Policies & Procedures

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/GHIN Handicap Index 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-Junior & Mite Divisions) & Young Golfers’ Championship.

(please reference the Conditions & Regulations for further details)

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.

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 Policy

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 (Championship or Qualifier). 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 (Championship or Qualifier).

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

Play will be governed by the Rules of Golf as approved by the USGA for all Mass Golf competitions. Questions shall be settled by the Committee in charge of the competitions consisting of those 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 the Note to Rule 14-3) for all Mass Golf competitions. However, if a distance-measuring device has additional functionality that can gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player’s play (e.g., elevation change, wind speed, etc.), the use of any such additional function would be a breach of Rule 14-3.

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.

Note: Per the Rules of Golf (Decision 6-4/2.5) any individual transporting a players clubs on a motorized golf cart or trolley is by definition considered to be the player’s caddie even though they may not perform any other functions of a caddie. Additionally, the Rules of Golf (Rule 6-4) state that a player may be assisted by a caddie (when permitted), but is limited to only one caddie at any one time. Any breach of this rule would result in the following penalty.

  • Stroke Play – A player will be penalized two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred; with a maximum penalty per round of four strokes.
  • Match Play – At the conclusion of the hole at which the breach is discovered, the state of the match is adjusted by one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred; with a maximum deduction per round of two holes.
  • Upon discovery, a player in breach of this rule must ensure that he has no more than one caddie during the remainder of the round. Otherwise, the player is disqualified.

*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.

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

Shoes with traditionally designed spikes (regardless of composition, i.e. ceramic, plastic, etc.) or spikes, regardless of design, comprised either entirely or partially of metal (if such metal may come in contact with the course) are prohibited. Penalty for breach of this condition — Disqualification.


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 Mass Golf/USGA Handicap Index by the Mass Golf staff.

  • All scores will be posted as a Tournament Score (T-Score) and in accordance to Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)
  • Any player competing at least 13 holes will have an 18-hole T-score posted by the Mass Golf staff. The “par plus” 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, 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.