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                        Players and Competition

                        2019 – 2020 SGL Rules of Play

                        Tournament Format

                        Fees / Payouts

                        SGL Handicap Indexes

                        Special Events

                        SGL Bylaws


I.                   Players and Competition

A.     Membership: Along with the annual dues, members will now be required to compete in a minimum 5 rounds of SGL scheduled events within a given calendar year in order to hold status as an Active Member. Being an Active Member will now be a requirement for qualification in Special Events such as Ringers, Match Play, Summer Series and the Tony Albrecht Championship.

      A New membership payment policy was passed by the SGL Board on 5/27/2017 and also a “Lifetime Membership” program has now been adopted. The new Payment Schedule for Membership is as follows:

                                        Purchase 1 year membership……………….. $   40.00          (runs 1 full calendar year)

                                        Purchase 2 years of membership…………..   $   75.00          (saving of $5.00)

                                        Purchase 3 years of membership…………..   $ 110.00          (saving of $10.00)

                                        Purchase 4 years of membership…………..   $ 140.00          (saving of $20.00)

                                        Purchase 5 years of membership…………..   $ 170.00          (saving of $30.00)

                                        Purchase 6 years of membership…………..   $ 200.00          (saving of $40.00)

                                        Purchase 7 years of membership…………..   $ 230.00          (saving of $50.00)

                                        Purchase 8 years of membership…………..   $ 260.00          (saving of $60.00)

                                        Purchase 9 years of membership…………..   $ 280.00          (saving of $70.00)

                                        Purchase 10 years of membership…………   $ 300.00          (saving of $100.00)


      Any member with 10 years of consecutive memberships will receive a lifetime membership. Lifetime Memberships can also be purchased from the schedule above to accumulate 10 years of consecutive memberships.

B.     Qualification for competing in season ending events such as the Tony Albrecht Cup Championship and SGL Summer Series Finals will now require a 25% participation in their respective seasons.

C.     A sign up deadline has been established for entering events, Wednesday at midnight will be the cut off time to enter the proceeding Saturday event. Maximum players for each event will be listed on the signup status page on the website and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. All entries are time stamped when submitted and will be posted on the sign up status page when received. Please check this page to verify your entry. Pairings will be posted to the SGL Facebook page on Friday preceding the event.

D.     If a tournament is sold out with a waiting list (alternates) after the Wednesday midnight deadline, any no shows or cancellations without a good excuse will be charged the tournament fee.

E.      We ask that you arrive at the course and check in with us at least 45 minutes prior to the first scheduled tee time. By paying on-line prior to the event will help speed up check in and you may also check in by text to the Tournament Director. We are usually set up in the restaurant / lounge area and the golf staff will direct you if this changes.

F.   The Saturday Golf League's new payment policy: starting January 2019, you must have money in your player account or Pay On-Line by Wednesday at midnight, to hold a place on the roster and to be included on the pairing sheet for Saturday's event. Individual account balances can be obtained by e-mailing

G.   New Rule passed by the SGL Board: Starting 9/1/2016, you now have to be a current active member to participate in the "Hole in One" pool. Qualifiers and Guests currently in the pool will remain.

H.     Pace of Play: The league uses the ready golf rules, which is simply defined as Hit When Ready (No honors). We want you to enjoy your round but for the sake of everyone’s enjoyment need you to please stay in position. If you reach your ball and are ready to hit, when other members of your group are not yet prepared, then go ahead and hit. Keep in mind that in stroke play competition there are no penalties under the Rules of Golf for playing out of turn. All group members are expected to recognize the group is slow and take action to speed the group up. Tips below:

i.        Keep up to the group ahead of you. Do not just stay ahead of the group behind you.

ii.      When in the fairway, If not in their line of flight, drop off your fellow cart player and drive to your ball. There is no need to watch him / her hit and then drive to your ball to get distance and choose a club. Be ready to hit, golf cart management is key.

iii.    If not in another player’s line or sight, please clean your ball and read your putt when another player is putting. Again, be ready to take your shot.

iv.    Players should always hit a provisional ball when a ball goes into an area where it may be lost or OB and does not cross any grass line where the SGL Desert Rule can be applied.

v.      MAS, read it, learn it, live it.


II.                2019 – 2020 SGL Rules of Play (amended by board decision on 8/18/2018)


A.     The SGL will now be playing exclusively by current 2019 USGA Rules with the exception of two "Speed of Play" rules. They are as follows:

1.     Desert Rule: The SGL has established a desert rule to help pace of play. If a ball comes to rest in a natural desert area or in an area landscaped to resemble a natural desert, a player may either choose to hit their ball from the desert with no penalty or take a drop as if the ball entered a lateral hazard. If a player chooses to play from the desert, grounding the club and moving loose impediments will be allowed with no penalty unless the desert is marked as a hazard by the local golf course. The following rule definitions will be applied to taking a drop from the desert with a 1 stroke penalty:


i.       A player has 60 seconds to locate their ball in the desert to have the option to play from the desert. The 60 second clock starts once the player starts their search in the desert area. After the 60 seconds search in the desert, the player must abandon their search in the desert and the ball cannot be played from the desert even if found after the 60 seconds. Searching for a ball outside of the desert can continue based on USGA rules searching for lost balls. (3 minutes search time starting in 2019 based on USGA rules. Rule prior to 2019 allows 5 minutes). The following gives examples based on 2019 rules of 3 minutes of search time for lost balls.

a.  Player hits ball toward desert area but ball may have come to rest in fairway/rough. Player may spend 3 minutes searching for ball in fairway/rough but only 1 minute of search can be spent on searching for ball in desert. After spending 1 minute of search in desert, player must abandon search in desert and may continue the remaining time of the 3 minutes searching fairway/rough.

1. Player spends 3 minutes searching ball in fairway/rough and believes ball may be in desert, player will not be allowed to search desert and must invoke desert rule.

2. Player spends 2 minutes searching ball in fairway/rough and believes ball may be in desert, player will be allowed 1 minute to search for ball in desert.

3. Player spends 1 minute searching ball in fairway/rough and believes ball may be in desert, player will be allowed 1 minute to search for ball in desert and if not found may resume search in fairway/rough for last remaining minute of the 3 minutes.

ii.       The margin of the desert is the line established by the end of the grass and the beginning of the desert area.

iii.      The original ball does not have to be found to apply the “Desert Rule” when there is reasonable certainty that the ball did in fact come to rest in the desert and searching for the ball would likely delay play. (Exception to this rule is rule (iii) below).

iv.     If the ball is clearly hit out of bounds or in a desert area where an out of bounds designated area or maker exists, a provisional ball must be played. All players are encouraged to hit provisional balls when hitting into the desert where houses or out-of-bound markers are clearly seen in the desert. There will be no consensus by the group on this ruling. The ball must be found in the desert to apply the desert rule. If the ball is not found in 5 minutes the provisional ball must be played which will apply the stroke and distance penalty prescribed by the USGA rule for a ball hit out of bounds. If a provisional ball was not played, the desert rule will be applied based on the following:

 • A 2-stroke penalty will be incurred.

 • The player will play the next shot using one of the four SGL desert options outlined below. There will not be an additional penalty on top of the 1-stroke penalty for taking the drop.

 • The player will not be allowed to go back to hit a provisional ball unless the ball never crossed a grass-line (fairway or rough) from their previous shot. If the player is unable to go back to hit a provisional ball, this would be equivalent to not finishing the hole and picking their ball up off-the-green and taking max allowable score (MAS).

v.     If a player chooses to apply the “Desert Rule”, and the point of entry is in question, the player and playing group must agree to the point of entry by consensus opinion. Consensus means a majority of the playing group of which the player is a part of.

vi.      A provisional ball should be played if the ball does not clearly pass over a desert area. If the playing group cannot reach a consensus opinion about the point of entry into the desert a provisional ball should immediately be played.

Per USGA rules, there are four options a player may take for a lateral hazard with a 1 stroke penalty. The point of entry into the desert as a lateral hazard will be the grass line for the hole (fairway or rough). See Figure 1 for point of entry example.


Option 1: (Stroke and distance) - A player may choose to take a drop as close as possible from that player’s previous shot (no closer to the hole). If the previous shot was the first shot for the hole from the tee box, the player may re-tee or place the ball in the tee box using the same tee markers as the previous shot.

Option 2: A player may take a drop from the point of entry the ball crossed into the desert as far back as desired. The player must keep a direct line with the flag and the point of entry into the desert when taking a drop. See Figure 2 Option 2.

Option 3: A player may take a 2-club length lateral drop from the point of entry into the desert (no closer to the hole). See Figure 2 Option 3.

Option 4: A player may take a 2-club length lateral drop from the opposite side of the desert (if there is a fairway/rough on the opposite side of the desert). The ball cannot be placed any closer to the hole from the original entry point into the desert. See Figure 3 Option 4.


2.      Maximum Allowable Score (MAS) is based on the following:  to help with pace of play, a player will now pick up after the (MAS) for a given hole has been reached (double par) and the score will be recorded on the card with a box around it (no more X outs).


i.    Double PAR for the hole plus penalty stroke(s) as defined:

a.  If MAS is reached for a hole and the ball is picked up on the green, a score of double par plus a 1 stroke penalty will be recorded for the hole.

b.  If MAS is reached for a hole and the ball is picked up off of the green, a score of double par plus a 2 stroke penalty will be recorded for the hole.

ii.     Balls will be immediately picked up from their spot upon reaching double par for the hole, with the exception of players in the putts side game and have reached the green with a score of double par can continue to putt out. However, a maximum of 2 putts to put the ball in the hole is allowed otherwise they will be eliminated from the putts side game. Players that have not reached the green before double par are eliminated from the "Low Putts" side game.

Scorecards should reflect a person taking a MAS score by recording the MAS plus the penalty stroke(s).


Example 1: A person playing on a par 3 takes a MAS by picking up off the green will record a score of 8 (double par plus 2 stroke penalty). An x2 will also be recorded on the scorecard for that hole.

Example 2: A person playing on a par 3 takes a MAS by picking up on the green will record a score of 7 (double par plus 1 stroke penalty). An x1 will also be recorded on the scorecard for that hole.


B.     If you hit a tee shot (or any shot) and there is any question as to whether it is OB, immediately hit a provisional shot (with the appropriate penalty). If you do not and you find your ball is OB, you must take a drop where the ball last crossed grass with a 2-stroke penalty. There is no going back to the tee, as we wish to maintain the speed of play. If you go all the way back to the tee, it still counts as a two-stroke penalty because you chose not to hit your provisional when you had the opportunity.


C.     If there is a question about a rule, call your foursome together to get a ruling. If it is still in question, finish the hole with that ball and a second ball with the secondary rule application. Upon completion of play, you and at least one other member from your foursome will explain the issue to the Tournament coordinator and any rules committee members in attendance for a decision. If needed, the Head Pro of the club will help make the appropriate Rule Decision and count the applicable score.


III.             Tournament Format

A.    Individual stroke play with handicap.

B.      Flight assignments – After check-in, players with established World Handicap System (WHS) indexes will be split into four evenly divided net flights based on the player’s handicap index ranking. WHS index ranking ties in splitting the flights will be broken by best league net scoring average and then by best gross scoring average. Any tournament with less than 16 net players will play a 3 flight format, 2 flights if the net player count is less than 12 players and 1 flight if the net player count is less than 6 players. The first flight will get the first extra player, second flight the second extra player, and so on.

      (Example: a 27 net player field, 1st flight – 7 players, 2nd flight – 7 players, 3rd flight – 7 players and 4th flight – 6 players).

C.     New and qualifying players will be flighted together and compete in a separate flight using the Callaway Handicap System. All players must go through this stage and complete 5 qualifying rounds to check out our league and establish a true handicap for future membership. These rounds are also used in evaluating the player’s etiquette, knowledge of the rules, speed of play, etc. Once this is done, you can decide if you want to join the league by paying the membership dues and joining the Saturday Golf League through the Arizona Golf Association (you do not have to pay any dues before your qualifying rounds are complete and you decide to join).

D.     Tie Breaks: Tie breaks in league competition are broken by using the gross score starting with the number 1 handicap hole rating on the current course score card. The SGL takes this one step further when breaking ties between men and women. When a course has different hole handicap ratings for men and women, the hole handicap ratings used will be determined by the player who has the lowest handicap index.

E.     SGL Point Schedule: Points will be awarded to the top 4 places in each flight and accumulate over the season. Total points at the end of the season will be used for seeding the 4 week playoff at the end of the season.

SGL Normal Point Schedule:

1st place in flight – 5 points

2nd place in flight – 3 points

3rd place in flight – 2 points

4th place in flight – 1 point

(Any ties will be determined by a scorecard playoff)


F.     Tee Boxes: Base tees for men will be the first tee box over 6100 yards and the base tees for women will be the first tee box over 5100 yards, and that all qualified players have the option to move back one full set of tees provided the tees for a given course have been officially rated (rating and slope by AGA and AWGA).  Qualified players are defined as:

i.        Players with active or lifetime member status in the league and an established WHS handicap index. (qualifiers and new players are not eligible for this option)

ii.       Players must declare choice of tee box before teeing off on first hole and must play same set of tees throughout the round.

iii.     Players must clearly mark on the score card which tees they played along with the start and finish time before turning in to the scorekeeper.

iv.     Players will abide by the same rules / conditions as other league members playing from different tees.

      No tee box selection will exceed a maximum distance of 6,500 yards for men or 5,500 yards for women; given that at no time will the USGA slope factor for a set of tee boxes exceeds a slope value of 129. If no available rated tee box fits between the minimum or maximum distance ranges, a tee box may be selected outside the prescribed distance ranges by the tournament coordinator at his/her discretion to ensure enjoyable playability for the majority of league members.

G.     Senior Members: Anyone over the age of 65 has the option to move up a one rated set of tees provided that the tees for a given course is listed on the AGA or USGA website under Course Directory.

i.        Players with active or lifetime member status in the league and an established WHS handicap index. (qualifiers and new players are not eligible for this option)

ii.      Player must declare choice of option before teeing off on first hole and must play same set of tees throughout the round.

iii.    Player must clearly mark on the score card which tees they played before turning in to scorekeeper. Course and Tournament handicaps will be adjusted accordingly after the round to determine the final net score.

iv.    Players will abide by the same rules / conditions as other league members playing from different tees.

H.     Optional side games (total field): Gross Skins (Birdie or better), Net Skins, Low putts, CTP’s, Deuces and Hole in One fund (one time buy in until won). Skins for both the gross and net games will now be split evenly between winners (SGL Board decision on 12/21/2019). Any side games that don’t produce a clear winner, all funds for that given game will be put into the general fund. No game refunds will be given.


I.   New Policy passed by the SGL Board on 12/16/2017: Any player getting an "Eagle" on a par 5 will get a equal cut in the deuce pot if the player has been entered in the deuce pool.

J.       Although keeping statistics (putts, GIR’s and fairways hit) is optional, the SGL again will encourage players to keep their individual stats, it does enhance the website and the promotion of the league; you will also be able to see how you measure up against other golfers.

K.     2 score cards from each group (one from each cart) must be immediately turned into the scoring area. Both cards must match (score, putts & stats) and have the appropriate signatures on each card. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the entire group.

L.      Results will be posted on the website for review within 24 hrs of play, any questions regarding the results may be made until the following Tuesday at midnight, at which time, the results become official. Please refer any result questions to Dave Dean.

M.    Due to IRS requirements, no cash or checks will be paid out after a tournament or before Tuesday at midnight when the results become final. All credits / winnings will be kept in the players account for future events. You can always cash out at any time by a request in writing. All payouts / cash outs will be made by US mail only, no deliveries or pick-ups.

N.     Member Account Balances: If you discontinue your membership in the league, kindly send a written request for payout of any account funds balance to the league President and/or Treasurer, along with your current address & phone number. If we cannot locate a former member within three years after their membership lapses, the league will send the former members account funds balance to the State of Arizona In accordance with Arizona’s Unclaimed Property laws.

IV.            Fees / Payouts

A.      The price that is advertised on our website reflects not only the course rate but also an extra $9 on top of the negotiated course fees which include cart, range balls, tax, services, etc. Our League mainly plays at the peak time (Saturday morning) of a courses operation and generally reflects their top price. Most courses charge a premium for any tournament groups because of the extra work needed by the staff. Contracts for courses are negotiated and signed sometimes 6 months in advance getting the best inclusive price we can at the time. As far as the extra $9, it is broken down by $5 going into the Flight prize pool, $2 going to the end of the season championship / finals and $2 for administration fees.

B.      Flight Payout Schedule

C.       Skins Payout Schedule

D.      Putts Payout Schedule

V.               SGL Handicap Indexes

Only scheduled SGL events will count in the calculation of a player’s handicap index. The SGL Handicap Indexes will be based on the following schedule. A minimum of 5 completed tournament rounds during the last calendar year will be required to establish a calculated index. If any Active Member does not meet this requirement the SGL Handicap Index will be set by the SGL Handicap Committee.

# of Completed Event Scores Differential to be used
5 Lowest 1
6 Lowest 2
7 Lowest 3
8 or 9 Lowest 4
Last 10 Lowest 5


The reason behind the schedule listed above compared to the schedule used by the USGA is to more accurately reflect a player’s current ability and will adjust more quickly for anyone playing above or below his or her capability.

Handicap Differential = (Adjusted Gross Score - USGA Course Rating) x 113 / Slope Rating

Check out the USGA Handicap Formula to learn more about calculating handicaps.

Any Player may request a copy of their Tournament History by e-mailing Dave Dean

Handicap Calculations for Tournament Play, Handicap Indexes, Course and Tournament Handicaps will be determined by the following guidelines:

Men’s Tee Box Ratings and Slopes will be from the AGA website.

Women’s Tee Box Ratings and Slopes will be from the AWGA website.

Course Hole by Hole Handicaps will be from the Score Card on the date of play.

Course Handicaps = (Handicap Index x Slope Rating) /113

Maximum Men’s Index:  36.4

Maximum Women’s Index:  40.4

Tournament Handicaps will be calculated by the difference in Course Ratings for a given tee box when Men and Women play from the same set of tees.

Reduction of Handicap Index Based on Exceptional Tournament Scores: A player's Handicap Index may be reduced under this procedure when a player has a minimum of two eligible tournament score differentials that are at least 3.0 better than the player's Handicap Index calculated under Section 10-2 and following the guidelines for handicap reduction set in Section 10.3 of the USGA Handicap Manual. Tournament scores will be reviewed by the Handicap Committee or Chairman prior to any reduction being applied.

VI.            Special Events

A.       Tony Albrecht Cup Championship:  Similar to the PGA’s FedEx Cup Race, the points awarded each week will be based on the competition in the tournament flights only. Points will accumulate all season long and will be used to seed players with active status and who have qualified for the end of season 4 week playoff in May. Over the course of the year there will be tournaments that will have double the points for out of town and special events such as Ringers. Flight seeding will take place before the start of the championship which will also take into account events played and flight wins. Re-seeding again will take place before the final round which will create a lot more excitement towards the final outcome. Players will need to meet qualifications to compete for the big bucks and awards. 2018 Final Results

B.      Match Play Event: Again this year matches will be played in conjunction with our regular season schedule and will start after the first of the year. This year’s format has yet to be determined and will be run by our Special Events Chairman. Entry for this year’s event will be $20. Keep checking back for further details and updates on the website. 2017 Final Results   Summary

C.      Team Match Play: New Event - This will be a four-ball match play event using the net score per hole of each team member. Entry fee will be $20 per team and is open to any current member with an established SGL handicap index. Players can choose their own partners and this year will be limited to the first 8 teams to sign up.

D.       Ringers: This is a unique event scored over 5 rounds of play at the same venue. This season’s RINGERS course will be the Lookout Mountain Golf Club and will consist of 5 rounds spaced over 4 months (Oct – Jan). Your best “18 hole” scorecard using the scores from all five (or less) times you play the Ringers course determines the winners. Payouts will be to both Gross & Net places by the four flights. Final flights will be set-up the same as our weekly tournament with the flight players divided evenly between the flights and frozen after the third Ringers tournament index has been calculated. Don’t miss playing in the league’s most popular format. The one time entry fee for Ringers will be $25.00. 2018 Final Results

E.      Summer Series: Again this year, the Saturday Golf League had a playoff for the summer season. In past years, the SGL has only booked a few events during the summer months to keep the hard core golfers satisfied during the wait for the regular season to begin in September. This last summer a full calendar of 13 events along with a first time two day event to the north country including a 2 playoff events were scheduled due to increased interest and participation. A total of 53 players qualified for the finals and competed for $1,000 which was contested in 2 consecutive weeks using a 2 flight format. Qualifications for the SGL Summer Series Finals involved playing in at least 25% of the scheduled events along with being an active member of the league. Seeding points for the finals were based on the accumulated SGL points over the summer in combination with events played and flight wins. 2018 Final Results

F.   The Jim O'Keefe Cup: The annual event of the head to head (Ryder Cup style) competition between the Valley Golfers Association and the Saturday Golf League. Scheduled for Saturday, October 7th at the Antelope Hills Golf Courses in Prescott. AGA and AWGA handicaps will be required for this competition. Format will be again single and four-ball matches. Last years results  This years Flyer

VII.            SGL Bylaws

A.      New Bylaws were adopted and unanimously approved by SGL Board Members on 4/18/2015 - SGL Bylaws