We have laid out the rules and guidelines to provide clarity and ensure maximum enjoyment for all entrants.
We expect matches to be played in the true spirit of the game and for competitors to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times.
Rules of the Competition
- The championship will be played in accordance with the Rules of Golf as laid down by The R&A.
- We strongly recommend that competitors carry an up-to-date Rules of Golf book so that any queries during play can be resolved immediately and without delay.
- The championship will be a matchplay knockout format and is approved by The R&A for the payment of expenses.
- The entry fee is £30 per person for the Individual championship and £60 per pair for the Pairs championship.
- Entries close at midnight on Monday April 8th 2019 or when a region becomes full. Any entries received after this time will not be accepted.
- Once accepted entries can be withdrawn but not refunded.
- Entry is open to ladies and gentlemen golfers, aged 16 or over on 1st May 2019.
- Each competitor must have an ACTIVE CONGU handicap issued by an affiliated golf club and have played in a minimum of 3 club competitions during the previous calendar Year. Handicaps must remain ACTIVE from the date of entry and throughout involvement in the competition. Current handicap certificates must be taken to each match and shown to the opponents before the match commences. If a competitor does not provide a handicap certificate on the day of the match he/she must provide proof of handicap to the Tournament director within 48 hours of completion of the match if requested by the opponents. The opponent will inform the tournament director of any such request.
- Entrants must be a member of a golf club within one of these counties; England – Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire,Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Somerset, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Wales – Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, and Pembrokeshire.
- Entrants can only represent one golf club and compete in one region during the championship season.
- The exact region boundaries will be determined at the closing date based on the location of the entrant’s golf club.
- When entering the Pairs competition players do not have to be from the same golf club but both clubs must be affiliated to one of the above counties. A ‘home’ course must be nominated for any home matches and should be used throughout the tournament (unless mutually agreed by both sides to change). Player 1’s course will be deemed to be the home course unless you inform the Tournament Organiser otherwise before the closing date.
- No changes can be made to the names of the entrants or playing partners after the closing date (i.e. due to injury/illness/work commitments/holidays/availability). Any changes required must be made to the Tournament Organiser before the closing date.
- Entrants do not need to be a full member of their golf club but must be able to offer dates to play on a weekend at their own course should they be drawn at home, otherwise they will forfeit home advantage.
- Entrants can enter both the Individual and Pairs competitions however should any player qualify through the semi-finals in both formats he will give up his place in the individual competition and only play in the pairs grand finals
- Entry Payment should be made online.
- All queries should be sent to the Tournament Organiser by email.
- All decisions concerning the championship rest with the Tournament Organiser and his decision in all matters is final.
- The Tournament Organiser reserves the right to change the prize fund, Semi Final venues or Grand final venue without prior notice.
Handicaps and strokes
- The maximum handicap limit is 18; however, players with handicaps 19-28 may enter but must reduce to 18 for competition purposes (before any strokes are calculated).
- Strokes should be taken against the gents Stroke Index as displayed on the host golf club’s scorecard.
- In the Individual competition the golfer with the highest handicap receives the full difference of strokes between both golfers.
- In the Pairs competition each player receives 9/10 of the difference between their handicap and that of the lowest handicapped player in the group.
- Current handicap certificates MUST be taken to each match and shown to the opponents before the match starts. If these are not available the game should still go ahead but opponents may request that proof of handicap be supplied to the Tournament Organiser within 24 hours of the match having been completed.
- Handicaps may increase/decrease throughout the season and you must play off your current handicap on the day of the match. The only exception to this is the first round where if your handicap changes between legs you must still use your handicap from the start of the first leg.
- It is the player’s responsibility to maintain an accurate record of their handicap.
- In order to preserve the integrity of The Southern Matchplay Race to Dona Filipa , the organisers’ reserve the right to disqualify a player or players from the tournament in the event that the tournament committee determines, in its absolute discretion, that a player’s handicap is inaccurate when compared with their actual playing ability. The tournament committee will determine whether a player’s handicap is inaccurate by taking into consideration any or all of the following:
*Handicap history review;
*Previous tournament/competition results;
*Current sanctions from any other national golf tournaments or from any County or National golf administrative bodies;
*Judgement on the relevance of completed qualifying competitions within the past 36 months;
*Complaints which are in the public domain and any other handicap inconsistencies that are brought to our attention
Playing the match
- Once you have registered and paid you will be notified about your first round opponents shortly after the closing date.
- Players will receive notification of the draw by email from the Tournament Organiser. This will include details about opponents including contact details, the venue for the match and when it must be played by. The draw will also be published on the official championship website.
- Home players are responsible for contacting opponents to arrange a mutually agreeable date before the closing date of each round. If contact has not been made within 7 days of the draw being published the Tournament Organiser should be contacted without delay.
- The home side is responsible for ensuring play is possible at their course on the agreed date and time.
- If the home course is closed but the away course is open on the agreed date the venue should be switched, subject to availability. If neither course is open a neutral course may be used if this is mutually agreed by both sides with any green-fees split equally. Games should still go ahead if preferred lies, temporary tees or greens are in use.
- Both sides are responsible for knowing the local rules of the host golf course.
- We ask that both sides provide at least 8 dates for playing each round (at least 3 of which are midweek and at least 3 on a weekend). The provisional deadlines (subject to change) for each round are;
- 1st round: 29th April – 9th June (2 legs Home & Away)
- 2nd round: 15th June – 14th July (18 Holes)
- 3rd round: 20th July – 18th August
- 4th round: 24th August – 22nd September
- 5th round – 28th September – 27th October
- Semi Final – South East – W/C 12th November TBC
- Semi Final – South West – W/C 12th November TBC
- The Tournament Organiser will disqualify any players who fail to complete their match by the deadline date.
- We strongly advise that matches are arranged and played ASAP in case of bad weather or other circumstances force the delay or postponement. Contact should be made within the first week or the draw being announced.
- Extensions will not be granted unless at the absolute discretion of the tournament organiser.
- Players should consult the Tournament Organiser ASAP if they have any problems arranging their match.
- In many cases the home club will support their members and offer courtesy of the course to visiting players. If for any reason they do not grant this then green-fees must be paid and shared equally between all players, usually at the member’s guest rate.
- The competition tees (normally white) should be used unless this is not permitted by the host golf club in which case the daily tees (normally yellow) should be used. Where there are two sets of competition tees (i.e. blue & white) it is at the discretion of the home side as to which are used, subject to approval from the host club. It is the responsibility of both sides to confirm which tees are to be used prior to the start of the match.
- If the match is all-square at the completion of 18 holes the match goes into extra holes starting at the first, with strokes being taken as per the scorecard until a winner is determined.
- If a match has to be abandoned (i.e. due to poor light or adverse weather) the round should be restarted from the place it was abandoned at a mutually convenient time but before the closing date. When arranging the game we advise to allow plenty of time for fading light because extra holes may need to be played. Failure to complete the match before the deadline will result in disqualification.
- Once a date and time has been agreed and either side cancels the match within 72 hours of the agreed start time the opponents may claim the match. If more than 72 hours’ notice is given the match should be re-arranged at a mutually agreed time. Cancelling a match twice, or cancelling a match that is arranged within 7 days of the deadline, may be claimed by the opposition.
- Failure to play a match by the stated date will result in the disqualification of both sides.
- The winner(s) in each round must notify the organiser by email before the closing date for each round. A confirmation email that the result has been received will be sent within 48 hours with details of your next opponent(s) if they are available.
- We do not operate a policy where the side returning their result first is more likely to receive home advantage.
- If a dispute arises and an agreement cannot be reached between opponents the Tournament Organiser should be contacted urgently and his decision will be final. If players fail to comply with the rules of the championship they will face disqualification.
First and subsequent rounds
- Qualifying rounds will be played between 29th April and 27th October 2019.
- The first round will be played on a ‘home and away’ basis over 36 holes. Therefore golfers are guaranteed at least one round away from their home course.
- The draw will state who has home advantage in the first leg of the first round.
- If sudden-death is required in the first round this will take place at the venue of the second leg immediately after the completion of the 36th hole.
- A random draw will be made for home advantage in subsequent rounds which are to be played over 18 holes.
- After the draw has been made for home advantage the venue of the match cannot be changed unless both sides mutually agree to do so.
- Players will be notified of the draw and their opponents in each round by e-mail, the draw and results will also be published on the official championship website.
- You must win a maximum of five matches to reach the quarter finals.
- The Semi-finals will be played at neutral venues over 18 holes.
- Players will be invited as guests of Southern Matchplay and will not be required to pay a green fee.
- The draw for the semi-final will be made prior to the event with players advised by email.
- Should the match be All Square after 18 holes additional holes starting at the 1st should be played until a winner is determined.
- Players and pairs winning their semi-final will be invited to the expenses Grand Final at the Dona Filipa Hotel and San Lorenzo golf course.
- The grand final will be held at the San Lorenzo Golf Club in the Algarve region of Portugal, Finalists will be hosted on a Bed and Breakfast basis for 3 nights at the 5* Dona Filipa Hotel. Greens fees including a practise round are provided at no costs to the finalists.
- The Grand Finals will be played over 3 days offering 54 holes of championship golf. Each player/pair will compete against each other in a ’round robin’ matchplay format. 2 points will be awarded for a win and 1 point for a halved match. Winning margin will be used to determine any ties after the 3 games if necessary.
- The Tournament organiser reserves the right to change the grand final format (Point 2 )should there be cause to do so.
- Finalists are responsible for all other personal expenses, i.e. UK airport travel, drinks and additional food.
- In the event that play is not possible on the day(s) of the Grand Final the Tournament Organiser has the right to settle the competition in any way deemed fit.
- The Tournament Organiser reserves the right to change the grand final venue or date at any time without prior notice.
- Players qualifying for the Grand Finals will be provided with a return flight to Faro but will be responsible for paying the tax element of the flights and for any costs for golf club carriage (approx £75.00).
- Complimentary transportation to and from the Airport to Dona Filipa Hotel will be provided. Players are responsible for making their own travel plans to the UK departure airport
- The grand Finals package is offered on a twin room basis, supplements at each player’s expense can be paid to offer a single room.
- Distance Measuring Devices (DMD’s) are allowed for competitors use. However, please note devices that also measure slope/gradient, temperature, wind-speed etc are not permitted regardless of whether such an additional function is used. Please see the Rules of Golf 14-3 for further information on this subject.
- Caddies are permitted unless they are a qualified PGA or LPGA professional.
- Buggies can be used provided advance permission has been granted by the host golf club.
We collect your details three ways:
- Visitors choose to add their e-mail address to our list via one of the clearly identifiable areas of the site (i.e. by entering the championship).
- Email correspondence with the championship.
- By entering the championship you give permission for your name and contact details to be made available to other competitors run by Square Peg Events.
- Square Peg Events will not share or sell any electronic data you provide.
Win a maximum of 5 matches to reach the Regional Semi Final
Semi Final Winners Invited to the expenses paid 4 day Grand Finals in the Algarve
36 hole 'Home & Away' first round
Limited to the first 128 players/pairs to apply per region (South East – South West)
Approx. 4 weeks to complete each round, played June to October
Open to male & female golfers aged 16+ with an active CONGU handicap
£30 entry for the Singles competition & £60 for the pairs competition.