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Official Rules


The Wisconsin Valley Golf Association is open to all golfers here Central Wisconsin area (and beyond). Amateurs and local course professionals are encouraged to play on the WVGA Tour. While registering for each event please provide the most up to date information to ensure we have the best competition possible. You will be able to request to play with playing partners if you choose. So invite your friends to join us too!




All tournaments are gross stroke play with USGA rules and/or local golf rules in effect for the flights of Champ, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Senior Scratch. The net flight will be based off handicap and that handicap is figured in to your net score. The rules of golf as governed by the USGA will apply with the following exceptions:


New for 2023: All players can card a maximum of quadruple bogey on any hole (unless stated otherwise). On any one hole if a player reaches 9 strokes (including penalty strokes) and the ball is not holed out, the player MUST pick up his/her ball and record a quadruple bogey for that hole and move to the next hole when your group is ready.

Local rules and/or host course rules take precedence. These special rules will be detailed before the start of each tournament.


Our flight system is based on your handicap index. Champ flight is a handicap index of less than 5.0. First flight is from 5.0 to less than 10.0 handicap index. Second flight is 10.0 to less than 15.0 handicap index. Third flight is 15.0 and above in handicap index. Senior scratch flight is for players 65+ that want to play the forward tees against each other. Finally, our net flight is designed for those who want to try out these tournaments and would like to use their handicap towards a net score instead of gross score. Seniors over the age of 65 are allowed to play in any flight other than champ flight from the forward tees as long as they will still fall in the correct flight based on course adjustment of handicap.


Handicap Policy


Your handicap index and flight is based on the honor system.  The nine-stroke rule from above is our version of Equitable Stroke Control (similar to the USGA). It is on the honor of each player to accurately report their handicap throughout the season while registering for tournaments. The Tournament Director has the final say on which flight a player will participate in based on reported ability and/or past performance (if applicable).


Flight Movement


If a player drastically outperforms their reported ability, they may be subject to move to a new flight on the same day of the tournament. This will be at the discretion of the Tournament Director and based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: course conditions, weather conditions, past performance, skill-level, and course rating and index. The intent behind this policy is to ensure that everyone is on a fair playing field. This is not to say that if someone has a “career day” they will automatically be moved. This policy is meant to protect the field, not punish players.


Appearance & Behavior Policy


The Wisconsin Valley Golf Association will strictly enforce a tournament dress code with NO exceptions. You MUST wear proper golf attire and soft spikes. No cutoffs, sweat pants or jogging outfits are permitted.

The WVGA will not tolerate vulgar language, club throwing, alcohol abuse, poor golfing etiquette, cheating, and improper use of golf carts or other such behavior. Such conduct may result in tournament disqualification and suspension or expulsion from the association or events.

Caddies & Patrons

Caddies are allowed for tournaments based on each course preference. Check with each course directly before assuming a caddy will be allowed. Appropriate action will be taken if pace of play is not maintained as a result of a caddie/player issue.

Patrons are welcomed at tournaments; however, each course has different guidelines for patrons. It’s the responsibility of those who wish to follow the action to check with the course before the tournament to receive course instructions and rules if they are allowed to be on the course during tournament play.

Weather Guidelines

If the course allows us on the course, we are playing. However, per USGA Rule 6.8.a (II), a player may discontinue play if he/she believes there is danger from lightning. Any delays or cancellation of a tournament will be determined by the golf course and their staff in conjunction with the Tournament Director. If a course becomes unplayable during a tournament, the tournament may be declared official if all players in a flight have played at least nine of the same holes.

If a tournament is cancelled due to weather, a makeup date will be announced as soon as/if one is determined. Based on the fact that the fees are paid to the course the day of any refunds will be based on the course policies. If the tournament is cancelled yet deemed complete because more than nine holes have been done no refund will be given.

Prizes & Awards

At each tournament, a portion of the tournament entry fee will be placed into the prize pool for each flight. The amount for each tournament and flight is determined by the number of players. We have some small prizes that the winner of each flight can choose from. The choices could be a WVGA towel, hat, sleeve of balls, or other items at the tournament.

Tournament Registration and Cancellation

You MUST register for each tournament using the WVGA website. The deadline to register for each tournament will be listed on the website near registration for each event and is typically the Thursday evening before the event. If you have problems using the website, please contact us for assistance.

If something were to happen that forced you to withdraw from an event please let us know as soon as possible. You may also alert the course, so they have a head’s up on the cancellation. Please understand that we are to maintain positive relationships with our courses and having as few cancellations as possible helps with that. Although we hope they don’t happen, but we do understand when emergencies or other items come up and cancellations will occur, so please let us know before the event.

Tournament Day

You MUST check-in with the club house at the event at least 15 minutes before your assigned tee time. Failure to do so may result in a 2-stroke penalty. It is important to the association, the course, and to your playing partners that you are punctual. Best practice is to check-in as soon as you arrive to avoid any problems.

You must be to your first tee 10 minutes prior to your starting time. If you miss the start of your tee time, you will be assessed a one-stroke penalty per minute you are late, up to a maximum of five minutes before disqualification.

Before Play Begins

Please be sure to grab your official scorecards from the club house upon check in. At the first tee please trade your card with your playing partners so that no one has their own card. If there is a reason to hold play to get something answered, please do so. If an error was made and you and your entire group agree that you should be playing from a different tee box for example, begin play and verify with Tour Director after your round. In most cases it will be a simple oversight, and this should not slow the pace of play or delay the start of a round.

Each player will keep a scorecard that is official for one of the other participants in their group. Keeping an unofficial scorecard for your reference and others in your group is allowed.

Identify your ball with a distinctive marking and show this ball and it’s marking to your playing competitors. You must be able at all times to positively identify that the ball you’ve played is not another player’s ball.

During the Round

Please follow proper golf etiquette at all times. Rake bunkers, keep riding carts far enough away from greens and bunkers, repair your divot and another divot on each green, assist competitors with locating errant shots, pull/not pull the pin per new rules, be aware of your footsteps, follow all golf cart signs, etc.

After each hole, announce your score for your group to hear so that your official scorecard can be updated, and the honor determined for the next tee.

If you would like to listen to music at an appropriate volume, you are welcome as long as you check with your playing competitor’s first. If a fellow competitor does not want you to listen to music, please be respectful. You are NOT allowed to listen to headphones while playing.

Keep cell-phone usage to an absolute minimum. You need to be aware of your surroundings and keep the pace of play moving along.

Pace of Play

This will be a focal point going forward in the WVGA. We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy their round while at the same time being competitive. While we do allow every competitor to walk if they choose, slow play will not be tolerated. Slow play penalties will be assessed if need be; keep your groups moving! Our goal will be to complete each round in less than four hours and thirty minutes.

We encourage ready golf. If you reach your ball and are ready to hit, when others in your group are not yet ready, then go ahead and hit. In a stroke play competition, there is no penalty for playing out of turn, provided there is a reasonable justification to do so.


The penalty for slow play is 2 strokes for the entire group. Everyone in a group needs to make sure that their group is keeping up with the group ahead of them. Repeat offenders of slow play will be asked not to return to the association for the enjoyment of the other golfers.

We have the quadruple bogey rule in effect to help with pace of play (unless otherwise stated). There is no limit to the number of nine stroke holes you can card. Remember that once you reach nine strokes on a hole and you have yet to hole out, you MUST pick up and help the others finish that hole.

If there is a rules disagreement while during the round of play, you may play an alternate ball(s) under USGA Rule 3-3, but must comply with all requirements of that rule. Before playing any ball, the player must announce that he will play two balls under Rule 3-3, which ball is being played under which rule, and state which ball he wishes to count if the rules permit. At the conclusion of the round or first opportunity, Joe Miller will make the final ruling. In any discrepancy of the rules, Joe Miller along with the course Professional will make all final decisions.

We want to have fun and compete. The rules of golf and the honor of play are very important on the Wisconsin Valley Golf Association. At the same time we want to make sure we keep the pace of play moving and that we are not “looking to catch” someone doing something. This is a game of honor, let’s act as such. Rules are made to be followed, not to argue about.

Completion of Your Round

Move away from your final green as soon as possible so as not to slow down anyone finishing behind you. If you need a ruling, get it before approving your total score. Get with your competitors and verify that your total score on your official scorecard is accurate. Also make sure the hole-by-hole score is accurate for use in the skins game.

Please turn in your official scorecards as soon as your round is complete for record keeping and the official leaderboard update. Having the cards quickly will allow the scores to be official, awards handed out, and skins determined.


You are responsible for the correctness of each score on each hole, and your final score. Please take the time to review and add up the scores to verify they are accurate before turning in the signed scorecard.

Each hole must have an official score; you cannot just have a final score on your scorecard you turn in.

Tiebreaker Policy

All ties for 1st place will be decided by a playoff on the course.


Ties for any other place will be determined by a scorecard playoff as follows:

Best score on #1 handicap hole, #2, #3, #4, etc. until decided

Tournament Conclusion

Once all the scores have been submitted and confirmed, and all the prizes and trophies have been given away, the tournament will be considered official and therefore closed.

How You Earn Points

We will reward points based on your finishing place each tournament. This points system is designed to keep everyone competitive throughout the season. We will also be crowning a season-end Champion so you will want to keep track of the standings all season to see where you stand! There will be plenty of awards and prizes at each event thanks in large part to you and all of the sponsors of our association. With that being said, the points system is very simple to understand and follow and it was made this way to keep everyone competing while at the same time rewarding those that finished better in each of our tournaments. This points system applies to each flight.

Points are administered as follows:

18-hole tournament:

1st place – 15 points

2nd place – 12 points

3rd place – 10 points

4th place – 8 points

5th place – 7 points

6th place – 6 points

7th place – 5 points

8th place – 4 points

9th place – 3 points

10th place – 2 points

All other competitors – 1 point


27-hole Championship

1st place – 30 points

2nd place – 24 points

3rd place – 20 points

4th place – 16 points

5th place – 14 points

6th place – 12 points

7th place – 10 points

8th place – 8 points

9th place - 6 points

10th place – 4 points

All other competitors – 2 points


The season points champion will be crowned after the points championship. To receive points in the points championship you MUST have competed in at least two of our other regular point tournaments. Then the official season point winner will be determined based on the best four scores of their regular points season combined with the score from the points championship. Those five scores added together will rank them and this can be seen on our website under points standings.

Each tournament will have a leaderboard on the website also and can be seen after the conclusion of the event. This allows you to see the scores of everyone in the event. Having this will also allow us to verify if someone is playing above their original potential and needing to be adjusted. All decisions will be made by the tournament director and will be final.

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