Updated:  March 24, 2023






The Rules Committee consisting of League President Lee Crouch, League Secretary Charles Halpin, and League Treasurer Chuck Reckers have reviewed and approved these articles as written on this date and recommend that they be accepted as written.  A copy will be furnished to each team captain and a copy will be placed in the weekly folder for reference material as needed.


2024 League Officers:


President:  Lee Crouch

Secretary:  Charles Halpin

Treasurer:  Chuck Reckers


2024 Committee Members:


Rules Committee:  Lee Crouch, Charles Halpin, Chuck Reckers

Year End Scramble:  Ray Vaughn & Charles Halpin

Outing Committee – Events, Program, Food & Beverage:  Jim Bramlage, Brian Anderson

Herman Lorenz Award:  Lee Crouch, Charles Halpin, Chuck Reckers, last year recipient

Jerry Joesting Award:  Lee Crouch, Charles Halpin, Chuck Reckers








Updated:  March 24, 2023





             ARTICLE I.        RULES PRIORITY

             ARTICLE II.       RULES DISPUTES




             ARTICLE VI.      TEAM LINEUPS














             ARTICLE XX.       COURSE RULES

















Article I.  Rules Priority:  In all situations not specifically covered by the following rules, the course and USGA rules will apply in that order.  Course rules govern anything not covered herein.  If there is no course rule, the event will be governed by USGA rules.


Article II.  Rules Disputes:  Suggested changes in the rules or dispute over the rules or anything which might affect a player or players score(s) or the points credited to a team must be referred in writing to the Rules Committee for a decision.  The decision of the Rules Committee will be documented and delivered to the President for announcement.  All Rules Committee members’ rulings will be final.  Any disputes involving a team whose member is on the Rules Committee will cause that member to excuse themselves from the decision process for that dispute.  A captain or captains if necessary will be selected from one or more of the top four teams who are not involved in the dispute.  The Rules Committee will be appointed at the Captains meeting in the spring.


Article III.  Eligibility to Play:  The following individuals are eligible to play, either as a regular or as a sub in the IRS Golf League:  1) A current IRS or TIGTA employee; 2) A former IRS or TIGTA employee who is now retired and receiving a pension; 3) A former IRS or TIGTA employee now retired on disability and receiving a pension; 4) A non-IRS employee or a former IRS employee who left the service voluntarily may participate as a regular or sub on any of the 16 teams;  5) A family member or friend may participate as a regular or sub on any of the 16 teams.  Their names and phone numbers or e-mail addresses should be forwarded to the Secretary.  


Article IV.  Computation of Average:  Separate averages will be used for front and back nine, calculated for 5 most recent rounds on each side.  Each player's average will be determined in the following manner:  1) The first time a player plays in the league their average for that night and the next time they play will be what they shot on the first night; 2) Once a player plays more than one round, but less than 5 rounds, their average will be determined by dropping out their highest round and averaging the remaining rounds; 3) Once a player plays 5 or more rounds on a side their average will be determined by averaging the 5 most recent rounds; 4) Although actual scores will be documented and used in determining handicaps, no averages that exceed 65 will be reflected for competitive play; 5) No score can be posted for a player which is five (5) strokes greater than their average.  This rule does allow a player's average to increase by more than one stroke from one round to the next (See Exhibit I for example).  Any average which was incorrectly computed must be brought to the Secretary's attention immediately.  No retroactive changes or corrections will be permitted without the Secretary's approval.  A player must have an opponent for their score to count for averaging purposes.  Only scores shot during the prior three years seasons as recorded by the Secretary will count in determining the current year's average.    Amended March 11, 2020.

Article V.  Composition of Teams:  Each team will designate four (4) or five (5) regular players whom can be a regular, a restricted sub, or a non-IRS employee designated as a regular.


Article VI.  Team Lineups:  The lineups will be governed by each player’s average.  The lowest average will be player number one (1) and the second lowest will be player number two (2), and so forth.  Players without an average will follow the last player with an average.  If two or more players on a team have the same average or no average because they have not played, the team captain will notify the opposing team captain (before the start of the match) of the order in which the players will play.


Article VII.  Tee-Off Markers:  Women play from the Yellow Tee Markers.  Men play from the White Tee Markers.  If any Men wish to play the Blue Tee Markers, they may do so at their request before their 1st play of the year and if changing tee boxes would start with a new average.  For those players with a physical handicap, medical condition, playing ability, etc. that wish to play from the Yellow Tee Markers may request to move upon approval from the Rules Committee.  Again, this would have to be designated before 1st play with the exception for conditions that may arise during the season.  When a player chooses to move Tee-Off Markers their average will start as new using Article IV Computation of Average.  Once a player has been approved for a specific tee marker they may remain there permanently from season to season or until they request to move to a different tee marker.  Amended March 24, 2023.


Article VIII.  Scheduled Matches:  All matches will be assigned at the beginning of the year with an equal number on the front and the same number on the back nine. The time of each match will be designated by the Assignment Committee and distributed to all captains.  If any scheduled match or matches are canceled by inclement weather see Article XII for resolution.


Article IX.  Missing Tee Off Times:  A player must be on the tee ready to play at the scheduled starting time or a forfeiture is declared.  If there is a back up at the tee and starting times are delayed, there is no forfeiture if the player is ready to play at the delayed starting time.  In all situation’s players must follow the instructions of the starter.  If the player misses the scheduled starting time, but joins the group on the course, the tardy player forfeits nine medal points and match points for hole(s) not played.  The team forfeits four (4) team medal points.  The tardy player will continue to play for match points for the remaining holes.  If any holes were handicap holes these handicap strokes will be forfeited.  The total handicap strokes for the nine would also be reduced.


Article X.  Forfeiture of Points Due to No-Show Players:  Team with less than three (3) players will forfeit team medal, if both teams have less than three (3) players they both forfeit team medal and play for only 72 of the 90 points. (However, there is a statement in the old rules that each of the teams would split the eighteen (18) forfeiture points, this makes the above statement erroneous.)  Four (4) team medal points will be awarded to a player who has no opponent.  This rule is only in effect when there is one no-show player out of the eight scheduled players.  The remaining fourteen (14) medal points, which are scored below the individual subtotal line on the score sheets, will be contested by the three matches played, as in a regular match.  The effect of this rule awards a player who has no opponents twenty two (22) points, nine (9) match points, nine (9) individual points and four (4) team medal points.  (See Exhibit II for further definitions of point forfeitures).


Article XI.  Illness during Match:  During the course of the match, if a player becomes ill and cannot continue, the player will receive credit for the match points completed. The nine medal points will be forfeited, and the player's score will not be used in determining team medal.  Neither the player's partial score nor his opponents’ total score will be used in determining team medal.


Article XII.  Rain Out Procedures:  There are two ways a rain out can take place. 1) The President can declare a rain out.  The President must do this no later than 2:30 p.m. of the day of the league play is scheduled.  If a rain out is declared, the President will call California Golf Course and inform them of his decision.  The course can then inform all players who call and inquire about the rain out.  After 2:30 p.m. the President no longer has authority to declare a rain out. (If the President is unavailable to make this decision, the Secretary will be authorized to make the call).  2) If rain out is not declared pursuant to above paragraph, but weather conditions change subsequent to 2:30 p.m., and play becomes hazardous due to lightning or heavy rains, then the team captains will vote on whether to call the rain out if any teams have not completed at least five (5) holes.  If very few matches start, and the course is not playable a vote by a majority of the captains will be requested on whether to play or wait for improvement in the weather and ground conditions.   Amended March 17,2016.


Article XIII.  Completed Matches:  The completion of at least five (5) holes by all teams (front and back nine) will constitute a match if darkness or extreme inclement weather should stop play.  If any team or part of a team has not completed the five holes, the league will consider this a rain out and reschedule the matches on a position night or determine it cannot be rescheduled.  (See Exhibit III for scoring example).  Amended March 17, 2016.


Article XIV.  Limitation on Strokes Given for Match Play:  Match play 3-2-1 rule could make the stroke spot for match play less than stroke spot for medal play.  The stroke spot for medal play is limited to the following: 1) on a par 5 hole, the maximum spot is 3 strokes; 2) on a par 4 hole, the maximum spot is 2 strokes; 3) on a par 3 the maximum spot is 1 stroke.  (See Exhibit IV for examples).


Article XV.  Team Match Scoring:  Each team will consist of four individual matches of eighteen (18) points and team medal of eighteen (18) points, totaling 90 points.  The individual matches consist of nine (9) points per hole match play and nine (9) points medal play (total strokes).  The handicap will be calculated at 90%.  The team medal contest is determined by stroke difference between the teams of each individual medal contest.


Article XVI.  Pickup Rule:  Once a player has recorded a score on a hole twice par plus one, they must stop playing that hole and pick up their ball.  On a par 3 the most strokes allowed are seven (7), on a par 4 the number is nine (9), and on a par 5 no more than eleven (11).  The recorded score will be either the 7, 9, or 11 as appropriate.  The player's opponent is required to finish the hole unless they also reach the pickup score.  Any player who picks up before holing out cannot win a match point for that hole, regardless of handicap strokes.  If opponent also picks up on the hole, the match point will be split.  It is therefore in the best interest of a player to attempt to finish the hole.  This rule has no effect on any medal contest or recorded score for handicap purposes.  The rule was instituted to improve play and speed up the total game.


Article XVII.  Credit for a Win:  A match between two players is for a total of eighteen (18) points, a player who scores 9.5 points or more, combining match and medal points shall be credited with a win.


Article XVIII.  Determining a Skin:  For all skin game contests during the season, tournaments, and the year end outing, the total number of strokes on the hole will be the basis of determining a skin, regardless of listed par on the hole for either gender.


Article XIX.  Expanded Playoff Format:  Six teams will qualify for the year end playoffs.  They will be the four division champions plus two wild card teams.  The wild card teams are the teams with the highest points who are not division winners.  The two highest point division-winning teams will receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs.  The wild card round of playoffs will be played before the traditional final Wednesday of the year.  All playoff matches will be seeded.  Seed number one through number four will be the division winners and seeds number five and six will be the wild card teams.  The higher point teams will be the lower numbered seeds.  The playoff schedule is: 1) wild card, 2) semifinals, 3) championship.  April 2002 the following change was made in the playoff format.  The semifinal seeds will have number one seed playing the highest numbered remaining seeded team and the number two seed will be playing the lower number seeded team.  To be able to play for any team in the play-offs, a sub must have played 3 official rounds on both the front nine and the back nine during the current season.  Restricted subs are always allowed to play in the play-offs.  Play-Off teams are limited to only one sub during play-off games.  Teams with a restricted sub can still use another sub.  Amended March 11, 2020


Article XX.  Course Rules:  Winter rules apply anywhere on the course, i.e., the ball may be moved to get on some grass or get it out of a divot.  If a ball comes to rest behind or in a tree, or under or in a bush or shrub, it may be declared not playable (Article XXIII is applicable).  If a ball comes to rest behind a tree, tree seedling, or shrub that is "staked" a free drop of two club lengths is allowed.  The key factor now is whether or not the tree, tree seedling, or bush is "staked".  New plants may be construed to be any that are "staked" regardless of whether they are shorter or taller than six feet.  If yes, then relief is permitted.  If no, either play the shot or declare it not playable.  In a sand trap, the ball may be taken out of footprints, standing water, etc., and placed on a flat surface (it is allowable to rake a spot in the trap to place the ball); however, it cannot be moved out of the trap.  (See Article XXI and XXIII for additional points of information on free drops vs. stroke penalties.


Article XXI.  Free Drop Area on Course:  All roadways along the reservoirs, gutters along the roadways and cart paths are considered "man made" obstacles and the player is allowed a two club length free drop from the gutter's edge nearest the course, but no closer to the hole.  Common sense should dictate whether a ball is in a free drop area. If in doubt check with your opponent before moving the ball.


The most common problems occur when a ball is hit over Green No.2 and lands in the gutter, road, or reservoir.  A free drop is allowed when the ball lands in the gutter or road and may be placed two club lengths towards the green from the gutter.  If the ball was hit in the reservoir or lost a one-stroke penalty would be assessed.


If the reservoir building between Hole 3 and 4 interferes with stance or swing, a free drop of two club lengths, no closer to the hole is allowed.  On Hole 3 a ball coming to rest behind the fence on this hole, which would be Hole #2 side of the fence, shall be dropped without penalty at the end of the fence on the green side, two club lengths from the end of the fence but no closer to the hole, without penalty.


On Hole #5 if a ball comes to rest on the road, under the guardrail or in the drainage ditch, it should be place in the drop zone between the trees on the left (reservoir side) and the green without a penalty stroke. The same drop zone should be used if the ball is lost or hit into the reservoir, however a penalty stroke will be assessed.


On Hole # 6 or any hole with manmade obstructions (rocks, culverts, etc. ) if a ball comes to rest in these areas they may be removed without penalty and placed two club lengths from obstruction but no closer to the hole. (Clarification March 30, 2004)


On Hole #7 if the ball comes to rest on the road, in the gutter or in the trees on the left of the fairway and it becomes not playable or if the ball is lost or lands in the reservoir a one-stroke penalty will be assessed.  If a ball lands on the road beside the tee or in the culvert by the tee, a free drop is allowed in front of ladies tee without a penalty.


On Holes #10 and # 11 that have electric or telephone wires, at the player’s option they can replay the shot without penalty if the ball strikes the wires.  No relief is granted if the poles interfere with a player's shot or their ball strikes the pole.


A ball coming to rest on a green other than that of a hole being played must be lifted and dropped off the green without penalty but placed no closer to the hole being played to.


A ball coming to rest in the decorative grasses, ornamental flower boxes or mulched areas may be lifted without penalty and placed no closer to the hole.


A player’s ball coming to rest in the bunkers, between fairways number four (4) and number six (6), may improve their lie if it comes to rest in a track or footprint. This is considered a waste bunker and a player may ground a club during the swing.  Under no circumstances can a ball that comes to rest in the sand be moved to a grassy area or vice versa.


Article XXII.  Playing the Wrong Ball:  If a player plays the wrong ball, they must go back and replace the ball and then play the correct ball without penalty.  If all players have completed play on the hole, it is too late to declare that the wrong ball was played.  The score will stand for the player who played the wrong ball.


Article XXIII.  Unplayable Lie:  The penalty is one stroke.  A player can declare an unplayable lie anywhere on the course.  Once declared, the player may drop a ball at either of the following: 1) within two club lengths of the point the ball became unplayable, but no closer to the hole, or, 2) behind the point that the ball became unplayable keeping that point between the player and the hole, with no limit as to how far back the player may go.  A player's opponent cannot force the player to play a shot where the player feels the ball is unplayable.  The option to declare a lie "unplayable" rests solely with the player. 


Article XXIV.  Penalty Stroke Situations:  A one-stroke penalty must be assessed for a tee shot or subsequent shot when: 1) a ball comes to rest out of bounds, 2) a ball comes to rest in the reservoir; 3) the ball is lost; 4) the ball comes to rest in the parking lot; 5) the ball is presumed to rest on the roof of the reservoir building.


If the ball is lost in the fairway, upon agreement with their opponent the player may drop another ball in the general area where the ball was last seen, without penalty.  If a "lost ball" is found after another ball is played, the player may not play the lost ball.


For any of the other conditions, the player has the following options: 1) a player may play their stroke as nearly as possible from the spot from which the original ball was played; or 2) they shall play their next stroke from either of the drop areas.


The drop at the reservoir building may be made within two club lengths of the wall where the ball went over or became lost.  If a ball becomes lost, went out of bounds, entered the reservoir, or entered the parking lots the ball may be placed near the point of exit but no closer to the hole.


Provisional balls may not be hit.  If a player leaves the teeing area they may not return.


Article XXV.  Putting Recommendations and Penalties:  Continuous putting is a courtesy not an infringement and helps speed up play.  It is recommended and strongly encouraged that all players attempt to comply.  A putting ball may be used on greens.


A ball may not be changed at any other time except with your opponent’s permission.


No penalty for leaving the pin in the hole while putting.  Amended 3/31/2019.


Article XXVI.  Herman Lorenz and Jerry Joesting Committees:  The Herman Lorenz committee is comprised of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the prior year’s recipient.  The recognition is given to the player who has demonstrated the characteristics of good sportsmanship during the season and recognized for their assistance and participation in the league’s activities.


The Jerry Joesting committee is comprised of three members of the league and appointed at the Captains meeting in the spring.  The recognition is given to the player who has improved their average, assisted their team in the rankings, completed the majority of their rounds, and succeeded in winning their matches.  These are only a few of the factors taken into consideration in naming the individual the Most Valuable Player for the year.


Article XXVII.  Bereavement Policy:  If it becomes known to the league that any regular or one of their immediate family has passed away, our league will send flowers or a gift in lieu of flowers.  This remembrance will be funded by $50 from league funds.  If it becomes known that a sub or another associated with our league has passed away, the Secretary will send a card to the family.


Article XXVIII.  Fall Outing:  Tee time will be based on a Shot Gun start.  Each team will receive hole assignments based on the final standings.  A player must have completed at least five active rounds of golf in the league to qualify and participate in the low gross competition.  The President and the Secretary will request assistance during the Spring meeting for the various league and fall outing committees.  All members are encouraged to assist as these positions are necessary to maintain a smooth flowing event(s).  The election of officers are requested at the fall outing and all members again are requested to make themselves available.


Article XXIX.  Resolving Ties for Playoff Eligibility and Playoff Seeding:  When 2 or more teams are tied in total points, the ties will be resolved in the following manner.

   First Tiebreaker (Prior Point):  The effected teams will compare points won from all “head-to-head” matches.  These matches will include the regular season match and any applicable position nights.


Example 1.      2 Teams Tie (Team 1 & Team 5)


Team 1

Team 5

Regular Season Match

30 points

60 points

Position Night 1



Position Night 2

55 Points

35 points

Position Night 3




85 points

95 points

Team 5 wins tiebreaker


Example 2       3 Teams Tie


Team 1


Team 5


Team 3

1 vs 5

40 pts

5 vs 1

50 pts

3 vs 5

55 pts

1 vs 3

20 pts

5 vs 3

35 pts

3 vs 1

70 pts

Position Night 3

40 pts


50 pts




60 pts


85 pts


125 pts

Team 3 wins tiebreaker.  Since team 3 only has one match against teams #1 & #5, the position night 3 totals (#1 vs #5) would not be considered for tie breaker totals.


Second Tiebreaker (Sudden Death): If the tie situation remains or the historic match(s) were rained out, a sudden death handicapped match (match points only) will be immediately played on hole #1 by all players on the tied teams.  If the tie remains, the match will proceed to hole #2, until a team takes the lead after all players have completed the hole.  Once a team takes a lead, the sudden death match is complete.   New article added March 2021.




Exhibit 1.  Computation of Averages:  Assume a player with a 47.5 average shoots a round of 59 and the fifth most recent round, the score being thrown out, is a 42.  The round of 59 is posted as 53, five strokes over the player's average at the beginning of the round.  The average for the following round would be increased by 1.1 strokes to a 48.6.  This rule would have the same effect if a golfer had not completed five rounds.  Any average that included a tenth of a point will be rounded to the nearest whole number.   Amended March 11, 2020.


Exhibit II.  Forfeiture of Points due to No-Show:  Individual teams with less than four players will forfeit individual points for each player absent.  The first thing to do when a player or players are absent is to determine which of the four playing positions is not represented by the player.  If no subs are involved the forfeiture(s) will occur in the position(s) of the regular(s) who are absent.  If subs are present, it must be determined which position they are subbing for.  For example, if a sub with no average is subbing for position number one then his team cannot forfeit this position even though he might (depending upon other factors) be playing in another position.  Once this done, the forfeiture(s) occur in the position not represented by a regular or a sub.  After forfeitures are determined, the playing positions of the players who have position opponents will be determined by their averages.

The following examples are given to further clarify these rules. (1) Team A had regulars’ number one and two, and team B has only two players, number one and two.  The opportunity to determine team medal from the scores shot is forfeited by both teams because they have less than three players present.  They play for 36 instead of 90 points.  Team medal points and individual points for positions three and four are split.  Therefore, each team receives 27 points because of forfeit.  (2) Team A has only two players, regular’s number one and number two and team B has only two players, regulars’ number three and four.  Team medal points are split, same rationale as above example.  Team A forfeits individual points for positions number three and four and team B forfeits individual points for positions number one and two.  These are only two of the many examples identified in past years experience.  If a ruling is needed on a forfeiture question bring it to the attention of the Rules Committee.  They have the history and findings on prior cases to assist in making a decision.


Exhibit III.  Completed Matches:  The following examples may clarify this rule: (1) Player A spots player B three strokes and the match is called after seven holes are played.  Two of the spotted strokes are used on holes completed but the third stroke would have been applied to the ninth hole, which was rained out.  The two match points for the un-played holes will be split, one to each player.  The individual point will be based on holes played with player B being spotted two strokes for the handicap holes completed.  The third stroke which would have been applied to the ninth hole is not used in determining who won the individual medal points, Team medal points are similarly based on the outcome of individual matches.  (2) If a sub with no average is involved and an opponent (with an average) complete only six or seven hole of their match, it was recommended that both players split the eighteen (18) match and medal points, with each player receiving nine (9) points each.  This rule was made in May 2002, but never officially recorded in the League Rules.


Exhibit IV.  Limitation on Strokes:  The following examples may clarify the rule: (1) Player A spots player B 25 strokes for medal play.  For match play the spot will depend on whether play is on the front nine or back nine.  If on the front, B receives 17 strokes for match play as follows: three strokes on the par 5 number two hole and two strokes on each of the par 4's and one stroke one each of the par 3's.  If the play were on the back, player B would also receive 17 strokes for match play as follows: two strokes for each of the par 4's and 1 stroke on the par 3.  (2) Player A spots player B more than nine strokes but less than or equal to 18 strokes.  Player B will receive one stroke per hole, totaling nine strokes, plus one additional stroke, per the handicap holes listed on the score card for each hole that is not a par 3.  Again, there are many additional examples covering this subject.  If a problem occurs notify the Rules Committee for a ruling as they have the history and results of prior cases to use in settling the team’s complaint.