LEAGUE RULES & PROCEDURES
All games and tournaments are played in accordance with the rules of golf adopted by the USGA and with League and Local rules as specified. As a courtesy to other members and patrons, please remember to turn your phones to silent mode during your round.
1. Regular league play days are every Wednesday (with exceptions for blackouts by Westfields) beginning April 19 thru the middle of September.
2. The league will host designated "guest" play dates where members can invite non-members to play. Guests will be charged $40.
3. Handicaps are calculated using a modified USGA handicap system and are updated on the 1st and the 15th of each month during the season.
4. Members may choose to play from either the Red or Green Tees and their handicap will be calculated accordingly. It is recommended that those members with an FWO 9-hole handicap index of 13.1 and above play from the Red Tees and Members with an FWO 9-hole handicap index of 13 or lower play from the Green Tees.
5. Every member must play with at least one other member during weekly play. Scorecards must be filled out correctly with each player’s gross score and putts. One scorecard per foursome must be dated, signed, and attested for accuracy by a fellow member and placed in the scorecard box.
6. Double Par Rule: For the sake of pace of play, a player should pick up her ball at double par on any given hole. If you reach double par before getting on the green, you may choose to putt from the same location as the furthest person on the green in your group. The player whose position you are putting from must putt their ball before you. On the scorecard, indicate your score as double par with an X and the number of putts. Or if you prefer to forego putting on this particular hole, mark your putts with an X, which will count as a 3-putt.
7. FWO adopted Winter Rules (aka Preferred Lies) to be used throughout the season during league play at Westfields. For further explanation of this rule, see "Model local rule e-3" in the USGA Rules app.
8. Each member is responsible for entering her weekly score on the posting sheet. FWO handicap sheets are provided each week to calculate your net score.
9. Weekly league play scores shall be based on 9 holes of play. Members may wish to play an additional 9 holes prior to regular league play but you may have to play the same 9 holes twice, unless Westfields can accommodate you otherwise. If this occurs, you will post the 9-hole score you recorded while playing with the league.
10. Members that are late for their assigned league play tee time due to playing an additional 9 holes prior will be moved to the last tee time as needed. Members cannot move up in the league tee times unless space is available and Westfields staff is notified. If a player chooses to move up their league tee time, please first ensure that no one is left to play by herself.
11. An optional Game of the Week (GOW) will be offered each week. The GOW explanation will be in the notebook with the GOW sign-up sheet in the Pro Shop. Members with a league handicap may enter the competition for cash prizes by putting $2 into the GOW envelope in the Pro Shop. Cash prizes will be paid for top places each week. Winners do not have to be present to collect their prize money. If a player is not present, the prize will be held by the Handicap Chair until the next shotgun start. If the player has not collected her prize money by that time, it will go back to league funds.
12. In case of a tie for low gross, low net, low putts, and GOW, there will be a card-off comparing the scores made by the tied members on the most difficult handicap hole and working backward until a winner is determined.
13. Weekly and Tournament play will depend on the condition of the course. On stormy days, play will be called at the discretion of the FWO Board or Westfields. Rain can often be localized and therefore, while it may be raining where you are, it may not be raining at the golf course. The course normally doesn’t close, except when lightning is persistently in the area. If weekly play is canceled, the FWO Board will post the info to www.FWOleague.com as early as possible once the decision has been made.
14. Holes 9 and 18 have Penalty Areas designated as "Environmentally Sensitive No Play Zones" in front of the greens. Entry into and/or play from these areas is strictly prohibited. If a player hits her ball into the No Play Zone, she must follow the procedure for relief from a No Play Zone. See Rule 17.1e in the free USGA Rules app.
15. Hole 13 has a Civil War Cemetery, mid-way on the right side. If a player hits her ball into the Cemetery, she must take a mandatory free drop from behind or beside the cemetery wall, not nearer the hole.
16. Any changes in rules or important information regarding the league will be determined by the Board and announced via e-mail from the Board of Directors.
17. E-mails will be distributed periodically by FWO Board members and will be used as the means of league communication with league members. Communication will include information regarding planned tournaments & outings, rules interpretation and news or other golf-related items submitted by our members. The Board of Directors will meet on the shotgun Wednesday of each month after league play at Westfields is completed. All members are invited and encouraged to attend.
TEE TIMES & CANCELLATIONS
1. To secure a tee time, members may either sign up on the Tee Sheet (link on website) no more than 2 weeks prior to and no less than 24 hours prior to league play. Alternatively, if desired you may call the Pro Shop to sign up at 703-631-3300. You must call the Pro Shop to sign up if it is less than 24 hours prior to league play. Members who do not have a tee time can sign up to be on the wait list for that date on the Tee Sheet. If spots become available on the day of play, you must call the Pro Shop to reserve a spot before arriving at the course.
2. Members should check-in at the Pro Shop and be ready to tee off at least 15 minutes before their start time.
3. If you are running late for your tee time, please call the Pro Shop to notify them as soon as possible. If necessary, another player may be moved up into your place and you may be moved to a later group to ensure pace of play.
4. If you must cancel your tee time, please remove your name from the Tee Sheet as early as possible, as a courtesy to other members who may wish to play. If there are members on the wait list, please insert the first name into your canceled slot.
5. To cancel a tee time on the same day of league play, please call the Pro Shop to cancel ASAP, preferably no later than 3 pm.
TIME MANAGEMENT ON THE GOLF COURSE
Listed below is Golf for Women’s Top 10 tips to make a round of golf enjoyable for everyone.
1. Who’s (On) First?
Play “READY GOLF” – that is don’t worry about who should go first off the tee – when you’re ready, tee off.
2. Track All Balls
Follow each player’s ball, make a mental note using an immovable landmark to help direct others to their ball. Hit your own ball if you’re away, and then help with the hunt.
3. Get to Your Ball
Get to your ball as soon as possible. As long as you’re not in danger of being hit, you will have more time for club selection and to hit your next shot.
4. Cut Practice Swings
Take only 1-2 practice swings, and then let ‘er rip! The shot will not get easier and your practice will be more productive on the range.
5. Take More Than One Club
When you have to be separated from your clubs (on days we are cart path only) you can save unnecessary steps and extra time if you carry several possible clubs with you once you see your lie and determine your distance.
6. Be Ready For Each Shot
It is not necessary to wait for others to hit before you approach your ball and decide which club to use in most instances. Make your decisions while your partners are hitting so you will be ready when it’s your turn.
7. Cart/Club Placement
As you approach the green, continue toward the next tee before stopping your cart or depositing your bag or push cart. If you have several clubs with you, set them down where you will see them when walking off the green after putting out. When your group finishes the hole, all you have to do is pick up your clubs on the way to your cart.
8. Be Ready to Putt
Think about the break and slope of the green as you approach it. Go to your ball and prepare while you are waiting your turn.
9. Keep the Pace
Always be aware of where your group is relative to others. Plan to keep pace with the group ahead and not just stay ahead of the group behind you. If the group behind is waiting for you and you cannot see the group ahead, you’ve lost it! Speed up!
10. Counting Strokes
Move quickly off the green when all players have holed out. Count your strokes and record the scores on the next tee. If you have trouble remembering your strokes, use a counter, beads or other device made for this purpose.
Adapted from: Golf for Women, Sept/Oct 1996.
USGA & LOCAL RULES
The intent of these established rules is to facilitate the enjoyment of the game, standardize the management of the course and provide an opportunity for league members to improve their game.
The penalty for committing a breach of any of these rules is disqualification of your round and that score will not be posted for league purposes that week.
1. The USGA allows the use of distance measuring devices during a round as a part of a player’s equipment (Rule 4.3a(1), see Full Rules at USGA.org.)
2. Winter Rules Committee Procedures -- Model Local Rules 8E 3 Preferred Lies / No penalty stroke. For a ball lying in the general area, a player may choose to mark, lift, clean and place her ball within the relief area one club-length from where it originally lay, not nearer the hole. Once the ball is placed it is considered back in play.
3. No Play Zones
Committee Procedures -- Model Local Rules 8E-8 Defining No Play Zones / One penalty stroke. Holes 9 and 18, No Play Zones are designated areas in front of the green. Entry into and/or play from these areas is strictly prohibited. If a player hits her ball into the No Play Zone, she must follow the procedure for relief from a No Play Zone / Rule 17-1e.
4. Penalty Areas
Rule 17 / One penalty stroke.
If a player’s ball enters a Penalty Area, the following options are available according to Rule 17.1d. Yellow Penalty Areas allow for options a and b. Red Penalty Areas allow for options a, b and c.
a. Re-play a ball as near as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.
b. Determine the reference line from the pin and the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the penalty area, then go back far back as you choose on that hole and drop within the relief area.
c. Additional option for Red Penalty Areas: Drop a ball outside the penalty area within two club lengths of the reference point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the penalty area, not nearer the hole.
Westfields Drop Areas: Hole 3 has a designated drop area and Hole 17 uses the red tee box.
5. Cart Path (Immovable Obstruction)
Rule 16.1a / Free relief, no penalty stroke. If a cart path interferes with the player’s stance or swing, the player may lift the ball and drop it within one club length from the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole.
6. Provisional Ball
Rule 18-3 / One penalty stroke, if the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.
If a ball may be lost or out of bounds, the player should play a provisional ball from the spot of the original shot for the benefit of the pace of play. The player must announce to her playing partners that she intends to play a provisional ball. If the original ball is found within 3 minutes of searching and is not out of bounds, the provisional ball must be taken out of play and the original ball is now the ball in play.
7. Lost Ball
Rule 18.2b / One penalty stroke.
If a player hits a ball and thinks it may be lost, she should play a provisional ball (see #6). If a ball is not found within 3 minutes of searching and is declared lost, the provisional ball is now in play. Or the player must return to the spot from where the original ball was last played and take their next shot from there.
8. Out of Bounds (OB)
Rule 18.2b / One penalty stroke.
White boundary stakes or white lines define areas that are out of bounds. Black fences at Westfields also indicate out-of-bounds (ex. Hole 4, Hole 11 and 12). If a player hits a ball and is unsure if the ball went out of bounds, she should play a provisional ball (see #6). If a player’s ball is determined to be out of bounds, she must play a ball as close as possible to the spot from where the original ball was played. Or if she played a provisional ball, that ball is now in play.
9. Playing a Wrong Ball
Rule 6.3c / Two penalty strokes.
If a player mistakenly plays the wrong ball belonging to a playing partner, the owner of that ball must play their ball from the original spot. The player who hit the wrong ball must then play their correct ball before teeing off on the next hole.
10. Stones in Bunkers
Rule 12.2a / No penalty stroke.
Stones are considered loose impediments (see Definitions p.142) and can be removed from bunkers before making a stroke. Be careful not to move your ball in the process or you will be assessed a one-stroke penalty and must replace the ball to its original spot.
2019 USGA RULES CHANGES
New Rule: Ball Accidentally Moved in Trying to Find or Identify It Under Rule 7.4, if a player accidentally moves his or her ball while searching for it: The player gets no penalty for causing it to move, and the ball is always replaced; if the exact spot is not known, the player will replace the ball on the estimated original spot (including on, under or against any attached natural or man-made objects which the ball had been at rest under or against).
New Rule: When Ball is Lost
Under Rule 18.2a(1), the time for a ball search (before the ball becomes lost) has been reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
New Rule: Improvements Allowed on Putting Green Rule 13.1c(2) allows repair of almost any damage on the green. “Damage on the putting green” is defined to include all types of damage (such as ball-marks, shoe damage, indentations from a club or flagstick, animal damage, etc.), except aeration holes, natural surface imperfections or natural wear of the hole.
New Rule: When Ball or Ball-Marker Moves on Putting Green
Under Rule 13.1d, there is no longer a penalty if a player (or opponent) accidentally causes the player’s ball to move on the putting green.
New Rule: Leaving Flagstick in Hole
Under Rule 13.2a(2), there is no longer a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
New Rule: Penalty Areas
Under the new Rules, “Water Hazards” are superseded by the expanded concept of “Penalty Areas”, and Rule 17 provides the same basic options for relief that existed under the previous Rules. A penalty area includes both (1) all areas previously defined in the Rules as a water hazard or lateral water hazard and (2) any other areas the Committee chooses to define as penalty areas. Penalty areas may therefore include areas such as deserts, jungles, lava rock fields, etc. The term “hazard” is no longer used in the Rules.
New Rule: Player May Play Ball as It Lies in Penalty Area Under Rule 17.1b, there are no longer any special restrictions when a ball is in a “penalty area” (the expanded designation for the area that includes what were previously called water hazards). Rule 8.1b lists actions that are allowed. For example, a player is allowed to touch or move loose impediments and touch the ground with hand or club (such as grounding the club right behind the ball) for any reason, subject only to the prohibition on improving conditions for the stroke (see Rule 8.1a).
New Rule: Playing Ball in Bunker
Under Rules 12.2a and 12.2b, the player is allowed to touch or move loose impediments in a bunker and is generally allowed to touch the sand with a hand or club; but a limited prohibition continues so that the player must not: Deliberately touch the sand in a bunker with a hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand to learn information for the stroke, or Touch the sand in a bunker with a club in making a practice swing, in grounding the club right in front of or behind the ball, or in making the backswing for a stroke.
New Rule: Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker Under Rules 19.3b, the player has an extra option allowing relief outside the bunker using the back-on-the-line procedure, but for a total of two penalty strokes.
New Rule: Ball Must Be Dropped in the Right Way Under Rule 14.3b, the ball must now be dropped from knee height so that it falls straight down without spinning or throwing it and does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground. “Knee height” means the height of the player’s knee when in a standing position.
New Rule: Dropping Ball in Relief Area
Under Rule 14.3, the focus of the dropping procedure is on a specific “relief area” set by the Rule under which relief is being taken and is either one or two club-lengths from a reference point (and may have certain other limitations). The ball needs only to be dropped in and come to rest in the relief area; and there is no re-drop requirement if the dropped ball accidentally hits a person or object after hitting the ground but before coming to rest in the relief area. If the dropped ball comes to rest outside the relief area, it is dropped a second time; if it comes to rest outside the relief area after being dropped a second time it is placed where it first touched the ground on the second drop.