Rules, Format, Etiquette & Course Care
The whole point of the Slammer Tour is to create a fun and competitive golf environment where players of every skill level get to compete for bones, prizes and personal pride. But, it's also about helping each other learn about the rules, etiquette and culture of golf so that everyone, especially the golf courses and your opponents, are always treated with the utmost respect. All Golf Canada (RCGA) Rules apply to the Tour, with the exception of the local rules listed here.
A - Etiquette & Course Care D - Special Course Rules
- Golf Course & Clubhouse Respect
- Divots & Ball Marks
- Be Safe
- Gamesmanship & Whining
- Be On Time
- Ride Sharing
- Playing Music on the Golf Course
B - Tour Format
- Division Assignments
- Group Summary Sheets, App Scorer & Card Scorer
- November Run for #1
C - Pace-Of-Play Rules
D - Special Course Rules
E - Other Rules
- Tee-Block Assignments
- Rule Priority
- Official Skins
- Leaf Rule
- Preferred Lies
- Balls on The Collar/Fringe
- Spike Marks
- Laser Range Finders & GPS Devices
- Non-Conforming Clubs
- Player Cancellations
- Event Cancellations
- Top-Five Non-Activity
- Junior Clause
- Temporary Greens
- Changing Groups
- Embedded Ball
- Official Slammers
- Indoor Golf Exceptions
- Locked Groups
- Last Minute Registrations
A - Etiquette & Course CareUpdated November 19, 2017
1. Golf Course & Clubhouse Respect
We're all in it to have a great time and we want courses to want us. When we treat the courses and staff with respect, they respond by treating us as valued customers... and that's a win-win for everyone. The Tour has a zero tolerance for the use of swearing and rough language in the clubhouse whether or not other customers and staff are present. Behavior on the golf course also represents the tour. The Tour has a zero tolerance for shouting, club throwing, and disruption of other players. One warning will be given, then a period of suspension for any breach of Course and Clubhouse Respect rules. Always respect the course's local rules with respect to powercarts and practice facilities. Remember: each time you play in an event, you represent the Slammer Tour and ClubEG so we'll say "thanks in advance" for helping out.
2. Divots & Ball Marks
We all appreciate a beautiful course so please make sure to always replace your divots, repair damaged tee boxes with seed and sand, if available, and fix your ball marks (and any others that you find). Try to leave the course in even better shape than you found it... even if it's not already in great shape.
3. Be Safe
No one wants to take a ball in the back of the head or meet their maker at the bottom of a ravine, so please be mindful of others' positions when hitting... especially from peculiar lies. If you have a blind shot, be absolutely sure all is clear before you hit. Safety first!
4. Gamesmanship & Whining
Gamesmanship is not good sportsmanship and there's a fine line between teasing and intentionally doing something to negatively impact your opponent. Just use your judgment and treat others as you would like to be treated. Whining should not be tolerated by anyone, so if you hear a legitimate whine, get two others to second your opinion and the culprit will be asked to toss a toonie to the kids.
When we visit a golf course, we are guests and represent the Slammer Tour and ClubEG. It is critical that we maintain a positive and respectful relationship with every course. If you have any issues during Tour events, please direct your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will address the matter and get back to you within 48 hours.
6. Be On Time
Golf courses operate on very strict tee times so it is essential that you be at the course at least 20-minutes before your tee time, and on your tee box 10-minutes prior to your posted tee time. If you are late for your tee time, you can still join your group on the golf course but you will have lost each hole that has already been played. Furthermore, it's requested that as soon as you arrive, you check in with the Doggie Master to pay for your optional Doggie and Skin entry.
7. Ride Sharing
There is a feature on the website event pages to offer or request ride sharing to and from events. Similar to the checkboxes for card and app scorer, simply check off the appropriate box, then follow up with your fellow Slammer(s) to make arrangements. If you can offer a ride, a little O will appear beside your name, and if you need a ride, an N will appear. Please note that it is customary for the ride sharing passenger to cover the driver's skin and doggie entry fee in exchange for the favour.
8. Playing Music on the Golf Course
Playing music during your round is not permitted, unless all other golfers in your group expressly agree that it's okay.
B - Tour FormatUpdated August 6, 2018
All Slammer Tour events are match-play format. In match-play, you win, tie or lose each hole until you run out of holes and a winner is declared... unless of course it ends up in a tie. Unlike stroke-play where scoring is based on the total number of shots for the entire round, the Slammer Tour plays on a hole-by-hole basis. If you par the first hole, for example, and your opponent bogeys it, you're "one up". Beat them again on hole #2 and you're "two up". If, for example, you are "three up" but there are only two holes left to play, you win the match!
2. Division Assignments
The Committee assigns each Slammer to one of five divisions: Open, A, B, C or D. There are multiple factors that go in to determining a player's division including scoring median, driving distance, history, trends, injuries, disabilities, etc. If a Slammer improves significantly then they will be moved up a division. If a Slammer's game slips significantly then they will be moved down a division. If you think you or someone else is not in the right division, please email email@example.com and the Committee will conduct a review.
The overall goal is to have good close matches within each division.
Challenges are made online prior to the event to help determine which matches you get. Each Slammer has a divisional ranking with the primary objective to work your way up to the number one rank in your division. If you beat someone in your own division with a higher rank then you get their rank. If possible, three challenges should be entered to increase your chances of getting the best matches. Sometimes you may not be able to get anyone ranked above you so your goal then is to defend and not let others take your rank.
Events typically open for registration at 8pm, five days before the event. For the first two hours there is a lottery to determine challenge priority. After the lottery closes, challenge priority is determined by time-stamp of registration. The lottery is also used to determine who gets in the event if there are more people than available spots.
You can modify your challenges at any time prior to 10pm the evening before the event. You will see the groups change as people modify their challenges.
The groups are frozen at 10pm the evening before the event.
Matches are automatically on with anyone in your group who is in the same division or one division apart. Matches are off with anyone who is two or more divisions apart but the lower division person can opt in to a match with someone two divisions apart.
Matches are played for rank, points and five bones.
Doggies are awarded to the Slammer who sticks the ball closest to the pin out of the entire event's field of players. You must be on the green (collar/fringe does not count) and make par or better. Doggies are marked with a personalized golf ball on a tee. You should keep a couple of doggie balls (maybe 4?) in your bag; white and pre-marked with your name so that others will know who is in the running. An optional five-bone entry is required for the contest, payable before you tee off, so look for the Doggie Master when you arrive at the course.
All players in a group are eligible for the doggie if their ball is closer than the current doggie ball. If the closest player doesn’t make par or better, the doggie goes to the next closest who makes par of better, so remember to mark your location.
Be sure when you're putting for the dog to mark the position from where you're putting. Otherwise you'll be unable to claim the dog.
Note: If your ball is within two feet, you must still putt out — and if you miss the putt, you must count it as a stroke.
Skins are an optional side-competition at every Tour event whereby you can win a "skin" if you alone get the lowest score on a hole out of the entire field of players. Every event has a designated SkinMaster whose duty is to collect score cards at the end of the round, and to tabulate and present the results. If you want in on the skins game, you must give your name and entry to the Doggie Master. Skins are played at every event, but only eligible for statistics when there are seven or more Slammers at the event.
6. Group Summary Sheets, App Scorer & Card Scorer
The App Scorer is the official scorer for your group. They will enter scores after each hole and verify scores with the Card Scorer after the round. The App Scorer is noted with a superscript A beside the Slammer’s name on event pages.
The Card Scorer keeps a nice and legible paper scorecard for the group. They will get signatures from each person in the group after the round and then verify scores with the App Scorer. The Card Scorer is noted with a superscript C beside the person’s name.
If there is more than one volunteer for either Card Scorer or App Scorer in a group then those individuals can work it out on the 1st tee.
The top-ranked Slammer at the end of play in each foursome is responsible for filling out the group summary sheet, and handing in an official scorecard. All players in a group must sign off on both the official scorecard and the group summary sheet. If a player cannot attend the post-round presentations, at a minimum they must sign the official scorecard. If a player leaves without signing the official scorecard, he/she is deemed to accept the scores given by the group.
Once the group hands in the signed group summary form and scorecard, changes can only be made up until the OC leaves the 19th hole with the paperwork. In such a case, at least one other member of the group must attest to the change.
If there is a discrepancy found between the scorecard and the group summary form, the scorecard will be used as the official result.
If an error is found where a Slammer signed off on a score on a hole that is better than what was actually taken, the Slammer's score will change to a 9. If an error is found where the Slammer signed off on a hole that is worse than the actual score, the score he/she signed off will remain.
7. November Run for #1
Our November Run For #1 is our final leg of the outdoor golf season and it's all about the rankings! Similar to the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour, players contend for top spots throughout October and November to control their destiny for the final events in one of five main divisions.
As of 2017, there is a slightly new format which involves Quarter-Finals, Wildcard Week, Semi-Finals and Finals.
Given the innovative tee-block system, it has allowed for every golfer regardless of age or gender to compete equally in either the Open, A, B, C or D-divisions. These will be the five titles being contested for our Top-Ranked Slammers.
It’s all about the divisional rankings and the quest to become the top-ranked in a particular division.
C - Pace-of-Play RulesUpdated July 19, 2018
Pace-of-play is critically important for the Tour and we have to look at ourselves, first, to find ways to ensure we play as efficiently as possible. The best tip of all is to be ready when it's your turn to go. Think ahead and plan your shot while others are making theirs, or while you're walking to your ball. We play "ready-golf" on the Tour when a group is out of position so lead by example. After your round, ask your fellow Slammers if they've noticed anything that you can do, personally, to improve your own pace-of-play and be open to others' observations. If you see a pattern in responses, then perhaps there is something you can work on. Remember, it's not about rushing: it's about efficiency and protection of the Tour's reputation.
2. 30 Second Rule
All shots must be executed within 30 seconds of the previous player's shot. This goes for drives, reloads, fairway shots, approaches, sand shots, chips and putts. Thirty seconds may not sound like much but if you test it out in the field, you'll see that it is in fact plenty of time. The key is to do as much planning before your 30 seconds kicks in... and get your glove on while you're walking or waiting for another player to hit. If a player is over 30 seconds, mention it to him/her in a polite, constructive or even "fun" way. If the problem persists, however, send us an email and we will address the issue with the individual.
3. Group Captains
Each group will be assigned a pace-of-play captain by the OC before the 1st tee-off. The OC will consider the history of the players and designate one person in each group to be the captain. The captain is responsible for their group to adhere to the rules and guidelines of this pace-of-play section.
4. Half-Hole Behind (out of position)
Because efficiency in pace-of-play is so critical to The Tour, a group is officially out of position when they are more than a half-hole behind the group in front, regardless of how many people are in the group ahead or for any other circumstance. When a group is out of position, the Group Captain must take responsibility and ensure his group gets back into position as quickly as possible.
5. First Group Out
The first group out must remain within half of a hole of the public group ahead or at a 2hr 10 minute nine-hole pace. If after the turn, it has been more than 2hr 10minutes, this group is out of position and must adhere to the rules of being out of position.
6. Three-Minute Search
A maximum of three minutes is permitted to look for your ball in the woods, hazard, rough or anywhere - and you are only entitled to three 3-minute searches per round. All searches after you've spent your three-minutes are limited to a maximum of one-minute each.
7. Slammie Max
The maximum number of strokes per hole is EIGHT and all eights are equal. If an individual takes their seventh shot and doesn't hole out, they must pick up their ball and score an EIGHT. If there is an infraction where the result would be loss of a hole (for example, playing the wrong ball) the player must take a NINE.
Exception: it is permitted to take highest score in the group plus one if you lost the hole to all competitors.
Gimmes are a traditional part of match-play golf and it is a Slammer Tour custom and expectation to give putts within two feet. If your putt is within one foot then you can pick it up without approval. If your putt is outside one foot but inside two feet then look to your relevant opponents for approval before taking it. If it is near the two foot mark and any relevant opponent does not concede then you must putt it out. If you have two matches going and one opponent says it’s good this does not entitle you to pick it up; you must ask the other opponent.
- Note that putts outside of two feet can still be given as long as all relevant opponents agree.
- Be quick and generous with gimmes as it helps pace of play; be ready to offer the gimme.
- Exceptions: you must putt out for doggies, birdies and eagles.
9. Lost Ball / OB / Unplayable / Hazard
Lost Ball Options (you cannot find your ball):
- Drop at the point of entry to the area where you lost your ball under penalty of one-stroke (two club lengths no closer to the hole)
- Keep the point of entry spot and the pin in line and move back to a maximum of 50 yards and drop your ball under penalty of one-stroke
NOTE: Sometimes your ball is lost but you are uncertain as to whether it went into a hazard or is lost in some other area: in such a case, there is always a point of entry spot, even if it’s in the middle of open grass, so consult your playing partners then make your best determination of the point of entry and take a drop with a one-stroke penalty. If someone disagrees with how or where you drop, they can politely mention that they will be filing a claim.
Out-Of-Bounds (OB) Options:
- Drop at the point of entry (two club lengths no closer to the hole) under penalty of one-stroke
- Re-hit from the tee before you leave the tee box; this is the ball in play, even if you find your original
Unplayable Options (if you find your ball):
- Drop within two club lengths from the original position of the ball under penalty of one-stroke
- Keep the original location of the ball and the pin in line and move back to a maximum of 50 yards and drop your ball under penalty of one-stroke
- Drop at the point of entry (two-club lengths no closer to the hole) to the area where you found your ball under penalty of two-strokes (this rule is intended to minimize time spent searching for balls); in such a situation, the ball is likely in deep fescue or a forest area and likely not playable, so using the lost ball option is encouraged here.
- Drop at the point of entry (two club lengths no closer to the hole) to the area where you lost your ball under penalty of one-stroke
- Keep the point of entry spot and the pin in line and move back to a maximum of 50 yards and drop your ball under penalty of one-stroke
- If a player hits a shot and is uncertain if it is in the hazard/lost or not, a “hazard provisional” or "potential lost ball provisional" may be played from the appropriate spot in the interest of pace-of-play. If the player’s original ball is later found outside of the hazard, the original ball must be played.
If a player is virtually certain his/her ball is in the hazard, the player may proceed as follows:
- Continue play with the “hazard/lost provisional” ball, or;
- Play the ball out of the hazard (if this is attempted yet the ball remains in the hazard and is deemed unplayable, the hazard provisional can be used with the additional strokes added)
Please note that the Slammer Tour considers red and yellow staked hazards to be treated the same, as a red-staked hazard and a player is never allowed to go back more than 50-yards to the original spot or point of entry.
10. Play While Others are Searching
One player must be hitting while others are searching for a lost ball. When searching for a ball, please be as quiet as possible so the person hitting will not be disrupted.
11. Chipping and Putting Order
The Group Captain should announce the hitting-order when close to the green, if it's not obvious.
The Slammer with honours is first up on the next tee and is NOT permitted to mark the score until he/she has hit. Anyone can tee off first as long as the Slammer with honours agrees. If the Slammer with honours is slow getting to the tee, ready-golf kicks in.
D - Special Course RulesUpdated October 20, 2017
1. Course Tee Blocks
Some courses have holes where tee blocks are in different orders, with different pars based on tee blocks or gender. Please refer to our Course Tee Block Assignments document to verify the situation at each course.
2. Stake-to-Stake vs. Cutline
For red and yellow staked areas not marked with a line, use the cutline or contour to establish the start/finish point of the hazard. For white stakes (out-of-bounds), although this is played laterally on the Slammer Tour, stake-to-stake is still used to determine if the ball is in play or not.
3. Mountain Creek
To the left of hole #8 and hole#9 there are out of bounds stakes. This will not be in play for Slammer Tour events. They are often knocked down and discoloured and sometimes not present at all so for consistency we will pretend these stakes don't exist. Please avoid cutting the corner if possible for safety issues but there is no penalty if you do.
E - Other RulesUpdated July 19, 2018
1. Tee-Block Assignments
All Slammers have a Tee-Block Assignment (T1–T7) based on scoring median and average driver distance after a good drive is hit under normal conditions.
Click here for the Tee-Block Matrix and Q&A
2. Rule Priority
Golf Canada rules of match-play golf apply, except for local course rules and Slammer Tour rules. Slammer rules take precedence, followed by local course rules and then Golf Canada rules.
3. Making Rulings on the Course (playing two balls)
No one has the authority to "make a ruling" on the course and it is up to the individual player to determine how he or she will proceed if an issue comes up. You may ask for opinions on what the proper course of action might be but it is ultimately up to you to make a decision. You may NOT play two balls. If an opponent disagrees with your course of action, said opponent must tell you, respectfully, that he/she is filing a claim. This announcement must be made before teeing off on the next hole (or in the case of the 18th hole, before leaving the green). Once the round is complete, the claim must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the situation and the players involved. The Slammer Tour Rules Committee will follow up and make a ruling, and the decision will be posted on the Decisions Page. Claims must be emailed within 24 hours of event completion or they will not be considered for the outcome of the match. Non-claim rulings are still encouraged to be emailed in for review and for the benefit of all Tour members.
If a player’s score on an individual hole is in question, the player must sign off on the scorecard with an asterisk on the hole in question, and a note must be mentioned on the group summary form. All players are still required to sign the group summary form as it stands with the player’s decision.
Note: Skins, doggies, matches, rankings, and star selection may change on the event website after a decision has been made.
4. Official Skins
There must be at least seven Slammers entered into the skins game at an event for skins to count in the stats. Skins will still be played but will not count towards the season long stats if there are less than seven entered into the skins game. Note: There is no minimum number of players required for official indoor skins.
5. The Leaf Rule
The Leaf Rule automatically goes into effect September 15th every year, unless otherwise stated by the OC.
If your ball is lost in an area that is normally maintained and you would have normally found it, 99% of the time, and your three opponents agree with you, then you may drop a ball closest to the point where you think it was - without penalty. If you feel the leaf rule applies but one or more of your opponents do not, then play it and score it as you choose. Your opponents can file a claim if they disagree.
- Definition: Normally Maintained. Any area where the grass is regularly cut.
You may remove stones, leaves, sticks and other debris from all bunkers. You may also lift your ball out of footprints and other spots that are poorly maintained or in abnormally bad condition. Either place your ball as near as possible to the original spot so the shot is virtually the same or rake the sand and place your ball back in the same spot. If anyone in your group disagrees with your relief then they have the option to file a claim.
Note that relief is not provided for fried egg lies or unfortunate bad lies near the edge of the bunker. The intent of this rule is to minimize bad lies because of poor maintenance.
7. Preferred Lies
You may roll your ball up to 12 inches no closer to the hole with the head of the club, but only on your own fairway — and you must remain in the fairway. You may not pick the ball up with your hands or kick it with your feet; you must use a club to do so. You may not clean your ball until you are on the green and the ball is properly marked, or for some other valid reason, unless of course the event has been designated as a "lift, clean and place" event. If an event has been deemed "lift, clean and place", this only applies to your own fairway and in the bunkers under Special Course Rules. You may also lift your ball out of footprints and other spots that are poorly maintained or in abnormally bad condition.
8. Balls on the Collar/Fringe
Preferred lies are NOT permitted on the collar of the green (aka fringe), the area between the green and rough, except when lift, clean, and place rules are in effect. When a fairway merges into the collar/fringe, an estimate on the thickness of the collar/fringe is to be used based on the thickness around the rest of the green.
9. Spike Marks
You MAY tap down or fix spike marks or any other marks on the green. (Please fix a few ball marks while you're at it!)
10. Range Finders & GPS Devices
Yes, any type of distance measuring device is permitted on the Slammer Tour, including those that measure slope.
11. Non-Conforming Clubs
It is preferred that such clubs are NOT used; however, there will not be any "policing" on this issue. It's just an issue of good sportsmanship.
12. Player Cancellations
The penalty for bailing within 48 hours of an event is 50% of the event fee, applied to your account and billed the next Monday. No shows and same-day cancellations are subject to a 100% penalty.
- If the event is cancelled or deemed to be an "extreme weather event", penalties do not apply.
- Naturally, there are exceptions for emergencies which are at the discretion of the Slammer Tour Committee.
- If you bail within 24 hours of the event, you may be deemed as 'withdrawn' and therefore lose the matches you were scheduled to play, again at the discretion of the Slammer Tour Committee.
- If you are a 'no-show', you will be marked as 'disqualified' and will lose your rank to your opponents as well as the matches you were to play, again at the discretion of the Slammer Tour Committee.
- If you start your round but do not finish, you will be marked as 'disqualified' and lose your rank to your opponents as well as the matches you were to play, again at the discretion of the Slammer Tour Committee.
13. Event Cancellations
Although rare, sometimes an event has to be cancelled at the last minute or even during play due to weather conditions, or for other unexpected reasons. Slammer Tour events continue in all weather conditions, except when lightning is in the immediate area, or when the golf course decides to officially close. In the event of a weather delay, Slammers are expected to wait up to one hour for continuation of the event. If play cannot resume after one hour, the Tour event is cancelled. This delay can be before or during the event. In the event of frost, the delay increases up to two hours.
If an event is cancelled after play begins, the following applies:
- First group does not complete nine holes (full refund and no stats are posted)
- Last group completes eight holes or more (50% refund of the event fee and no stats are posted)
- Last group completes 14 holes or more (Slammers are charged full event fee and stats are posted with remaining holes given equal scores amongst each group based on group skill level — determined by ST Committee)
If a Slammer Tour event is cancelled with less than 14 holes completed by the last group, and the delay lasts more than one hour in which case some players may have left, doggie and skin money is returned. Players who wish to stay and wait longer do have the option to continue with a new Slammer Tour event in which case the OC re-arranges the group(s) and re-collects dog and skin money.
14. Top-Five Non-Activity
Between May 1st and October 31st each season, if you are ranked in the top-five of your division you must play within a 10-day period to avoid losing three spots in your divisional rankings. For example, if you make it into the top-five on a Saturday, you must play an event by the Tuesday 10-days later. Please note that if an event that you're registered for is cancelled and you don't get your event in within the 10-day timeframe, you will still lose the three spots.
15. Junior Clause
Juniors play for stats, not bones - unless authorized by their guardians (applies to Slammers 18 years of age and under).
16. Temporary Greens
If your ball is within a flagstick length of the hole, it is an automatic gimme, even if it is for birdie.
17. Changing Groups
Groups cannot be changed at the course unless the Onsite Coordinator deems it is necessary.
18. Embedded Ball
If your ball is embedded in its own pitch mark in an area that is normally maintained, you may take relief with no penalty (relief is as close to its original spot, no nearer to the hole). From October 15 to April 15, if your ball is lost in an area that is normally maintained, because it is likely embedded and you would normally find it 99% of the time, and your three opponents agree with you, then you may drop a ball closest to the point where you think it was without penalty. If you feel the embedded lost ball applies but one or more of your opponents do not, then play it and score it as you choose. Your opponents can file a claim if they disagree. Definition: Normally Maintained. Any area where the grass is regularly cut. This can be in the trees, like at Outaouais, for example.
19. Official Slammers
To be eligible for year-end Slammies Awards, a Slammer must have played a minimum of 10 events during the outdoor season. Throughout the year, if you sort the stats page by the "Official" filter, it uses the following breakdown — gradually increasing up until November:
- June = 3
- July = 5
- August = 7
- September = 9
- October = 10
20. Indoor Golf Exceptions
The Slammer Tour moves indoors during the winter where all regular Tour rules apply — with the following exceptions:
- If there are any computer glitches while making a shot, the player may opt to use the mulligan button, but he/she should consult their opponents — and if the opponents disagree, they can file a claim.
- We continue with the same tee block model as for outdoors; however, we use your indoor scoring median distance to determine your tee-block assignment. This is year one of using it indoor so we will have a custom matrix that will be a work in progress. For now the spirit of competition prevails and it’s up to the OC as to your tee-block. Once we obtain more information we will have a separate indoor tee block assignment grid.
- 10-foot gimmes at GOLFOMAX
- 9-foot gimmes at Pine View
- OC chooses the course for the week
21. Locked Groups
Occasionally the Commish will lock Slammers together and this trumps regular challenges. Slammers may only be locked in the following situations:
- Work-related with the Slammer Tour committee and a partner
- First-timer on the Slammer Tour locked with a friend
- Special request from a Slammer for a special occasion that doesn’t interfere with other challenges or rankings
- Golf Get-Aways may include one locked group per three days (i.e., a three-day get-away may have one locked group, and a seven-day getaway may have three locked groups)
22. Last Minute Registrations
Once an event is closed for registration, you may still enter the event as a 'last minute registration'. Send your entry via Messenger or to email@example.com specifying your preference of group. If possible, groups will be re-arranged to honour challenges and to optimize divisional play. Changes are made at the discretion of the Slammer Tour Committee.