Club Handbook

Pittsburgh Golfers Tour LLC

Additions and updates will be made based on current Handicap and Competition Committee decisions.
You can review the newest Committee decisions by clicking on the "About the PGT" button.
updated and revised as of 3-1-2021

 

PGT Rules - Regulations - Guidelines

INTRODUCTION
Management has adopted this guide for use by its members and guests. It is the responsibility of each member to become familiar with the rules and regulations in this guide, and to cooperate with staff and other members in this administration, the courses, and clubs we visit. What separates us from a golf "league" is that we play under all USGA guidelines.  It is every players sole responsibility to know and follow all USGA and PGT rules then conduct themselves accordingly.

The Pittsburgh Golfers Tour LLC is first, last, and always an organization devoted to creating exceptional competitive golf experiences for its members. Golf is one of the few sports where performance and enjoyment of the game is unusually dependent upon each player's understanding and abiding by the rules. Perhaps even more importantly, it's a sport where enforcement of the rules is almost totally dependent upon each player's sense of fair play. All PGT rules, course and club rules, local/state/federal rules and laws must be followed at all times.  PGT will not be held liable for players violations or conduct in, around, before, during or after a PGT event.

As golfers, we willingly accept this responsibility for knowing and abiding by the rules and reminding playing partners of possible or actual infractions and penalties. The PGT will institute local rules when necessary to preserve the integrity of competition or to improve the quality of the golf experience for members. While this is a Pro/Am tour, we are not touring pros, we are mostly average golfers who want to play in a more organized and competitive field on the better courses around.  We all compete for cash and prizes, but true Amateur status will be maintained under USGA rules if you so desire.  We will give you the tournament feel in a well organized and operated structure.

INDEX 
Membership
General
Code of Conduct
Etiquette
Know the Rules
PGT Local Rules
Penalties or Infractions
Disputes--Rulings
Cheating
Equitable Competition
Handicaps-GHIN
Tournament Entry 
Special Requests
Player Cancellation
Event Cancellation
Tournament Day
Pace of Play
Slow Play Penalty
Rangefinders
Tiebreakers
Winnings
Skill Contests and Side Games
Tourists
Guests and Spectators
Amateur Status
New Members
Sandbagging
PGT Index
Tournament Index
Player Accounts -Transactions
 

MEMBERSHIP
PGT Members that have paid their yearly dues and are in good standing are considered active.  PGT Members that have not paid that years dues are still on the Members list but considered inactive.  Membership dues are based on the calendar year and are refundable only within the first 30 days from receipt of payment but no refund once a player first participates.  Membership is available to men and women 18 years of age or older.  A junior golfer, age 16 or 17, may join as long as their parent is also a member and approval of the Committee, and the parent must be on site while the junior plays.  Members choose to play as a Non-Amateur/Professional or an Amateur.  A junior golfer must compete as an Amateur. All Members have a username and password to access all areas of the PGT website. First time membership information is described in the New Member section below.

GENERAL
All competitions will be under USGA guidelines and current USGA rules of golf, host course local rules, and PGT local rules.  Any variation being played will be announced and/or posted in writing for that specific event. It is every Member, player, and guests obligation and duty to know and follow our Club Handbook.  In the event a Member commits any act which reflects discredit or disrepute thereon, or shall refuse or neglect to comply with the rules and regulations adopted by the PGT, it's duly appointed officers, or any golf course or their staff, such Member shall be subject to suspension or expulsion.  Members are responsible for any damage they cause to themselves, any other person, and any property during their participation in PGT events.  Members agree to indemnify and not hold the PGT, it's Officers, Directors, Committee, or Employees responsible in any way for accidents or injuries that may occur to them while participating in a PGT event.  Members and players are held to abide by the particular course rules and regulations that the PGT event is held on.


CODE of CONDUCT
Players should follow the guidelines of all courses we visit including the dress code.  Appropriate golf clothing and shoes must be worn properly at all times. Clubs may refuse to let you play or require you to conform.  Anyone not following these guidelines will be denied entry into tournament or removed from the tournament and their entry fee forfeited.  Players must respect the club, course, staff, members, other golfers, and act like we are club members. We are invited guests at the clubs we visit and our conduct greatly determines invitations to return.  Please represent yourself to the highest standards, before, during, and after the event.  Conduct unbecoming any golfer or any action poorly reflecting the PGT will not be tolerated.  Warnings, fines, and other penalties may be voted on by the committee and assessed by the Director. Any members can and will be expelled from the PGT if this behavior continues.


ETIQUETTE
Simple etiquette will increase everyone's enjoyment of the game, and usually means faster play (which will be reinforced time and time again throughout our Handbook). If you are unfamiliar with the general etiquette of golf, please ask your playing partners before you tee off and especially before you do something on the course that you think may be frowned upon.  Hopefully your playing partners are courteous and tell you if something you did is improper.  All players have different levels of how they play and what may bother them or take them out of their routine, so we simply ask that you be courteous to everyone around you.  Most infractions are unintentional and you may just need a reminder, but most of it is just common sense.  The standards of player conduct are covered in rule 1.2 of the Rules of Golf and shall be practiced at all times.


KNOW THE RULES
The Rules of Golf are not just meant to penalize for an infraction.  They often can help a player in many situations so it is important to know and understand the rules and the many options you may have.  Knowing them and applying them appropriately also speeds up play.  PGT always plays by the USGA rules of golf.  When in doubt, play the ball as it lies.  There are no "gimmies" or "mulligans", and the ball must always be holed. It is everyone's duty to PROTECT THE FIELD, and anyone not correcting another player is also breaking the rules.  USGA website is at www.usga.org/rules  


PGT LOCAL RULES
Specific rules for the day and for specific events will be posted.  It is the players responsibility to see them, know them, and follow them.


PENALTIES or INFRACTIONS
PGT follows USGA rules and regulations in relation to penalties and disqualification for infractions in both stroke play and match play.  Ignorance is not a defense.


DISPUTES-RULINGS
If any doubt arises about your situation in a tournament, discuss it without delay among all of your playing group.  Hopefully the proper decision can be reached.  In stroke play competition, if no clear decision can be reached and you are still unsure how to proceed, play the ball as it lies, then play a second ball from that spot under rule 20.1C (3) and record both scores.  Always report any disputed incident to the scorer or rules official before signing and turning in your score card or your competitors score card. All disputes and rulings will be settled at the course by the rules official, PGA official on duty, or majority decision by members on hand of PGT committee.  Again, ignorance as to how to proceed, or ignorance of the rules is not a defense. 


CHEATING
Any player may be disqualified or removed from the club for what appears to be a willful breach of the rules, including cheating or misrepresentation of any sort.


EQUITABLE COMPETITION
The PGT handicap committee will do its utmost to monitor, record, and maintain fair handicaps for all players.  The committee will evaluate, and if deemed necessary, alter a players handicap when it does not reflect their tournament playing record.  It is a fundamental assumption of the PGT and the USGA that every player will play to the best of their ability throughout every round, to abide by good sportsmanship, and refrain from distracting, impeding, or otherwise encumber the play of fellow competitors (before, during, and after the round).


HANDICAPS--GHIN  
While we state "players of all skill levels", our threshold of handicap index is less than 30.  We play net score tournaments and it is not competitive for players outside this range, both for the player themselves and the Field (plus handicap players will find it similarly uncompetitive).  The maximum stroke allowance in a tournament is 32. PGT handicap chairman and handicap committee is empowered to make exceptions to this rule and anything else involving handicaps.  An official active USGA index is required to compete for cash and prizes.  GHIN is the service we use and recognize.  A player may start to compete with another official service, but must obtain a GHIN shortly thereafter.  PGT is an official golf club (Type II), and you may use PGT as your official home club.  The yearly GHIN fee is paid to the local golf association to maintain active status.  PGT operates on a calendar year basis.  You may keep your GHIN active at another club, but PGT must be able to review and edit postings if needed.  When announced, PGT will enter tournament scores for specific events, but the player is responsible for accurately posting their rounds.


TOURNAMENT ENTRY
You must be an active PGT member to register for a tournament.  You can contact PGT and we will register you if space is still available, but the most convenient way to guarantee your spot is to log on and register on the PGT website.  The yearly schedule page shows what is planned but the Event Registration page lists all events that are currently open for registration.  We typically only list upcoming events on a monthly basis so keep checking this page as future events are added.  Complete the self explanatory process to register for the specific event you choose.  You will receive a confirmation that you are registered, but you should go back to the registration page and click the "Attendees" button to make sure you are on the active list.  Most tournaments require pre-payment, but payment the day of the event with cash or check may be made only if a member has a valid credit card on file or enough credit in their PGT account.  Refer to the final section of this handbook about player accounts and transactions. The tournament entry fee typically includes, but not limited to, green fees, prize purse, taxes, fees, range, and use of club facilities as indicated.  Daily or season long side games, skill contests, and competitions are extra and always optional.
Basic information about the tournament is listed on the Event Registration page but all final and specific details and costs are itemized on the Tee Times & Pairings page.


SPECIAL REQUESTS
When completing the online registration for a specific event, you may indicate a request in the Special Request section.  Typically this is for an early, middle, or late tee time based on your travel or schedule.  We always try to accommodate this request in order to maximize the field.  Please remember that an early tee time request does not guarantee the first tee time unless specified.  Special requests are just that, for specific reasons, so players will not be granted continuous same accommodations.  Players that also help run the event (registration, starters, rules officials, scorers, etc) must tee off respectively.  We understand that there are a variety of personalities and playing styles, and you may request to be grouped with, or not with, certain players.  We will try to honor that, but cannot for every event.  Part of the game is being able to compete with different players.  You will typically be paired with players of similar skill level, from the same tees, and within the same flight if possible, which helps to protect the field.  Tee times and pairings are also created for pace of play efficiency.


PLAYER CANCELATION
A registered player for an event may cancel any time up to 48 hours of the first tee time. It is the players responsibility to notify PGT of their cancelation, and obtain confirmation. If you have already paid the entry fee, a full refund will be made.  If you cancel inside of 48 hours, the full tournament entry fee will be charged to you unless a fully paid replacement player fills your spot.  PGT contracts with the various courses, guarantees the number of players leading up to the event, and is charged for that number.
DO NOT call PGT the morning of the event.  Tee times and pairings will go off as scheduled.  Some changes may need to be made at the last minute based on course conditions, play ahead of us, and player sign in.  Remember, your participation, or lack thereof, directly affects your scheduled group and the entire field.


EVENT CANCELATION
PGT does not cancel events unless unforeseen or unusual circumstances beyond our control occur.  We are mostly at the mercy of the courses we play, so if the course is open, we are obligated to play. Poor weather is always a possibility.  Cold and rainy weather is not unusual and it is the players responsibility to be prepared for all conditions.  Do Not call PGT the morning of an event unless it is an emergency, as we are too busy with set up.  Call the course if you need directions, for delays, conditions, or general questions.  We will make every attempt to contact all players if an event is canceled.  Please make sure your contact information is updated on your online profile.  Always continue to check the Tee Times & Pairings page leading up to the event as late changes are always a possibility. Once our first group tees off, the event has officially started.  Play could be stopped or delayed, and even ended early if situations arise that deem it necessary.  If for any reason players cannot finish their round, PGT can cancel the event.  If a full flight has completed 9 or more holes, the results become official to that number of holes only.  If the full flight has not completed the minimum number of holes required, the event is canceled.  Once a player has teed off and the event is canceled, a players entry fee is refunded minus any fees the course charges and the PGT administration fee.

TOURNAMENT DAY
Before heading to the course, make sure you check the Tee Times & Pairings page one more time to verify your specific groups starting time, costs, and all final details. Do not call PGT prior to your time as we will be too busy preparing and checking in players.  Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your start time to give yourself enough time to check in, or earlier to warm up as needed.  Locate the registration table to check in and pay the entry fee, and the optional side games.  Adjusted tee times may be needed based on what happens at the course.  Sometimes your official score card will be issued at the table, and sometimes the PGT starter will issue it.  It is the players responsibility to review all documents at the registration table.  Local and daily rules will be posted and it is the players responsibility to know them.  Be available at, or near, the first tee at least 10 minutes before your group is called. There is always a chance groups can go off earlier than slated and you must be prepared for any last minute changes.  Delays ahead of you may push back your starting time as well.  Final instructions will be given, score cards will be exchanged between players, and play will begin immediately by ready golf when it is clear to hit.  Unless special circumstances arise, your group will tee off when called.  If you are late or miss your time, you may be penalized or disqualified, however you may be allowed to compete in a manner convenient to the field.  Your actions directly affect your group and the entire field.  PGT will adjust groups and starting times if needed for pace of play purposes.


PACE of PLAY
The single most aggravating issue in golf is SLOW PLAY.  Slow Play WILL NOT be tolerated and could result in penalty stokes, disqualification, and removal from the PGT.  No one should have to rush a shot or run around the course, but no players actions or routine should interfere with another players timely completion and enjoyment of their round. You and your groups responsibility is to keep pace with the group in front of you.  Your position is behind the group in front of you, not in front of the group behind you.  A group that cannot keep up will receive slow play penalties.  So it is vitally important for all groups to keep pace or a log jam (tunnel effect) will take place.  It only takes one group to fall behind, and all the groups behind them are negatively affected.  All players will adopt the policy of READY GOLF.  We play Ready Golf from start to finish at all events.  If you are ready to hit, even if you are ahead of another player that isn't ready, simply announce you will play and make your shot.  The option of continuous putting is also recommended.  You are urged to "putt out" if not interfering with another players line or if another player is not ready or delaying their putt.  It is the groups responsibility to encourage or notify a player of their slow play and assist in moving along.  A spreadsheet of all player times will be kept by PGT administration.  Any player could have a bad round or various circumstances that slows down play to make this list, but players that appear frequently on this list will not be allowed special requests and will be placed towards the end of the field.  You can still have a bad round and not slow down play if you stay aware of your position, play ready golf, and alter your routine if you fall behind.  And if you fall behind, it is your responsibility to catch up immediately.  Most players are not even aware of all the time they waste.  Even a few wasted seconds here and there over 18 holes leads to a group slowing down the entire course.  Faster play does not mean rushed play, but efficient play is what we should strive for.


SLOW PLAY PENALTY
An 18 minute rule is in place.   All groups must arrive at the scoring area at the end of their round within 18 minutes of the group in front of them. You must go directly to the scoring area after your final hole to record your round time, and then verify and sign score cards.  A Player will receive a two stroke penalty for being more than 18 minutes behind the group in front of them unless they finish in less than 4.5 hours or extenuating circumstances arise.  The PGT will review any special circumstances and interview each player in the group to determine if it was a specific player causing the slow down or the entire group was at fault before penalizing anyone.  This rule is designed to keep all players aware of pace of play, and always keep up with the group ahead of you.  If this happens, there is never an issue with slow play and long rounds would not be a PGT problem. We cannot control what happens on the course in front of our first group, but our groups do not want to hold up play after the tournament.  To date, our average round per group is 4 hours 40 min, which is very acceptable for tournament golf.


RANGEFINDERS
Distance measuring devices are allowed--A player may verbalize the distance obtained provided that the use of this device does not impede play. A range finder, or GPS device, may be used and the player using it may announce the distance obtained to the rest of the group. If a device has additional features like elevation, wind speed, etc, they must be turned off or not used.


TIEBREAKERS
When announced, playoff for first place will be decided by sudden death elimination, continuing in the designated format for that event.  Starting hole for playoff will be determined based on handicap hole if possible to allow fair and equal number of strokes respective to each player.  It may also only be practical based on open holes.  Most first place  ties will be settled on the score card starting with the number one handicap hole and continuing in order of the most difficult holes until tie is broken.  Net score is used.  All other ties combine and split prize money.

WINNINGS
Payouts come from the Prize Purse and separate side games, but are total amounts paid in by the participating players.  Overall we try to pay out approximately 25 % of the flight or field.  There are a variety of tournament formats, optional side games, daily, and yearly competitions.  You obviously must be paid into the respective competition to collect any winnings.  Sometimes Sponsors will provide cash and prizes for winners of various competitions as well.  Tournament winnings are not paid out until the results are confirmed and verified, usually the following day.  Therefore, winning amounts will be added to the players accounts (see final section in handbook).  Side games are "cash in- cash out" and can be distributed at the course upon conclusion of the scoring.  If any clerical errors occur, adjustments will be made as needed.  All results are posted in the Individual Results  and Leader Board pages.  Amateur players receive winnings in the form of credit, merchandise, or certificates following the USGA guidelines.


SKILL CONTESTS and SIDE GAMES
Skill Contests and Side Games like skins and closest to the pin are offered at most events.  Details and specific games are listed on the Tee Times and Pairings page for that event.  These are optional and on top of the tournament entry cost and operated as "cash in - cash out".  5% of all pots are retained by PGT as administrative fees. 


TOURIST
Players may elect Tourist entry which entitles them to a tee time and pairing but no tournament entry or payout.  They are eligible and can pay for side games and skill contests provided their GHIN is active. Entry fee is reduced because they are not paying into the tournament prize purse.  Entry fee consists of the green fee and administrative fee.  Players must declare Tourist status at time of online registration by stating it in the special request section or contacting PGT immediately. 


GUESTS and SPECTATORS
Guests are not active PGT members but are always welcome.  A Guest of an active member is invited to play and may play with that member. Two Guests per member are allowed to register per event.  The same Guest may not attend more than two events per season.  If a Guest has an active and verifiable GHIN, they may compete in the side games.  Their entry fee is the same as a Tourist because they are not eligible for prize purse payouts.  A member must contact the PGT directly in order to add the Guest to the current event roster to secure their spot.  Guests typically are interested in the PGT and would like to see  the tournament organization first hand and play a course they might not normally be able to.  A Guest cannot take a spot from an active member however and not available to join certain events. 
Spectators at this time are NOT permitted to be on the course or in and around the registration and scoring area.  Only registered and paid players with a specific tee time and pairing are allowed out with other players on the course.


AMATEUR STATUS
PGT follows all USGA guidelines on Amateur status and payouts.  The majority of our players play as professionals because they compete to win cash and prizes.  A player must declare they want to maintain Amateur status so they are compensated accordingly to protect them for future "true" Amateur events.


NEW MEMBERS
A brand new member may "Join the PGT" by clicking on this link at the top of the home page.  Just review the New Member signup and pay online.  The new member fee is slightly higher than a renewing membership but the player can choose from a variety of gifts like shirts and balls (all are top quality items but subject to availability).  PGT is a membership based organization and a reduced yearly fee is required to be active.  New members must provide verifiable handicap information and must obtain and keep active a GHIN going forward to compete for cash and prizes.  A new member may have to play as a Tourist for their first event (or longer) until the handicap committee deems their index is appropriate.  All information to get started is provided in a New PGT Membership email after you are processed.


SANDBAGGING
Other than cheating, this is the worst word when it comes to Net play.  It is technically a form of cheating even before you start to compete.  When sandbagging is associated with tournament golf, it brings discredit to the format, organization and that player.  Players are required to properly post all their scores on a continuous basis.  If they are properly and fairly played then posted, sandbagging can't occur.  PGT has adopted a PGT index and Tournament index to prevent sandbagging and the appearance of sandbagging.  The lower of these or your GHIN index will be used for tournament play.  The Handicap Committee continuously conducts peer reviews of players, especially when something out of the ordinary becomes evident.


PGT INDEX
This is an internal short term index that is not maintained, but calculated and used if it is lower than GHIN or T index.  It is triggered and calculated when a players differential is lower than their current GHIN index twice in a season.  The formula is an average of these two differentials and two or three of recent differentials. 


TOURNAMENT INDEX
This is an internal index maintained by the Handicap Chairman when a "red flag" arises due to exceptional scores or when tournament score differentials consistently are lower than away score differentials.  The formula is adjusted from time to time because playing conditions and other factors are taken into consideration.  Basically it is an average of the best 10 of the last 20 tournament differentials.


PLAYER ACCOUNTS--TRANSACTIONS
All players will have an administrative individual account maintained.  This will not be made public or shared.  It is updated with each transaction for each player.  Two hard drive files will be kept at the PGT office and a current printout will be made for each event.  This will be available to review by each player at the registration table at every tournament.  At any time, a player may contact PGT and their account balance and all transactions will be provided to them.  A running balance is kept from credit and debit transactions.  Credits are payments made, winnings, or additions.  Debits are costs, fees, withdrawals, or other charges.  All fees are to be paid in full prior to an event.  Cash, Checks, credit and debit cards, or PGT credit are acceptable forms of payment.  Generally, a "cash in - cash out" principle is in order.  Therefore, if a credit or debit card is used for tournament entry or side game costs, a 4% charge will be included, except for online purchases of products and membership dues.  Positive balances in players accounts can be used or withdrawn by cash or check at tournaments by that player, and positive balances may be carried over to the following season.  Yearly dues will automatically be deducted from that carryover balance at the first of the year.  Check requests to be mailed will incur a $3 processing fee. Anyone who issues a check that is returned will be charged a $30 fee.  Unpaid fees and debits will accrue a 20% monthly charge.   All amounts are rounded down to a whole dollar amount.


For more information, always check the USGA website at www.usga.org/rules   

Please call, text, or email PGT with any questions

 

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