Policies & Procedures - MASSGOLF

Policies & Procedures

Quick Links: Amateur Status | Entry Procedures | COVID-19 Waiver | Exemption Requests | Withdrawal/Refund Policies | Over-Subscribed Events | Starting Times and Player Info | Alternate Policy | Play-Offs at Qualifying Events | Rules of Golf | Distance-Measuring Devices | Cart Usage PolicyMass Golf Mobility Impaired Spectator Cart Policy & Request Form | Dress Code | Golf Shoe Policy | Conditions and Schedules | Automatic Score Posting | No-Shows | Photo Release | Name, Image and Likeness Guidance Collegiate Golfers


General Criteria for Championship Eligibility

Each Mass Golf Championship has its own specific tournament eligibility criteria (i.e., maximum Handicap Index®, age requirements, etc.). Please reference the specific Championships for further details. In general, to be eligible for a Mass Golf Championship, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Any amateur golfer who has an active Mass Golf Membership at any public, private, semi-private, municipal or non-real estate Mass Golf member course/club (or have completed a Handicap Certification)
  2. Have played and posted 5 rounds at any Mass Golf member club/course within 12 months of the specified Championship entry deadline

*Exceptions  – Open Championship, Ouimet Memorial Tournament, Junior Amateur Championship, Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship (Junior-Mite Division ONLY) & Young Golfers’ Championship.

(please reference the Conditions & Regulations for further details)

Amateur Status

Except for the Massachusetts Open, all Mass Golf Championship events are open to amateur golfers only.

The R&A and the USGA updated the Rules of Amateur Status on October 26, 2021 with the new changes going into effect on January 1, 2022.

Rules of Amateur Status (Full Rules) | Infographic: Rules of Amateur Status

Individuals looking to be reinstated as amateurs or with questions about the Rule of Amateur Status should contact Kevin Eldridge, Director of Rules & Competitions, directly at 774-430-9103 or visit the USGA’s Amateur Status page for more information.

Entry Procedures

All players, including those who are exempt, must apply through the Mass Golf Online Entry process at: http://www.massgolf.org. Late, incomplete or inaccurate entries will not be accepted. Each Mass Golf competition has a designated field limit. Excluding specific Championship policies, entries for Mass Golf Championships and Qualifiers are accepted on a first come, first served basis until the entry deadline. The Mass Golf Championship Committee reserves the right to reject an entry at any time.

Entries and fully paid entry fees must be received through the Mass Golf Online Entry process by 5:00pm EST on the published entry deadline.

COVID-19 Waiver

New for 2022, the Mass Golf COVID-19 Participant Certification, Release and Waiver has been added to our Policies and Procedures page and can be viewed here.

Exemption Requests

A player who wishes to request an exemption into a Mass Golf Championship must do so by submitting a formal request. Exemption requests must be submitted to the Mass Golf Championship Department Staff (e-mail; keldridge@massgolf.org) no later than 10 days prior to the published entry deadline for the specific Championship. All submitted exemption requests will then be reviewed by the Mass Golf Championship Committee and only granted under exceptional circumstances. Along with the letter of request, players must also submit a playing resume that includes any golf awards, championships, top finishes and/or accomplishments from the last 5 years (local and national). Players will be notified of the status of their exemption request as soon as practicable and are encouraged to register for a sectional qualifying site for the specific championship as their request is pending.

Withdrawal/Refund Policies

Applies to: Open, Amateur, Junior Amateur, Amateur Public Links, Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur, and Super Senior Amateur

Competitors withdrawing from a championship/qualifier should notify a member of the Mass Golf staff as soon as practicable. Refunds may be processed based on the following criteria:

  • Prior to Entries Closing
    • entry fee minus a $30 administrative fee will be refunded
  • After entries close and more than thirteen days before the day of the event
    • 50% of entry fee will be refunded
  • Within thirteen days of the event, or on the day of the event
    • no refunds will be processed
  • Notes:
    • Refunds will not be processed for competitors advancing through a qualifier who subsequently need to withdraw from the championship proper. Exempt players may be refunded according to the criteria above.
    • The Mass Golf staff respectfully asks that if a player knowingly needs to withdraw from an event, please do so as soon as possible – out of respect and as a courtesy to any players on a waitlist/alternate list.


Applies to: Women’s Championships, Four-Ball, Mixed Four-Ball, Senior Four-Ball, Ouimet Tournament, and Young Golfers’ Amateur

Competitors, who have submitted an entry for a Mass Golf event and wish to withdraw for any reason, MUST notify the Mass Golf office in writing (e-mail is acceptable and encouraged) or by phone. Entry fee will be refunded less a $20 administrative fee, regardless of reason, if Mass Golf is notified in writing or by phone seven days prior to each event. Entry fee will be refunded less 50% for any withdrawals received less than seven days prior to each event. No refund will be processed for a withdrawal notification that is received on the scheduled date of an event.

Over-Subscribed Events

When the field for an event is full (Qualifier or Championship), further entries are placed on a waiting list in order by date/time they were received. Entries received on the same day are placed on the list in the order in which they are opened. A full refund will be given to anyone on a waiting list who does not make it into the event.

Starting Times and Player Information

Shortly after close of entries — or after the last qualifier concludes for Championships — competitors will be notified via e-mail of their starting times and player information (including the availability of practice privileges). Courtesy practice privileges are at the discretion of the host club(s).

Alternate Policy

For all Mass Golf Championships Proper (with qualifying) an alternate pool will be formed that includes ALL players from each qualifying site with the next best score after the cutline.

After sectional qualifying, all players in the pool will then be randomly selected and ranked by number as alternates. The alternate list for each Championship Proper will be published, posted online and updated as players are added to the Championship Proper.

An alternate can be placed into the Championship Proper field in two ways;

  1. To fill the field after qualifying has been completed in order to the maximize the number of competitors allowed per championship (i.e. 144 – Amateur, 120 – Mid-Am).
  2. To fill a spot of either an exempt or qualified player who withdraws before the event begins.
    1. In the event of any no-shows or last-minute withdrawals, alternates will be permitted to be on site during a championship proper to fill those spots.
    2. The highest ranked alternate ON-SITE will have priority.

NOTE: This alternate policy will only be enforced if the Championship Proper field becomes less than the maximum number of competitors permitted per championship.

Play-Offs at Mass Golf Qualifying Events

The qualifying number and ties will gain entrance into the Championship Proper. There will be no play-off for qualifying spots and/or 1st & 2nd alternates.

Example: If there are 10 qualifying spots available at a particular Mass Golf Qualifying site, and 12 competitors finish with a score of 76 or lower, all 12 competitors advance to the Championship Proper without a play-off.

Rules of Golf

The Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and the R&A given play. Questions will be settled by the Committee in charge of the competitions consisting of staff and officials officials assigned by Mass Golf, whose decision shall be final.

Distance-Measuring Devices

A player may use devices that measure or gauge distance only (see Rule 4.3a(1)) for all Mass Golf competitions.

Penalty for Breach of Rule 4.3:

  • Penalty for first breach from single act or related acts: General Penalty.
  • Penalty for second breach unrelated to first breach: Disqualification. This penalty applies even if the nature of the breach was entirely different than the breach resulting in the first penalty.

Cart Usage Policy (Competitors & Caddies)

In events where carts are permitted per the conditions and regulations, no more than 2 carts will be permitted per starting time regardless of the number of players and/or caddies in a group. Caddies are permitted to ride in a player’s cart if there is an available seat.

*Mass Golf reserves the right to limit a group to only 1 cart in the case of a group of two competitors in order to limit cart traffic and/or reserve carts for subsequent starting times.

Note: Per the Rules of Golf (10.3a(1)) any other person who walks or rides along with the player or who carries other things for the player (such as a rain-suit, umbrella or food and drink) is not the player’s caddie unless he or she is named as such by the player or also carries, transports or handles the player’s clubs. Additionally, Rule (10.3a(1)) states that a player may have a caddie to carry, transport and handle his or her clubs, give advice and help him or her in other ways allowed during a roundbut with these limitations:

  • The player must not have more than one caddie at any one time.
  • The player may change caddies during a roundbut must not do so temporarily for the sole purpose of getting advice from the new caddie.

Penalty for Breach of Rule 10.3a:

  • The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which he or she is helped by more than one caddie at any one time.
  • If the breach happens or continues between two holes, the player gets the general penalty for the next hole.

Mass Golf Mobility Impaired Spectator Cart Policy & Request Form


Dress Code

Appropriate golf attire is required at all Mass Golf competitions for players, caddies and spectators. The dress code of the host facility will take precedent if there is any question.

Golf Shoe Policy

Local Rule as prescribed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures is in effect. Model Local Rule G-7. The use of traditionally designed spikes (regardless of composition) or spikes of any design that are entirely or partially made of metal, if such metal may come in contact with the course.

Penalty for Breach of Rule 4.3:

  • Penalty for first breach from single act or related acts: General Penalty.
  • Penalty for second breach unrelated to first breach: Disqualification. This penalty applies even if the nature of the breach was entirely different than the breach resulting in the first penalty.


The Mass Golf Board of Directors reserves the right to alter any of the Championship conditions and schedules herein. The decision of the Board of Directors in any matter shall be final.

Automatic Score Posting

All scores from individual stroke play events (qualifiers & championships proper) will be automatically posted to a player’s Handicap Index by the Mass Golf staff.

  • All scores will be posted as a Competition Score (C-Score) and in accordance to Maximum Hole Scoring Procedure
    • USGA Rules of Handicapping Manual
  • Any player competing at least 13 holes will have an 18-hole C-score posted by the Mass Golf staff. The “Net Double Bogey” method will be used to fill in a player’s score, for posting purposes, for any holes not played by a competitor who completes at least 13 holes but less than 18 holes. Any player who No-Cards (NC) or Withdraws (WD) from a competition must return their scorecard to a Mass Golf official or staff member. Any player failing to do so is subject to the No-Show policy explained below.

*Exceptions – Four-Ball Championship, Senior Four-Ball Championship, Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup, Women’s Four-Ball Championship for the Townshend Cup, Amateur Championship Match Play Rounds, Women’s Amateur Championship Match Play Rounds, Junior Amateur Championship Match Play Rounds and Mass Golf administered Local/Sectional USGA Qualifiers.


Mass Golf reserves the right to decline any entry based on a player’s previous year’s attendance in an event. Players who fail to show for assigned starting times without notifying Mass Golf will be considered a no-show. No-shows also include any player who fails to return a scorecard (no-card) or who withdraws during a stipulated round without notifying a Mass Golf official or staff member on site.

Photo Release

I acknowledge that Mass Golf may at times photograph or record video of the Mass Golf Championships and tournaments and I grant Mass Golf the unrestricted right and permission to copyright, use, or publish photographic portraits, pictures, or video of me, including the negatives, transparencies, prints, or digital information pertaining to them (collectively, the “Pictures”), in still, single, multiple, moving or video format, in any manner, including manners in which I may be included in whole or in part, in composite or distorted in form, in color or otherwise, in any media for advertising or any other lawful purpose. I hereby relinquish any right that I may have to examine or approve the Pictures or any use of the Pictures, including the advertising copy or printed matter that may be used in connection with a Picture, or the use to which it may be applied. I waive any ownership and publication right or right of publicity I may be entitled to in connection with the Pictures.

Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) Guidance for Collegiate Golfers

Massachusetts Golf Association, Inc. (“Mass Golf”) may withhold entry of a collegiate golfer (as defined by Exhibit A) into a Mass Golf sanctioned event if Mass Golf reasonably determines that the collegiate golfer’s use of logos and/or their promotional activities are inappropriate and/or offensive and are not in alignment with Mass Golf’s mission and vision. Mass Golf’s Board of Directors has the power and authority to make this decision and shall promptly inform the collegiate golfer upon making any such determination. Any collegiate golfer that wishes to participate in a Mass Golf sanctioned event should reference the USGA’s Notice to Collegiate Golfers Regarding Name, Image and Likeness. Please contact, Jesse Menachem, with any additional questions.

Exhibit A: The USGA and The R&A have introduced an interim waiver that applies as follows:

  • A collegiate golfer will remain an amateur golfer provided all three of the following apply:
    • The NIL-related actions are allowed under the NCAA’s interim policy,
    • He or she remains on a team roster while the NIL-related activities take place, and
    • There are no other breaches of the Rules of Amateur Status in connection with the NIL activities. An example of this would be providing golf instruction, which while ok per the NCAA is not allowed under the Rules of Amateur Status.