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Dave Formichella
Phone: 908-415-3440

USGA & GCNJ "Local Rules"


     In conjunction with our Rules Committee, Rob Mieczkowski and John Tricker, we have updated the Rules and GCNJ Rules. These Rules go along with the previous "local" rules listed below.

Rob and John are the decision makers on Rulings. If you have an inquiry or question, their emails are:

Rob -,
John -,,

- We are raising the maximum score from 4-over par to 5-over par.

- If you take a max of 5-over par you are NOT ELIGIBLE to win the gross portion of the
    event. To be considered for any gross title you must hole out your ball and use that

- If you take a maximum of 5-over par, in match-play, you lose any handicap strokes for
    that hole. The strokes are lost just for the match-play portion.

- In the event as to how to proceed should a Rules question arise on the course and you
    are unsure what the Rule is, we are encouraging players to play 2 balls and the Rules
    Committee will make a determination as to which ball is in play.

- Should you see a blatant disregard for the Rules (dropping balls, fluffing lies, purposeful
    cheating) and you are unsure as to how you should approach it... REACH OUT TO ROB,
    JOHN or MYSELF and we will address it.

- In the event that a player incurs a penalty that would, under the USGA Rules of Golf,
    result in a disqualification from the event we have instituted local rules as follows:

Individual Match Player forfeits match but is still in the stroke-play format, and must apply penalties as per below.
Any Two-Player Format Match Player forfeits participation in the remainder of the match but is still in the stroke-play format, and must apply penalties as per below.   

Two-Player Best ball - Player is DQ for that hole and records a max score. 
Two-Player Aggregate - Player records a max score for that hole, PLUS a 2-stroke penalty. 
Points Format Player gets -3 points.

If the reason for a DQ is willful and proven deliberate, then a DQ and swift exit from the club will apply.

The below Local Rules were instituted previously

     GCNJ LOCAL RULE: The GCNJ in conjunction with the USGA's recent rulings has adopted two local rules for all events. First, the embedded ball rule is always in effect thru the green for all of our events. This means that if your ball is EMBEDDED anywhere on the golf course except in a hazard or bunker, you are entitled to relief as follows: a drop within ONE club length of the embedded ball and no nearer the hole without penalty. The second rule we have adopted allows players to remove stones in a bunker. This rule was adopted by the USGA last year allowing clubs to adopt a local rule to do so. We have. The procedure allows players to remove stones from the bunker; however, since the stones are interpreted as loose impediments, the ball shall not be moved in any way. The GCNJ has adopted this rule as well. Lastly, there have been some isolated reports of rule breaches brought to my attention and may I remind all players that the GCNJ adheres to the USGA Rules of Golf and I ask that each member does as well. If you see a breach of the rules it does not always mean that the player is cheating, rather they may not be sure as how to proceed. Should any such incidents arise, have the player play two balls and bring the  situation inside upon completion of play so that we may make a ruling on it. Thanks. 

     MATCH PLAY PICK-UP RULE: During match-play there has been some confusion regarding "picking-up" on a hole. The league rule is as follows: we ask players to pick-up for pace purposes only if they are out of the hole. If the hole you are playing is still in question regarding with no clear winner, you must continue to play out until the hole has been decided. If a player hits 2 balls OB off the tee and says I pick up and takes a max, and than his opponent gets on the tee and does the same after the first player already conceded, player 2 wins the hole. Also, when a player picks up, his handicap strokes are forfeited so he can not pick-up and take an 8 net 7 for his/her score. Once you pick-up, the hole is automatically awarded to your opponent regardless of what happens after that. 




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