chair and her committee will be monitoring resolved and unresolved issues on the course. There are two reasons for this. First, they will be looking for patterns where a number of disagreements about a miscounted score or following rules. In terms of scoring issues, the rules chair will have discussions with the player to discuss the importance of accurate scorekeeping, the effect on her playing partners when they continually have to count her score too, and tips on how to count—use beads, etc. In terms of rules issues, again, the rules chair will work with the player so that she has a better understanding of the rule(s) where there was a disagreement.
Step Three: There is a point, however, where education has been tried and an individual still is having repeated problems with counting her score or knowing the rules. In those rare cases, because these issues impact others in the playing group, the rules chair and her committee will notify the player that she can no longer compete for prizes within the league. The criteria for this notification are 3 unresolved issues or 5 resolved issues. All new members will be given a year’s grace period to become familiar with the rules and league’s expectations.