Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of tournaments does the MGA run?
- What are the requirements to play in an MGA tournament?
- How do I sign up for an MGA tournament?
- What is the entry fee for each tournament?
- Why do the Amateur and Players' tournaments have a "Qualifying" and "Exempt" fee?
- What is the entry deadline for MGA tournaments?
- When can I sign-up for an MGA tournament?
- Can I sign-up for a tournament after the entry deadline?
- How many entries are accepted for each tournament?
- How will I be notified if my application has been accepted?
- Can I get a refund if I need to cancel from playing in a tournament?
- Are practice rounds available for tournaments?
- Does the MGA have a dress code for tournaments?
- Are carts and/or caddies permitted at MGA tournaments?
- Once I am entered into a tournament, how will I receive information such as starting times and directions?
- What is the MGA's position on non-conforming equipment?
- If I have a Rules of Golf question, what should I do?
- Does the MGA offer Rules of Golf education classes?
- What will happen if I throw or break a club out of anger?
- Does the MGA have a Jr. Program?
- Where can I get USGA applications?
- What is the policy concerning NSF checks?
- What is the difference between the Amateur Championship and the different Players' Championships?
The MGA conducts 16 major amateur Championships including tournaments for men, women, juniors, and seniors.
Every tournament has different requirements. You should check the application for specific requirements. However, except for junior tournaments, a player must be an MGA Associate Member in good standing from a current MGA Member Club. An "MGA Associate Member" is defined as a person who has a handicap index issued by the MGA through an approved Member Club.
You are able to enter all MGA tournaments online, and that is the recommended method. Applications for all open MGA tournaments also may be downloaded from the MGA's website (www.mngolf.org) and submitted in person or by US Mail.
The entry fee for each championship is based on many factors and thus varies from event to event. Specific entry fee information may be found on the home page or application for each championship.
All non-exempt players attempting to qualify pay a qualifying fee and those that successfully qualify will pay an additional Championship fee. Exempt players will pay a fee equal to the qualifying fee plus the Championship fee.
Every tournament has different deadline requirements. The deadline for an event is generally two weeks prior to the first day of competition. If the event has a qualifying process, the date is two weeks prior to the first qualifier.
To check on the deadline for a specific championship, please visit the home page for that event. You can link to it through the Championships home page.
The number of entries accepted for each tournament varies. Please visit the home page or application of a specific championship for the total number of entries to be accepted.
If you enter online, you will receive an e-mail confirming your entry.
If you file a paper application, you will receive an e-mail (if the MGA has your e-mail address on file) or a postcard through the mail once your entry has been processed and accepted.
If there is any problem regarding your application that keeps it from being accepted, you will receive an e-mail (if the MGA has your e-mail address on file) or a postcard through the mail.
Entry fees will be refunded regardless of the reason, less a $25 per player administrative fee, for any withdrawal up to the day before the event. A withdrawal after such time, or no show, will not be eligible for any refund except under exceptional circumstances. The participant must submit a written request within 30 days to obtain a refund.
The MGA is very fortunate to have so many facilities make available their courses at no charge to the MGA in order to conduct the tournament program, and it greatly appreciates this relationship. However, this makes it impossible to offer a free practice round for every player in every tournament.
The MGA encourages the host club to make some times available for practice rounds at a reduced rate for players to play at their own expense. This might mean accommodating up to 240 players. Unfortunately, not every facility can do this. Thus, if you wish to play a practice round, you should contact the host club directly for their policy.
For all MGA tournaments, players and caddies must be neat in appearance with respect to person grooming and clothing. All entrants are required to wear either golf slacks, shorts, or golf skirts that are of the appropriate length, and shirts with collars and sleeves (sleeveless tops are permitted for women). Examples of attire NOT ACCEPTABLE include the following: Short shorts, athletic shorts, tennis shorts, cut- offs, jeans, jean shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, sweats. The Committee in charge shall decide whether this requirement has been met and will withdraw the entry of any player who does not comply.
The MGA feels walking is an important part of the game, and thus, strongly encourages players to use a golf cart (if permitted) only when circumstances would warrant such use. Players always are welcome to walk and carry their own clubs at any time.
Generally speaking, the use of golf carts is permitted in all senior events as well as other selected events. Golf carts are not permitted in any junior events.
Caddies are permitted in all MGA championships, state-level qualifying events and USGA qualifying events. However, parents or guardians are not permitted to caddie for players in junior events, including US Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers. Some host clubs have a caddie program and may be able to provide caddies with knowledge of the course. Caddies are at the expense of the player. A player should contact the host club if interested in using a club caddie.
Pull carts, including motorized pull carts, are permitted unless the host club has a policy prohibiting their use. Players should check with the host club to see if such prohibition exists.
Each championship has a "landing" page (webpage) on which all information regarding the event will be posted, including a link to view information regarding the host facility. Generally, starting times are posted approximately one week prior to the competition.
Players with e-mail addresses on file with the MGA will receive an e-mail notifying them that the information has been posted. Players who do not have email addresses on file should make a point to check the championship landing page periodically to keep abreast of important information. The player is responsible for knowing the information.
The MGA conducts all of its competitions pursuant to the Rules of Golf. Accordingly, the MGA endorses the USGA position that a “single set of rules, including those for equipment, best serves all constituencies of the game, including both competitive and recreational players.”
For all MGA competitions, use of a non-conforming golf club or ball is a violation of the Rules of Golf and will result in a penalty of disqualification. Likewise, any rounds played with non-conforming equipment are not acceptable for handicap posting.
The Condition of Competition affecting the grooves on clubs greater than 25* applies to all USGA championship and qualifying competitions effective 2014. The MGA has not adopted this condition. (NOTE: It is not a RULE that is in effect automatically. The Committee in charge of the competition must adopt the Local Rule for it to be in effect.)
Distance measuring devices that measure distance-only are permitted in all MGA competitions as well as USGA amateur-only competitions.
For the List of Conforming Driver Heads, click here.
For the Informational Club Database (to check to see if grooves conform), click here.
For the List of Conforming Golf Balls, click here.
Additionally, the USGA web site contains more information discussing the issue of non-conforming golf clubs. Visit
http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-on-Clubs-and-Balls/Equipment-Rules/ for more information.
Contact the MGA Tournament Department and someone will be happy to answer your rules questions.
You also should consider reviewing the rules videos found on the MGA Rules Page. Likewise, MGA Tournament Director Doug Hoffmann answers rules questions in Teemail, the electronic newsletter from Teemaster.com. Click here to review the questions he has answered.
Lastly, the Rules of Golf and the Decisions on the Rules of Golf can be found at the Rules Section of the USGA web site.
Yes. For a schedule of dates and times please refer to the Rules area.
In light of recent rulings from the world of professional golf, the MGA strongly encourages anyone who plays tournament golf to attend a Rules workshop in order to be as knowledgeable as possible in the Rules.
The MGA believes strongly in the original tenets of the etiquette of the game — that players are to act in an appropriate manner while playing, regardless whether it is a tournament or casual round. The MGA Conduct Policy was established to clearly restate the expected conduct of the players participating in any MGA event, or as a representative of the MGA, and to deal with any violation thereof.
Any player considering submitting an application for an event should take the time to carefully read it. By signing and submitting an application for an MGA event, the player is confirming his/her knowledge of such code and the agreement to abide by such code, and its resultant penalties should it be enforced.
Golf has grown to record proportions in Minnesota. In order to preserve this trend, today and in the future, the Minnesota Golf Association actively promotes junior golf throughout the state. The MGA developed a junior program in 1961 and since that time, the program has grown dramatically. Nearly 700 juniors compete annually in the MGA Junior Program.
MGA member clubs have been very supportive in this venture. Approximately 150 golf courses around the state participate regularly in the junior program. Many allow juniors within their neighborhoods or city to compete without any membership requirements. Each of the courses participating in the MGA junior program has a team representing it in district play. Courses can have one team in both the Girls' and Open Divisions.
The State of Minnesota is divided up into 10 Districts for the Junior Team Purposes. A district is composed of ten to 16 courses. A different course hosts a district event each week. District play lasts for four weeks. Teams can vary in size each week. The team totals are taken from the three lowest scores out of four shot in the Open Division and the two lowest scores out of four shot in the Girls' Division.
Once that is completed, the top two finishing girls and boys teams plus top one individual not on an advancing team, advance to the MGA Junior Team Championship tournament. The Junior Team Championship is a two-day, 36-hole event. The field is composed of 180 participants, 90 boys and 90 girls. The Championship is held at some of the better courses in the state.
The USGA requires players to enter its events online. Links to each championship may be found by clicking here.
Entries with insufficient funds will be considered incomplete and unacceptable and will be withdrawn. The entrant is responsible for any bank fees incurred by the MGA for insufficient funds checks and must pay such fees before entry in further MGA events is allowed.
The MGA Amateur Championship is a 54-hole, stroke play championship with a starting field of 156 players.
The MGA Players' Championship is a 64 player, match play championship.
The MGA Mid-Players' Championship is a 32 player, match play championship open to players at least 30 years of age.
The MGA Senior Players' Championship is a 32 player, match play championship open to players at least 55 years of age.