Northern Illinois Men's Amateur
Golf Association

NIMAGA - Northern Illinois Men's Amateur Golf Association


NIMAGA Tournament Rules

  1. All contestants must be NIMAGA members or their guests.

    Guests must be 19 years of age (or older) on the date of the tournament they enter.

  2. Tee entries will not be accepted.

  3. The maximum handicap index a NIMAGA player may use in a NIMAGA event is 30.0.
    The Milwaukee Challenge is exempt from this rule.

  4. Cancellation Policy

    Regular Membership:

    Withdrawing from any tournament for Regular membership (not Package) will be allowed up to the Tournament Entry due date (usually 10 – 14 days prior to the tournament). The member will receive a refund via a prize certificate. Convenience fees charged during online registration are non-refundable.

    Package Membership:

    NO REFUNDS or credits are given for withdrawing and/or not participating in any "Regular" tournaments.

  5. At all tournaments players should check in with the starter 15 minutes prior to their starting time. If a player arrives at the first tee too late to tee off with the group he is assigned to on the official starting sheet, he shall be assessed a two stroke penalty. The penalty will be assessed on the score for the first hole and shall be adjusted out for handicapping purposes.

  6. The Rules of Golf of the United States Golf Association prevail in all NIMAGA tournament play as modified by any local rules which appear on the scorecards of the courses we play. In addition, in NIMAGA Tournaments players are permitted to repair spike marks. Other special NIMAGA rules governing tournament play, if any, will be posted at the first tee of each tournament.

  7. Occasionally, a NIMAGA event may be played under conditions requiring "improved lies" or "rake and place" in sand bunkers. Such a decision will be made by the Tournament Director on the day of a tournament. "Improved lies" means that "through the green" (excluding hazards and sand traps) you may roll your ball with the club head with in 12 inches of the original positions, while not improving the future line of flight. "Rake and place" means to rake and then place the ball in its original spot. There is no relief when the ball is in its own ball mark.

  8. Anyone who is observed breaking USGA rule should be notified immediately of the infraction by whoever observes the infraction. Any disagreement should be brought to the attention of the Tournament Director before any scores are attested. If there is disagreement, then a provisional ball should also be played and a decision will be made by the Tournament Director.

  9. Ties for first place in NIMAGA events are decided by a sudden-death play-off, if such a play-off is feasible in the judgment of the Tournament Director. On the Gross side of the tournament, the handicaps of the participants will be disregarded. If a play-off is not feasible, the tie will be broken by matching cards backward from the 18th hole, again without regard to the handicap strokes. The tie-breaking procedure (either an actual play-off or matching card) will determine who receives both the first place prize and the tournament plaque. On the net side of the tournament the players will receive strokes in accordance with the ranking of holes on the scorecard. The same will apply in a scorecard playoff for net. The tie-breaking procedure (either an actual play-off or matching card) will determine who receives both the first place prize and the tournament plaque. Playoffs will be run, if necessary, for Low Gross and Low Net only. All other places will remain ties. Example if 3 players tie for second they will all receive credit for 2nd place and will split the prize monies for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.

  10. Penalties will be assessed by Tournament Directors for slow play in accordance with guidelines established by NIMAGA's Board of Directors.

    The Pace of Play Rule is: If a group finishes 14-18 minutes behind the group in front of them, and 26 minutes or more behind two groups in front of them: 1 Stroke Penalty. 19 minutes or more behind the group in front of them, AND 26 minutes or more behind two groups in front of them: 2 Stoke Penalty. Groups finishing beyond the above time lines will be brought to the attention of NIMAGA's Board for what ever action the Boards chooses. Please note this rule includes leniency and thus any group which does not finish within these time allowances will be assessed the penalty. Also note this rule is based on the "group," it is not acceptable for the first player of a group to hole out on the last hole and run into the club house. The "group" has not finished until the last player holes out on the last hole.

  11. Adjusting Scores - Your tournament scores should be adjusted to the handicap that you are using in that tournament.
    That is, if you are required to use your NIMAGA Tournament handicap, adjust it accordingly.
    Conversely, if you are using your CDGA (USGA) handicap adjust to your CDGA (USGA) handicap.

  12. The players who sign score cards as scorer and attester should be aware of their responsibilities. By signing the score card you are certifying that the scores posted for each hole are correct and that all penalty strokes required during the round have been added to the score. This service is to benefit the balance of the field and not the player whose card you are signing. Therefore, if any question exists in your mind regarding the player's score that cannot be resolved within your foursome do not sign the card. Consult your Tournament Director. You are protecting the balance of the field against improperly reported individual hole scores. Take your role seriously.

  13. Most golf courses have a dress code that all NIMAGA members are expected to follow. As a guideline, NIMAGA expects their members to wear collared shirts, appropriate slacks, or jeans, or shorts (no cut-offs or short shorts). Please use common sense and under no circumstances should you remove your shirt.

Distance Measuring Devices will be allowed in all monthly events as outlined by rule below.

Decision 14-3/0.5 allows players to use distance-measuring devices that measure distance only. Any device used to gauge other conditions that might affect play (e.g. gradient, wind-speed, temperature, etc.) is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the player's penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.

Please refer to the USGA website at for other rules as NIMAGA tries to follow all USGA rules.


All weekend NIMAGA tournaments will be played in the following three divisions:

Palmer (Low) Division
Player (Mid) Division
Trevino (High) Division

To determine the participants in each division in a given tournament, the entire field for the tournament will be divided by handicap index into three approximately equal groups. If the number of entries for a weekend tournament is less than 69 participants (excluding Two Man Better Ball and/or Four Man Scramble tournaments), it will be a two division tournament, Low and High.

All midweek NIMAGA tournaments will be two division tournaments Low and High. If the number of entries for a midweek tournament is less than 46 participants, it will be a one division tournament.

All NIMAGA members are required to play in their respective divisions. Pairings and starting times will be assigned on a random basis with no preference being given to members' requests for specific playing partners or foursomes. Every effort will be made to place those traveling together for tournaments in close groups. Please let us know when completing your tournament entry application.

The Tournament Entry Applications will be available in February. The Tournament Entry Applications are used to register for tournaments you want to play in. Tournament Entry Applications received after the tournament deadline registration date may be rejected.

Handicap Rules (Click Here)