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Our Tournament Rules


Some Rules for both Tournaments


Some of our Rules are common for both tournaments and these appear below. For anything NOT covered, please scroll down to the particular Tournament Rules.

Courtesy shots for visiting players

We have had, for several years now, a system whereby visiting players receive one extra courtesy shot. The rule was put in place to even up the ratio of home to away victories and has proved very successful. Before its introduction, home wins were in the region of 85%. Since its introduction the figure is closer to 58%. In 2020 this system will continue in our tournaments. See below.


Plate tournaments

The Plate tournaments in both competitions will continue as the vast majority of respondents to our question on this have indicated they still wanted the Plate to continue. Should you lose your first-round math and decide not to take part in the Plate, please just let me know so that we do not have a situation where we end up with teams having too many byes - as happened in 2019.


Visitors' Green Fees


We hope (and find in about 98% of cases) that courtesy is offered to visiting players. However, when this is not available we have a ruling that the visitors' green fees shall be shared 50-50 with the home team (or Pair). Thus if, for example, the visitor-with-Member green fee is £30 the home player would pay £15 and the visiting player would pay £15. 


Several players have asked if they can play a practice round at an away Club. Yes, you can, if you make arrangements with the home Club. There is no obligation on them to offer you courtesy for that practice round.


Age & Handicap Limits


AGE LIMIT is 55 at 31 March 2020. All players must be registered members of their Golf Club (though in the Pairs both players do not need to belong to the same Club - see below). HANDICAP maximum is 18 - all handicaps must be "active." Visiting players will be given ONE extra stroke. This is calculated AFTER any handicap difference is adjusted. This will not apply in the semi-final or final as these are played on neutral territory. However, if any Pair or team in the semi-final or final is from the host course the one-stroke rule will apply for visiting players.

Should any Ladies play in our events their maximum permitted handicap will be 28. Any Lady with a higher handicap will be permitted to enter but must play off 28.


Distance-Measuring Devices


Distance-measuring devices ARE allowed in all tournaments but only DMDs that calculate distance will be permitted. Those providing other information, such as wind speed, temperature and elevation, will NOT be allowed. Any player found using such a DMD will be in breach of Rule 4-3a (1) for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.


General Rules


All other rules are those of the R&A. In the event of play being suspended due to adverse conditions the state of play should be carefully noted and the matches restarted from the same position. If no further play is possible on that day and it is necessary for the visiting team or Pair to return on a different date play will resume from the tee of the hole on which play was suspended. Golf carts are permitted, though discouraged unless absolutely necessary. Caddies are allowed though no professional golfer may caddy for any player. Preferred lies have been authorised to be used in England between October 1st and April 30th - any matches played in England during that time will use preferred lies if the home Club has decreed their use. Any matter requiring a ruling from the Organiser should be emailed as soon as possible. His decision is final.


Arranging your Match


The draw for each round will be notified by email as soon as it is made and will appear on this website at the same time. Home Pairs/teams MUST contact their opponents ASAP to get the match arranged. If you are the away Pair/team, and have not heard from your opponent within 48 hours, get in touch with them. It takes two to tango ! If you cannot play the match within the time-limit specified for each round you should withdraw from the competition and allow your opponents to proceed to the next round. If you have a major problem fixing a date get in touch with the Organiser as soon as possible. Where a reasonable extension can be given it will be. We want you to play matches and enjoy the tournament. The winning team/Pair must email the result to the Organiser asap after the match.


Play-off holes

The home team or Pair should advise their opponents of the holes to be used in the event of a sudden-death play-off before the match begins. If they do not, the visiting players should make it their business to ask. After the first tee-shot has been hit there can be no complaints from either side. The holes to be used should be those normally used by the home Club for any play-off that is necessary in any competition. 

If, for any valid reason (injury for example), the lowest handicap player in the Classic event is unable to continue in the play-off, the next lowest player in his team will take his place (and so on if necessary). If this does happen it must be reported to the Tournament Organiser with the result.


Important - please note that visitors still receive one extra courtesy shot to their handicap at the start of the game but that there is no additional shot on any play-off hole as the match is still in progress. Of course, the handicap calculation could present a visitor with a shot on one of the play-off holes if he had a shot in the main part of the match, and that would be normal.


Quarter-finals (both competitions)

Quarter-final matches in both competitions - the venue will be decided by the toss of a coin, and will no longer be decided by which team or Pair has had most home or away games. This means the choice of venue is totally neutral. There will be no appeal against this.


National Seniors Club Classic


The competition is played between two teams of four players, with individual head-to-head singles matchplay. Matches should not be played as fourballs unless the home Club demands this to minimise tee-times. If that does happen there should be no help given by one member of a Club to another during the match. FULL Handicap difference is used - please see the Rule (above) concerning visiting players' extra stroke. Play is in handicap order with the highest handicaps playing first. In the event of the matches being tied at 2-2 the two lowest handicap players (who will be playing one another) continue on a sudden-death basis. See above.

Each Club entering the tournament may nominate up to seven players in the squad for the season. If one member of that squad who has not played a match needs to drop out for any reason, another Club Member may be substituted, but no team may use more than seven different players in one season.

No player may play for more than one team in each season - thus, if a Club enters two or more teams any player who plays for team A cannot then play for team B, or vice-versa. All players must be Members of the Club, though one (and only one) member of the squad may be a Member of a different Club.

Entry fee is £43 per team.


National Seniors Pairs Championship

The competition is played between two Pairs, in fourball matchplay. It is NOT a requirement of the Competition that both players should be Members of the same Club, though they need to choose which Club will be the "home" Club for the season and at which all home games must be played. One named reserve will be allowed in this tournament so if one player is unable to play for any reason, the reserve will play. In the event of the match being tied after 18 holes the players continue on a sudden-death basis.

The tees to be used are those designated by the home Club Committee for competition play on that day for seniors.

In accordance with the new handicap allowances introduced in 2016, 90% difference is used in this tournament - the back marker conceding strokes based on 90% of the full handicap of the other three players.

Please see the Rule regarding visiting players' extra stroke (above). Entry fee is £27 per pair.


Ladies & Mixed Teams/Pairs

Questions have been asked recently regarding the entrance of Ladies into our tournaments. Ladies are welcome to enter and will play from the Ladies' tees and use their own card for SI and par. 

There is a very handy and easy-to-use calculator on GolfEngland website - go to the page: - go to the 2-tee Calculator on the bottom left of that page, type in the different SSS and Par and you will find the difference to be applied. If the Lady is a visiting player the extra shot for visiting players is applied after the full difference in handicaps (Seniors Club Classic) or 90% difference (Pairs) and then the visitor's shot is calculated.



We are often asked whether buggies are allowed. Although we discourage their use we do understand that, on occasion, certain players might need one. This is permitted. However, it is up to the player concerned to arrange and to pay for the buggy. In a singles match (the team event) it would be polite to ask the opponent whether he would like to share the buggy (rather than one walking and one riding) - this is permitted.

In the Pairs matches if one player needs a buggy he may offer one of his opponents the chance to share the buggy but his partner can not use the buggy - unless he has valid medical reason for doing so.

In both cases the opponents should be made aware of the need for the use of a buggy before the date of the match.


Please note that we have discussed with England Golf the introduction of WHS in late 2020 and our tournaments for 2020 will not be affected by this change. We shall take further advice in December 2020.

For any other points not covered - or if you have any comments or suggestions on possible rule changes - please get in touch.