Hard Card


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, 2023. 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:  April 15, 2024

Out of Bounds (Rule 18.2)

Defined by the line between the course-side points at ground level of white lines, dots or stakes and fence posts defining out of bounds. A ball is out of bounds when it is beyond any wall defining the boundary of the course. 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.

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.

Red and yellow lines define the edge of the penalty area.  Where penalty areas are not marked with lines, the change in the height of the grass defines the edge of the penalty area.  Where there is no change in the height of the grass, the penalty area is defined by its natural boundaries.  Unmarked penalty areas are red penalty areas.

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.

Abnormal Course Conditions, Including Immovable Obstructions (Rule 16)

Ground under Repair - Rule 16.1 includes:

  1. Areas defined by white lines;
  2. French drains filled with stones;
  3. Seams of Cut Turf – Model Local Rule F-7 is in effect. Interference exists 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. However, 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.
  4. White-Lined Areas Tied Into Obstructions - White-lined areas of ground under repair and the artificially surfaced road or path or other identified obstruction they tie into are treated as a single abnormal course condition when taking relief under Rule 16.1. 
  5. No Play Zones – Areas that are ornamental garden beds, turf nurseries or flowerbeds are no play zones that are to be treated as abnormal course conditions. Free relief must be taken from interference by the no play zone under Rule 16.1f.
  6. Aeration Holes.  Model Local Rule E-4 is in effect.

Wood Chips and Mulch (Rule 15.1)

Individual pieces of wood chips and mulch are loose impediments.

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 bunker liner does not exist if the bunker liner only interferes with a player’s stance.

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.

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.

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.
  3. Replacing Club that is Broken or Significantly Damaged – Model Local Rule G-9 is in effect. Penalty for Breach of Local Rule – See Rule 4.1b.

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

Caddies (Rule 10.3)

Rule 10.3a is modified in this way: 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.

The player gets the General Penalty for each hole during which there is a breach of this Local Rule. If the breach occurs between the play of two holes, it applies to the next Hole.

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.

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.  ​​Note:

  • 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.

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

Returning Score Card

The scoring area may include, but is not limited to tents or rooms.  A player has officially returned their scorecard when it has been returned to the defined official scoring area and the player has exited the area with both feet, unless the player obtains permission from the scoring official that they need to leave the scoring area and will immediately return.  When pylons or tape are present, the official scoring area is defined by the outermost limits of the pylons or tape.  In the absence of pylons or tape, the scoring area is defined by the outermost limits of the scoring tent posts. Model Local Rule L-1 is in effect and the General Penalty is applied to the last hole.

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

Meaning of Round

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.

A player may not use a club that becomes non-confirming during the first 9-hole round in their second 9-hole round.  Penalty: Disqualification.

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.

Deciding Ties

In a stroke play competition, ties for first place will be decided by a hole-by-hole playoff.  Playoff time and location will be announced at the scoring TV after the players in the final group, in a given Flight have submitted their scorecards.  Players must be ready to play at the starting time and location of the playoff subject to Rule 5.3a.

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. If this process does not produce a winner, the winner will be decided by the committee tossing a coin.

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 repeated for the front nine.  If this process does not produce a winner, the same process will be repeated for the previous round’s score.

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.

An excellent way for players of all handicaps to develop their competitive golf skills and heighten their game.

Join The Tour