Etiquette, rules, & handicap
To enjoy the great game of golf at Brandon Wood Golf Course & Club, all players need to be aware of three important facets of the game:
A detailed knowledge in all three areas makes the game more enjoyable for everyone.
This is a guide to try and ensure that every golfer is given the chance to enjoy the game of golf whilst upholding its rules and traditions along with caring for the course. Please consider the points listed below.
The Brandon Wood Golf Course & Club Committee are dedicated to ensure that the Club’s reputation is held as highly as possible and correct dress is most important. The Committee hopes that all members will dress in accordance with the traditions and spirit of the game and that smart casual wear should be the order of the day for both course and clubhouse. Please observe the below dress code criteria:
- All players MUST have a set of Golf Clubs each otherwise you will be unable to play.
- All shirts must be an approved golf shirt - round/crew neck golf shirts are acceptable. A shirt must be worn at all times.
- No football/rugby related clothing allowed on the course.
- Collarless and/or sleeveless shirts or T-shirts are not considered acceptable.
- No blue denims or track-suit/jogging bottoms to be worn on the course.
- Recognised golf shoes must be worn.
- Shorts must be tailored knee length.
- Prior to playing a stroke or making a practice swing, please ensure that no-one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club or ball.
- Do not play until the players in front are out of range.
- Shout ‘fore’ immediately if there is a danger of a ball hitting someone.
- Keep clear of mowers and other machines - remember that machine operators, because of noise, may not be aware of your presence.
- Do not play to an area where greenstaff are working until they indicate that it is safe to do so. Greenkeepers operating tractors and mowers wearing earmuffs will not hear distant shouts.
Inclimate Weather Policy
- In the event of fog, play should not commence if the Fog Indicator Marker is not clearly visible from the 1st Tee Sign.
- The Fog Indicator Marker is situated 230 metres from the 1st Tee Sign in the rough, on the left of the 1st Fairway.
- Players must not commence play if the FOG - COURSE CLOSED sign is displayed.
- If, during the course of a round, conditions deteriorate a player must not hit their shot if they are unable to see where it lands. If conditions do not improve, discontinue play.
- These rules are in place to protect players and Green Staff during conditions of low visibility.
- Due to the layout of the Course, BWGC DO NOT operate a siren system, therefore it is the player’s own responsibility to discontinue play when, in their opinion, a danger from lightning exists. Players are not entitled to the view that the Club must make the decision on their behalf. All individuals owe a duty of care to themselves and others. All players have a personal responsibility for their own safety as they would in any other location.
Consideration of Other Players
- Please do not talk or move when a player is about to play, or stand close or directly behind.
- Always have consideration for others on the course.
Priority on the Course and Pace of Play
- Players should endeavour to stay just behind the match in front and not just in front of the match behind.
- All matches must start at the first hole, with the exception of officially authorised competitions.
- Groups of more than four players are strictly not allowed
- Because all groups are required to start at the first hole it is not practical to give priority to 2 ball matches over 3 & 4 ball matches. Two, three & fourball groups therefore have equal standing. (Note: 2 ball matches maybe required to pair up at busy times.)
- Single players have no standing and must obtain permission to start from the golf reception. The play of more than one ball, except within the rules of golf, is also prohibited.
- All groups must play holes in sequence – any group cutting in has no standing and must give way to any other group.
- Greenkeepers have priority at all times – time must be allowed for them to clear the area or to call you through before playing – if in any doubt do not play.
- 10 minutes per hole is a good target - maybe slightly less on a par 3 and slightly more on a long par 4 or a par 5. Fifteen minutes per hole is definitely too slow.
- Always play without delay - there should be no hold ups for counting strokes or marking scorecards - especially on the greens.
- All matches must keep their place on the course. If a clear hole is lost or if a ball is being looked for, then the following match should be invited to play through.
- On arrival at the putting green your golf bag or trolley should be positioned on the most direct route to the next tee - but not on the green itself.
- All players in a group should watch and mark the place where each ball comes to rest, in order to minimise the time spent in searching for lost balls.
- Mobile telephones can be a distraction to other players and members should note that they are not allowed on most courses.
Interactive Rules of Golf information, including the detailed Decisions on the Rules of Golf, are available online:The R&A Rules Section
The local rules for Brandon Wood Golf Course & Club are:
- Players must not play from “wrong greens” (greens other than those on the hole in play). Rule 13.1f applies. In finding the relief area the putting green is defined to include the fringe (2 club lengths from the edge of the green) and the apron.
- OUT OF BOUNDS
- Beyond all hedges and fences marking the boundary of the course.
- Beyond the inside points at ground level of any line of white stakes.
- In or over the River Avon.
- The Brandon Marsh nature reserve, in particular, behind the 15th green, as defined by the points at which the land drops steeply down.
- The Driving Range – please note that the netting fence and upright supports are defined as forming a boundary fence, however, any angled supports may be treated as immovable obstructions.
- The clubhouse, balcony and surrounding paved area.
- On or over the 9th fairway is out of bounds when playing the 10th hole.
- The 11th hole is out of bounds whilst playing the 8th hole.
- RED PENALTY AREAS
All ditches, any area defined by red stakes and to the right of the cart track (the main track that runs from the clubhouse to the 10th green) on holes 3 and 12. In the absence of red stakes the edge of the ditch is defined as where the ground begins to drop significantly. The red penalty area on the 9th hole extends beyond the ditch to the out of bounds. The red penalty area on the twelfth extends onto the 11th hole.
- IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS
Including all wooden shelters, artificially surfaced paths and tracks, bridges, pop-up sprinkler heads, yardage markers, all weather tee mats, remains of old farm buildings and power cable poles. The ball should be lifted and dropped without penalty within one club length of the nearest point of relief (Rule 16. 1b applies). If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hit a power line or pole supporting a power line during the play of holes 8, 9 or 10, the stroke does not count . The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made (Rule 14.6 applies)
- ABNORMAL GROUND CONDITIONS
These include drainage channels and tyre/tractor marks (not faint impressions). Rule 16.1 applies
The Club is affiliated to both the English Golf Union (via the Warwickshire Golf Union) and to the English Ladies Golf Association and the CONGU Unified Handicapping Scheme applies, visit congu.com/handicap_queries.htm for more information. Under the above scheme the player has the following responsibilities:
- To have only one handicap - allotted and adjusted by his/her HOME CLUB. This handicap shall apply at other clubs of which the player is a member.
- To select one club (if a member of more than one) to be his/her HOME CLUB.
- To not change his/her HOME CLUB without advance notice.
- To ensure each affiliated club of which he/her is a member is aware of:
- The name of his/her Home Club and any changes.
- Alterations of handicap made by the HOME CLUB.
- To ensure that his/her name is inserted in the entry list before any competition.
- To ensure all competition cards are returned - even if not completed.
- To report all away scores in Qualifying Competitions to his/her HOME CLUB.
- To ensure appropriate reductions to his/her playing handicap have been made prior to playing in a competition at another club.
- To enter his/her handicap current playing handicap on all cards returned in a competition.
- To provide his HOME CLUB with details of scores in non-qualifying events if directed to do so.
Members wishing to obtain a handicap must return scorecards with their score for three full rounds of golf at Brandon Wood Golf Club, the third of which must be returned within three months of the date of the first card.
- Each of these cards must be marked by another member of the Golf Club or by an officially nominated marker. Also, one of the cards must be marked by a member of over 12 months standing and with a handicap of 18 or less.
- A score of 115 or better on at least one card will normally be required before a handicap can be allocated.
- Player and marker must ‘sign in’ at the Golf Reception before play and the card must be handed in without delay upon completion.
- Only cards marked over the full course (i.e. Greens in play and standard tee positions) will normally be accepted.
- Having achieved a new handicap, members are requested not to play in an away competition until at least 6 scores have been returned in Qualifying Competitions at Brandon Wood Golf Club.
A player’s handicap will lapse immediately if that player is no longer a member of an affiliated golf club. The handicap can be re-instated if membership is renewed within 6 months of lapsing. However, after 6 months, 3 more cards must be returned before re-allocation.
Supplementary Scores are an opportunity for ‘home’ members to get in a reasonable number of qualifying scores during the season. ‘Home’ members may return up to 10 Supplementary Scores per calendar year – subject to the following conditions:
- The intention of returning a Supplementary Score must be notified at Reception before starting the round.
- The Supplementary Score must be over 18 holes at brandon Wood GC.
- The Supplementary Score must be authenticated (marked by another member or officially nominated marker) and returned over a measured course (no temporary or shortened holes).
- Supplementary Scores are limited to one per week.
- All scores returned will be subject to a handicap adjustment based on the SSS of the measured course.
Players will have their handicaps identified as inactive (with an (i)) if they have NOT returned 3 qualifying scores (including Supplementary Scores and Away qualifying scores) during the previous calendar year. A player who receives a CONGU Handicap for the first time will not be marked as “inactive” for a period of twelve months from the date of allocation.
At the present time there are no restrictions within the Brandon Wood competition programme on players whose handicaps are marked as inactive. However, the Committee reserves the right to require that entrants to specified events have returned a minimum number (to be determined by the Committee) of qualifying scores in the preceding period (to be determined by the Committee).
Members are reminded that organisers of events outside of the Brandon Wood GC competition programme, such as Open tournaments, may not accept entries from players with inactive handicaps.