2019 Golf League Rule Changes (Updated)

2019 Golf League Rule Changes (Updated)

The game itself hasn’t changed, but there are a few golf league rules that have this year. Unlike many sports, golf is mostly self-regulated, and the rules of gold seem to have an answer for every situation on the golf course. Therefore, it won’t come as a complete shock to discover there are precise and definite rules for golf leagues as well.

Changes to Golf Rules this Year

Not unexpectedly, the number one new 2019 golf league rules have to with the adoption of the US golf associations rule changes, which took place on January 1st of this year.

Rule changes include:

  1. The golf flagstick no longer has to be attended, and there are no penalties incurred if a golfer hits the ball into the hole while the flagstick is standing.
  2. Golfers are now permitted to repair spike marks on putting greens prior to putting,
  3. You are permitted to touch your line of play on the green providing you do nothing to improve it.
  4. You are now allowed only three minutes, instead of the previous five to find a lost ball.
  5. Golfers in the bunker are allowed to touch the sand to test their conditions.
  6. If you have to drop a ball, you now do so from knee height rather than shoulder height.
  7. Golfers shall play quickly, with a recommended 40-seconds established to play your stroke.
  8. Golfers can take a penalty stroke rather than play again over certain hazards such as water.
  9. No penalty occurs for accidentally striking your golf bag or your caddy post stroke.
  10. If you accidentally move your ball while searching for it, you can replace it where it was, and incur no penalty.
  11. The penalty for a double hit is removed. Golfers simply count the one stroke they made to hit the ball.
  12. To speed up play, players may drop a ball in the vicinity of where it was lost or went out of bounds.

All in all, the USGA changed 20 total rules this year, all designed to encourage more seamless play when on the golf course.

New 2019 Golf League Rules

Leagues, often played after working hours, are adopting similar changes to encourage swift play. Rules to speed up the game or enhance the league include:

  1. Maximum scoring. Generally, leagues limit players attempts on each hole to a double bogey plus one.
  2. Limits on the application of handicaps.
  3. The allowance or disallowance of measuring devices.
  4. The presence or absence of team members.
  5. The allowance of substitute golfers.
  6. The appointed hours of official play are set and rarely flexible.
  7. Dues are due prior to the league start date in most cases.
  8. The addition of new players should not be added after league start date unless approved by manager.
  9. Turning in officially signed scorecards which can now be done with ease electronically in real-time with select golf league management software.
  10. Assigning match play opponents.
  11. Assigning points for various golf milestones such as closest to the pin or points per hole.

Managing your Golf League

As described, managing your golf league is not without its challenges. Most golf leagues, particularly those with a hundred or more members purchase league tracking equipment, which enables a secretary or other official to keep track of the reams of data such as handicaps for all league members, the tracking of points, skins, requests for substitutes, communicate with players, print scorecards and allow the communication of announcements.

Most golf tracking software is hosted over the cloud so that the head of the league doesn’t need not install any software on his or her computer, and all members need is a username and password to access results.

Running a golf league is not without its challenges and frustrations. But with the right software, the intricate tracking of a league can be made easy and fairly painless.


Selecting a Golf Tournament Format for Your Golf League

Selecting a Golf Tournament Format for Your Golf League

If you love watching or playing golf, then you must have heard of a golf league. As a popular way to participate in the sports, golf leagues have become a staple for those who want to make sure that they are playing on their favorite golf course on a regular basis.

Due to their popularity, golf leagues are welcomed by many players throughout the world and the amount of leagues being created is on the rise. Since anyone can start a golf league, it is not uncommon for passionate golf players to be thinking of creating a golf league of their own.

But there are several nuances that are attached to different golf leagues and golf scoring methods. This makes the process seems quite daunting to some. That is why even those players who are passionate about the sports and have what it takes to start their own golf league stop themselves from doing so.

Here are the differences between different types of golf leagues to make sure that you are not going down the same route. They would help you understand what you need to know to not only start your own golf league, but do so in a manner that is going to make the league an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

But First, Let’s Do a Quick Recap of What a Golf League Actually Does

As you may already know, a golf league is typically held at the same time each week. This allows players to maintain their other responsibilities while also playing golf consistently. The venue or course also stays the same throughout the 12-24 week duration of the league, which adds another layer of consistency for participating golfers.

Usually, there are 9 holes in a game within a golf league. But some leagues go as far as to put in 18 holes in their games; though this remains quite an uncommon practice. Anyone can join a local golf league depending upon when it is being formed and the number of members that it is looking for at the time. All that they have to do in addition to bringing their A-game to the course is to pay the Green fees for the golf course. Usually, this fee has to be paid upfront for the league’s complete tenure. This means that even if someone is not going to show up at every game the league holds, they would need to pay their fair share.

The Different Types of Golf Leagues and Golf Scoring Systems

Unlike a tournament, a golf league isn’t a one-off event. Instead of having to play with random golfers at a certain time each year, you play with the same people throughout the year. Depending upon the kind of league you form, you can also compete for a coveted title at the end of the league’s duration. Popular games such as stroke play golf and scramble golf are very common, but you can play an array of golf games subject to the number of players that you have in your league.

Here is a list of different games and golf scoring methods that you can enjoy after creating a golf league.

Stroke Play

As one of the most famous golf playing methods, stroke play is regarded as the go-to game at tournaments and leagues alike. That is why their adoption and widespread usage is not a surprise. In stroke play, each player has to complete all holes that are in a game. This can also be done in teams of two or three. The name “stroke play” comes from the scoring method of this game, where the player or team with the lowest number of total strokes takes the win. It is prudent to note that this total net score has to come from gross score minus handicap.If you choose stroke play golf, then all the players in your golf league get an equal number of play time while being completely dependent on their own skills. This creates an air of healthy competition.

Match Play

Bringing an added sense of competition to the mix, match play is suitable for those golf leagues which want to keep the thrill of healthy rivalry at an optimal level. In match play, individual players or teams play all holes in a game with the goal to score the lowest in each match. Unlike stroke play where the number of strokes matter, match play rewards players with the lowest score regardless of the number of shots they have taken. This makes match play a very lucrative game for those who want to improve on their golfing skills during their time at their golf league.


Popular within golf leagues, scramble golf gets the distinction of being the type of game where player input carries a lot of weight. In scramble, you need to form a team with at least two players. This number can also increase. For instance, you can have a team of three or a team of four players. Each player in the team gets to hit a tee shot. Afterwards, all the players in the scramble team reach consensus on which shot was “best”. This depends on which shot had the longest drive or which one landed closest to the fairway.

From there, the position of the best shot is marked on the course. Players then take their next shot from that position, take a consensus again, and select another position for the next best shot. This process is repeated throughout the hole. The team score in scramble golf is denoted by the total of “best shots”. Typically, scramble is considered as more of a fun play than a competitive game. That is why, it is highly used by golf leagues that are not as focused on competition as they are on having fun by getting together each week.

Foursome Play

Foursome is also a very popular game in golf, which is mostly played by those who emphasize greatly on partnerships. In this type of game, players form a team of two. These golfers playoff against each other by taking alternate shots throughout each hole. The tee shot is alternated between the even and odd number of holes. Foursomes are quite adaptable in the sense that they can be played with stroke play golf or match play golf rules. They are welcomed by those golf leagues that do not want to go by methods as common as simple stroke play or scramble play.


This game type is a form of strokeplay where the scoring is made by points awarded in relation to a fixed score which is set at each hole on the course played. Scoring is shown as follows:

Points per hole


The winner is the person who collects the highest number of points at the end of the match.


Type of match play game in which the winner of each hole is awarded points or money. If the best score for the hole is achieved by more than one player the points are carried over to the next hole, making all subsequent holes potentially worth considerably more. In the event that two or more golfers halve the final hole, a playoff begins until one golfer wins a hole outright which at times may go on for some time. (more…)