Player Handbook

The NCGA Player Handbook is where you can learn about the regulations and policies for NCGA tournaments. Learn about eligibility, the NCGA’s Pace of Play Policy, entry deadlines and more!


• All paper entries are to be mailed directly to the NCGA at:
NCGA Tournaments
3200 Lopez Rd.
Pebble Beach, CA  93953
• All substitutions must be made at least one week prior to the event.
• Handicap Index eligibility requirements must be met at the time of registration, updates are done twice a month.
• Mid-Amateur & Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championships are open to all players 25 years of age and over.
• Junior Tour open to all juniors with a NCGA handicap index (see Tournament Eligibility).
• CGA – NCGA members can enter any available qualifying site in Northern OR Southern California.


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

SPIRIT OF THE GAME:  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.

CONDITIONS OF PLAY: 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.

OFFICIAL TIME: The clock at the tee (1st or 10th) where a player begins his/her stipulated 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.

TOURNAMENT ELIGIBILITY: 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 (CI) 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.  Any member who has not established a current numeric handicap index (CI) is ineligible.  FOR CLUB EVENTS, MULTI-MEMBERS CAN ONLY REPRESENT ONE CLUB.  NCGA membership is not official until a member’s name and numeric handicap index are on their club’s Master Report.  EXCEPTION: The Northern California Women’s Four-Ball Net is open to PWGA and WGANC members.

TOURNAMENT ENTRY DEADLINES: All NCGA tournaments may be entered at any time after the opening date provided the entry is received by the entry closing date.  For those entering ONLINE, registration must be completed prior to 11:59 pm day of close.  The opening and closing dates are available on the Tournament Calendar.  Entries should be mailed at least seven working days prior to the closing date to ensure mail delivery.  NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

LATE ENTRIES: 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.

ENTRIES ON THE WEBSITE: Entries for all NCGA NON-CLUB EVENTS and CGA EVENTS can be printed from our website:  To enter by mail, print the entire entry including all policies and procedures.  Fill out completely, sign and mail to the NCGA office with the entry fee by the closing date.  Late and/or incomplete entries will be returned without action.

MAILING YOUR ENTRIES/QUALIFYING CERTIFICATES:  All mailed entries must be received at the NCGA Post Office Box.  Address to: NCGA Tournaments, P.O. Box 1157, Pebble Beach, CA  93953.  To overnight entries you must use the United States Post Office Express Mail ONLY.  For all other carriers send to: NCGA Tournaments, 3200 Lopez Road, Pebble Beach, CA  93953.

ONLINE REGISTRATION: Available for all non-club events at  When registration is completed, the player’s or club official’s credit card will be charged the full entry fee.  The registration process MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO 11:59 PM OF THE CLOSING DATE or your entry will be date stamped for the next day and therefore be rejected.

WITHDRAWALS:  For Paper Entries:  To withdraw for any reason players MUST notify the NCGA Rules and Competitions 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 incur the suspension.

ONLINE WITHDRAWALS:  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.

REFUNDS: Refund less $10.00 ($20.00 per team) if requested prior to closing date.  NO REFUNDS WITHIN 2 BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT.   MAILED/PAPER ENTRIES:  50% refunds given after closing date, but players must notify the NCGA by Monday at 5 p.m. prior to a tournament that starts on Thursday or by Wednesday at 5 p.m. prior to a tournament that starts on Monday.

SUBSTITUTIONS: For all championships with qualifying, substitutions are allowed prior to qualifying only.   SUBSTITUTIONS FOR ALL NCGA EVENTS MUST BE MADE ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE EVENT.  Club Events:  All substitutions must be made by a club official, not the player.  A player withdrawing needs to contact his club and then the official will contact the NCGA with their substitute.  Note: No substitutions will be accepted for any qualifiers after 5 p.m. one week prior to the qualifier.

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

NO SHOWS: 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.

TOURNAMENT ENTRY FEES: 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.

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

COURSE HANDICAPS: A player’s current handicap index as of the qualifying and/or championship date is used to determine a player’s course handicap for most NCGA tournaments.  Refer to tournament descriptions for further details.

DRESS CODE: 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.

SPECTATORS:   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.

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.

DISABLED PLAYERS:  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 Rules and Competitions Department.

INCOMPLETE ROUNDS IN QUALIFIERS: When weather conditions or darkness threaten to suspend play during a NCGA qualifying event, the following procedure will be used to determine the qualifier from that site:  Play will consist of two stipulated rounds of nine holes each.  If the entire field completes 18 holes, qualifying will be based on the total score for the two stipulated rounds.  If the entire field completes 9 holes only, the qualifying score will be based on the 9-hole stipulated 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.  Final course handicaps will be adjusted based on the difference between the men’s and women’s course ratings, if applicable. Differences of .5 or greater will be rounded upward.
Scratch Competitions:   When men and women compete in the same NCGA scratch competition, they will play from the same tees.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Competitions officially close once qualifying results have been received, reviewed and verified by the NCGA Rules & Competitions Department.

QUALIFYING SPOTS:  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.

CHAMPIONSHIP ALTERNATES:  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.  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 allocation (“one for every”) list to fill the spot.  (c)  Alternates are welcome to stand-by at the championship site and will be entered based on the above policies.  (d) When the event is flighted, an alternate must fit into the correct flight before a, b or c can be applied.

OVER SUBSCRIPTION/NON-QUALIFYING EVENTS:  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 in 2015.  Any player who does not return an 18-hole score during qualifying that is within 10 strokes (NCGA senior events – 12 strokes) of the USGA/NCGA course rating or the highest qualifying score (whichever is higher) will be denied entry into the same event in 2016.

Championships Subject to “10-Stroke Rule:”             Championships Subject to “12-stroke Rule:”
Amateur Match Play Championship                                            Senior Championship
Amateur Stroke Play Championship                                            Valley Senior Amateur Championship
Master Division Championship
Public Links Championship (Championship Flight)
Valley Amateur Championship


The NCGA expects all contestants in championship qualifying play to exhibit playing skills that are comparable with their peers.  When handicap strokes are applied, this expectation is heightened.  In an effort to maintain balance, the NCGA utilizes a Net Scores Database that compiles all “T” scores from any NCGA Net/Handicap event within the most current three-year window.  Therefore, the players who fall into the current Database will have their NCGA “T” scores from 2012-2014 viewed as a whole.  For any players whose performance during this period does not coincide with their monthly USGA handicap index, the NCGA will apply a more appropriate handicap index for use in NCGA EVENTS ONLY.  Letters will be sent to all players who will be subject to this potential reduction, as well as their respective club officers, and this process is explained in far greater detail in those letters.  This list is not for public view, as it is handled by the NCGA, the player and the player’s club(s).  Finally, this list is not responsible for any “R” rating on the monthly USGA handicap index.  The following tournaments make up the pool of Net Scores, including any and all rounds of qualifying:

Tournament Scores Subject to Net Scores Database Adjustment:
Associate Club Championship
Associate Club Four-Ball Net Championship
Associate Club Net Amateur Championship
Four-Ball Net Championship
Net Amateur Championship
Public Links Championship (Net Flights ONLY)
Senior Four-Ball Net Championship
Senior Net Championship
Team Match Championship (includes EVERY regular season and playoff match)
Women’s Net Amateur Championship
Zone Championship and all Regional Zone Championships