National Qualifiers

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National Qualifiers are 18 or 36-hole Best-Ball competitions as described in Rule 23 of the USGA® Rules of Golf.

Teams

Each team will consist of two members. Teams MUST fit one of the Divisions and Flights as described below. Though not required, players are encouraged to find a partner that falls into the same age division and of similar ability.

Scoring

Scoring at National Qualifiers is NET, hole by hole, so as to properly allocate strokes among teammates. The lowest net score will be that team’s score for the hole. Each teammate will receive 85% of their course handicap. The low 30% of the field and ties will qualify for the USGC  King’s Cup National Championship™.

At 36-hole Qualifiers, there will be two Divisions, Open and Senior (55+). Within each Division, there are two flights – Championship combined with A and B combined with C. See description of flight parameters below.

The winning team in each flight will receive a free entry into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. If a flight has 20 or more teams, an additional free entry will be awarded.

18-hole Qualifiers – will be played as one flight up to 23 teams. A new flight will be added for every 12 teams. A free entry into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship will be awarded for every 12 teams entered.


USGC Divisions and Flights at the USGC King's Cup National Championship.


Divisions

There are two divisions – Open Division and Senior Division. Open Division must have at least one player 54 or younger. Senior Division is for Players 55 years of age and above. A Player that is 55+ is allowed to compete in the Open division, but a player that is under 55 is not allowed to compete in the Senior division. Teams must play in the National Championship in the Division in which they qualified.

Flights

There are four flights in each Division determined by Team Index:

Championship Flight

4.9 and under

A Flight

5.0 – 9.9

B Flight

10.0 – 14.9

C Flight

15.0 and above

Team Index

The Team Index is determined by totaling the handicap index of player A and player B together and dividing it in half. Example – Player A has a 10 index and player B has a 15 index totaling 25. Divide the total of 25 in half and the team index is 12.5. That team would be in the “B” Flight.

Handicap Differential

No team can have an index differential of more than 8 points between teammates. Example – a player that is a 10 index cannot play with a player that is a 24 index, unless that player drops his index down from a 24 to an 18.

The USGC™ recognizes any valid USGA® index from an approved USGA® handicap provider that is verifiable online. All indexes must be current and active at the time of registration and through National Qualifier. The USGC Rules Staff will verify all indexes.

 

National Qualifier FAQ

The Road to the King’s Cup™ starts with a National Qualifier!

8 teams will represent the USA at the 2022 International King’s Cup™. 

The King’s Cup™ is played in remembrance of golf’s greatest ambassador – Mr. Arnold Palmer

 

How does a team make Team USA and compete in the King’s Cup?

You must first play in a National Qualifier and finish in the top 30% of the field. By doing so, you will be invited to play in the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. Flight winners at the USGC King’s Cup National Championship will represent Team USA at the King’s Cup against Ireland.

How do I sign up for a National Qualifier?

You and your partner can enter the United States Golf Challenge by going to UPCOMING EVENTS on the USGC website at www.usgolfchallenge.com. Choose a National Qualifier from the Schedule and sign up.

Who can be my partner?

Any amateur with an established USGA® handicap index can play as your partner.  The USGC recognizes any valid USGA® index from an approved USGA® handicap provider that is verifiable online. Your team must fit one of the Divisions and Flights listed below.

What is the format of a National Qualifier?

Two-day, 36-hole National Qualifiers – Two-person teams compete in Best-Ball stroke play in Net Scoring.  The top 30% and ties earn invitations to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship at the Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville, Tennessee, October 11-13, 2021.

There are two Divisions at 36-Hole National Qualifiers, Open and Senior (55+). Within each Division there are two flights – Championship combined with A and B combined with C. See description of flights parameters below.

The winning team in each flight will receive a free entry into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. If a flight has 20 or more teams, an additional free entry will be awarded.

One-day, 18-hole National Qualifiers – Two-person teams compete in Best-Ball stroke play in Net Scoring.  The top 30% and ties earn invitations to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship at the Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville, Tennessee, October 11-13, 2021.

There is one flight at 18-Hole National Qualifiers. For every 12 teams a free entry will be awarded into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship.

How is the Net Scoring computed?

Hole by hole, so as to properly allocate strokes among teammates. The lowest net score will be that team’s score for the hole.  The low 30% of the field and ties will qualify for the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. Teams will receive 85% of the course index.

Players will attest to their indexes on their entry form.  The USGC will verify the individual indexes through the state golf association or other online resources. The USGC will use indexes based on the most recent revision 7 days out from the event.

The USGC recognizes any valid USGA® index from an approved USGA® handicap provider that is verifiable online.

What tees are used?

National Qualifying golf courses for the United States Golf Challenge will naturally vary in difficulty and length.  The Host Professional will make the final decisions regarding golf course set-up at each qualifying site.  It is anticipated that Open Division contestants will play a golf course of approximately 6,400-6,500 yards and Senior Division contestants will play from approximately 6,000-6,200 yards.  Women will play from tees approximating the tees from which their index was established.  These lengths are guidelines only and will vary from site to site.

How will I know how many players will be at my event?

The entries will be available in the event portal on the USGC website.

How do I find out my tee time?

 Tee times will be sent out via email 48 hours before Round 1.

Who collects the entry fees?

Entries must be made online through the USGC website.

What if a team wants to enter after registration has closed?

A team can contact the USGC and, space available, make a late entry online.

Can a team attempt to qualify more than one time?

A team can try to qualify as many times as they want.  Players can enter another National Qualifier with a different partner if they choose.

Who collects the green fees?

Green fees are included in the entry fee.

What are the prizes

Teams are competing for the opportunity to qualify for the USGC King’s Cup National Championship.  The top 30% plus ties will earn invitations to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. See Format above for the awarding of Free Entries into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship.

$20 per team goes into a prize fund to be distributed by the Host Site.

What is the philosophy on rules enforcement?

The United States Golf Challenge is strictly conducted under the USGA® Rules of Golf, the USGC Rules and Regulations and the Local Rules Sheet.

The following information refers to how teams will be flighted at the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. National Qualifying teams must fit one of the Divisions and Flights below.

Divisions

There are two age divisions in the USGC.  The Open Division is for teams with a least one player under 55 years of age.  The Senior Division is for teams with both players over 55 at the time of the National Qualifier. A senior player may compete in the Open Division. Once qualified for the USGC King’s Cup National Championship, a Senior team cannot choose to play in the Open Division.

While there is no Women’s Division, women will compete from the same tees from which their index was established.

What are the USGC flights?

Both the Open and Senior Divisions have the same 4 flights based on the Team Index as follows:

Championship – under 5.0

A Flight – 5.0-9.9

B Flight – 10.0-14.9

C Flight – 15.0 and above

How is the Team Index calculated?

The official USGA® handicap indexes of both players are added together and divided by two.  The resulting number is their Team Index and places them within a flight in their age division.  The USGC recognizes any official USGA® index.

No team can have a handicap index differential greater than 8, i.e. a player with a 10.0 can play with a player with a 24.0, but in calculating their Team Index, the 24.0 must be reduced to 18.0, making the Team Index 14.0.

The USGC will verify the individual indexes through the state golf association or other online resources. The USGC will use indexes based on the most recent revision 7 days out from the event.

For complete USGC® Rules and Regulations

Visit NATIONAL QUALIFIER on the USGC® website

 

 

The current Rules of Golf as set forth by the USGA® will govern all play.

All participants in United States Golf Challenge (USGC™) events are deemed to be familiar with the Rules of Golf, these Rules and Regulations and any Local Rules that may be issued from time to time.

These Rules and Regulations may be revised electronically from time to time. The most current version can be found on the USGC website at www.usgolfchallenge.com and will supersede any printed version.

Amateurs Only

The United States Golf Challenge is open ONLY to amateur golfers as defined by the United States Golf Association.

Dress  Code and Player Conduct

The USGC will strictly enforce a tournament dress code with no exceptions. Collared shirts/mock turtlenecks are required, and no jeans, denims, jogging outfits, or sweat pants are permitted.

All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game as defined by Rule 1.2a in the Rules of Golf. Failure to do so may lead to penalties or disqualification as proscribed in Rule 1.2b.

Pace of Play

The USGC takes Pace of Play seriously. Pace of Play at National Qualifiers will be controlled by the policies of the Host Course.

Refund Policy

Every effort will be made to honor refunds, less processing charges for a team that cancels their registration. Once a player count commitment has been given to the golf course, there will be no refunds issued.

NATIONAL QUALIFIERS

Qualifying

2-person teams qualify through a National Qualifier to be eligible for the USGC King’s Cup National Championship™ and the opportunity to make the King’s Cup™ team representing the United States.

Registering

When registering for a National Qualifier, teams must meet the criteria for one of the Divisions and Flights as described below under USGC King’s Cup National Championship. Teams may be formed by any combination of male and female participants (two men, one man and one woman, two women). Though not required, players are encouraged to find a partner that falls into the same age division and of similar ability.

Format

The format for play in a National Qualifier is Four-Ball stroke play as defined in Rule 23 per the USGA® Rules of Golf in which two players play as partners, each playing their own ball.

Scoring will be NET. Each team member will receive 85% of the course handicap. The lower NET score of the partners is the score for the hole. If one partner fails to complete the hole, there is no penalty.

Two-day, 36-hole National Qualifiers – Two-person teams compete in Four-Ball stroke play in Net Scoring.  The top 30% and ties earn invitations to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship at the Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville, Tennessee, October 11-13, 2021.

There are two Divisions at 36-Hole National Qualifiers, Open and Senior (55+). Within each Division there are two flights – Championship combined with A and B combined with C. See description of flight parameters below.

The winning team in each flight will receive a free entry into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. If a flight has 20 or more teams, an additional free entry will be awarded.

One-day 18-hole National Qualifiers – Two-person teams compete in Four-Ball stroke play in Net Scoring.  The top 30% and ties earn invitations to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship at the Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville, Tennessee, October 11-13, 2021.

There is one flight at 18-Hole National Qualifiers. For every 12 teams, a free entry will be awarded into the USGC King’s Cup National Championship.

If a qualified team is unable to participate in the USGC King’s Cup National Championship for any reason, the next qualified team at that National Qualifying site may be invited to participate.

The USGC recognizes any official handicap index that is current and verifiable online.

The USGC will verify the individual indexes through the state golf association or other online resources. The USGC will use indexes based on the most recent revision 7 days out from the event.

Policy on handicap changes and cheating

In the relatively short time frame between a National Qualifier and the USGC King’s Cup National Championship, it is unlikely that any player’s index will change significantly enough to affect the competition. A team’s flight will not change from a National Qualifier to the USGC King’s Cup National Championship except under extraordinary circumstances.

Any team found to have misrepresented, in the sole opinion of the USGC, either an individual player’s index or the Team Index, whether inadvertent or otherwise, will be disqualified from the competition with forfeiture of all prizes and awards.

For exceptional scoring at the USGC King’s Cup National Championship, the Committee will review the occurrence. The Committee may determine that a team did indeed have an exceptional round and that no further action is needed. The Committee may determine that a team has exceeded the general ability of their flight and will be moved up to the proper flight with a two-stroke penalty. The team will still be allowed to finish the event in their new flight and eligible to receive all prizes.

Substitution

A qualified team is allowed to substitute one player for the USGC King’s Cup National Championship. A team member or the National Qualifying site Host Professional must notify the USGC committee for approval if a substitution is necessary. One member of the original team must continue to participate. Substitute players are required to meet all USGA handicap and USGC guidelines.

A substitute player’s handicap index must fall within the parameters of the flight in which the team qualified i.e. a substitute with a 4.0 index is not allowed as a substitute for a team that qualified for any flight other than the Championship flight.

Host Professional

National Qualifiers will be conducted under the direction of the Host Professional at each facility. The Host Professional or their designate will be responsible for all interpretations and rulings on the conduct of the event and such rulings shall be final.

Scoring

Each qualifying team shall be issued an official scorecard for the event and shall return same to Scorer upon completion of their round. Each player must enter an actual or estimated score on each hole as per USGA guidelines. A fellow competitor team and/or the Golf Professional Staff at the qualifying facility must attest all scores.

Once the team has turned in its scorecard and left any boundary defining the scoring area, the scorecard is considered official

Any team that is tardy to the designated scoring area by more than 10 minutes after completion of the round may be disqualified.

Tees

Qualifying golf courses for the United States Golf Challenge will naturally vary in difficulty and length. The Host Professional will make the final decisions regarding golf course set-up at each qualifying facility. It is anticipated that Open Division contestants will play a golf course of approximately 6,400-6,500 yards and Senior Division contestants will play from approximately 6,000-6,200 yards, but these lengths are guidelines only and will vary from site to site.

Seniors playing in the Open Division will play the Open tees.

Women will play from tees that are as close as practicable to the tees from which their handicap index was established.

Please check with your qualifying site for additional information regarding course set-up and length.

Inclement Weather

In the event that a National Qualifier suffers from such inclement weather, or conditions that would reasonably prohibit the completion of at least 9 holes of play, the qualifying teams will be drawn by lot.

Disqualification

Participants found violating USGA® rules, tournament rules, falsifying or neglecting handicaps, or otherwise engaging in conduct inconsistent with the tournament standards or spirit of fair play may be disqualified without claim or recourse of any type.

USGC KING’S CUP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The 2021 USGC King’s Cup National Championship™ will be played Oct. 11-13 at The Hermitage Golf Club near Nashville, TN.

The format will mirror the three forms of play at the King’s Cup; four-ball, alternate shot and individual stroke play over 54 holes.

GROSS scoring will determine the winning team in each of the two Divisions and four flights. The eight winning teams will make up the 2022 Team USA King’s Cup team.

Divisions

There are two divisions – Open Division and Senior Division. The Open Division must have at least one player age 54 or younger. The Senior Division is for Players 55 years of age and above prior to their National Qualifier. A Player that is 55+ is allowed to compete in the Open division, but a player that is under 55 is not allowed to compete in the Senior Division. Teams must play in the Division in which they qualified.

Flights

Each Division has four flights. Championship, A-Flight, B-Flight and C-Flight

  • Championship 4.9 or less
  • A Flight 5.0-9.9
  • B Flight 10.0-14.9
  • C Flight 15.0 and above

Team Index

A Team Index is determined by totaling the handicap index of player A and player B together and dividing it in half. Example – Player A is a 10 handicap index and player B is a 15 handicap index totaling 25. Divide the total of 25 in half and the Team Handicap Index is 12.5. That team would be in the “B” Flight.

No team can have a handicap index differential of more than 8 strokes between teammates. Example – a player that is a 10 handicap index cannot play with a player that is a 24 handicap index, unless that player drops his index down from a 24 to 18. Their Team Index would be 10+18=28/2 = 14.

The USGC King’s Cup National Championship will be conducted by the USGC staff.

CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION

Play ball as it lies

Unless modified in writing by specific Local Rules, there will be no preferred or improved lies in any part of the competition.

Limitation on Balls

The ball each player plays must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the United States Golf Association. Penalty for breach of condition: Disqualification. The responsibility of playing the proper ball rests with the player. Each player must put an identification mark on his ball and alert his fellow competitors of such. The one ball rule is NOT in effect.

Grooves

The Condition of Competition concerning grooves for elite players is NOT in effect for the United States Golf Challenge.

 Tees

Qualifying golf courses for the United States Golf Challenge will naturally vary in difficulty and length. The Host Professional will make the final decisions regarding golf course set-up at each qualifying facility. It is anticipated that Open Division contestants will play a golf course of approximately 6,400-6,500 yards and Senior Division contestants will play from approximately 6,000-6,200 yards, but these lengths are guidelines only and will vary from site to site.

Seniors playing in the Open Division will play the Open tees.

Women will play from tees that are as close as practicable to the tees from which their handicap index was established.

Please check with your National Qualifying site for additional information regarding course set-up and length.

Range Finders

Range finders conforming to the USGA® Rule 4-3 are allowed. Any device that measures gradient or wind speed etc. may be used only if these features are turned off.

Electronic Devices

CELL PHONES – A mobile phone may be used to call for rulings to the Tournament Director or Pro Shop. Any other use of a cell phone during the stipulated round will result in a penalty: First Offense – 1 stroke, Second Offense – 2 strokes, Third Offense – Disqualification

Use is defined as the phone vibrating or ringing audibly, the player making an outgoing call other than as allowed above, or connection to the Internet.

A cell phone may be used as a range finder as long as the restrictions above are adhered to.

I-PODS/MP3s, RADIOS, BOOM BOXES, HEADPHONES etc. Such devices will only be permitted on the driving range and putting green before and after tournament rounds. Such devices are not allowed during competition.

DISCLAIMER

The United States Golf Challenge reserves the right to refuse entry to any player for any reason. Participants in the United States Golf Challenge are responsible for any damage or injury they cause to the golf course and/or property of the golf course or any person(s) on the golf course property. All decisions of the United States Golf Challenge are final.

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