Tournament Policies

2017 Player Policies

When an individual MSGA member fills out a championship tournament entry form or presents himself to play in a weekend or senior event, he certifies that he is a member of a MSGA member club or associate club, with some golf privileges there. He has until May 15 (or the season opening of his club, whichever is later) to become a paid member of that club or association. After that date the member will not be eligible to play in MSGA events until he has fulfilled his obligation to become a paid member at a MSGA club as described herein.

General Tournament Information

All MSGA tournaments are open only to the amateur members of golf clubs and associations affiliated with the MSGA. Players must also have a current USGA GHIN card, issued by their club and administered by the MSGA, and have some sort of playing privileges at that club, in order to participate in handicapped events. Employees of member clubs may play if they meet amateur status and have a GHIN handicap.

MSGA membership must be purchased annually by all amateur players competing in MSGA events. Cost for the card is $30 unless purchased through the player's MSGA Player Rep from the home club. Special note: Players will not be able to sign up for any championships until they have purchased their MSGA membership card. Visit our online registration to sign up electronically. All tournament applications are now available on line as well. For junior players under 19 years of age, the membership is $10 and is required to compete in junior events. Please note that only one participant in the Parent/Child Championship is required to have a membership. Likewise, one participant per team in the Maine Mixed must have an active membership in either the MSGA, the WMSGA, or the SMWGA. Professionals in the Charlie’s Maine Open are not required to purchase MSGA membership.

Championship Event Information

Players will not be able to sign up for any championships until they have purchased their MSGA Championship Player card. Visit our online registration to sign up electronically. Major MSGA Championships, including the Maine Amateur, the Senior Amateur, the Mid-Amateur are restricted to Maine resident amateurs. Non-residents who have been members of MSGA-affiliated clubs for 10 years and who reside in Maine for five months annually are also eligible.

Only one participant in the Parent/Child Championship and Mixed Championship is required to have an active membership in the MSGA, the WMSGA or the SMWGA. Professionals in the Charlie’s Maine Open are not required to purchase MSGA membership.

Juniors who summer in Maine, who are members of an MSGA member club and who compete in at least five MSGA Junior Tour events are also eligible for the Junior Championship (but not our other championships). Players must be members in good standing of an MSGA member club before championship application.

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Weekend and Senior Event Tournament Information

The MSGA weekly tournaments, the heart of our schedule, feature both individual sweeps and best ball competitions, with gross and net individual prizes given by flights based on the number of players in the field. Tee times are given to teams, not individual players. Individuals are encouraged to make use of the message board on the www.mesga.org homepage to connect with a group. 

The MSGA also conducts a Senior tournament schedule, consisting of multiple events over the course of the season. Players for the senior events may sign up as a team, but they also may sign up individually or as a group of two or three to be paired with other players.

For both the MSGA Weekend and Senior events, prizes will be paid for individual and team, gross and net, with skins and pins. Senior events are open to all MSGA members aged 55 (on the day of the tournament) or older. Guests from other golf associations may play after purchasing an MSGA individual membership.

For more detail about the weekend format click here. Players will be treated as partners, for the purpose of rules interpretations. With the dual format of both individual and team play, rules for team play will take precedence, when there is a conflict in the rules. Players need to be aware that their fellow competitors are also their partners and penalize themselves accordingly for such infractions as hitting your partner’s clubs or equipment. Conversely, there is no penalty for giving partners advice on such matters as club selection.

Individual flights are determined by handicap based on indexes of all players in the field. Full handicaps are allowed for individual sweeps, while 80 percent will be used for team competition. An equal number of net and gross individual prizes are awarded. In team competition, which is not played in divisions, gross and net prizes are given. Prizes for skins and pins will be paid from a separate prize pool which players can enter for $5.

Our Weekend tournaments are also open to members of other golf associations, who may play as guests on a courtesy basis upon joining the MSGA, with a limit of twice a season. These players must either have a valid USGA/GHIN handicap card, or they will play at scratch.

In addition, members of the host club may play without joining the MSGA, but if they win, the cost of membership will be deducted from their winnings in order to set up an MSGA voucher account from which the player will be paid. Also, a player with an active GHIN handicap may play in one MSGA event without joining the MSGA, but if they win something, the cost of membership will be deducted from their winnings in order to set up an MSGA voucher account from which the player will be paid.

Prizes in all MSGA events are given in the form of vouchers, and prizes given are based upon the size of the field in the competition. The fee to play in MSGA weekly and senior handicap tournaments is $40, with pins and skins available for an additional $5. The entry fee is broken down as follows:

Clubs receive $17 from the entry fee for every player, $10.50 per player is designated to prizes, and the remaining $12.50 is dedicated toward MSGA operating expenses, with a portion of all MSGA revenue dedicated to the Scholarship Fund. Entry fee is payable at the event.

Weekend and Senior tournament results are sent regularly to all of the major daily newspapers in the state, and are also available on our web site at www.mesga.org, or by calling the office. Our staff will be more than willing to help you with any questions or concerns.

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Starting Times for Weekend & Senior Events

Teams wishing to obtain a starting time for weekend events will be required to sign up on line or mail, email or fax in their requests for times.

Players may print the form for their team on the web site to send in their request, or they may access an on-line form at www.mesga.org. All forms received electronically will be acknowledged via email. For every course the team wants to play, fill in the required information, including the day (eg, either Friday or Saturday) and time period. Times will then be awarded to groups, based on the number of events in which teams are requesting to participate. Teams requesting more times will be given higher consideration. HOWEVER, cancellations will also be taken into consideration. Teams that cancel out of more than three events will not be given any priority in future scheduling.

After the deadline date for requests, the MSGA will assign the times and post them on our web site. Players may access each week’s tee times at www.mesga.org.

Any unfilled starting times will be posted on the web site so players can try and fill their groups. We encourage groups to use the message board whenever there is an opening in a group or a player looking for a team.

All players need to be aware of our cancellation policy, as we will strictly adhere to it. Please make sure to notify us in advance if you must cancel, as others are generally waiting for an opportunity to play.

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MSGA Dress Code and Footwear Policy

Players in all MSGA events must follow the MSGA Dress Code, which does not permit dungarees, cutoff shorts, gym shorts, bathing suits, tank tops, sweat suits or collarless shirts. Players are prohibited from wearing metal, ceramic or other spikes constructed from any piercing materials. There will be no exceptions. Penalty for breach of dress code policy is disqualification.

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Golf Carts

Whenever players in MSGA events require golf cart transportation, it will be their responsibility to contact the club directly for availability.

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Permanent Tee Time Policy

In order to be assigned a permanent time, a team must adhere to these strict permanent time policies:

First, teams with permanent times must commit to playing every week over the course of the season, with only one cancellation allowed in the spring and the fall, and two allowed in the summer.

Next, each team must designate a team captain and up to three co-captains. The team captain(s) assume all responsibility and monetary accountability for the team. When a team captain relinquishes a permanent time for any reason (including death) and no teammate has been designated a co-captain, the time shall be returned to the MSGA for reassignment.

Finally, when a permanent starting time is relinquished and returned, the MSGA will post a note on the website and at the scorer’s table during weekend tournaments for thirty days advertising for interested applicants. After thirty days the applicants will be ranked and the starting time awarded based on the following:

  1. A permanent starting time group wishing a more desirable time slot;
  2. Non-permanent time groups wishing a permanent starting time;
  3. New groups.

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MSGA Cancellation Policy for Weekend and Senior Events

Cancellations of pre-booked tee times in MSGA weekend and senior events must be made three days prior to the day of the tournament in order to avoid penalty.

If a pre-booked tee time is missed entirely without acceptable notice, the group will be charged the full entry fee.

If the group cancels after the deadline, or if the weather is questionable but the tournament is still being played, the players may choose not to play and cancel for a fee of $20 per player.

Players are responsible for notifying the MSGA Tournament Administrator in charge of the event if they cancel on the day of the event. Do NOT leave a message at the club or at the MSGA office. The tournament administrators may be reached by email at don@mesga.org and randy@mesga.org .

This cancellation fee covers our obligation to our member clubs and associated MSGA costs.

If a tournament is cancelled, players will either be refunded or issued a refund voucher, good upon presentation at any other MSGA weekend or senior event.

Any team incurring one of these penalties must pay in full before any subsequent tee times will be honored. Unusual circumstances will be considered individually.

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Pace of Play Policy

We remind players to please be aware of their pace. Pace of play guidelines, as follows, will be in effect, and violators will be dealt with accordingly. Unless expressly stated at MSGA Championship events, the following pace of play policy will be in effect for all MSGA events:

  • 1st offense – 1- Stroke penalty to everyone in group
  • 2nd offense – 2-Stroke penalty to everyone in group
  • 3rd offense – 2-stroke penalty to everyone in group and tee time restricted for future events to after 11 a.m.
  • 4th offense – disqualification

Penalties will be assessed for all players in a group which is out of position. A group will be considered to be out of position if it:

  • Finishes more than 16 minutes behind the group it is following; or
  • Takes more than 13.5 minutes to play a par three and 15 minutes on all other holes; or
  • Falls behind club’s established pace rating.

MSGA scorers and/or staff will have the authority to assign penalties as they apply and will take into account information provided to them by any volunteer pace of play monitors.

Any team receiving more than three slow play warnings in the course of a year will forfeit their starting time, permanent or pre-booked, if it is prior to noon. Teams may reapply for a morning starting time after one year’s play, with no slow play warnings.

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Handicapping

As defined by the USGA Handicap Manual, the Handicap Committee at the home club is responsible for handicapping all players and players must belong to a golf club in order to have a handicap. New in 2017: Players under 40 years of age (for all of 2017) who do not belong to a club and do not have GHIN may join our new tier-two player program called MSGA Associate Players. The program includes enrollment in GHIN directly through the MSGA, and players in this tier are eligible to play in MSGA weekend events, but not championships.

All players in MSGA handicap events must have a valid GHIN handicap card with only one GHIN number. Players without a GHIN card may be prohibited from competing, or may be required to compete at scratch.

Our MSGA scorers remain the final authority regarding handicapping in any of our events. They may modify a course handicap at any time for appropriate cause. Any questions regarding handicapping should please be directed to the MSGA Executive Director. Every effort will be made in helping with all handicapping questions.

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Payment and Refund Policy

Advanced entry fees will be refunded regardless of reason if the MSGA is notified before the close of entries. Refunds of entries made by credit or debit card will be applied to that same card, in keeping with proper merchant processing protocol. After the close of entries, fees will only be refunded if the tournament remains full, or in the event of injury or illness. No refunds will be given after the start of the tournament. A 20 percent service charge will be deducted from all refunds. Exception: Maine Open professional refunds will be entry fee minus $30. Unusual circumstances will be considered individually.

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Vouchers

Any time a player wins in an MSGA event, except the Charlie’s Maine Open Pro Am, the winnings will be credited to a voucher account in that player’s name. Winnings can be accumulated in the voucher account indefinitely as long as the player remains active in the MSGA. Once a player is inactive for a period of two years, unclaimed prize money will be designated for the MSGA's charitable purposes.

Players may draw vouchers against accumulated winnings at any time, either on site at any MSGA tournament, or by calling the MSGA office at 829-3549. Players may also request vouchers via email at jane@mesga.org. Once a voucher is written, the player will have 90 days in which to redeem it, after which time it will become null and void.

Vouchers are redeemable at MSGA member club pro shops at full face value. Players are reminded that vouchers must be redeemed for merchandise only.

Exception: vouchers may be used for cart fees at MSGA events only. They may not be used for green fees, may not be sold to other players, and they may not be redeemed at non-member or off-site club shops.

Important Note: Any players who abuse the voucher system may be subject to loss of amateur status and/or suspension from MSGA events.

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Other Player Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of every player in each MSGA tournament to know the Rules of Golf. Our MSGA Scorers are excellent resources for questions on the Rules.

Special Note: Players are reminded that everyone in the group is expected to protect the integrity of the field, and group captains must bring all rules violations to the attention of the MSGA Scorer. If in doubt, the player should invoke the second ball rule (Rule 3-3) and confer with the MSGA Scorer before turning in the scorecard.

Players must strictly adhere to the Rules of Golf. Players caught cheating will be disqualified and may face further penalties, such as the revocation of their GHIN Handicap card.

In addition, players are expected to follow the Rules of Etiquette listed in the front of the Rule Book. Please pay particular attention to Care of the Course. Players should always remember to rake bunkers; replace divots and repair ball marks; avoid damaging greens with equipment; observe golf cart local rules; and limit practice swings to avoid damage.

MSGA participants are also expected to follow other posted club rules as they apply. Unbecoming behavior or breach of rules, including etiquette, could lead to loss of playing privileges in all MSGA events.