Before the regular season begins, we invite leagues to adopt all the recommended PGA Jr. League rules and conditions of play. Although these are simply recommendations throughout the regular season, the rules and conditions of play will be fully enforced throughout the postseason. As scramble play is not recognized in the Rules of Golf, the PGA of America feels it is important to establish some guidelines by which this format can be reasonably governed. The following are PGA Jr. League official guidelines and do not constitute any attempt to alter or revise the Rules of Golf, but attempt to fairly apply the them to a two-person scramble match play format
Players should be familiar with the most current USGA Rules of Golf, as PGA Jr. League is governed by these rules, the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf and the following conditions of play specific to two-person scramble match play.
Golf is a very safe sport as long as you follow these simple rules:
It’s great to play outdoors!
|Have Fun||Take Care of the Course|
|Make friends and say “Hi” to other golfers.||Leave the course better than you found it.|
|Wait your turn.||Walk softly and carefully on the greens.|
|Never stand near or in front of someone who is hitting their ball.||Always rake sand before leaving a bunker.|
|Be quiet and stand still while others are hitting.||Repair your divots.|
|Play quickly.||Fix your ball marks and the ball marks of others that they may have forgotten.|
|Listen to and learn from players more experienced than you.|
In addition to complying with any federal or state laws that may be applicable to hosting a team in the PGA Jr. League program, Captains and Coaches agree to comply with the Code of Conduct communicated at registration. To view the complete Code of Conduct, click here. Any breach of the Code of Conduct will be handled at the Competition Committee’s discretion.
CAPTAIN AND COACH ETIQUETTE:
The PGA Jr. League Competitions Committee trusts that all Captains and Coaches respect the principle of adhering to the rules, proper conduct and fair play in the spirit of the game.
The Committee has the right to remove a Captain or Coach from a competition for blatant and/or extreme breaches of etiquette.
ADVICE – Any verbal comment or action (such as hand signals) that is intended to influence a player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. Advice does not include: any form of encouragement, public information (such as location of a player’s ball, location of items on the course, or rules of the game), or providing players with necessities (such as snacks and water).
CAPTAIN – PGA or LPGA Member who oversees a team and/or league.
COACH – Assists the Captain with managing the team and can be a parent and/or guardian.
PARTNER – A “partner” is a player associated with another player on the same side.
POINT(S) – Each flag is worth one point. Each match is worth a total of three points.
POSTSEASON – The postseason is comprised of All-Star teams formed from a combination of players from each of the teams in your league. Depending on the number of leagues in your geographic area, your All-Star team may need to compete in Section qualifiers and Section Championships before advancing to Regional competitions and ultimately the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
REGIONAL – Second level of postseason qualifying for the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental. Currently 12 Regional events hosting the top 48 teams from Section Championships. Regional champions advance to the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
ROUND – A round consists of playing the holes of the course in the order set by the Committee. A round in PGA Jr. League is three holes.
SCRAMBLE – Format for PGA Jr. League. Refers to two players on the same side selecting the best shot/location to play from in a match.
SIDE – Refers to two or three players who are all on the same team in a match.
SUBSTITUTE – PGA Jr. League allows for the substitution of players within each of a game's four matches. A substitute player may only be subbed in at the start of a new flag. Substitutes are a very important and critical part to the team’s success.
SECTION CHAMPIONSHIPS – Competitions hosted across the country in each of the 41 PGA of America Section territories. It also serves as a qualifying event for the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
TEAM – Refers to a group of at least eight players, who are a part of the same side, participating in a PGA Jr. League game.
FLAG – Each MATCH is broken into three of these. A FLAG is three holes in a row, and each team has the opportunity to earn points at the end of each FLAG. At the end of a FLAG is also where substitutions may be made. Each GAME consists of 12 FLAGS.
MATCH – As part of the GAME, players participate in head-to-head MATCHES. A MATCH is nine holes in length and the Captain or Coach is responsible for appropriately assigning players to each MATCH.
GAME – A competition between two PGA Jr. League teams. A GAME consists of two teams, each fielding at least eight players (ten players in postseason) broken into four groups of two.
SCRAMBLE – In the format that PGA Jr. League uses, both players on a team hit drives. The best shot is selected, then each player plays from the selected spot, and this process continues until the ball is holed.
All players in attendance must play a minimum of one flag in regular season and two flags in postseason, beginning with Section Qualifiers.
Once assigned to a match, a player must remain with that match for the entire game. The only exception to this rule would be in the case of an injury in their match where no substitute is assigned.
The home team Captain or Coach is responsible for posting and reporting game/ match results via PGAJrLeague.com or the Mobile App, available on the App Store or Google Play Store, within one week of the game
If a team appears at a regular season or postseason game and cannot compete in at least two matches (4 players), then the game will be deemed a forfeit and a score of 12-0 will be the result
If a team has less than eight active players in attendance for a game, they must fill as many two-player matches as possible:
PGA Jr. League allows for the substitution of players. A substitute player may only be subbed in at the start of a new flag. Substitutes are considered part of the side and are a critical part to the team’s success. Substitutes should walk with their teammates and provide valuable assistance such as:
Any deviation from the policies outlined below are not permissable withouth expressed, written consent from the PGA of America.
While PGA Jr. League is designed to be more recreational than competitive, there is no denying that the thrill of competition fuels some of the fun. The postseason is comprised of All-Star teams made up of a combination of players from all teams in your league. Depending on the number of leagues in your geographic area, your All-Star team may need to compete in postseason Section qualifiers, Section Championships and Regional competitions in order to advance to the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
At the end of your regular season, a league champion team will be crowned. The winning Captain will be your league’s All-Star team Captain unless he/she declines the opportunity, in which case the 2nd place Captain will have next priority, then the 3rd place Captain, and so on.
All-Star players must be 13 years of age or under on July 31, 2020 in order to be eligible to participate in the postseason. The player’s age as of July 31 will be referred to as their “League Age.” All-Star players will have to produce birth certificates prior to the Regional competitions.
Each All-Star player must be a registered, regular season participant and must have played in at least three of their team’s regular season games to be eligible. Captains may be randomly selected to produce scorecard proof of a player’s participation.
Eligible All-Star Captains and Coaches must be registered, regular season participants.
The following rules and conditions of play are recommended for PGA Jr. League regular season and will govern the postseason, starting with Section Championships. The Competition Committee will be defined here as:
PGA Section Staff, PGA or LPGA Representative from host facility, PGA Jr. League Rules Committee and assigned designees at all postseason competitions.
Captains and Coaches may provide coaching to their players at any time during the playing of a game. However, it is required that Captains and Coaches maintain pace of play while doing so. Additionally, it is recommended that each Captain and Coach:
Captains and Coaches may only communicate with their players between two holes (from green to tee). Once both teams have holed out, a Captain or Coach may provided advice and communication until any player in the group has teed off on the next hole. If a Captain or Coach chooses to communicate to their player(s) between two holes, he or she must do so without unduly delaying play.
Simply put, while a group is playing a hole, Captains and Coaches have the same status as a spectator, however are not restricted to the cart path.
For the full Regional competitions and Championship policy, click here.
It is recommended that at every level of play there are two different sets of tees: The FORWARD tee and the BACK tee.
Boys 11-under and Girls 13-under will play from the FORWARD tees. Boys 12-over and Girls 14-over will play from the BACK tees.
Recommended maximum yardages for the FORWARD tees throughout regular season and Section Championships/qualifiers will be 2,300 yards:
Recommended maximum yardages for the BACK tees throughout regular season and Section Championships/qualifiers will be 2,600 yards:
*These yardages are recommended in order to accommodate athletes of all skill levels and promote birdies, while creating an overall exceptional player experience.
**Please note that Regional and Championship yardages may exceed the above maximums by up to 25%.
Throughout the regular season and postseason, the player’s age on the final day of that particular competition is the age they will use to determine the appropriate tees for that particular competition. Birth certificates will be verified beginning at Regionals through the Championship.
NOTE: Players participating in Section Qualifiers will play from the tee that corresponds with their age on the last day of the Section Championship.
The use of distance-measuring devices is permitted at all levels of competition.
A player will not receive relief from a condition that by Rule would result in free relief if interference with this condition did not exist when the ball lay in its original spot.
The selected ball may be lifted by the player, his/her partner, their substitute or another person authorized by the player and may be cleaned. The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted or played. The ball must be marked right behind or right next to the ball and the mark may be moved one club-head length if a player chooses to play from the original spot. If a ball is lifted or played without being marked, the team will incur a one stroke penalty.
If a team’s ball becomes lost outside of a penalty area, the team must take stroke-and-distance relief by adding one penalty stroke and playing the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made.
At each hole, both players on a side may make a stroke from the teeing area. Unless the tee shot is holed, the side must select one of the tee shots and both players may make a stroke from that location. Unless the second shot is holed, the side must select one of the second shots and both players may make a stroke from that location. This procedure is repeated until a ball is holed.
The maximum score on a hole is “triple bogey.” Once a team has not holed out their shot(s) for double bogey (two-over par), they will pick up their ball and a triple bogey is recorded.
The Committee will determine when to suspend or call the game. It is strongly encouraged that every effort be made to finish a game. 7 out of 12 flags in a game must be decided for the result of a game to be official, with an exception. In situations when play is suspended for player safety; and all efforts to conduct or reschedule the competition have been exhausted; and the Regional League Manager approves; a game can be deemed “Official” if less than seven flags have been decided.
If at least one flag is complete; the winner of that flag is declared to have won the game. If the flag is tied, the Committee may elect to use a chip-off (if possible). The Captains will select two players to represent their team with the single closest ball to the hole of all four players determining the winner. If teams are unable to conduct a chip off, we recommend Captains conduct a coin flip to determine a winner.
If no flags have been completed; and all of the stipulations above apply; we recommend Captains conduct a coin flip to determine a winner.
Throughout local league play, Section Qualifiers and Championships: all players designated to hit from the BACK tees will play first on every hole.
If all players are playing from the same teeing area on a hole, the order of play is at the discretion of each side.
Violations For Stroke Play (Section Qualifiers only) —
There will be no penalty for players who accidentally play out of order, when the exception is not in place. However, if it is determined that a player/side intentionally played out of order, the Competitions Committee reserves the right to declare him/her ineligible for the postseason.
For Match Play: USGA Rules of Golf Rule 6.1b applies: The opposing side may opt to cancel the stroke, but it must be done before either side makes another stroke.
Defined as all areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds. Relief should be taken as prescribed in Rule 17.1d for penalty areas.
For our place of play policy used during the PGA Jr. League Postseason, please click here.
For best practices regarding pace of play to be used at the local level, please click here.
The maximum penalty for any rules violation in PGA Jr. League is one stroke. When dealing with one stroke penalties, penalty strokes incurred solely by playing a ball which is not selected are disregarded.
Defined as any body of water on the course including a sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open watercourse and any other part of the course the Committee defines as a penalty area.
If a player elects to play the ball from within the penalty area, the ball must be placed within the penalty area or under penalty of one stroke, a player may use the relief options under Rule 17.1d.
Section Qualifiers/Championships ––
Please refer to the rules addendum provided to you at your Section event.
Ties and places will be determined by the team’s overall record. In the event of a tie with the overall record, the winner of the teams head-to-head game will be used; if still tied, the most points won, if still tied, the Commitee may elect to use a chip-off. The Captains will select two players to represent their team with the single closest ball to the hole of all four players determining the winner.
PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental Session Standings —
The standings at the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental will be determined based on each team’s overall record. In the event of a tie with the overall record, the winner of the teams head-to-head game will be used; if still tied the most points won, if still tied, the most points accumulated in Session 1; if still tied, the most points accumulated in Session 2; if still tied the most points accumulated in Session 3; if still tied the most points accumulated in Session 4
PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental Championship Session Determining the winner of each division —
If there is a tie in overall record, head-to-head game, and points between two teams vying for a spot in the Championship match, a chip-off will be conducted. Captains will select two players to represent their team with the single closest ball to the hole of all four players determining the winner.
Determining the winner of the Championship Session —
In the event that the Championship game is halved, the team Captain or Coach will pick two players to represent their team and begin a sudden death playoff to determine the winner. If no winner is determined after the playoff hole, two different players will represent their team and the hole will be played again.
For Stroke Play (Section qualifiers only): There will be no penalty for a player who accidentally plays from the incorrect tees. However, if it is determined that a player intentionally played from the incorrect tees, the PGA of America reserves the right to declare him/her ineligible for the postseason.
For Match Play: USGA Rules of Golf Rule 6.1b applies: The opposing side may opt to cancel the stroke, but it must be done before either side makes another stroke.
Each player must not start a round with more than 14 clubs. However, the side may share clubs regardless of the total number of clubs carried.
A player’s partner or their substitute may be positioned behind the player on an extension of the players’ line of play, while the player is making a stroke.
At no point may a Captain or Coach be positioned behind the player on an extension of the players’ line of play, while the player is making a stroke.
Players must not ride on any form of transportation during a round unless authorized by the Committee.
NOTE 1: On holes in which the Committee is providing a player shuttle, for safety reasons, the Committee authorizes any person (i.e. parent/spectator) to transport the player’s clubs. In particular, bags that are on push carts.
NOTE 2: Substitute’s bags can be transported on the Captain or Coach’s golf car.
A player may concede his/her opponent’s next stroke at any time. This concession does not affect the other opponent’s right to play from the previous location. A concession may not be declined or withdrawn.
The opponent is considered to have holed out with his or her next stroke, and the ball may be removed by either team.
Before the regular season begins, we invite leagues to adopt all of the recommended PGA Jr. League rules and conditions of play. We also encourage teams to sit down and review this handbook to ensure everyone understands how PGA Jr. League games are to be conducted. Below are some common situations and advice on how to help PGA Jr. League players navigate them in the future.
Regardless of where your golf ball is located (general area, bunker, penalty area or putting green), one of the most important things you can do is mark it with something you, your teammates and your opponents can easily see and locate quickly. We discourage you from using sticks, leaves or other natural objects (loose impediments) to mark the position of your golf ball.
The penalty for all rules infractions in PGA Jr. League is one stroke. However, it is important to keep in mind that at times, a penalty may only be applied to one player on the side.
For example: Player A and B are on a side, and the ball they’ve selected is on the lip of the bunker. Player A takes one club-length out of the bunker and hits. Player B takes one club-length and stays in the bunker to hit. If the team selects Player A’s next shot, they will incur a penalty for playing from the wrong place. If they select Player B’s shot, they will receive no penalty.
In PGA Jr. League, players are allowed to move a club-length to either side of the original spot of the selected ball in the general area, penalty area, teeing area or bunker. Players are allowed a clubhead-length to either side of the original spot of the selected ball on the putting green. This should never result in the ball being placed closer to the hole. When measuring the club-length or clubhead-length, the ball must stay in the same area of the course. The 5 areas of the course are:
Utilizing the 5 areas of the course means the following:
A stroke is the forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. A stroke has not been made if the you:
NOTE: If your club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty. If you swing and miss the ball, however, the stroke does count. You can either count the stroke and use your ball, or simply choose to use your partners ball instead.
We encourage players to concede short putts in PGA Jr. League mostly because it can help with pace of play. In this scenario, Player A and Player B are on the same side and have a putt to win the hole. Player A, putts first and rolls it close to the hole. Player C on the opposing side concedes Player A’s next stroke. Can Player B, attempt the same putt to win the hole? Yes, just because Player A’s next stroke was conceded doesn’t mean Player B cannot attempt to make the original putt for the win. When conceding opponent’s next stroke, players should communicate clearly with verbiage such as: “Your next stroke is good.” “Go ahead and pick up that’s good.” You can even pick up your opponent’s ball if you want to concede their next stroke.
A bunker is a specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. If a selected ball is located in the bunker, both players must play from the bunker. If Player A is to hit first from the bunker, he/she may mark and lift the golf ball in order to rake the surrounding sand area. If Player B is second to hit from the bunker, he/she may rake the surrounding sand area after Player A has hit.
Walking scorers/parent volunteers can be used to remind players of their pace and speed them along. Captains may also encourage that substitutes help the pace of play by retrieving golf balls, tending the flag, and any other jobs that help increase speed. It also helps to teach your players what pace of play means and set appropriate pace goals for them to strive toward. For a full list of pace of play best practices, visit the Captain Resource Center.
It is important that spectators acknowledge that the goal of PGA Jr. League is for players to have fun with friends. Spectators can be:
Sometimes spectators and parents look for specific ways to help out and it is great to involve them in your PGA Jr. League community!
Less than eight active players on a team – must fill as many two-player matches as possible, requiring a minimum of four players to avoid forfeiture.
Five players = Matches 1 & 2 will have two players, Match 3 will have one player, Match 4 is forfeited.
Six players = Matches 1, 2, & 3 will have two players each. Match 4 is forfeited.
Seven players = Matches 1, 2, & 3 will have two players each. Match 4 will have one player. In general, when any pairing only consists of one player, only one ball should be in play.
No. Only substitutes are allowed to act as caddies.
A competition between two teams is a game, the two-player versus two-player scramble pairings are called matches.
The Coach or a designated parent may step in for the Captain that day.
The PGA Jr. League Competitions Committee is led by a group of outstanding LPGA and PGA Professionals that are experts in the Rules of Golf. Please contact your Regional League Manager if you have a rules question to be submitted to the Committee.
We do not recommend allowing the use of golf carts unless extreme circumstances exist (weather conditions, player medical conditions, etc.). If a Captain elects to use golf carts, all other Captains involved must agree.
It is important that all Captains are in agreement to the policies that will be enforced throughout the regular season games, along with any agreed upon adaptations to the Conditions of Play based on the skill levels of the players in the league. It is recommended that you determine items such as playoff procedures and teeing areas prior to the first game. If, at any time, a discrepancy regarding a policy occurs between Captains in a league, the rule written in the Conditions of Play will govern the situation.