Live Competition Policy

Thank you for your interest in our competitive opportunities here at SwingThought.

Golfers are responsible for being familiar with our policies and agree to the policies below upon registration.

We use text messaging service and email to communicate with players during each event, so be sure to save our contact and opt-in to allow text messages from 833-419-0636.

If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to info@swingthought.com or call 800-992-8748

Quick Links

Competition Registration and Withdrawal

To withdraw from a Competition, a player MUST contact SwingThought Offices at 800-992-8748 or via email at info@swingthought.com during normal office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, EST). Any refunds will be remitted from the SwingThought Offices within 10 business days of the conclusion of play of the event(s) withdrawn.

  • If a player withdraws from a Competition (injury, sickness, etc.) he/she will not be allowed to use the practice facilities during event week.
  • If a player walks off the golf course and does not notify any member of the Competition Committee, the player will be fined and suspended from a future competition.
  • Withdrawals 10 or less days prior to the event are subject to a 8% fee. This withdrawal fee increases to 12% three days before, and 15% two days before the first competitive round after 5 p.m.
  • No call/no show participants forfeit 100% of their entry fee.
  • No refunds will be issued once a player has started the first competitive round.
  • Players may choose to apply entry fee as credit toward future registration up until the end of each calendar year.

Medical Withdrawal
Players who withdraw before the start of the first round due to sickness or injury with a valid medical doctor’s note on letter head will only subject to an 8% withdrawal fee.

  • The doctor’s note must state that you are physically unable to compete in any golf competition and must be emailed to SwingThought within 24 hours to be eligible for a refund.
  • Medical Withdrawal beneficiaries that participate in any other golf event during granted benefits forfeit 100% of their entry fee.

Korn Ferry, Symetra, PGA, LPGA, Challenge or European Tour Withdrawal
Players receiving exemptions and/or securing a spot via qualifiers will be granted a FULL refund within SwingThought withdrawal guidelines.

  • Eligible beneficiaries are responsible for notifying SwingThought BEFORE scheduled tee time to request a withdraw.
  • Refunds issued for the above mentioned beneficiaries will be remitted no later than two business days after the start of the event for which the player has been granted entry via exemption or qualifying.

Field Size

Availability in each field is open to golfers on a first come, first served basis. Official registration is only valid upon full payment of entry as detailed in previous section, or through the Pre-Registration feature. A confirmation of registration or pre-registration will be e-mailed to the address on file.

  • Actual number of player spots available may be determined on a course by course basis – typically factored by limitations of daylight and host course opportunities
  • Following the first entry deadline (10 days prior to Round 1), field size may decrease based on Host Course restrictions.
  • The Tournament Committee and the Host Course have the authority to adjust maximum field size.

Entry Deadlines and Fees

Timely registration is an important factor to ensure the quality of Competition for players, courses, and partners. Course hosting, Pro-Ams, host housing, and more are all benefits of playing SwingThought and these benefits are maximized when players register ahead of time or use the Pre-Registration feature. Late fees go into affect 9 days before each event to protect its integrity and success.

Late Fee Breakdown
Starting at nine days prior to each event, all registrations are subject to late fees of $150

Payment Details
All entries are payable by credit card or Paypal and are subject to an additional administrative fee of 4%. No exceptions.

Competition Policies | Starting Times and Equitable Stroke

Practice Guidelines
Specific details about the practice round availability and rates for each event will be noted in the “PRACTICE ROUND” portion on individual pages. Players are responsible for checking the schedule of events and planning accordingly.

  • Practice rounds will need to be scheduled by the players with the host venue.
  • Host sites may choose to rent to players golf carts for practice rounds of event week.
  • Players are responsible for all practice rounds fees (including practice golf cart rental) and will pay directly to the to the host course.
  • Failure to pay appropriate fees is considered “Conduct Unbecoming a Professional” and be a fineable offense.

In the case of inclement weather the local facility staff and Competition Committee has the authority to close or limit play in order to preserve and maintain the play ability and condition of the golf course. Please avoid delaying other players from completing their practice round. Groups must be limited to foursomes, and any violators will be subject to discipline under SwingThought policy.

During a Practice Round
Only one stroke, including a stroke from a bunker, may be aimed for the putting green, except as follows:

  • If such a stroke does not stop on a putting green, one additional stroke may be played.
  • More than one chip shot outside a bunker may be played provided such practice does not damage the course.

No more than three bunker strokes may be played in directions other than toward a putting green provided the bunker is not damaged unduly.

  • More than one stroke may be played on a putting green.

Player must not delay any following players in any case. Specifically, any time when a member of a group behind the player is waiting to play a stroke, no practice strokes shall be permitted.

Range Hours
Range Hours vary at each host course, and may remain open as daylight permits. The range facility is available to ST Players and host course guests. Players must cooperate with the closing hours of the range so the balls may be picked up, cleaned and ready for the next day.

Due to the restricted nature of some facilities, the length and width of the range may dictate the use of irons only or a small number of hitting stations. Mats may have to be used. We appreciate your cooperation when these requests are in effect. A fine may be applicable if a player does not comply with facility or SwingThought staff concerning the range usage or closing of the range.

Pairing Procedures and Starting Times
Round one starting times and pairings are random and based on a predetermined computer format. All subsequent rounds, ST Players are re-paired and based on scores. The actual groupings are established by computer software. Pairings and Starting times will be available on the day prior to the first round. Subsequent rounds will be available approximately one hour after completion of round 1. No requests will be taken for tee times. Players are asked to please respect this procedure.

Starting times will be emailed to competitors and posted on the website SwingThought.com on the designated Event Page. Please be sure to authorize emails and/or check your spam folders for email.

Late to the Tee

Rule 5.3a Provides: “The player must start at (and not before) his/her starting time”. SwingThought incorporates the Note under 5.3 Exception 1 that allows the player to be up to 5 minutes late with the general penalty (2 stroke penalty) applied to the player’s first hole. Breach of Rule 5.3a: After 5 minutes, he or she shall be disqualified.

A player must be present on the teeing ground with a club and ball and ready to play when the 1st player of the group is instructed to play. The order of play is not relevant.

Competition Policies | Equipment and Attire

Restrictions on Equipment
To help ensure that ST Players competing use equipment which conforms to the USGA Rules of Golf, players are encouraged to:

  1. Confirm with equipment manufacturers that new equipment or samples adhere to USGA Rules of Golf
  2. Confirm that driving clubs are on the USGA’s Conforming Driver list
  3.  Verify that the ball chosen to be played is on the USGA’s Conforming Golf Balls list
  4. Confirm that clubs conform to the current Condition of competition for Groove Specifications in elite competitions.

If a player fails to submit his/her equipment prior to competition, he assumes all risk of a ruling should the equipment NOT conform to the USGA Rules of Golf. Additionally, if required by a SwingThought official, a player is obligated to surrender any equipment if it is determined that additional off-site testing is necessary to rule on conformity. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.

Electronic Measuring Devices | Distance and Directional Information

  • Electronic devices measuring distances are allowed for all play as stipulated by USGA Rules of Golf Rule 4.3a(1). SLOPE FEATURE MUST NOT BE USED.

Green-reading Material

  • Green Reading Material is allowed for all play as stipulated by USGA Rules of Golf Rule 4.3a/1. 

Mobile/Cellular Devices (No Music Allowed During Competition Rounds)
Use of a cell phone during a stipulated round is prohibited, with the following EXCEPTIONS:

      • Getting Information on distance or compass as stipulated by USGA Rules of Golf Rule 4.3(1)
      • Getting any type of weather information that is available from weather forecasts, or measuring temperature and humidity at the course as stipulated by USGA Rules of Golf Rule 4.3(2)
      • Information gathered before or during round as stipulated by USGA Rules of Golf Rule 4.3(3)
      • For SwingThought Scoring Updates during the stipulated event
      • To call listed Tournament Committee members (as noted on the Local Rules Addendum) for rulings
      • Use of ST App for scoring purposes during round, when available

If, during a stipulated round, a player uses any Electronic Measuring Device, Green-Reading Material, and/or Mobile/Cellular device in any way non-conforming as listed above; First offense is 2 strokes.  Subsequent offense is DQ.

Player Attire
Golf Shorts are permitted in all practice facilities, practice rounds, and competition. SwingThought helps prepare professional golfers to act as ambassadors to potential sponsors. Representing oneself as a professional does not begin once a sponsor agrees to a contract with a player. Proper attire and behavior by players at the hosting venue will only contribute to this image. Players shall present a neat appearance in both clothing and personal grooming. Jeans, flip-flops, sandals or sneakers and T-shirts are not allowed unless committee authorized. SwingThought and the Competition Committee shall interpret this regulation.

Some courses may dictate player attire, also. This will be noted in the event details, if applicable. Pants or slacks are only mandatory as follows:

SwingThought requires competing professionals to wear pants or slacks during:

  • SwingThought/sponsor sanctioned Social Functions (ie. Dinners, pairings parties, clinics, exhibitions, or demos)
  • SwingThought/sponsor Pro-Ams, if requested.

INAPPROPRIATE ATTIRE IS A FINEABLE OFFENSE

Competition Policies | Carts and Caddies

Riding Tournaments | Player Cart
Carts for ST live competitions are limited to two (2) carts per pairing. For ST Competitions that are deemed riding, it is mandatory for players to utilize a golf cart, unless  extenuating circumstances dictates otherwise (COVID).

If a player(s) chooses to walk when carts are available during extenuating circumstances,  player(s) are accountable for the pace of play guidelines established by the committee.

Groups with two or more caddies must resolve the two carts per pairing policy among themselves.  Cart usage is restricted to Player and Caddie only.  Players are responsible for their cart and any damages caused.

Caddies should always be prepared to walk. Should there be more than two caddies per pairing and players are unable to come to a consensus of cart usage, all caddies will be restricted to walking.

Caddies
Caddies should always be prepared to walk.

Rule 10.3c – ST Players are responsible for the conduct of his/her caddy and will be responsible for any penalties (and/or fines) associated with “Conduct Unbecoming” or any violations of the USGA Rules of Golf made by caddy.

CADDY BIBS, supplied by SwingThought, are required for all caddies (male/female) (must enforce bibs for identification purposes). Only Caddies wearing a SwingThought Caddy Bib may act in the capacity of the player’s caddie.

Code of conduct for a caddy is the same as the player conduct. The professional is responsible for their caddy’s conduct and appearance. Bermuda length shorts and other appropriate golf attire are permitted for caddies even during final competition rounds. Shoes are mandatory, but no spikes.

INAPPROPRIATE ATTIRE IS A FINEABLE OFFENSE, WITH FINE BEING PLAYER’S RESPONSIBILITY.

Spectators | Spectator Carts
The host course decides if spectators are allowed for competitions. If spectators are allowed, the host course may also decide to rent  cart(s), based on availability, first come/first served and fees may be charged.  Spectator carts should remain on cart paths. In the absence of cart paths, carts must be kept completely out of play of the hole and any surrounding/adjoining holes. 

Spectators who are walking should walk on or near the cart path.  In the absence of cart paths, spectators should remain outside of the defined fairway, in the rough line.

Spectators are to only observe competition.  Offering of advice or any other prohibited information could be considered a breach by the USGA Rules of Golf is subject to penalty under the USGA Rules of Golf. Spectators are reminded that players are competing while on course and in practice areas.

Competition Policies | Scores and Scoring

Scoring
As players make the turn after 9 holes, they may be asked to provide their scorecards to be recorded for scoring use. Scores may also be requested on select holes throughout the round for Live Scoring purposes. Players must provide their current hole by hole scores upon request.

Immediately after completion of a competitive round, all players are to bring their scorecards directly to the designated scoring area, verify their scores, sign scorecards, and return them to the scoring volunteers

Once a player has turned in their scorecard and left any boundary of the designated scoring area (unless approved by a Scoring Official), the scorecard is considered official.

The scoring area is limited to players and their caddies making the turn or completing a round. Other players are not allowed to gather in the scoring area while play is in progress.

Eighty-Six (86) Rule
Any player with a Choice Entry of FIRE or ELITE posting a score of 86 or higher in the first round of competition may be withdrawn from the competition without refund.

Playoffs and Ties
The only ties which will be broken by a playoff are those to decide first place or an exemption winner. A sudden death playoff will immediately follow play on a hole or holes chosen by the Competition Committee. All other ties will remain as ties and the prize for those positions will be divided equally.

Competition Policies | Pace of Play

Pace of Play
The following Pace of Play Policy, penalties and fines have been adopted by SwingThought.  In administration of these pace of play guidelines, Competition Committee members shall not tolerate abuse, oral or otherwise, by a player.  Such abuse may constitute conduct unbecoming a golf professional.

1. Definition of “Out of Position”
The first group to start will be considered out of position if, at any time during the round, the group exceeds the time allotted per hole, as detailed on each host course local rules addendum. Subsequent groups will be considered “out of position” by the Rules Committee, if, at any time during the round, they (a) exceed the allotted time to play and/or (b) reach any place where there is an open par-3 or par-4 hole, and one player has not played a stroke from the teeing ground before the hole is open and free to play; or reach a par-5 hole and all players have not played a stroke from the teeing ground before the hole is open and free to play.

2. Monitoring Groups | TIMING
The responsibility of each player to be aware of their group’s position on the golf course.

When a group is determined to be out of position,  a warning may be given to the group out of position.  Tournament Committee/Rules Officials ARE NOT required to warn groups prior to being timed.

A group will be subject to being timed until back in position with the group ahead or back on TIME PAR. Groups failing to get back into position or subsequently falling back out of position, after regaining position, will be timed.

The timing of a player’s stroke will begin when it is their turn to play, and they can clearly play without interference or distraction. Any time spent determining yardage will count as time taken for the next stroke.

On the putting green, timing will begin after a player has been allowed a reasonable amount of time to mark, lift, clean and replace his/her ball, repair his/her ball mark and other ball marks on his/her line of putt and remove loose impediments on his/her line of putt and clearly play without interference or distraction.

NOTE: A player is permitted 40 seconds to play a stroke, and an extra 10 seconds are allowed as follows:

  • The first player to play a stroke on a par-3 hole
  • The first player to play a stroke on a par-4 or par-5 hole
  • The first player to play a third stroke on a par-5 hole
  • The first player to play around the putting green
  • The first player to play on the putting green

3. Fines and Penalties
Any player and/or group out of position and being timed are subject to penalties and fines, which may be issued in accordance with the schedule below.

  1. Notice of Timing
  2. First Bad Time following notice of timing: WARNING
  3. Second Offense: One more timing (a total of 2 bad times) exceeding the allotted time to play a stroke – one stroke penalty and $50 fine.
  4. Third Offense: One more timing (a total of 3 bad times) exceeding the allotted time to play a stroke – general penalty (2 stroke penalty) and $100 fine
  5. Subsequent Offense: One more timing (a total of 4 bad times) exceeding the allotted time to play a stroke – Disqualification

All fines are payable to: SwingThought, charged to player, using credit card on file.  Fine will be used at ST’s discretion.

Competition Policies | Suspensions and Reductions

Suspension and Delays
If the first starting times are delayed, players will have a minimum of 30 minutes to warm up prior to the start of play. If play is suspended during a stipulated round, and the length of a delay warrants, players will be given a minimum of 15 minutes after a delay or suspension to warm-up, followed by a reasonable amount of time to resume their position on the golf course. In some situations, preparation time may be reduced or negated by the host course and SwingThought Competition Committee.

Stopping Play; Resuming Play
When play is suspended by Committee; Signals for Suspending and Resuming Play

  1. Immediate Stop (Imminent Danger) – One (1) prolonged blast from a horn
  2. Normal Stop – Three (3) consecutive blasts from a horn
  3. Resume Play- Two (2) short blasts from a horn

All practice areas shall be closed during suspension of play for dangerous situations until the Committee has declared them open for use. Any competitor who disregards such closing is subject to general penalty.

SwingThought uses a text messaging service to communicate with players during rounds regarding updates of resumption of play. Please be sure to subscribe to these text messages by texting at 833-419-0636

Reduction of Rounds
The goal of SwingThought is to complete the entirety of each event as designated on the event info sheet and schedule. The Competition Committee and players will make their best effort to complete each round and Competition as scheduled. Play will resume when conditions improve, even if the round cannot be completed that day (unless it is the final round of an event). After exhausting all feasible options, the Competition Committee may suspend or cancel a round should unplayable condition(s) occur or other factors warrant.

  • Play may resume the following day, to include completion of the next scheduled round if daylight permits
  • When daylight does not permit, the suspended round may be completed the next available day. Thus, one round might be completed over a two to three day period
  • A minimum of 18 holes must be completed for a 36 hole event to be considered official. If less than 18 holes are completed, entry fees, less a minimum $55 event fee, will be returned to the participants
  • A minimum of 36 holes must be completed for a 54 hole event to be considered official. If less than 36 holes are completed, entry fees, less a minimum $100 event fee, will be returned to the participants.

Event Cancellation & Changes
SwingThought schedules and promotes every event with the intention to host, deliver, and provide every opportunity to every developing golfer to extend and improve on their professional golfing career. With every effort given, every opportunity can be subject to poor weather or course conditions or other factors SwingThought determines warranted. An event may be canceled if:

  • SwingThought determines the scheduled hosting venue has become unfit for competition and an alternate hosting venue can not be substituted
  • SwingThought determines the scheduled hosting venue may be subject to severe weather conditions
  • SwingThought determines the safety of players, staff and community partners is unsuitable such as an outbreak of Covid-19 spread

If an event is canceled those who registered will be extended credit for future use and refunds are available according to SwingThought Competition refund policy.

SwingThought reserves the right to change, amend, modify, suspend, continue or terminate all or any part of an event prior to event start without notice.

SwingThought reserves the right to adjust the cut policy for ST Competitions prior to event start if the course requires an adjustment to accommodate additional play.

Code of Conduct

Conduct Standards
Registering for a competition indicates that each player agrees to abide by the our STANDARDS OF CONDUCT (Rule 1.2) and our ST Player Policies. Violations of this agreement may result in a fine and/or penalty, including disqualification. (Committee Procedures 5-H)

Any player and/or his caddy deemed guilty of “Conduct Unbecoming a Golf Professional” while participating in SwingThought events or activities are subject to fines, penalties, and/or disqualification during competition rounds. Suspension from future live competition play may also be a result of violation(s).

Player subject to automatic disqualification, penalty and/or fines for any of the following serious violations:

  • Alcohol abuse at any SwingThought function
  • Alcohol consumption during play
  • Club throwing/club breaking
  • Excessive Profanity or verbal abuse during play
  • Damage to course and/or property, including littering
  • Gambling
  • Any attire not deemed appropriate by player and/or caddy attire guidelines
  • Violation of golf cart regulations or golf cart etiquette (i.e. parking on slopes of greens/tees or not returning carts before Pro-Am deadline)
  • Inappropriate verbal or digital public damaging criticism of SwingThought, its partners, sponsors, hosting venues, and other affiliates
  • Attendance at “participant only” functions by uninvited players and/or caddies
  • Other conduct deemed unbecoming a golf professional by the Competition Committee

Players observing breaches of our CODE OF CONDUCT by a fellow competitor must report the action to a competition official. If the official can verify the action through other witnesses, penalties and fines may be imposed without SwingThought Officials physically seeing the action.

Fines and Penalties

The Competition Committee is authorized to impose fines and penalties using the following Penalty Structure as a guideline. Should multiple, concurrent breaches not allow time for Penalty Structure to be followed, the Committee has the right to impose penalties, disqualification, and/or fine. Fines will vary between a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $500.

  • First breach of the Code of Conduct – warning and/or fine
  • Second Breach – one-stroke penalty
  • Third Breach – general penalty
  • Fourth breach or any serious misconduct – disqualification

APPEALS FOR FINES ONLY: A player may only appeal FINES issued as disciplinary action taken by a Tournament Official. Appeals must be made in written form and include defenses of mitigating circumstances with written statements of any supporting witness. Appeals will be reviewed by at least two members of the Competition Committee, and must be received by the Tournament Committee within two (2) days after notice of such disciplinary action is given to the player.

Fines are due prior to the start of the next competition unless a written appeal has been made. Players who earn a prize check will have the fine deducted from any prize earnings of the event in which the fine is given. If your written appeal is denied, the fine must be paid prior to the start of the next event. The player will be ineligible for any SwingThought competition until fine is paid.

NOTE: If any discipline problem or action is deemed extremely offensive or has caused irreparable harm to SwingThought, its staff, host course(s), and/or players, the individual(s) involved can and will be removed from the competition and will be banned from SwingThought indefinitely.

COVID-19

Enhanced Cleanliness Measure @ Live Competitions

Social Distancing

Safety Measures

IMPORTANT: Before you arrive at our live event, we encourage you to perform a self-assessment COVID-19 health screen. If you or any persons in your party are experiencing any flu-like symptoms associated with COVID-19 including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle ache or pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell or if you or anyone in your party have been exposed or in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow the recommendations of public health officials and stay home. For additional information concerning COVID-19 or a self-assessment COVID-19 health screening, please refer to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on their website. We reserve the right to restrict resort access for any persons experiencing or exhibiting any coronavirus or flu-like symptoms and to cancel the event at any time due to the health and safety of guests and employees related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 WARNINGPlease consider that there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases in any place where people are present.  COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and in some cases, death.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EVERYONE IS AT RISK of contracting COVID-19.  Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.  Although we have implemented recommended practices to promote the health and safety for all customers and employees, we cannot ensure 100% or be held liable that our events are free from contagions, whether caused by us or any of our customers, partners or employees.  By voluntarily entering and being present at our live events, you (and each person in your party) acknowledge and agree to accept complete and sole responsibility of the inherent risks associated with potential or actual exposure to infectious disease contagions.

Prize Distribution Policy

All Professional Players will have Prize earnings paid via Direct Deposit within 10 business days of completion of the competition. Players are responsible for providing to SwingThought the appropriate information in order for earnings to be released.

At the end of competition, players will receive a text with access to documents to complete, including an up-to-date IRS Form W9 and a Direct Deposit Form. No earnings are released until all documents are completed.

All Amateur Players will receive a gift certificate for prizes, up to a maximum of the USGA permitted $1,000. This gift certificate will either be a SwingThought gift certificate for credit into a future event or merchandise or a gift certificate to the host course.

Each player is responsible for keeping their contact information updated.

ALL PLAYERS also have the option of applying ST Prize Earnings towards entry fees for future events. With this option, SwingThought will add an additional $50 in credit for Choice Entries at FIRE or ELITE or $25 in credit for Choice Entries at REPS. Entry will still be subject to all applicable fees.

Competitions Committee

The ST Competition Committee has responsibilities before, during and after play to ensure the smooth running of the competition under the Rules. Composition of this Committee will consist of ST Competition Referees, ST Administration, and Host Course. The following are our current competition officials:

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