The Definition of Committee in the Rules of Golf book is as follows;
The “Committee’’ is the committee in charge of the competition or, if the matter does not arise in a competition, the committee in charge of the course.Rule 33 describes the various responsibilities of the Committee under eight headings;
- Conditions; Waiving Rule
- The Course
- Times of Starting and Groups
- Handicap Stroke Table
- Score Card
- Decision of Ties
- Disqualification Penalty; Committee Discretion
- Local Rules
From time to time I hear about over-enthusiastic Committees that disqualify players for not conforming to conditions that they have imposed, often with the good intention of making life easier for the scorer(s) responsible for checking the accuracy of returned score cards. Here are four examples of what I am referring to;
- The Committee required partners in a four-ball Stableford competition to enter their initials at the top of the A and B columns of the score card, where the gross scores are entered, and disqualified a pair for not doing so.
- The Committee required that alterations made on score cards be initialled or the card would not be accepted?
- The Committee introduced a condition of competition that competitors must enter their scores into a computer or be disqualified?
- The Committee disqualified a player for returning a different score card from the one that was given to them before they commenced their round.
However, while it is not permissible to penalise a player under the Rules of Golf for failing to enter his score into a computer, a Committee may, in order to assist in the administration of the competition, introduce a "club regulation" to this effect and provide disciplinary sanctions (e.g., ineligibility to play in the next club competition(s)) for failure to act in accordance with the regulation.So, whilst players who do not conform to ‘club regulations’ that have been introduced by a Committee to assist in administration of competitions, may not be penalised strokes, or be disqualified, they may be subjected to other disciplinary sanctions that could effectively be more punitive. My recommendation is to accede to such conditions, as they are designed to make life easier for those who have to administer the competitions.
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