Tour Policies and Regulations

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GTA AM TOUR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

GTA AM TOUR CODE OF CONDUCT

All Tour members agree to observe the CODE OF CONDUCT as set forth by the GTA AM TOUR.

This CODE OF CONDUCT applies to all Tour members throughout the tournament, both on and off the golf course.

The GTA AM TOUR Code of Conduct is based on the premise that all Tour members respect the Tour community,

Tour staff and the host course staff and its facilities.

RESPECT FELLOW TOUR MEMBERS

All members will foster an atmosphere of collegiality through the practice of recognized golf etiquette.

All members will play by the rules of golf as described by Golf Canada and by local rules as established by The Tour.

Members are obliged to report any breach of the Rules of Golf to a Tour Rules Official or Tour Committee Member.

All members will keep a Current and Accurate Handicap Factor, as completely described in the Tour Players’ Manual.

All players will make every effort to play at an appropriate pace by keeping up to the group in front of them.

RESPECT TOUR STAFF

Members will treat Tour Staff and Tour Rules Officials with courtesy.

Members will report any problems with the host course, their staff or their facilities to Tour Staff and will not attempt to resolve problems with the host course directly.

Members will report any issues you may have with Tour Staff to Mark Young.

RESPECT HOST STAFF AND FACILITIES

Members will treat host course Staff with courtesy.

Members will adhere to host course policies, including but not limited to alcohol consumption and dress code.

Members will treat the host course with respect. The host course must be left in the same, or better condition than it was found, prior to the Tour event.

CODE OF CONDUCT COMMITTEE

A representative from each Flight will be selected to sit on the Code of Conduct Committee.

The Committee shall meet on an ad hoc and as required basis. Meetings will be chaired by the Tour Commissioner. Committee meetings may be held by teleconference or videoconference.

The Code of Conduct Committee will seek to improve the Tour Code of Conduct to provide Tour members with the most enjoyable experience possible.

The Code of Conduct Committee is authorized to discipline members in breach of the Code of Conduct, including disqualification from individual events and suspension or expulsion from the Tour.

Participation in the GTA AM Tour is for amateur golfers as described below:

AMATEUR GOLFER:

An amateur golfer, whether he or she plays competitively or recreationally, is one who plays golf for the challenge it presents, not as a professional and not for financial gain.

AMATEUR STATUS:

Amateur Status is a universal condition of eligibility for player golf competitions as an amateur golfer. A person who acts contrary to the Rules may forfeit his or her Amateur Status and as a result will be ineligible to play in amateur competitions.

HANDICAP AND FLIGHT POLICY

A) Handicap Indexes

       Players will compete in one of five Flights:

        •   Championship Flight (players with a Handicap Index of 4.9 or less)
        •   A Flight (players with a Handicap Index between 5.0 - 9.9)
        •   B Flight (players with a Handicap Index between 10.0 - 14.9)
        •   C Flight (players with a Handicap Index between 15.0 - 25.9)
        •   Net Stableford Flight (players with a Handicap Index below 25.9)

Please note:  Flight assignments are determined at the time when tee times are established for the event.

B) Women on Tour

Women are welcomed and encouraged to play on The GTA AM Tour in one of two ways.

1. Women can play in one of the other competitive Flights (CH, A, B, C or Open Net Stableford). In order to compete in one of these Flights, six strokes will be added to a woman's Handicap Index to have them play in the correct Flight and from the correct yardages. 

2. Women can also play for fun in the Recreational Flight. Anyone can join this group of golfers who will be teeing off after the Women's Flight, at each of the 2020 Tour events. The R Flight has been created to provide recreational/casual golfers with an opportunity to play some of the best golf courses in Ontario for FUN! Golfers in the R Flight will not be required to have a Handicap Index and can play from any set of tees they wish.

C) Player Handicap Maintenance

All Tour players are required to maintain a CURRENT and ACCURATE Handicap Index. All players playing the Competitive Tour must have an accredited Handicap Index with Golf Canada and/or its provincial affiliates. Players can join the GTA AM Tour handicap club, upon request, at a reduced cost to the GAO’s Public Player Program.

1. CURRENT

Players must post scores from ALL rounds played (nine or eighteen holes), ALL non-Tour competitive events and ALL other rounds other than GTA AM Tour rounds.  The preferred method of posting scores is the Hole by Hole Method.   Scores MUST be entered as soon as possible after a round is completed. All scores must be accurately entered prior to any GTA AM Tour event.

At registration, prior to every GTA AM Tour event, players will be required to authorize, with their signature, the currency and accuracy of their Handicap Index. If a player cannot authorize their Index, they will be permitted to play in the stroke play competition of that event, subject to Tour handicap policies, but will not be eligible for Order of Merit points.

If a player plays in the stroke play competition of an event and the inaccuracy of their Handicap Index has incorrectly placed them in a given Flight, any points and/or prizes earned in that event shall be forfeited.

THE TOUR WILL ENSURE THAT EACH PLAYER’S TOUR SCORE WILL BE POSTED DIRECTLY TO HIS/HER GOLF CANADA HANDICAP INDEX PROFILE WITHIN 24 HOURS OF EACH TOUR EVENT.

2. ACCURATE

All scores entered must be from the slope and rating for the correct set of tee blocks played.  All Tournament Scores (non GTA AM Tour events) must be entered as Tournament Scores.  All scores must be entered utilizing Equitable Stroke Control or ESC. The Hole by Hole method of posting scores automatically calculates ESC.  For more information on handicapping, including ESC, please visit: https://gao.ca/golfer-resources/about-handicapping/

IF A PLAYER’S HANDICAP INDEX IS NOT CURRENT AND ACCURATE (as defined above) AND THAT PLAYER PLACES IN THE TOP 4 IN ANY EVENT OR QUALIFIES FOR NET PRIZES, THE PLAYER WILL NOT RECEIVE PRIZES OR POINTS AND WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THAT EVENT. ADDITIONALLY, THAT PLAYER WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PLAY ANOTHER TOUR EVENT UNTIL THE PLAYER’S HANDICAP INDEX MEETS THE AFOREMENTIONED TOUR CRITERIA.

Prior to each tournament, the Tour's Handicap Committee reviews the Handicap Index profiles of all competitors. After each tournament, the Handicap Index profile of each of the top five finishers in each flight will be reviewed by the Tour's Handicap Committee.

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A CURRENT AND ACCURATE HANDICAP INDEX WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOUR.

3. ATTESTED ROUNDS

Players should make best efforts to have ALL rounds attested by another player.  It is the goal of the Tour for each player to have a minimum of 50% of scores comprising their Handicap Factor record attested by another player by July 31st, 2020.

4. PLAYING IN YOUR FLIGHT

a)   Players will compete in the appropriate Flight, based on their Handicap Index.

b)   Players may choose to play in a Flight that is one lower than their Handicap Index.  The Tour’s Handicap Committee reserves the right to authorize the move to a lower Handicap Index Flight.

c)   Players are expected to keep their Handicap Index up-to-date prior to all Tour events. To be clear, players must enter non-GTA AM Tour scores, with Equitable Stroke Control applied (applied automatically when the hole-by hole method of entering scores is used), as soon as possible after a round is completed. All scores must be accurately entered prior to any GTA Am Tour event.

d)   Any Tour player may be audited during the season and may be required to present scorecards from any non-Tour round of golf.  Players are advised to keep all scorecards for this reason.

e)   The Tour’s Handicap Committee reserves the right to assign any given player to any Flight, at any time.

f)   Any player not abiding by the aforementioned polices will be subject to suspension and/or disqualification from the Tour.

5. FLIGHT CHANGES AND BATTLEFIELD PROMOTION

This system has gone through significant changes throughout the years, and has always been an important part of the Tour community and the balance of the competitive atmosphere that the Tour provides.

a)   Players with three rounds, generating differentials below their Flight range, will be moved to the better Handicap Index Flight for the remainder of the season.

b)   There will be no Battlefield Promotions  commencing from three (3) events prior to the Tour Championship.  From this point, players can only move due to changes in Handicap Index which would place them in a different flight.

c)   Nine-hole events (due to weather or similar circumstances where events must be shortened) will not be counted towards Battlefield Promotions.

6. IMPACT OF FLIGHT MOVEMENT ON ORDER OF MERIT POINTS:

a)   In the event a player moves to a lower Flight, their order of Merit points shall be reduced by 25%. Every event, played up to date of change, shall be reduced by 25%. If a player moves to a higher Flight (e.g. “A” to “B”) they shall retain the points gained in the lower Flight.

 b)   No player may enter into a new Flight higher than a tie for fourth place.  In such a case, the player is first moved into the new Flight with their full points earned to date and ranked alongside everyone else.  Next, all of their per event point values are reduced by an appropriate percentage to reflect what a tie for fourth place in the Order of Merit looked like had they been allowed to keep their full points earned from the lower Flight.

c)   All point values are rounded up to two decimal places.

d)   In the event a player’s Handicap Index moves that player back to his or her original Flight (after a Flight change), provided the player did not win one or two events, as described in 5(a), that player will be reinstated in the original Flight  with the points they had when they left the Flight (plus any points earned by that player while playing in the lower Handicap Index Flight).

Examples of Order of Merit Point Adjustments:

Case 1:

Chris has played two events in the “B” Flight and has recorded Order of Merit points worth 75 and 50. His order of Merit total is 125.  Chris’s Handicap Index has changed such that he should be playing in the “A” Flight.  He is moved to the “A” Flight and each of his two point totals are reduced by 25%.  His new point values and total are 56.3 +37.5 = 93.8

Case 2:

Chris has played in two events in the “B” Flight and has recorded Order of Merit points and total worth 125.  Chris’s Handicap Index has changed such he should be playing in the “A” Flight. He is moved to the “A” Flight; where the top four Order of Merit totals are 130 (1st), 100 (2nd), 90 (3rd) and 80 (4th). If Chris’s points were to be reduced under the standard 25% rule, he would be in 3rd place with 93.8 points (see case 1). Since section 4-2 of the Handicapping and Flight Policy dictates that Chris cannot move higher than a tie for fourth, an adjusted percentage is applied to the Order of Merit point total.  The percentage is determined as follows: 1-90/125=28.  His Order of Merit values are reduced by 28% to bring him into a tie for what 4th woudl have been had he been allowed to come in with full points.

D) Scoring and Prizing

1) ORDER OF MERIT

The Order of Merit race runs throughout the season for each individual Flight.  A player’s Order of Merit total is based on his or her best ten point totals earned.

Order of Merit points are awarded as follows*:

Standing
Points
Standing
Points
Standing
Points
1st 100 6th 35 11th - 20th 10
2nd 75 7th 30 21st - 30th 5
3rd 60 8th 25 31st & higher 1
4th 50 9th 20    
5th 40 10th 15    

*The points awarded for the 'Major Events' of the year will be increased by 50%.  The points awarded at The Tour Championship at Grand Niagara will be doubled.  Ties in the Order of Merit race will be decided by the number of points earned by the player at their next best 11th event.

F)  Most Improved Player Award

Complementing the season-long Order of Merit competition is a season-long Most Improved Player Award. The
player with the most improved Handicap Index, as calculated by the formula below, will be invited for an end of season round of golf.  The player with the most improved Handicap Index will receive The Most Improved Player Award.   

A player’s season will start from their first Tour event and end at their last Tour event. Players must play at least five events to qualify. The formula for calculating the most improved player has been established by Golf Canada as equitable in gauging the improvement of players encompassing the entire spectrum of handicaps and is calculated as follows:

Start of Season Handicap Factor + 12 divided by End of Season Handicap Factor + 12

COMMUNICATIONS

**Please check that @gtaamtour.com is listed as safe sender/recipient for your email program.
This will ensure that you receive all Tour emails and will avoid them being sent to your “Junk” email folder.

A) Event Registration

1.  Entries are subject to rejection at any time (including during the event). The reason for rejection may include false statement of handicap index, improper attire and/or unbecoming conduct.

2.  By participating in GTA AM Tour you grant the GTA AM Tour and those acting with the GTA AM Tour permission authority and the permanent rights to use your name or likeness for publicity and promotional purposes.  Participants understand that all Media, including film, photographic prints, audio or digital files are the exclusive property of the GTA AM Tour.  Participants in GTA AM Tour events waive their rights to inspect or approve all media produced by the GTA AM Tour and those acting on the GTA AM Tour’s behalf.  Participants waive their permanent rights to compensation for use of their name and likeness by the GTA AM Tour.

3.  All players shall be entered into the events selected upon initial registration.  In the event that a tournament’s registration is at capacity, players desiring to play may request to be notified as spots become available

4.  All players registered for a given event will be sent a “Registration Reminder” email 4 weeks prior to an event for which they have registered.  Players will then have 7 days to visit the Members’ section of the website and remove themselves from the event if they wish to withdraw from the upcoming event. Players withdrawing after the one-week allotted time period will be subject to the Tour’s Cancellation Policy.

5.  If players withdraw and spots become available, an automated email will be sent to all players Who have requested to be notified.  Available spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

6. Players registering within 7 days of an event will pay an extra $10 (plus HST).

7. Players will be charged a non-refundable $20 (plus HST) deposit upon registration for each event

B) Cancellation/ No Show

1.  If a player withdraws more than one week after the registration reminder is sent he or she will be subject to a minimum administrative cancellation fee of $80 plus HST. However, if the host course will not provide a refund, the player will be billed the entire cost of his or her green fee.

2.  Any player who does not show for his or her tee time at a scheduled event will be subject to a minimum charge of $100. However, if the host course does not provide a refund, the player will be charged the full price of the green fee. If a player is a “no-show” at two events, without notifying Tour staff, he or she will be suspended from play until further notice.

3.  If the Tour is unable to process a players’ credit card the player will be charged a minimum $25 processing fee. Please ensure The Tour has your current credit card information.

C) Rain Policy

In the case of inclement weather, GTA AM Tour will make a decision regarding the event at the course and not beforehand. Please arrive for your scheduled tee time.  Weather conditions can and do vary drastically.

For weather policies applicable during tournament play, please consult Sub-section 4, Section A, Conditions of the Competition (also referred to as ‘Hard Card’) for “Suspension of Play due to a Dangerous Situation”.

D) Inclement Weather

1.  If the event is shortened due to inclement weather, and all players in a given Flight have played 9 holes, the event will be deemed to have been completed and tournament results will be based on those completed 9 holes. However, if 9 holes have not been completed by all players in a given Flight, a rain cheque will be issued for use during the current season. If some holes are played but the complete field has not played at least 9 holes, the tournament will be cancelled; however, the rain cheques are issued at the discretion of the host course. Please be assured that Tour staff will do everything possible to satisfy members with a fair decision.

2.  For every event that is cancelled due to inclement weather, the 30 event GTA AM Tour will be reduced by one. The Gross and Net Orders of Merit will still be determined using a player’s best ten event scores.

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP - QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Tour Championship – Qualification Requirements

All Tour players are welcome to register for and to play at The Tour Championship.  However, spots will be awarded to players, in priority, using the following criteria:

  1. Players who are amongst the top seven in their respective flight OOM ranking after the final Nest at Friday Harbour tournament.  Players must be on the Notify Me List to be considered.
  2. Players who have played a minimum of five (5) Tour rounds during the season on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Note: Participation in both rounds of a 2-day major counts as two (2) rounds).
  3. Any remaining available spots will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Note: There will not be a recreational flight at the Tour Championship.

DISCOUNTED EVENT FEES AT CLUBLINK COURSES FOR CLUBLINK MEMBERS

Tour players, who are also ClubLink members, will receive, courtesy of ClubLink, an event discount at non-Prestige level ClubLink venues.  The Tour will charge you the full amount (as the billing is automated) but will then refund you the difference between the event fee and $80 (Plus HST).  One week prior to the event, ClubLink members must send an email to the Host Club's Director of Golf and cc Mark Young.  The email is to request from the Director of Golf, his/her confirmation that they will not be charging The GTA AM Tour for you, the ClubLink Member, to play in the event.  On the day of the event, ClubLink members are required to check in with the Golf Shop and show their ClubLink identification.

CADDIES & SPECTATORS

PLEASE NOTE:  For the 2020 season, due to The Tour's COVID-Safe protocols, players are NOT PERMITTED to use a caddie during play and NO SPECTATORS are allowed.

GTA AM TOUR PACE OF PLAY POLICY / GUIDELINES:

1.  Rule 5.6a requires “The player must play without undue delay "  Rule 5.6b(3) states in part: “To encourage and enforce prompt play, the Committee should adopt a Local Rules setting Pace of Play Policy. This Policy may set a minimum time to complete a round, a hole or a series of holes and a stroke, and it may set penalties for not following this Policy”. In accordance with Rule 5.6b(3), the GTA AM Tour has adopted the following Pace of Play Policy.

ALL PLAYERS MUST BE AT THE TOUR’S STARTER’S TENT 10 MINUTES PRIOR TO THEIR ASSIGNED TEE TIME.

2.  Summary

The GTA AM Tour’s Pace of Play Policy is straightforward.  All we ask is for your group to keep up to the group in front of you.  IT DOES NOT matter about the group behind you.  All that matters is for your group to maintain proper positioning directly behind the group in front of you (See: Group Out of Position, below). It is helpful to be aware of, and where applicable, utilize Rule 20.3.

3.  Players Out Of Position

When a group is out of position, the group will be notified by a GTA AM Tour Official (in person or via electronic scoring that the group is in breach of these Pace of Play guidelines and each person in the group will be given an O.O.P.S (Out of Position) Card.  When a group has been notified of its first breach, the group will be put on the clock (see below) and must regain its position as quickly as possible.  If that group regains its position within three holes of receiving the OOPS Card the Card will be withdrawn.  If, however, that group does not regain its position as quickly as possible, each player in the group may incur the applicable penalty (a Red Card) for a breach of these guidelines.

Any group that is out of position is subject to monitoring by a Rules Official.  Any player concerned about a non-responsive fellow competitor in his or her group should request a Rules Official to monitor the group so that the non-responsive player can be identified by the Rules Official.  Once on the clock players first to the teeing ground or putting surface will have 50 seconds to hit their shots and players second or third to hit will have 40 seconds.  Once a group is put on the clock the Rules Official will have the option to give one individual in the group a Red Card.

The first group of the day is out of position if, at any time, they fall behind the posted time par.

Any following group is out of position if,

A)  when starting play of any par three or four hole the preceding group has completed play of the hole OR takes more than the allotted time to finish a hole, and

B)  when starting play of any par five hole, the preceding group of players is on the putting green OR takes more than the allotted time to finish a hole.

        4.  Red Card System

            The Pace of Play Policy works on a Red Card System:

            O.O.P.S Card - A Warning
            1st Red Card - 2 Stroke Penalty
            2nd Red Card – Disqualification

        5.  Allotted Time

The time par for each course will be posted at the registration table and all players are advised to note this time par in advance of teeing off the first tee.  When a group falls behind – regardless of the reason – it must regain its position to the group in front as quickly as possible.  Time for ball searches, rulings and walking time between holes is included in the allotted time.

        6.  Final Determination Regarding Breach/Review Process

Before returning their scorecard, a player who was out of position during his or her round may consult with the Pace of Play Committee to determine if he or she has incurred a penalty under these conditions.  The Pace of Play Committee may determine that a player who has been found to be out of position is not in breach of the guidelines only if:

            A)  The player was delayed by the Committee;

            B) The player was delayed by a circumstance beyond the control of a player or their group; or

            C)  The player was delayed by another player in the group

A player who was out of position during his or her round and who elects not to consult with the Pace of Play
Committee to determine whether he was in breach of these guidelines is considered to have been in breach of these guidelines and to have incurred a penalty or penalties according to the above schedule of penalties.

If a group is subject to a penalty, all penalties will be applied to the checkpoint hole where the breach occurred.