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NCGA Player Handbook

Tournament regulations and policies

Points Programs and Policies

Current standings, past winners and resources for tournament managers

Exemptions and Team Selection Criteria

Guidelines and protocols for championship exemptions and team selections


  • Mailed Paper entries are no longer accepted.
  • All substitutions, when permitted, must be made at least 48 hours prior to the event.
  • Handicap Index eligibility requirements must be met at the time of registration.
  • Mid-Amateur, Women’s Mid-Amateur & Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championships are open to all players 25 years of age and over.
  • Senior events are open to all players 55 years and older for men & 50 years and older for women.
  • Junior Tour open to all juniors with a NCGA handicap index (see Tournament Eligibility).
  • California Amateur Championships – NCGA members can enter any available qualifying site in Northern OR Southern California.

Registered and need to withdraw? Log in to, select "Registrations & Memberships", then "Manage Registrations",  choose the event you wish to withdraw from and select "Cancel". 

Tournament Policies and Procedures

Players are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations concerning participation in NCGA events, as these policies apply to every tournament.


Golf is played, for the most part, without supervision of a referee or tournament official.  The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules.  All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.  This is the spirit of the game of golf.

Any action contrary to the spirit of the game such as abusive language, throwing of clubs, or other disruptive behavior, will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification.  If a player commits a serious breach of conduct, such as cheating, deceiving or altering his/her scorecard, the player will be suspended indefinitely until he/she meets with the tournament committee.  If the committee denies the player’s appeal, the minimum suspension is three years.  The committee has the right to lengthen the term of suspension based on the severity of the violation.

The Northern California Golf Association reserves the right to decline or withdraw an entry at any time.  Any person whose entry is accepted shall be subject to the rules and conditions of play set forth by the NCGA.

NOTE: The NCGA will not make any provisions for a player asking for special consideration due to other commitments.  In other words, make it your primary project for the day.


The clock at the tee (1st or 10th) where a player begins his/her round is the official time of starting.  Starters will not page players in advance of their starting time.  Players should report to the tee at least one starting interval prior to their tee time.


NCGA tournaments are open to amateur golfers who are members of a current NCGA member club in good standing.  The USGA’s definition of an amateur golfer is the standard of the NCGA.  Applicants must have a current numeric Handicap Index listed on their club’s Master Report at the time of tournament registration and meet all the eligibility requirements for the event they are entering and must remain active thru the championship proper.  Any member who has not established a current numeric Handicap Index is ineligible.  NCGA membership is not official until a member’s name and numeric handicap index are on their club’s Master Report.

Exceptions: In Team Match and Scratch League, Professionals join their members in NCGA competition. The Golf Committee reserves the right to review the circumstances of any non-Amateur or Amateur Awaiting Reinstatement to determine eligibility.


All NCGA tournaments may be entered at any time after the opening date, registration must be completed prior to 11:59 pm on the closing date.  The closing dates are available on the Tournament Calendar.


Late entries will be accepted after the closing date based on availability and until pairings are published on the NCGA website. All late entries, including exempt players, will be subjected to pay an additional $20 per player of the applicable entry fee.

Exempt Player Late Entry: Late entries will be accepted prior to the playing of the first qualifying site for an additional $20 per player. After qualifying has begun, an exempt player entry will only be accepted as the final alternate on the Spot Re-allotment list.


Players may request to transfer from one site to another based on availability at any time prior to the pairings being posted for either of the sites involved. Once pairings are published, transfers will only be permitted for exceptional circumstances (for example: a player qualifies for a USGA championship that conflicts with the qualifying date).


Available for all events at  When registration is completed, the player’s or club official’s credit card will be charged the full entry fee.  Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. of the closing date.


To withdraw for any reason players MUST notify the NCGA Operations Department at (831) 625-4653.  Failure to notify the NCGA will cause the player to be listed as a NO SHOW resulting in a ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION FROM ALL NCGA EVENTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR FOLLOWING THE INFRACTION.  A player who only contacts the course and NOT the NCGA will be subject to the suspension.


Players who enter online may also withdraw online by 11:59 p.m. on the day the event closes. After that, players must contact the NCGA directly as stated above.


Prior to the closing date – Full refund less $10 per player.

Closing date to 48 hours prior to the event – Full refund less $65 per player.

Inside 48 hours prior to the event – NO REFUNDS. Exceptions due to significant distress (work conflicts do not qualify) may be requested prior to the start of the event.


Prior to qualifying or championship without qualifying – substitutions permitted up to 48 hours prior to the event. For a club event, substitutions must be made with the formal approval of a club official. Inside 48 hours, substitutions will only be accepted in the event of injury or illness with notification prior to the player’s start time. Players arriving at the starting tee without notifying the NCGA of a substitution will not be eligible to compete.

After qualifying – No substitutions will be permitted between qualifying and the championship proper.

Exception: In the Zone and Associate Club Championships (4-player teams), substitutions will be permitted after qualifying in accordance with the above policy.


Players will be e-mailed when tournament information (including pairings, starting times, and course assignments) is posted on the NCGA website at the Pairings/Results page. If you have not received your information within seven days of the event, it is YOUR responsibility to contact the NCGA Operations Department. DO NOT CALL MORE THAN SEVEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT.


A player who does not show up and does not notify the NCGA shall receive a ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION FROM ALL NCGA EVENTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR FOLLOWING THE INFRACTION.  This includes team/club events.  NO SHOWS also include a player who starts and withdraws prior to the close of the competition and has not personally turned in his scorecard to a tournament official.  Failure to comply will result in the same one-year suspension.


Entry fees for all tournaments cover GREEN FEES ONLY at the qualifying and/or championship sites.  They DO NOT include golf carts, food, practice rounds, etc.  Golf carts, whether optional or mandatory, are the individual player’s responsibility unless otherwise specified for the event.


The NCGA reserves the right to adjust a player’s handicap index prior to or during any net competition based upon previous performances in NCGA events.


The championship or qualifying information will list what handicap index date will be used to calculate the course handicap for any given event.


PLAYERS and CADDIES must be properly attired both on the golf course and on the premises of the club.  Blue jeans, designer jeans, T-shirts and tank tops are prohibited.  Golf shirts must be worn and shorts must be no shorter than mid-thigh (no jean shorts).  This dress code will be used at all NCGA tournaments in conjunction with any additional dress code restrictions of the particular golf course involved.  A player or caddie violating this dress code will not be permitted to start the competition.  A violation of this dress code by either a player or a caddie during the stipulated round must be rectified without undue delay or the player will not be allowed to continue play or the caddie will not be allowed to perform the acts of a caddie.


Walking spectators are always welcome and encouraged at NCGA Championships.  For qualifying events, contact the assigned course to determine their policy.  Everyone on the course must meet the dress code requirements for the course.  Generally, denim, t-shirts and athletic or short shorts should not be worn.  Spectators should not consume alcohol on the course and must follow club policies on tobacco use.  The use of electronic devices should be limited to areas where their use will not distract players on the course.  Spectators should maintain a reasonable distance from the players and caddies to avoid the appearance that the spectator is imparting advice or assisting the player in any way.  A spectator may approach a player for a moment to exchange clothing, food, or beverages, but they should not have prolonged conversations.  Please walk ahead or with the group you are watching and stay in the rough or near the cart paths.  Do not delay other groups by walking slowly.  Spectators must stay off the greens and out of the bunkers at all times.  Spectators violating these policies may be asked to leave the course.  SPECTATORS ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING GOLF CARTS.


When golf carts are permitted in a NCGA/USGA/CGA event, their use is limited to transporting players and/or their clubs.  When a player is prohibited from riding, the player’s caddie is also prohibited from riding.  Only two carts are permitted per group.


When walking is a condition of the competition, disabled players must file a “Disabled Cart Request” form with the NCGA along with their entry.  Forms may be requested from the NCGA Operations Department.


NCGA events are scheduled to be conducted during rain, shine, or in other weather conditions. There are a few exceptions in which play will be delayed, suspended, or canceled. If there is a need to suspend play during the round, the committee will adhere to Rule 5.7b in the Rules of Golf.

During a multiple day event, if play is suspended and unable to resume on the same day due to inclement weather or a dangerous situation, the event may be shortened to 18 holes per the decision of the Committee. For a single day event, the Committee may adopt the NCGA’s Incomplete Round Policy.

In the case that an event is cancelled prior to starting, a refund will be issued.  The committee will handle all other cancellation/suspension refunds on a case-by-case basis.


When weather conditions or darkness threaten to suspend play during a NCGA event, the following procedure will be used to determine the qualifiers/winners:  Play will consist of two rounds of nine holes each.  If the entire field completes 18 holes, qualifying will be based on the total score for the two rounds.  If the entire field completes 9 holes only, the score will be based on the 9-hole round.  If this is an individual net competition, the player’s score will be his gross score minus any handicap strokes he is allowed on that nine.


Net Competitions: When men and women compete in the same NCGA net competition, women will compete from forward tees.
Scratch Competitions: When men and women compete in the same NCGA scratch competition, all players will play from the same tees.


The NCGA adheres to the USGA Gender Policy. See Policy Here

The championship or qualifying information will list how ties are decided for any given event. When the information lists the “USGA Recommended Method of Matching Cards”, this means:

For Multi-Round Events: The tie is decided by the final round score and then by the method below.

For single-round events, or if players have the same final round score: The tie is decided based upon the score for the last nine holes, then by the last six holes, then the last three holes and then by the 18th hole. If there is still a tie, then the last six holes, three holes and final hole of the first nine holes will be used. If there is still a tie, then it will be broken by chance. NOTE: In events with a multi-tee start, the last nine holes is always considered holes 10-18.


Competitions officially close once qualifying results have been received, reviewed and verified by the NCGA Operations Department.


The number of spots available at each qualifying site will be determined based on the total number of entries received prior to the entry closing date for each particular event.  The final number of spots per qualifying site will be available from the Committee on the day of qualifying.


Except for the Zone Championship, players may only compete at one qualifying site per championship, even if representing different clubs. In Zone Championships, a player may represent two different teams in different Zones, however, if both teams advance, a player may only represent one team at the championship proper. This clause does not prevent a player from representing different teams in different championships, such as the Four-Ball Net and Associate Club Four-Ball Net Championships.


The following policy is in effect for placing alternates in NCGA Championships: (a) When a qualifier withdraws, the first alternate from that location will replace him or her.  If the first alternate has been selected to play or declines, the second alternate will be contacted.  (b) If an alternate is not available from that site or an exempt player withdraws, the NCGA would refer to the spot re-allotment (“one for every”) list to fill the spot. The first alternate from the first site on the spot allocation list will be contacted. If that player declines, the second alternate will be contacted. If an alternate is not available from the first site on the spot allocation list, the alternates from the second site will be contacted. (c)  Alternates are welcome to stand-by at the championship site and will be entered based on the above policies. (d) In flighted events where flights are created after qualifying, alternates will be contacted according to the above policies regardless of which flight they would be in.


Entries will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis.  Entries received after the field is complete will be placed on a waiting list in the order received.  The championship committee reserves the right to move players when desired sites are oversubscribed based upon date of entry.


“10-Stroke Rule”
The NCGA expects all contestants in championship qualifying play to exhibit playing skills that are comparable with their peers.  Consequently, all non-exempt players who submit an entry for the tournaments listed below must play in a qualifying round.  Any player who does not return an 18-hole score during qualifying that is within 10 strokes of the USGA/NCGA course rating or the highest qualifying score (whichever is higher) will be denied entry into the same event in the following year.


Championships Subject to “10-Stroke Rule:”            
Amateur Championship
Amateur Stroke Play Championship
Mid-Amateur Championship
Public Links Championship (Championship Flight)
Senior Championship

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