Policies – Rules
The BPGT Tour was founded in 2018 to provide quality golf events for Amateurs and Professionals in the Bahamas. While most events are operated at the national level, all events will strive to provide a unique golf experience for the amateur participants, in a professional atmosphere in compliance with USGA and R&A regulations, which allows players of all skill levels to compete. The BPGT Tour’s pro-am structured events will provide competitive pro payouts that are at least equal to the professional entry fees, allow for professional and amateur-friendly formats, and be conducted in a professional and exemplary matter.
A. CODE OF CONDUCT
- The BPGT Tour will maintain a strict no-tolerance policy on any behavior unbecoming of a professional. Professionals are expected to always treat all amateurs and fellow professionals with courtesy and respect.
- This is a PRO-AM based tour that relies on the amateur’s participation and enjoyment as well as the professional’s skill and conduct.
- Conduct such as verbal abuse of any players, volunteers, or staff; vulgar language, club throwing, or damage to the golf course or golf course property is considered a violation. Violations also include the use of any alcohol on the course during competition. Illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs, cheating, withdrawing without good cause, improper dress, not maintaining financial responsibility, and any other unprofessional behavior. Violations could result in penalty shots, fines, and/or disqualification from one or all events conducted by the BPGT Tour.
- Any serious violations, as determined by the Executive Director and/or the Executive Committee can result in automatic suspension and fines at any time. The length of any suspension shall be determined by the BPGT Tour Executive Director. If a course(s) has been damaged due to a violation the cost of repairing the damage must be paid in addition to any fines. Any disputes will be decided by the Executive Director in which his decision will be final.
- The BPGT Tour will honor the suspension of any professional by BPGT, USGA, and R&A governing body.
- Players are expected to always adhere to the Rules of Golf and protect the field from those who do not.
B. DRESS CODE
Slacks are required, however, on a site-by-site basis, Bermuda length shorts may be allowed. In the case of extreme heat or humidity, the Tournament Director has the option to allow shorts at his/her discretion. No denim is permitted. All shirts must reflect appropriate attire, preferably collar shirts or mock turtleneck golf shirts, and must be tucked in at all times. Tee-shirts are not permitted. All hats must be worn forward.
C. ELECTRONIC DEVICES
The use of cell phones is prohibited on the golf course except for emergencies or to contact the host golf shop. I-Pods or other like devices will only be permitted on the practice areas before and after tournament rounds. They are not allowed during competition.
A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a competition round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.), all of those features must be turned off. If a player does not turn those features off the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.
D. ENTRY FEE POLICY
Players may enter events on-line through the BPGT Tour website (www BPGT.com). All players wishing to play any event on the BPGT Tour must pay the Tour Membership fee. Alternately, if a player chooses not to become a member of the BPGT he/she may pay the Non-Member tournament entry fee per event. This fee must be paid before they are considered officially entered into any event.
It is a Code of Conduct violation to not maintain financial responsibility including the payment of entry fees.
E. PROFESSIONAL REFUND POLICY
Any professional withdrawing from an event outside 5 days prior to the official start of the event will be refunded his entire entry fee for that event.
Any professional withdrawing from an event from 5 days to 48-hrs. prior to the official start of the event will be subject to a $50 minimum administration fee plus the Tour handling fee.
Any professional withdrawing inside the 48-hr. window prior to the official start of the event will forfeit his entire entry fee.
Refunds will be made after the event is concluded.
A player will be subject to a possible Code of Conduct violation if he withdraws from an event without good cause within 48 hours of the event’s start. A player no-showing for an event is subject to a Code of Conduct violation and may not be refunded any of his entry fees.
F. EXEMPT PROFESSIONAL POLICY
The top-3 players from the previous year’s Bonus Points List will be exempt players. This allows them special exemptions from qualifying at events with qualifiers. Each event’s exempt list will include the top 3 players from the previous year’s Bonus Points List, the top 3 place winners from the previous year, all previous winners from that event., and the top 3 from current points list.
Other sponsor exemptions are extended at the discretion of each tournament.
G. CARTS AND CADDIES
All players are permitted to use golf carts or pull/pushcarts. Two carts per foursome and two people per cart are allowed. Caddies may ride based on availability; players have priority on riding. All carts must be kept on the path around all tees and greens and will abide by the golf course’s cart policy; failure to do so will subject the professional to a possible fine. Walking is allowed as long as the event’s pace of play guidelines are being followed.
H. PROFESSIONAL PAYOUT GUIDELINES
Each event may distribute the professional purse using a fair and equitable payout distribution. The following guidelines will be adhered to by all events when determining the distribution:
- Due to the quantity of professional players in The Bahamas, the 3rd place finish will receive at least 100% of the Professional entry fee will be paid back. Any additional sponsor’s money may be added to the purse and distributed as the tournament director and sponsors see fit.
- Last place money must equal 1% of the professional purse or the professional entry fee, whichever is greater. In the event of a tie for the last place check, the overall total paid to all who tied for that place must at least be equal to one of the above options.
- Only the top three (3) of the professional starting field will be paid. (See item 3 in Tournament Guidelines below)
- The posted professional purse may be reduced due to late tournament withdrawals that are not filled unless the purse is guaranteed.
I. REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFYING FOR THE BONUS POOL
- Players must participate in 80% of the major events (2 and/or 3-day events) during the current season to qualify for the bonus pool.
J. TOURNAMENT GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are to ensure consistency from tournament to tournament and shall be followed by each event:
- USGA/R&A Rules of Golf govern all play except where modified by the Local Rules. An events’ Local Rules should be posted/published before the start of the event.
- The USGA 2017 CONFORMING CLUB rule WILL be enforced. For a list of conforming equipment please check the USGA website database at: www.usga.org/InfoClubsDB/index.asp
- Hole locations sheets are available at the Tournament Directors’ option.
- Multi-day events shall ensure that players have at least one morning and one afternoon starting time during the first two days (unless using a single shotgun). If using multi-tee waves each player shall start at least once on #1 tee and once on #10 tee during the first two days.
- All ties for first place will be decided by sudden death playoff immediately after play.
- A policy for weather delays and round cancellations should be posted/published before the start of the event. Rainout Policy: In the event of a rain suspension, subsequent play – whether on that day or a following day – will be decided by the Tournament Committee. If a complete rainout occurs on the final day of the event, all of that day’s play will be canceled and the payout will be distributed according to the standings prior to the round.
- The golf course will be marked appropriately prior to the start of the event, including water hazards, ground-under-repair, out-of-bounds, ball drops, etc. These areas should be marked with stakes and/or appropriately colored lines and be clearly visible to eliminate any potential rule problems.
- Any purses to be paid should be posted/published with a breakdown of the payment to each place. This can be done after the final field has been determined.
- Pace of Play policy, Rules committee members, and how Rules appeals will be handled should be posted/published.
- Committee of each event will prepare its own pairings for professionals and amateurs. Professionals should be paired with amateurs based on their ability to interact positively with the amateurs, as well as their potential playing ability. Tournament Directors do not have to put a “veteran” or “highly skilled” professional with an amateur team if the Director does not feel that the professional can interact positively with the amateurs and help them to have an enjoyable experience.
- Scoring should be done in a timely manner and be posted in a public place for all participants to view.
- Scoring should be published via the BPGT Golf website during or immediately after each players’ round.
- A final list of all participants must be sent to the Executive Director with the final results.
- The fees to be paid to the BPGT Tour are as follows.
- Major Events (2 and/or 3-day tournaments): $350.00 plus Non-members fees is $450.00 and $300.00 respectively for 2 and/or 3-day tournaments for professionals. Amateurs $200.00 and $250.00 respectively for2 and/or 3-day tournaments.
- One-Day tournaments: $200.00 for each professional with membership and $250.00 for non-members.
- $125.00 for each Amateur with membership, non-member fee is $150.00. All non-member professionals will pay $100.00 more per event, Amateurs will pay $50.00 more per event.
- This fee should be paid within 7 days of the close of each tournament.
- The professional players’ BPGT Tour Membership fee is $200.00 for the season. Amateur membership fee is $125.00.
- Universal sign-up cutoff date for exempt players will be used. That date will be 15 days prior to the 1st day of the event. Exempt players will be guaranteed a spot in the field if they are in good standing with the tour and the tournament, Register and pay by this date. If they register after this date, they lose the exempt privilege for that event.
- On-line registration for 2021 exempt players will begin on March 26th, 2021. On-line registration for all others will open on March 8th, 2021.
The BPGT events point ranking system will be as follows: IE: 24 points to the winner of the Bahamas Professional Championships which will be our major event.
2018-25 Bonus Point Table
K. WORLD GOLF RANKINGS GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are to ensure consistency from tournament to tournament and shall be followed by each event:
- ORIGIN: The unofficial rankings of golfers started in 1968 and ran till 1985. It was started by Mark McCormick, then changed its name to SONY WORLD RANKING. In 1986 the R&A started an algorithm to rank players based on performance and money earned. In 1987 the USGA, PGA and R&A joined forces to have a singular world ranking system, and henceforth became the WORLD RANKING system the official ranking system.
- BAHAMAS ranking system will comply with the world ranking system based on tour played tournaments. It is BGPT’s aim to adapt the world ranking algorithms to our local system. The purpose is to be recognized and accepted into the body of tours such as the PGA, The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Canadian Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia Tour, the Sunshine Tour, the Asian Tour, The European Challenge tour, Korn Ferry Tour, Indian Tour all included in the world tour ranking system. BPGT aims to become part of this list of distinguished tour bodies.
- EXPLANATION OF THE WORLD GOLF RANKING SYSTEM.
The official world ranking system rates the relative tournament performance of professional golfers in respective tours.
The rankings give golfers something to see their performance standings among their competition. It also illustrates their level of effort for improvement to move up the rankings. For Bahamian and world professional golfers earning the No. 1 ranking brings additional benefits in invitations to PGA events across the world. And represents career highlights.
The rankings are based on performance in the BPGT’s official events held and participated by the most significant professional golfers locally and internationally. Local professional golfers must play in a minimum of 5 tournaments a year (Jan-Dec). locally (Bahamas) and make every effort to play in the USA world ranking participation tours to achieve world participation criteria as explained in point system section below.
If a player does not meet the paying criteria his professional status as a BPGT member is revoked for the following year. Players stats, ranking and money earned will be recorded for ranking purposes .and playing privileges as a professional.
The ranking system will be based on performance over a two-year period, in compliance with world ranking criteria. The ranking will illustrate a player’s average points per tournament he/she has competed in.
The system places greater emphasis on performance over a 13-week period of the 104 weeks (52 weeks per year) of the ranking period by deducting points earned each week longer than 13 weeks past. A player who has won a major like Bahamas Professional National Championships is 18 months (78 weeks) ago begins to lose the value of that accomplishment in the current rankings.
- POINT SYSTEM:
Players are awarded points based on the position they finish in the tournament. For example, the 4 major championships on the PGA tour the winner gets 100 points, 2nd place gets 60, 3rd 40 points and scales down to 1.5 points for anyone completing the final round. The Players Championships earns 80 points, the European and PGA regular tournaments earn 24 points and the Australasia and Japanese tour earn 16 points.
In the Bahamas we have a smaller field and respectively a weaker field, so our point system is based on the weakest field on the PGA tour which is the ADT Skills Challenge which gets 12 points. It is also the lowest purse of $800,000.
- GROWTH OF PGA PURSE:
PGA tour purses have grown substantially since 1970.
1970 purse was $5.5 million in prize money for 55 tournaments.
1980 purse was $46.3 million in prize money for 44 tournaments.
1990 purse was $92.5 million in prize money for 48 tournaments.
2000 purse was $164.4 million in prize money for 49 tournaments.
2011 purse was $275.5 million in prize money for 45 tournaments.
2020 purse was $385.3 million in prize money for 45 tournaments.
This illustrates the growth of the game as sponsors will not indulge in this venture if they lose money. Sponsors make money through advertising, tickets sales, merchandising, etc.
- HOW IS BGPT BREAKDOWN OF PURSES
STEP 1: We will determine the total purse based on our sponsors. Each BPGT event will offer its own purse, which will be announced well before the event takes place.
STEP 2: Prize money will be allocated as such in compliance with all other PGA events. Allocation will be 18% of total purse to winner, 2nd place 10.8%, 3rd place 6.8%, 4th place 4.8%, 5th place 4%, 6th place 3.6%, 7th place 3.35%, 8th place 3.1%, 9th place 2.9%, 10th place 2.7%.
STEP 3: Amateurs will be passed over. E.g., an amateur places 3rd the pro that placed 4th will be moved up to 3rd and so forth.
STEP 4: If 2 players are tied such as for 4th position that means prize money for 4th and 5th are added (4.8% + 4 = 8.8% /2 = 4.4%) and divided by 2 and each receives that portion of the prize money.
- FORMAT: Each tournament is a 18-hole stroke play event. There will be separate divisions for Professionals and Amateur levels. USGA/R&A Rules will apply.
- TEES: Each participant will play from the tees designated on their individual scorecard.
- Pros play from the BEAR (back) Tees
- Amateurs play from the ROYAL BLUE (Forward) tees
- THE ONE BALL RULE IS IN EFFECT: Rules 15-1 and 15-2 explain that the player must complete play of the hole with the ball with which he began the hole unless he is proceeding under a Rule 5-3 that permits him to substitute a ball. The player may change balls between the play of two holes as well. The ball must appear on the USGA Conforming Ball List
- All Players must have an identification or mark on their ball. Must be showed to all other players in the group.
- Rule 3-3 Doubt as to procedure: In stroke play only, when during play of a hole a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, he/she may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls. After the doubtful situation has arisen and before taking further action, the competitor must 1) announce to his marker or a fellow-competitor that he intends to play two balls and 2) which ball he wishes to count if the Rules permit. The player MUST report the facts of the situation to the Rules Committee before returning his score card. If he/she fails to do so he/she is disqualified.
- STARTING TIME: The player must start at the time established by the Committee. … if the player arrives at his starting point, ready to play, within five minutes after his starting time, in the absence of circumstances that warrant waiving the penalty of disqualification as provided in Rule 33-7, the penalty for failure to start on time is loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play instead of disqualification.” (Rule 6-3a) 03.
- SCORECARDS must be exchanged with the other cart for tournament scoring purposes. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
- PACE OF PLAY: Players are expected to keep up with the group in front of them and should play in 4 hours and 15 minutes. The BGPT Slow Play policy will be in effect.
- EMBEDDED BALL: “Through the green”, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground may be lifted, without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole.
- IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS: Paved cart paths, irrigation control boxes, rock drainage areas, and restrooms are immovable obstructions. The competitor is entitled to free relief from these areas.
- CELL PHONES: Except for emergencies, cell phone use during a stipulated round is prohibited. First offense- Warning; Second Offense- Disqualification.
- ELECTRONIC MEASURING DEVICES: Electronic Measuring Devices are permitted for this competition. Those devices that measure wind and/or slope are not permitted even with those functions turned off. Penalty for breach is disqualification.
- OUT OF BOUNDS: Defined by a) nearest inside points of fenced lines (no white stakes) ground level b) any and c) the inside edge of all public roads. The player must proceed under Rule 27-1.
Rule 27-1. If a ball is lost as a result of not being found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the original ball, that has not been found, has been moved by an outside agency, is in an obstruction, is in an abnormal ground condition, or is in a water hazard, the player may proceed under the applicable rule.
- SCORING: Each players Scorecards must be signed, attested, and returned to the official scoring area immediately following the completion of the player’s round. Scores are official when the player leaves the designated scoring area.
- SUSPENSION OF PLAY: Signaled by a long air horn blasts. Players in the process of playing a hole may complete the hole. Players in between the play of two holes must stop play immediately.
- SUSPENSION OF PLAY OF DANGEROUS SITUATION: Signaled by a long air horn blast. In addition, all players are informed of the suspension through cart’s GPS. All play must cease immediately. All practice areas are closed during a suspension of play, until the Committee has declared them open again.
- RESUMPTION OF PLAY: Signaled by two short consecutive air horn blasts.
Local rules and Conditions of Competition
TEES: See scorecard for designated tee and hole assignment.
STROKE LIMIT: No stroke limit, Players picking up ball must make corrections before the next shot. If the next shot is hit without correction made, the player is disqualified.
BUNKERS: If a player’s ball comes to rest in a washout or casual water area in the bunker, the player is allowed free relief inside the bunker no closer to the hole. If there is no option to drop the ball, the player is allowed to drop outside of the bunker under penalty of one stroke no closer to the hole.
TIES: In the event of a stroke play tie for first place in each division, there will be a playoff starting at hole #10. Also, if there is a tie for first in the “Team Score” the tie will be broken by a count back of team aggregate score.
RULES COMMITTEE: – Dr. Cornel Collins, Dion Godet, Andy Deiro