Starting

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The function of the starter is a very important one and a professional attitude and conduct are important to set the tone for the players and for the tournament. The starter may be the only official a player has contact with during an event.  A starter’s primary duty is to start the players at the time laid down by the Committee.  Secondarily, starters distribute the scorecards and appoint the markers for scoring. Lastly, starters hand out and announce any information that is necessary to aid the player during the tournament and answer or get answers for any questions asked by the players.

 Equipment and Materials

The equipment and materials the starter should have are as follows:
  • Starter’s Box (containing)
    • Rule Book
    • Copy of the applicable Hard Card
    • Copy of the Pace of Play Policy
    • Marking pens or Sharpies®
    • Pencils
    • Tees
  • Radio
  • Clock (this serves as the Official Time)
  • Scorecards
  • Local Rules sheet/hole location sheet
  • List of special reminders or announcements the Tournament Chairman requires

Preparation

The starter should arrive at the assigned teeing ground at least 20 minutes prior to the first scheduled starting time to do the following:  
  • Arrange the starter’s table to the rear of the tee and away from the tee markers
  • Compare the Starter’s List with the competitor scorecards and make certain that every name on the sheet has a scorecard (If there are any conflicts, radio the Tournament Chairman immediately and inform him of the situation)
  • Have spare hole location sheets (may have been handed out at registration)
  • Place the clock so the players can see the time when they arrive at the teeing ground (try not to position the clock facing directly into the sun as the face will turn black).
  • Verify with the Tournament Chairman (and opposite tee on two-tee start) that your clock has the correct official time
  • Review the Tournament information and Notice to Players in order to be able to answer any questions that may arise.
  • Ride and become familiar with your starting hole, (i.e. out of bounds, water hazards, areas where balls may not be found easily) 
  • As a tee time approaches, if a player is not present approximately five minutes before the assigned time, a good practice is to first check with Registration to see if that player has checked in and is known to be on site. Other Committee members may be near the driving range or practice putting green and may be able to gather up that player.
  • If there appears to be any no show to the tee, notify the Tournament Chairman of the situation. The Tournament Chairman will notify you of any pairing changes prior to the starting time.

Introductions & Reminders

Approximately four to five minutes before a group’s starting time:

  • Gather the competitors of that group and introduce yourself and the competitors to each other. 
  • Distribute the scorecards to the markers, ensuring that no player receives his own card. The Starter should develop a routine such that the scorecards are distributed to the markers in a consistent fashion (player A's card goes to B, player B's card goes to C, and player C's card goes to A)
  • Verify that each player has received a hole location sheet and Notice to Players. 
The following Rules reminders to the players will aid them in their day’s play:
  • Count clubs-14 club maximum
  • Place an identifying mark on the ball
  • Pace of Play Policy
  • Responsibility of completing 18 hole-by-hole scores on the scorecard (Individually Identifiable to which player made the score in Four-Ball Play, if applicable)
  • Any course specific starter notes from the Tournament Chairman, if applicable

Starting Procedure

  • Before starting, inform the players of the order of play for the group and take a position on the teeing ground where you can prevent premature play.
  • At the starting time, if the landing area is clear, call the first player to the tee and take a position as to be able to see the landing area in the fairway. Announce the group as follows:  
    • “Welcome to the first round of the 2015 Telecom Championship at FSGA Golf Club.  This is the eight o’clock starting time off tee #10. On the tee, from Tampa, Mr. Jim Demick. Play away please.”  
  • The starter should then position himself where he will be able to see if the competitor is teeing his ball within the teeing ground
  • Call each successive player to the tee
  • Start each group at the time laid down by the Committee
  • Do NOT start the group early, even though the landing area may be clear and do not delay a group because a player is not present at the time laid down by the Committee
  • When all scheduled competitors have teed off, announce on the radio that your tee is clear. Check with the Tournament Chairman regarding return of equipment at your tee and how it should be handled.

Late to the Tee

  • It is the responsibility of the player to be at the assigned tee ready to play at the time laid down by the Committee
  • The official time is kept only at the clocks on the 1st and 10th tees.
  • A player can only be late to the tee when the group ahead has cleared the tee and it is clear to play.

Completion of Starting

The starter’s list serves as an official record and should remain in the starter box along with any unused scorecards. Once all players have teed off:
  • Please make note on the list of any player who did not show up and also the actual time each group played from the tee.
  • Notify Committee members of any groups that did not start at the appointed time so that Pace of Play schedules and Checkpoint lists may be adjusted (i.e. "the 8:20 group is plus 4 minutes")
  • Advise Committee members of any groups that are missing a player. (I.e. the 8:10 group off #1 is now a twosome
  • Check with the Tournament Chairman regarding return of equipment at your tee and how it should be handled

Review with the Tournament Chairman any areas that you may need clarification on regarding a player arriving late or any additional concerns regarding your responsibilities.

Printable Page - Starter Responsibilities

 

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