Minnesota Golf Association

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of tournaments does the MGA run?

The MGA conducts 23 major amateur Championships including tournaments for men, women, juniors, and seniors.

What are the requirements to play in an MGA tournament?

Every tournament has different requirements. You should check the application for specific requirements.  However, except for junior tournaments, a player must be an MGA Associate Member in good standing from a current MGA Member Club.  An "MGA Associate Member" is defined as a person who has a handicap index issued by the MGA through an approved Member Club.

How do I sign up for an MGA tournament?

You are able to enter all MGA tournaments online, and that is the recommended method.  Applications for all open MGA tournaments also may be downloaded from the MGA's website (www.mngolf.org) and submitted in person or by US Mail.

What is the entry fee for each tournament?

The entry fee for each championship is based on many factors and thus varies from event to event.  Specific entry fee information may be found on the home page or application for each championship. 

Why do the Amateur and Players' tournaments have a "Qualifying" and "Exempt" fee?

All non-exempt players attempting to qualify pay a qualifying fee and those that successfully qualify will pay an additional Championship fee. Exempt players will pay a fee equal to the qualifying fee plus the Championship fee.

What is the entry deadline for MGA tournaments?

Every tournament has different deadline requirements. The deadline for an event is generally two weeks prior to the first day of competition.  If the event has a qualifying process, the date is two weeks prior to the first qualifier.

To check on the deadline for a specific championship, please visit the home page for that event.  You can link to it through the Championships home page.

When can I sign-up for an MGA tournament?

For the 2021 season, the MGA will start accepting applications (both online and in person) for all championships which are open to general entry beginning Monday, March 1.

Can I sign-up for a tournament after the entry deadline?

How many entries are accepted for each tournament?

The number of entries accepted for each tournament varies. Please visit the home page or application of a specific championship for the total number of entries to be accepted.

How will I be notified if my application has been accepted?

If you enter online, you will receive an e-mail confirming your entry.

If you file a paper application, you will receive an e-mail (if the MGA has your e-mail address on file) once your entry has been processed and accepted.

If there is any problem regarding your application that keeps it from being accepted, you will receive an e-mail (if the MGA has your e-mail address on file) or by telephone.

Can I get a refund if I need to cancel from playing in a tournament?

Entry fees will be refunded regardless of the reason, less a $25 per entry administrative fee, for any withdrawal up to the day before the event. A withdrawal after such time, or no show, will not be eligible for any refund except under exceptional circumstances. The participant must submit a written request within 30 days to obtain a refund.

Are practice rounds available for tournaments?

The MGA is very fortunate to have so many facilities make available their courses with no green fee paid by the MGA in order to conduct the tournament program, and it greatly appreciates this relationship. However, this makes it impossible to offer a free practice round for every player in every tournament.  Thus, you likely will have to pay to play a practice round, and the fee will vary from course to course.

The MGA encourages the host club to make some times available for practice rounds at a reduced rate for players to play at their own expense.  This might mean accommodating up to 240 players. Unfortunately, not every facility is able to do this. Thus, if you wish to play a practice round, you should contact the host club directly for their policy.

Does the MGA have a dress code for tournaments?

For all MGA tournaments, players and caddies must be neat in appearance with respect to person grooming and clothing. All entrants are required to wear either golf slacks, shorts, or golf skirts that are of the appropriate length, and shirts with collars and sleeves (sleeveless tops are permitted for women). Examples of attire NOT ACCEPTABLE include the following: Short shorts, athletic shorts, tennis shorts, cut- offs, jeans, jean shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, sweats. The Committee in charge shall decide whether this requirement has been met and will withdraw the entry of any player who does not comply.

Are carts and/or caddies permitted at MGA tournaments?

The MGA feels walking is an important part of the game, and thus, strongly encourages players to use a riding golf cart (if permitted) only when circumstances would warrant such use.  Players always are welcome to walk and carry their clubs or use a push cart (including electric) at any time unless otherwise prohibited by the host facility.

Generally speaking, the use of golf carts is permitted in all senior events as well as other selected events.  Golf carts are not permitted in any junior events.

Caddies are permitted in all MGA championships, state-level qualifying events and USGA qualifying events.  However, parents or guardians are not permitted to caddie for players in junior events, including US Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers.  Some host clubs have a caddie program and may be able to provide caddies with knowledge of the course.  Caddies are at the expense of the player.  A player should contact the host club if interested in using a club caddie.

Once I am entered into a tournament, how will I receive information such as starting times and directions?

Each championship has a "landing" page (webpage) on which all information regarding the event will be posted, including a link to view information regarding the host facility.  Generally, starting times are posted approximately one week prior to the competition.  

Players with e-mail addresses on file with the MGA will receive an e-mail notifying them that the information has been posted. Players who do not have email addresses on file should make a point to check the championship landing page periodically to keep abreast of important information.  The player is responsible for knowing the information.

What is the MGA's position on equipment?

The MGA conducts all of its competitions pursuant to the Rules of Golf. Accordingly, the MGA endorses the USGA position that a “single set of rules, including those for equipment, best serves all constituencies of the game, including both competitive and recreational players.”

For all MGA competitions, use of a non-conforming golf club or ball is a violation of the Rules of Golf and will result in a penalty of disqualification. Likewise, any rounds played with non-conforming equipment are not acceptable for handicap posting.

The Local Rule affecting the grooves on clubs greater than 25* applies to all USGA championship and qualifying competitions only.  The MGA has not adopted this condition.  (NOTE: It is not a RULE that is in effect automatically.  The Committee in charge of the competition must adopt the Local Rule for it to be in effect.)

Per Rule 4.3, distance measuring devices that measure distance-only are permitted in all MGA competitions as well as USGA amateur-only competitions.

For the List of Conforming Driver Heads, click here.

For the Informational Club Database (to check to see if grooves conform), click here.

For the List of Conforming Golf Balls, click here.

Additionally, the USGA website contains more information discussing the issue of non-conforming golf clubs. Visit
https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/equipment-standards.html for more information.

If I have a Rules of Golf question, what should I do?

Contact the MGA Tournament Department and someone will be happy to answer your question. 

With the release of the "New and Modernised Rules" in 2019, it is necessary for anyone participating in any golf competition to be at least familiar with, it not well versed in, the Rules.  It is the player's responsibility to know the Rules.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  There are great resources available at USGA.org, RandA.org, GeneralArea.org and many other sites.

Likewise, the Rules of Golf and the relevant Interpretations may be found at the Rules Section of the USGA web site. 

The MGA conducts rules program annually.  Due to COVID-19, programs in 2020 and 2021 are online.  Registration for upcoming programs as well as videos of past seminars may be found on the MNGolfRules channel on GoToStage.com.  

Lastly, MGA Director of Rules & Competitions Doug Hoffmann has a podcast - "I Need A Ruling! - A Golf Podcast" in which he covers many of the changes for 2019.  It may be found on many podcast host sites.

Does the MGA offer Rules of Golf education classes?

Yes. For a schedule of dates and times please refer to the Rules area

In light of recent rulings from the world of professional golf, the MGA strongly encourages anyone who plays tournament golf to attend a Rules workshop in order to be as knowledgeable as possible in the Rules.

What will happen if I throw or break a club out of anger?

The MGA believes strongly in the original tenets of the etiquette of the game — that players are to act in an appropriate manner while playing, regardless whether it is a tournament or casual round. The MGA Conduct Policy was established to clearly restate the expected conduct of the players participating in any MGA event, or as a representative of the MGA, and to deal with any violation thereof.

Any player considering submitting an application for an event should take the time to carefully read it. By signing (or checking the appropriate box for an online registration) and submitting an application for an MGA event, the player is confirming his/her knowledge of such code and the agreement to abide by such code, and its resultant penalties should it be enforced.

Click here for the Conduct Policy.  In addition, it is included as part of the Tournament Player's Information section and is available for viewing on this web site.  

Does the MGA have a Junior Program?

Golf is very popular in Minnesota. In order to preserve this trend, today and in the future, the Minnesota Golf Association actively promotes junior golf throughout the state. The MGA conducts three championships for juniors ages 18 and under - the Minnesota State Junior Girls' and State Junior Boys' championships as well as the MGA Junior Team Championship.

Where can I get USGA applications?

The USGA requires players to enter its events online.  Links to each championship may be found by clicking here.

What is the policy concerning NSF checks?

Entries with insufficient funds will be considered incomplete and unacceptable and will be withdrawn. The entrant is responsible for any bank fees incurred by the MGA for insufficient funds checks and must pay such fees before entry in further MGA events is allowed.

What is the difference between the Amateur Championship and the different Players' Championships?

The MGA Amateur Championship is a 54-hole, stroke play championship with a starting field of 156 players.

The MGA Players' Championship is a 64 player, match play championship.

The MGA Mid-Players' Championship is a 32 player, match play championship open to players at least 30 years of age.

The MGA Senior Players' Championship is a 32 player, match play championship open to players at least 55 years of age.

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