Rules

For this tournament, all USGA rules will be in effect, except as they are modified under local rules set forth and enforced by the tournament committee. Local rules modifications are intended to help hickory enthusiasts experience the game as closely as possible to the way it was played in the heyday of hickory golf.

Tournament Format

The winners will be determined by 36 Holes Stroke Play. Contestants must enter one (and only one) of the following divisions:

Championship
Senior (60-69)
Super Senior (70+)
Ladies

Please note: in each division there is an Open and Reserve Division. Only those playing in the Championship Divison will be eligible to win the USHO.

Each division must have a minimum of four contestants. If four contestants cannot be achieved, the tournament committee will allocate applicants into an appropriate division prior to the first day of play.

Tees

The overall champion of the U. S. Hickory Open 2014 must play from the white tees regardless of age. A player older than 59 may enter the Open Division if he / she wishes to compete for the overall championship, and must play from the white tees.

  • Championship Flight:

    Gross and Net Divisions (age 59 and under) will play from the Blue Tees.

  • Senior Flight:

    Gross and Net Divisions (ages 60 to 69) will play from the White Tees.

  • Super Senior Flight:

    Gross and Net Divisions (age 70 and over) will play from the Gold Tees.

  • Ladies' Flight:

    Gross and Net Divisions (all ages) will play from the Gold Tees.

Rules of Play

The following rules are expected to be used for the 2014 tournament, although slight changes may be made, so be sure to check back before the tournament begins.

Golf Club Equipment Standards

USGA rules are amended to allow for no club limit. Deep groove face, concave face, and other club head designs from the period prior to 1935 are approved for use during play. Only wooden shafted clubs are to be used during play; wooden shafts with steel cores or inserts are not to be used.

Hickory shafted putters are to have head styles as produced prior to 1935. No Otey Crisman putters are allowed. So called "long" or "belly" putters are allowed. Replica hickory shafted clubs approved by the Society of Hickory Golfers are permissable. Other hickory replicas must be approved by the Tournament Equipment Committee.

It's the unique nature of the equipment that makes hickory golfing so much fun. However, a tournament of this kind lends itself to having participants ask many questions regarding the appropriateness of given clubs. Thankfully, a sub-committee of the Society of Hickory Golfers has sweated through many of the details:

Click here to download your copy of the equipment standards pamphlet.

The penalty for non-conforming clubs is disqualification.

Golf Balls

The Tad Moore mesh ball and the McIntyre-White Victor, Authentic Ace and Bullet balls are permitted for use in The U.S. Hickory Open. Also permitted are balls currently approved by the USGA, and found to conform with the Rules of Golf. Penalty: Disqualification

Pace Of Play

Players will be subject to penalty without warning if they unduly delay play, or lose substantially more than their starting interval. (Rule 6-7)

Suspension Of Play

Will be signaled by one long blast of the air-horn. Play MUST be discontinued immediately, and all players should seek shelter. Balls in play must be marked with a tee upon discontinuing play. Play will not resume until the Tournament Rules Committee has so ordered by signaling with three short lasts of the air-horn. Penalty for breach of rule: Disqualification

Scoreboard

Upon completion of the round, please return scorecards to the Tournament Scoring Committee at the scoreboard.

Ties

  • A tie for first place in the Open division will be decided by a sudden death play-off, starting on hole number one immediately following completion of the final round. All other ties will be decided by matching scorecards.

  • Those tying for gross prizes will match score cards for the last nine holes. Lowest back nine total determines the winner of the score card playoff. If the tying players have the same score for the last nine, determine the winner on the basis of the last six holes, last three holes, and finally the 18th hole. If this method is used in a competition with multiple tee start (shotgun start), the "last nine, last six, etc." is considered to be holes 10--18, 13--18, etc. Handicap will not be used in these calculations.

  • Those tying for net prizes will also match score cards as above, but handicaps will be considered in such calculations. The percentage of eighteen holes used for matching cards shall be applied to the players' handicaps to determine their playoff handicaps. Handicap stroke fractions of one-half or more shall count as a full stroke, and any lesser fractions shall be disregarded.

Example 1 (Click To See Example)

Two players tie with net scores of 78.

Player A shoots 46 + 47 = 93 - 15 handicap = 78

Player B shoots 48 + 47 = 95 - 17 handicap = 78

They are tied for low net in their division.

Back nine scores are compared.

Both shot 47 on the last nine holes.

Player A's scorecard playoff handicap is one-half of 15 = 7.5 rounded up to 8.

Player B's scorecard playoff handicap is one-half of 17 = 8.5 rounded up to 9.

Player B wins the scorecard playoff.

Example 2 (Click To See Example)

Player A shoots 47 + 46 = 93 - 15 handicap = 78

Player B shoots 48 + 47 = 95 - 17 handicap = 78

They are tied for low net in their division.

Back nine scores are compared.

Player A's scorecard playoff handicap is one-half of 15 = 7.5 rounded up to 8.

Player A shot 46 on the back nine minus his scorecard playoff handicap of 8 = 38.

Player B's scorecard playoff handicap is one-half of 17 = 8.5 rounded up to 9.

Player B shot 47 on the back nine minus his scorecard playoff handicap of 9 = 38.

The players are still tied.

Player A shot 30 for the last six holes.

Player A's scorecard playoff handicap is one-third of 15 = 5.

Player B also shot 30 on the back nine.

Player B's scorecard playoff handicap is one-third of 17 = 5.67 which is rounded up to 6.

Player A's net score for the last six holes is 30 - 5 = 25.

Player B's net score for the last six holes is 30 - 6 = 24.

Player B wins the playoff.

Rules Decisions:

Only members of the Tournament Rules Committee are authorized to make a rules decision. If in doubt as to how to proceed and a member of the Tournament Rules Committee is not present, play a second ball under Rule 3-3, and ask for a ruling when your round is completed.

Local Rules

USGA Rules of Golf and Etiquette shall apply.

Local Rules for the 2014 USHO are being determined and will be added here in early April.