TLWGA General Procedures for Weekly Play


TLWGA dues fund USGA handicap fees, VSGA membership, operating costs and awards for points earned during the season. Dues are non-refundable and are not prorated by date of joining.  



All members must keep a USGA Handicap Index at Twin Lakes. The Virginia season for posting is year round. League members are expected to post all their scores in a timely manner to the GHIN system to maintain an up-todate handicap index.  The one exception is that the Vice President posts the Wednesday weekly league scores on behalf of the players. (see page 6.)   GHIN numbers remain the same from year to year. New members must have a current USGA handicap and provide their GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) number, IGN (International Golf Network) number, or handicap history. New members may also obtain a handicap by submitting signed and attested scorecards for five18-hole rounds or may play with the league as provisional members until they establish a handicap.


Members must understand the handicap index and course handicaps. A handicap index is a number, issued by the USGA based on posted scores representing a golfer’s potential scoring ability. The handicap index is used to determine a course handicap, which is the number of strokes needed, on a particular course and a specific set of tees, to adjust a golfer’s score back to the level of scratch. Because we play two courses at Twin Lakes, your course handicap on those two courses may be different.  


Handicap Updates:  The league uses a software system, Golf Genius, to calculate the winners for each week’s games.  Members are responsible for posting their hole-by-hole score each week into Golf Genius on the league computer.  The system will post the member’s ESC score to the GHIN system.  Failure to input the weekly hole-byhole score before leaving the course will result in disqualification for that week’s game.


Handicaps are updated on the first and fifteenth of each month. Current Twin Lakes Course handicaps for each course will be posted on the TLWGA bulletin board. 


Equitable Stroke Control (ESC)l: Although the league software system will post the weekly ESC scores to GHIN, it is important for members to understand how to post ESC scores when playing at other courses and other times other than league play. 


This procedure, established by the USGA, sets a maximum number of strokes that a golfer can post on any hole depending on the player’s COURSE handicap, as follows:


Course Handicap          Maximum Score Allowed

9    or less                       Double Bogey

10  through 19                        7

20 through 29                        8

30 through 39                        9

40 or more                             10


Before posting your score (for play other than league play), subtract any strokes that exceed the maximum score allowable for your handicap. For example, if your course handicap is 26 and you score 9 on the last hole, subtract 1 stroke from your score before entering it in the computer.


Nine-Hole Scores:  Nine-hole scores, even played on different days on different courses, must be posted.


For any handicap or posting questions, please contact the Vice President. 


Tee time sign-up sheets are posted on our website at 8 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month for the upcoming month. If you want to sign up for the first few tee times, you must be able to play your round in 4 HOURS OR LESS. However, regardless of when you play, you should play in no more than 4 ½ hours.


To reserve a tee time, click on the link on the front page of the website and follow the instructions. You may only sign up yourself and one other person, and only if you know that she is going to play. Do not move or delete any other person’s name. To change/cancel your tee time, highlight your name and use the space bar to delete your name. Only TLWGA members may sign you up for a tee time.


Occasionally, the board will set the pairings for a weekly game.  This will be indicated on the specific tab for that date.  The player should indicate which hour she wishes to play.


Tee Time Cancellations/Changes/No Shows: If you sign up for a tee time and change your mind or find out that you can’t play, please make the change as soon as possible using the on-line tee sheet procedure. Please notify your playing partner as a courtesy. If you find out at the last minute that you cannot play, you MUST call the Twin Lakes starter on the morning of play at (703) 631- 9099 Ext. 2 at least 30 minutes prior to your tee time. If you fail to call and have two “no shows”, you will be penalized with late tee times for two weeks.



Twin Lakes Golf Course management and the Twin Lakes Women’s Golf Association expect that a round of golf will be played in 4 1/2 hours or less. If your foursome is more than a hole behind, the play manager (course ranger) may ask everyone in the foursome to pick up and proceed to the next tee. If the play manager asks you to move forward or skip a hole, you must follow that instruction. You will not be disqualified unless you ignore the request. If you are asked to skip a hole, you must record double par as your score for that hole with three putts.


When it is your turn to play, the USGA recommends that you make the stroke in no more the 40 seconds after you are (or should be) able to make the stroke.  You should usually be able to play more quickly than that and are encouraged to do so.


Suggestions for Speeding Up Play:

       Play READY GOLF. If you are riding, you should arrive at the tee before the walkers, and you should go ahead and tee off. In our league, we aren’t concerned with honors at the tee or who is farther from the hole.               

       Once you start putting, you may continue without asking for permission. If you prefer to wait, please mark your ball so that the next player can proceed.

       Keep up with the group ahead. You should always be within one shot of them, never a hole behind.

       Be responsible for knowing the location of your ball and assist other players in watching theirs. Only one other player needs to help look for  a lost ball. Others in the foursome should continue to play.

       Limit practice swings to ONE – or none!

       Hit a provisional when your ball may be lost or out of bounds, unless you know or are virtually certain that it is in a hazard.

       Search for a lost ball for less than 3 minutes and only when necessary when it might really make a difference!

       The first player to hole out should be responsible for the flagstick.

       Park power and pull carts on the side of the green that is on the way to the next tee.

       Record scores after you tee off at the next hole.


Additional Suggestions for Cart Riders:

       After you hit, get in the cart with your club/clubs. You can put the clubs                  in your bag when you stop and get the clubs out for your next shot.

       Take extra clubs with you when you must walk to your ball…a LOT of     extra clubs!

       Walk to your ball while your partner is hitting OR drop off your partner     and go to your ball.

       Either person can drive.



       Play will be every Wednesday beginning the first Wednesday in April and ending the last Wednesday in October.

       Arrive AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PRIOR to your tee time and check in with the starter. If you will be late, call to let the starter know.

       Check in at the gazebo near Hole #1–at least 10 minutes prior to tee time.  

       If you are late, you may be moved to a later tee time. 

       Weekly play will normally consist of 18 holes. The Tournament Director may cancel or shorten play because of weather conditions. You may still play, but the round will not count for points or for Club Championship eligibility.

       Each weekly competition round must be played with at least one other member during the tee times reserved for the association and according to the Rules of Golf and complying with any TLWGA or local rules.

       Members may bring a guest to weekly competitions and play at the end of the field if space is available. For the round to count toward year-end awards and the Club Championship, at least one other TLWGA member must play with you.



EACH player will keep her own hole-by-hole scorecard including putts for herself and at least 1 competitor.  After you have posted your hole-by-hole score, submit one scorecard per group at the end of play.


       If 2 players in a group -- 2 cards will be kept with both names. 1 completed, signed card must be submitted for the weekly competition.


       If 3 players in a group -- 3 cards will be kept with all names. 1 completed, signed card must be submitted for the weekly competition.


       If 4 players in a group – Follow procedures in ‘2 players in a group’.


A completed scorecard must have the hole-by-hole scores, putts, gross score, course handicap, and net score and be attested by all players on the card. Remember, by signing and attesting the scorecard, you are certifying that you have reviewed it completely and understand that any errors or omissions may disqualify you or other players from that day’s competition.


Putts are counted as the number of times the ball is struck on the putting green. If you putt and the ball goes off the green, do not count the stroke to get back on the green as a putt. Do count the stroke that left the green plus all strokes once the ball is back on the green.


After your round, each player is responsible for recording her hole-by-hole round in the club computer software (Golf Genius) prior to leaving the course.  All players must record putts, birdies, eagles, chip-ins and holes-in-one on the designated sheets prior to leaving the course.


The Vice President will audit the scorecards against the weekly posting. Any scores not input correctly will be disqualified from the weekly game. The Vice President is responsible for submitting the ESC scores to GHIN for the weekly games.



       Playing less than 18 holes.

       Not completing your scorecard, including gross and net scores, and putts

       Failing to turn in a scorecard signed by both yourself and your playing                     partner.

       Not posting your hole-by-hole score on the league computer (Golf    Genius software) prior to leaving the course.


Posting Other Scores:  You should post EVERY other round you play at Twin Lakes or ANY other course, including 9-hole scores on the GHIN system. If you play at least 13 holes, you must post it as an 18-hole round. If you play between 7 and 12 holes, you must post a nine-hole score. Scores should be posted as soon as possible, especially if it is at the end of the month. Please note that scores posted by internet may not show up on your records immediately.  



General Rules


GPS Rules:  A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated 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.) regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used, the player is in breach of Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Golf, and will be disqualified.  


Members using a GPS are encouraged to share information with those who do not have a device.


Marking Your Ball:  You should mark your ball with a distinctive mark. If you are not able to absolutely identify your ball, you would incur a penalty. If you NEED to hit a provisional ball, hit a different brand or a ball with a

different mark.  See Rule 6.3 and Rule 7.2 in the Rules of Golf.


Dropping Ball in Relief Area: You must mark the location of your ball before lifting it.  You must drop the ball from knee height and in the right way.  Please refer to Rule 14.3 in Rules of Golf for detailed instructions. 


Finding the Nearest Point of Relief:  This procedure is used to take relief from an immovable obstruction (such as a cart path or irrigation box), an abnormal ground condition (such as ground under repair) without penalty.  It is the point on the course nearest the ball where no interference occurs and is not nearer the hole. Please refer to Rule 16 in the Rules of Golf for specific details to determine the relief area.  


Ball Movement on the Green: When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball marker is accidentally moved by the player, her partner, her opponent, or any of their equipment.  The moved ball or ball marker must be replaced as provided in Rule 13.1d. This Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.


Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water, or some other natural cause, such as the effects of gravity prior to being marked, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location.  A ball marker moved in such circumstances is returned to its original location.

Lost Ball or Out of Bounds - Relief and Use of Provisional Ball:

Whenever you suspect that your ball may be out of bounds (OB) or lost outside a Penalty Area, you may hit a provisional ball to speed up play. You MUST declare to your fellow competitors that you are hitting a provisional ball and should use a different brand ball, or one marked differently from your original ball.

       If you find your original ball (in bounds and not in a Penalty Area), you cannot use the provisional and must play with your original ball. Strokes taken with the provisional ball do not count. 

       If you do not find your original ball, play the provisional, counting all strokes, including 1 stroke penalty (same as stroke & distance relief).

       You CANNOT use your provisional if it is known or virtually certain that your original ball went into a staked penalty area. You must proceed according to the rules of a ball lost in a Penalty Area or for a ball lying in a Penalty Area.  See Rule 18 in the Rules of Golf for complete explanations of the rules related to provisional ball use.


Lost Ball – Option 2:  If you have NOT used a provisional ball but determined that your ball is out of bounds or lost, you may take a 2-stroke penalty and drop the original ball or another ball in the relief area as designated by Rule.14.3 in the Rules of Golf.


Penalty Areas:  These areas are marked by Yellow Stakes (water) or Red Stakes.  Relief is marked with the longest club in your bag that is not your putter.


If your ball is found in a Yellow Penalty Area or it is known or virtually certain that your ball that has not been found is in the Yellow Penalty Area, you may proceed as follows:  

                 Without Penalty: Play the ball as it lies. 

                 With One Stroke Penalty:  


a)     You may take Stroke and Distance Relief by returning to your previous position and hitting again.

b)     You may take Back-on-the-Line of Relief by dropping a ball in a relief area based on a reference line going straight back from the hole as far back as you wish.  Area of relief is 1 club length either side of the reference point selected to hit from. 


If your ball is found in a Red Penalty Area or it is known or virtually certain that your ball that has not been found is in the Red Penalty Area, you may proceed as follows:

                 Without Penalty:  Play the ball as it lies.

                 With one Stroke Penalty:     

                 Use option a) or b) cited above or

c)     Lateral relief may be taken in an area 2 club lengths measured with the longest club in your bag that is not your putter from the point where the ball last crossed the penalty area not nearer the hole


Please refer to Rule 17 in the Rules of Golf  for further clarification and explanation.


League Local Rules:


Winter Rules:  For weekly competitions, winter rules apply.  A ball lying in your fairway may be picked up, cleaned and replaced within 6 inches of its previous location, but no nearer the hole. YOU MUST MARK

THE ORIGINAL LOCATION BEFORE LIFTING, CLEANING AND PLACING YOUR BALL or incur a one stroke penalty (Rule 14). However, you are encouraged to play the ball as it lies whenever possible to give you a more accurate handicap and prepare you for the Club Championship when you may not move or clean your ball anywhere except for cleaning it when on the putting green.


Rocks and Roots:  A ball lying on or near a rock or exposed tree root in the general area may be placed within 6 inches no nearer the hole, without penalty. The placement may not improve the player’s situation (examples: no nearer the hole, no relief from a tree, no moving from rough to fairway). Rocks in bunkers may be removed.  


8-Stroke Rule:  If a player has not reached the green after her 8th stroke, she MUST pick up the ball, approach the green on line of flight, and place her ball on the green one putter head in. She will then putt out in turn beginning with the count of 10. (Stroke 9 was moving the ball to the green.) However, if a player accidentally hits nine strokes before she gets to the green, she must continue to play that hole without the benefit of the 8-stroke rule.




Exception: During the Club Championship, neither the 8-Stroke rule nor winter rules are allowed. Count every stroke. Otherwise, you will be disqualified. 


LAKES COURSE – HOLE #17: This hole has 2 immovable obstructions -- the asphalt drainage channel that crosses the fairway and the fence that borders the right side. A player may take free relief without penalty at the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole.  See the Rules of Golf - 16.1b for relief instructions.


Course Designated DROP ZONES for Yellow Penalty Areas:


OAKS COURSE – Holes #2 & #5:  

LAKES COURSE – Holes #8 & #11:

If you do not clear the water on your tee shot, you have two options, each incurring a 1 stroke penalty.


(1)   Hit again from the tee box. You may use a tee.

(2)   You may advance the ball to the drop area where you may not use a tee.  



The Club Championship is based on the best combined scores of one round on each of the two courses – Lakes and Oaks. The same two rounds are used to determine lowest putts.


The Club Championship will be held on two consecutive Wednesdays in October (weather permitting). You must complete one round on each course to qualify for Club Champion consideration. Players may walk or ride. Winter rules and the 8-stroke rule do not apply for the Club Championship. A GPS device may be used during the Club Championship following the rules as stated in “Rules for Weekly Competition” (pg. 8).


Tie-breaker Procedure: If there is a tie for overall low gross for the Club Championship, the winner will be determined by comparing scores in the second Championship round in this order: the last 9 nine holes that were played by the tied golfers, the last 6, the last 3, and finally, the score on the 18th hole. 


Members must participate in 50% of the weekly competitions to qualify for annual awards and 50% of the weekly competitions prior to the Club

Championship to qualify for that event.  


Club Championship:

               Low Gross – 20 pts 

        Flight Winners:  Low Gross – 10 pts, Low Net – 10 pts, Low Putts – 5 pts

        Casual Winners:  Low Gross – 3 pts, Low Net – 2 pts, Low Putts – 1 pt


Weekly Competition:  

                 1st place – 5 pts, 2nd place – 4 pts, 3rd place – 3 pts

                 Birdies: 1 pt each; Overall Most Birdies – Recognition

                 Chip-ins: 2 pts each; Overall Most Chip-ins – Recognition

                 Eagles/Hole in One: 10 pts each


Annual Awards:

                 Overall Putting Average: 1st – 15 pts, 2nd – 10 pts, 3rd – 5 pts

                 Perfect Attendance: 5 pts

                 Most Improved: 1st – 15 pts, 2nd – 10 pts, 3rd – 5 pts

                 General Attendance: 1/2 pt for each Wednesday attended


Volunteer Service:  

                 Officer – 20 pts

                 Committee Chairs – 15 pts

                 Event Chair – 15 pts

                 Other Volunteers – 5 pts

                 Scorers and Mentors – 5 pts 


Note: There will be one place awarded for every 5 participants in a flight. In inclement weather, if 15% of our membership plays, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be awarded without regard to Flight designation. The default inclement weather competition will always be Low Net. A player can win only one place prize weekly. Ties are not broken.