Rules 2024

(updated following the AGM in February 2024)
Participating Clubs - All participating Clubs must be Members of The Wiltshire Golf Union. Clubs applying for Membership if granted entry to the League, will join the lowest Division of the League.
Annual Subscriptions - Each Club must pay, prior to the 31st May in each Season, the Annual Subscription (including the non-refundable Finals Day Entry Fee). The amount of the subscription will be decided upon at the Season's AGM. The subscription is £200 for 2024 (albeit £100 for those who paid the 2023 subscription given the cancelled Finals Day in October 2023). 
Annual General Meetings - An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in February or March each year. Two delegates may attend from each Club albeit each Club has only one vote on any Resolution.
Annual General Meeting Business - At each AGM the business conducted may include election of the Executive Committee, approval of the previous Season's Accounts, setting of the Annual Subscription, changes in the organisation of the League, changes in the format of Matches and changes in the Rules of the League.
Executive Committee / Administration - The League shall be administered by an Executive Committee comprising a Chairman, a Secretary / Treasurer and a Third Member, all elected at the AGM each year. Existing Committee Members are eligible for re-election. All Committee Members must be Members of a Club participating in the League.
Format of the League - The League will be divided into Divisions with the number of Divisions being related to the number of participating Clubs. The number of Divisions, the number of Clubs participating in each Division and the number of Clubs promoted or relegated each Season will be decided upon at each AGM subject to alteration between such meetings by the Executive Committee (if circumstances arise that require action by the Executive Committee). The League will comprise three Divisions in 2024 with four Clubs in Division One, four Clubs in Division Two and five Clubs in Division Three. One Club will be demoted from Division One at the conclusion of the 2024 Season. Two Clubs will be promoted and one demoted from Division Two at the conclusion of the 2024 Season. Two Clubs will be promoted from Division Three at the conclusion of the 2024 Season. This will leave us at five, five and (hopefully) five for the 2025 Season (subject, of course, to the Clubs joining / re-joining Division Three or Clubs leaving the League altogether). NB Two Clubs, Kingsdown and High Post have indicated a desire to join / re-join the League in 2025.  
Format of Matches / Finals Day - In each Match in all three Divisions, a Club's Team should comprise four Fourball Partnerships. If a Club attends with less than eight Players they must use the Players present to participate in as many Games as possible (ie if seven Players attend then three pairs and one Player in the remaining Game; if six Players are present then two pairs and one Player in each of the remaining Games; if five are present then one pair and one Player in the remaining three Games and if four Players only are present then one Player in each of the four Games). Matches will consist of four Games of Scratch Fourball Betterball Match Play played over 18 holes, off Competition Tees and in accordance with the Rules of Golf. In the event that 18 holes are not open for play Matches may be played over 17 holes. All Matches must be completed before the date set for Finals Day in the Season concerned (at least two clear days before Finals Day if at all possible). (Clubs are therefore advised not to schedule Matches after say mid-September so that there is time to play any Match that needs to be re-arranged because of bad weather or other problems).

Matches will be played over 18 holes, off Competition Tees, and in accordance with the Rules of Golf.

Clubs are entitled to nominate / appoint a non playing Captain for each Match (on the day of that Match). The person nominated / appointed must be an Amateur Golfer who is a Member of the Club concerned and who is eligible to play for the Club concerned in that Match. The person nominated / appointed may give Advice to Team Members on that day. If the person nominated / appointed is playing for the Club in the Match he may only give Advice (other than to his Partner in the Game that he is playing in) once his Game has concluded.

Matches will be subject also to the Local Rules of the course being used, these being adopted by the Wiltshire Golf League for the match concerned.

One point will be awarded for each individual Game. If a Game is halved each Team will receive half a point. The Team winning the Match will receive one bonus point. If the Match is drawn each Team will receive half a bonus point. The Team with the best aggregate holes total will receive one bonus point. Each Team will receive half a bonus point if the aggregate holes total is equal.

If in any Game in a Match both Players from a Club fail to attend, the predetermined result will be a loss at 5 down in that game (therefore if a Club "fails to appear" and the whole Match is awarded to their opponents, the result will be six points and 20 up to those opponents). [NB one Player can, of course, play for one or more holes without a Partner in Fourball Match Play - see Rules of Golf: Rule 23.4]

If a club fails to honour an agreed Fixture (unless it is re-arranged by agreement to an agreed new date or there is a ruling from the Executive Committee instructing the Clubs concerned to arrange a new date for the Fixture - which is only going to arise in exceptional circumstances and in this regard the decision of the Executive Committee will be final and conclusive) there will (subject to any contrary decision made by the Executive Committee in Equity) be a three point penalty imposed upon the defaulting Club concerned. The defaulting Club must then play the Fixture concerned on one of three alternative dates offered by the opposing Club. In this regard the opposing Club must offer three reasonable dates as alternative dates for the Match to be played one of which dates, at least, being expected to be a weekend date. As regards the reasonableness or otherwise of the alternative dates offered the decision of the Executive Committee will be final and conclusive. If the defaulting Club then fails to play the Match they will be penalised a further three points as well as being deemed to have lost the Match 6 points to 0 and 20 down. If a Club both fails to honour a Fixture and then fails to play that Fixture on a re-arranged date this will amount to a disciplinary issue that will be referred to the Executive Committee for consideration as to any appropriate additional penalty not excluding expulsion of that Club from the League for one or more years.

If a Club fails to play two Fixtures in a Season then all of that Club`s Results for that Season will be declared null and void. Clearly in such circumstances the Executive Committee will have two disciplinary issues to consider.

The Finals Day format will be Scratch Fourball Betterball Stableford with three pairs (if possible) representing each participating Club.

Note to Rule 7 - The purpose of the League is to play golf and all Matches should be played.
Determination of Divisional Winners - The winner of each Division will be the Club with the greatest number of points, including bonus points, at the end of the Season. In the event of a tie in points the result will be determined as follows:

  1. The Club with the best aggregate of "holes up/down"
  2. In the event of a continuing tie, the Club with the most bonus points
  3. In the event of a continuing tie, the Club with the most Matches won
  4. In the event that there is still no result, a tie will be declared

Divisional "placings" and therefore promotions and demotions will be determined on the same basis.
Disputes - All disputes should be notified in writing to the League Secretary within at most 14 days of the dispute arising. Such disputes will then be resolved by the Executive Committee, who reserve the right to reach a decision in equity (if for instance it is impossible to complete a Match), whose decision shall be final. The Executive Committee shall have the power, in circumstances they in their absolute discretion consider appropriate, to impose a penalty upon one or both of the Clubs involved in any dispute. The nature of the penalty imposed could extend from removal of points in the current Season to demotion or in extreme circumstances expulsion from the Wilshire Golf League for one or more years. The Club or Clubs involved in any such dispute shall have the right to make appropriate representations before any penalty is imposed.
Eligibility of Players - A Club may call upon any Amateur Golfer who is a Member of the Club concerned and who pays, as a consequence of that membership, an affiliation fee to Wiltshire Golf save that an individual Player who has already played for another Club in the League in that Season may only play for a second or subsequent Club if he / she has ceased to be a Member of the Club or Clubs that he has played for earlier in the said Season. NB Female Golfers are eligible to play in the League albeit from the same tees and without any "Courtesy Shots" this being a Scratch League. 
Amendment of Rules - The Rules of the League may only be changed at an Annual General Meeting by way of a Resolution proposed by one or more of the Clubs involved in the League. Proposals may be carried by a simple majority (51% or more) of the Clubs present at the AGM.
Finals Day - At the conclusion of each Season there will be a competition, Finals Day, at which prizes and trophies will be presented. This competition will be held, on a rota basis, at the various participating Clubs' courses.