The Rules of Golf as approved by the USGA, the R&A and Golf Canada govern play.  These Local Rules and Terms of the Competition are in effect at all GTA AM TOUR competitions.  See the applicable Notice to Players for the competition for modifications or additions to these Local Rules and Terms of Competition.  For the full text of the Rules and any Local Rule, please refer to Golf Canada Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, effective January 1, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the General Penalty:
(Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes)

Effective Date:  May 27, 2020

Table of Contents:

1. Out of Bounds (Rule 18.2)

Defined by course-side points at ground level of white stakes and fence posts.  Where stone walls define Out of Bounds the wall is an Integral Object.  A ball is considered Out of Bounds when it comes to rest outside or beyond the wall.  A ball coming to rest on or beyond a road defined as Out of Bounds is Out of Bounds, even though it may lie on another part of the Course that is in bounds for other holes.  Gates in boundary fences are Integral Objects.

2. Penalty Areas (Rule 17)

When a red 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 a player’s ball is found in or it is known or virtually certain to have come to rest in any penalty area where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area at a point that coincides with the boundary of the course, opposite side relief is available under Model Local Rule B-2.1​

Dropping Zones for Penalty Areas – Where a dropping zone is marked for a penalty area, it is an additional option for relief under penalty of one stroke.  The dropping zone is a relief area.  A ball must be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area.

3. Abnormal Course Conditions, Including Immovable Obstructions (Rule 16)

  1. Ground under Repair - Rule 16.1 includes:
    1. Any areas bounded by a white line;
    2. French drains (stone-filled drainage ditches);
    3. Seams of Cut Turf (Sod Seams).  Model Local Rule F-7 is in effect.
    4. No Play Zones – Areas that are ornamental garden beds, turf nurseries or decorative flowerbeds are No Play Zones that are to be treated as Ground Under Repair.  Player must proceed under Rule 16.1f.
    5. Aeration Holes.  Model Local Rule E-4 is in effect.
  1. Immovable Obstructions:
    1. White-lined areas of ground under repair and the artificially surfaced road or path or other identified immovable obstructions to which those areas are connected are treated as a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1.
    2. Landscaped garden areas and everything growing in them that are surrounded by an immovable obstruction are treated as a single abnormal course condition.

Embedded Ball – Rule 16.3 is modified in this way:  No free relief is allowed for a ball embedded in the stacked turf face above a bunker. 

4. Immovable Obstructions Close to Putting Greens

Model Local Rule F-5 is in effect.  This Local Rule only applies when the ball and immovable obstruction lie in part of the general area cut to fairway height or less.  In addition to Rule 16.1a, interference also exists if an immovable obstruction is on the player’s line of play, is within two club-lengths of the putting green and is within two club-lengths of the ball. 

Exception:  there is no relief under this Local Rule if the player chooses a line of play that is clearly unreasonable. 

5. Wood Chips and Mulch (Rule 15.1)

Individual pieces of wood chips and mulch are loose impediments.

6. Ball Played from Outside Relief Area When Taking Back-On-the-Line Relief

Model Local Rule E-12 is in effect.  When taking Back-On-the-Line relief, there is no additional penalty if a player plays a ball that was dropped in the relief area required by the relevant Rule (Rule 16.1c(2), 17.1d(2), 19.2b or 19.3b) but came to rest outside the relief area, so long as the ball, when played, is within one club-length of where it first touched the ground when dropped.

This exemption from penalty applies even if the ball is played from nearer the hole than the reference point (but not if played from nearer the hole than the spot of the original ball or the estimated point where the ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area).

This Local Rule does not change the procedure for taking Back-On-the-Line relief under a relevant Rule.  This means that the reference point and relief area are not changed by this Local Rule and that Rule 14.3c(2) can be applied by a player who drops a ball in the right way and it comes to rest outside the relief area, whether this occurs on the first or second drop.

7. Integral Objects

The following are integral objects from which free relief is not allowed:

  1. Wrappings, wires, cables and other similar objects when closely attached to trees or other permanent objects. 
  2. Artificial retaining walls and/or pilings when located in penalty areas. 
  3. Bunker liners in their intended position.  Interference by a liner with a player’s stance is deemed not to be, of itself, interference under this Rule.

8. Permanent Elevated Power Lines or Cables

Model Local Rule E-11 is in effect.  If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hit a permanent elevated power line or cable, the stroke does not count.  The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made in accordance with Rule 14.6.

9. Temporary Immovable Obstructions

Model Local Rule F-23 is in effect.  Temporary Immovable Obstructions include, but are not limited to, starting tents, scoring tents and sponsor signage.

10. Clubs and Balls (Rules 4.1a &4.2a)

  1. List of Conforming Driver Heads: Model Local Rule G-1 is in effect.  Penalty for making a stroke with a club in breach of the Local Rule:  Disqualification.
  2. List of Conforming Golf Balls: Model Local Rule G-3 is in effect.  Penalty for breach of the Local Rule: Disqualification.

Note: An updated List of Conforming Clubs and Balls is available via https://golfcanada.ca/rules-of-golf/#equipment .

11. Replacement of Club that is Broken or Significantly Damaged

Model Local Rule G-9 is in effect.  Rule 4.1b(3) is modified in this way:  If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4).

When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1).

For the purposes of this Local Rule:
•  A club is “broken or significantly damaged” when:

  • ​the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented)
  • the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched)
  • the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed
  • the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or
  • the grip is loose.

Exception: A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked.
Penalty for Breach of Local Rule – See Rule 4.1b.

12. Caddies (Rule 10.3)

A player may use a caddie during play; but the player must not have another player competing in the same round as his caddie during the round.

Penalty for Breach of Local Rule:
  • The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which he is helped by such a caddie.
  • If the breach happens or continues between two holes, the player gets the general penalty for the next hole.

13. Pace of Play (Rule 5.6)

The player must play without delay in accordance with the current GTA AM TOUR Pace of Play guidelines in effect and posted at all tournaments.

Note 1:  The player is responsible for knowing the Pace of Play guidelines, the time par and penalties specific to the event.
Note 2:  Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay) is still applicable.

14. Stopping and Resuming Play (Rule 5.7)

The course and all practice areas are closed when play is suspended for a dangerous situation until the Tournament Committee has declared them open.  A player practicing in these areas when closed will be subject to penalties under the Code of Conduct.

  • A suspension for a dangerous situation will be signaled by one prolonged air horn note.
  • All other types of suspension will be signaled by three consecutive air horn notes.
  • Resumption of play will be signaled by two short air horn notes.

15. Practice (Rules 5.2 and 5.5) in Stroke Play

Rule 5.2b is modified in this way:  A player must not practise on the competition course before or between rounds.  

  • Penalty for first breach:  General Penalty (applied to the player’s first hole).
  • Penalty for second breach: Disqualification.

Rule 5.5b is modified in this way:  Between the play of two holes, a player must not:

  • Make any practice stroke on or near the putting green of the hole just completed, or
  • Test the surface of that putting green by rubbing the putting green or rolling a ball

16. Returning Score Card

The scoring area may include, but is not limited to tents or rooms.  A player has officially returned his or her score card when it has been returned to the defined official scoring area and the player has exited the area with both feet, unless the player verbally informs the scoring official that he or she needs to leave the scoring area and will immediately return.  When a tent is used for scoring, the official scoring area is defined by the outermost limits of the scoring tent posts or when the tent is roped off, the scoring area is defined by the outermost limits of the roped off area. 

17. Code of Conduct (Rule 1.2b)

Any player who breaches the Code of Conduct as established by the GTA AM TOUR is subject to any or all the following:

  • Warning
  • One-stroke penalty
  • General penalty
  • Disqualification

18. Meaning of Round

  1. Unless otherwise posted in the “Notice to Players” a tournament round for a division will consist of two consecutive 9-hole stipulated rounds when all play in a division starts on the same hole.  If every player in a division is unable to complete 18 holes but has completed 9 holes and the event is subsequently cancelled, the 9-hole score will count.  Every player in that division must complete nine holes for the event to count.

19. Maximum Score Rule 21.2 applies only to C Flight Division

The maximum score for each hole (including strokes made and penalty strokes), set by the Committee, is ten (10) strokes for C Flight only.  A player in C Flight who does not hole out under the Rules for any reason gets the maximum score for the hole.

20. Deciding Ties

In a stroke play competition, ties for first place will be decided by a hole-by-hole playoff.  In the event a playoff cannot be conducted; the tie will be decided by matching cards based on the best score for the last nine holes.  If the tying players have the same score for the last nine, then the last six holes, last three holes and finally the 18th hole will be used to determine the winner.  If the players are still tied, the same process will be used for the front nine.

In Net Stableford events, ties are resolved via card matching using points.  Points are compared starting with the last nine holes, then last six holes, last three holes and finally points earned on 18th hole to determine the winner.  If the players are still tied, the same process is repeated for the front nine.

In all multi-day events, ties for first place will be decided by a hole-by-hole playoff.  In the event a playoff cannot be conducted, the winner will be determined by the best last 18-hole score.  If still tied, the winner will then be decided by card matching (of the last 18 holes) based on best score for the last nine holes, last six holes, last three holes, 18th hole as needed.  If the players are still tied, this same process will be is repeated for the front nine.

21. When Competition is Final

The competition is deemed to be closed when the trophy has been presented to the winner, or in the absence of prize ceremonies, when all scores have been approved by the Tournament Committee and the results are officially announced.