TJGT PLAYER/SPECTATOR POLICES, RULES & PROCEDURES
In the game of golf, like any other sport, spectators are a welcome element, but are required to be silent observers of the game, not injecting themselves in any way unless on the request or instruction of a rules official. Being a spectator is a privilege, not a right. Understanding that concept, the TJGT requires of spectators:
- Advice (Rule 10.2) is any verbal comment or action that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. In addition, any conversation between player/spectator may be construed as advice. This includes any conversation between player/spectator in their native language. In either instance, penalty for breach of this rule is two strokes. Players are responsible for the actions of their relatives and spectators in regards to this rule.
- Keeping the above statement in mind, please keep your conversation with the player to words of encouragement as long as advice is not given.
- Please silence your cell phone while at TJGT events or abide by the Host Facilities policy, whichever is more strict.
- The TJGT allows spectator carts (at the permission of the host facility), but spectator carts must be kept on the cart path at all times, no exceptions.
- Spectators should stay on cart paths even when walking. In the absence of cart paths, we ask that spectators stay in the rough. Please stay off fairways, tees and greens.
- Spectators should stay one shot ahead of the group they are following. This allows spectators to follow errant shots and help identify where the ball comes to rest. Spectators are allowed to aid in the search for lost golf balls.
- Spectators are prohibited from giving rulings; players will not be absolved of penalties incurred due to a breach of a rule given by a spectator. Rules and Tournament Officials are the only authority regarding the rules of golf at a TJGT tournament.
- Spectators are allowed to carry medicine, drinks, food, umbrellas, etc., but must, at all times, stay as far away from players as possible.
SPECTATOR/PLAYER GIVING OR SOLICITING ADVICE – As listed above per USGA Rule 10.2, the soliciting of advice by a player or giving advice or discussions between player and spectator that may be construed as advice is prohibited. Advice or construed advice may include:
- Information on what club to hit or distance to a hole/marker/landmark
- Information regarding break or slope on a putting surface
- Information regarding weather, wind direction, elevation change, etc.
- Any digital communication between player & spectator
- Extended conversations/walking with player of any nature, regardless of actual subject
- Player sitting in spectator cart when not approved by rules official
- The touching/moving/adjusting/carry of players clubs, bag or any equipment
Note: Discussions between a player and spectator of any nature, regardless of language spoken, are prohibited during play, and will be construed as advice under Rule 10.2.
If a player gets advice from someone other than his or her caddie (such as a spectator) without asking for it, he or she gets no penalty (on initial occurrence). However, if the player continues to get advice from that same person, the player must try to stop that person from giving advice. If the player does not do so, he or she is treated as asking for that advice and gets the penalty under Rule 10.2a.
The penalty for breach of Rule 10.2 is the General Penalty (2 strokes). Understand, there is no warning associated with Rule 10.2 (unless unsolicited, as described in the note above) – first breach is an immediate 2 stroke penalty. Players witnessing a violation under the Player-Spectator policy are instructed to inform the player in question immediately and contact a rules official as quickly as possible.
TJGT Rules Officials may waive penalties related to above infractions if, through investigation, it is deemed that a spectator violated one of the above points in an attempt to penalize a non-related player. Example – if a spectator were to move the ball of a player in a group not related to the spectator (or the reason for the spectator’s presence) in an effort to penalize said player, TJGT Rules Officials may decline to penalize the player whose ball was moved.
Upon second occurrence within the same round, the TJGT may also elect to remove the spectator(s) involved from the golf course for the duration of the round, or the duration of the tournament if deemed necessary.
GENERAL SPECTATOR ACTION/BEHAVIOR POLICY – All spectators are expected to be silent observers and act appropriately as it pertains to the rules and ethics of golf. Under the general spectator polices, spectators:
- Stay on the cart path (or as near as possible at all times), this includes while watching players putt on putting green
- Keep an appropriate distance from players at all time, so as to avoid even the appearance of advice/discussion
- Keep cell phones on silent at all times and keep communication with other spectators as quiet as possible so as to not distract players
- Walk or drive the cart in/down the fairway AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON
- Use language inappropriate to the game of golf, or any actions that may be deemed a distraction to the players or other spectators
- Give any sort of ruling or comment on the rules to a player in any way.
- Touch, move, pull or carry any of the player’s equipment at any time, unless specifically instructed by TJGT rules official
- Carry items for the player, such as food, water, umbrella, extra cold-weather clothing or rain gear
- Give or receive from player said items listed above, but keeping conversation to a minimum
- Assist in the locating of golf balls to help with pace of play. BUT NOTE, once the golf ball is found, spectators must immediately return to the cart path and/or move far away from the player
- Shuttle players from green to tee box (or other locations) only when specified by TJGT rules officials
Any spectators in violation of the above General Spectator Polices will be given an initial warning by TJGT rules officials. On second offense may be removed from the golf course at Tournament Committee discretion.
TJGT Tournament Committee may, in instances of extreme misbehavior, remove a spectator/spectators from the golf course immediately without warning, and may prohibit spectator return for the duration of the tournament (or longer) at the committee’s discretion.