Snapper Rules!

We started with the basic USGA rules. THAT was no fun, so through a complicated mathematical formula (that I think used pi and the pythagorium theorum) we came up with a few minor changes that enable us to maximize our fun, while allowing for our built in handicap, (Beer and Pucker). As always, it only takes 2 out of 3 Carlson’s to arbitrarily add, subtract, or ignore rules as we go.

And now a word from our President and league founder: Anyone remember Paul Newman in Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid just before kicking his gigantic opponent in the balls announcing he wanted to get the rules straight before starting the knife fight and his opponent incredulously asking “Rules? In a knife fight? What rules?” to which he replied “No Rules? Okay somebody say 1-2-3 go” and then commencing his kick when Robert Redford immediately replied” 1-2-3- Go”? Well some say we Snappers have no rules…But we do.


Rules are as follows:

1. USGA rules except as modified herein;

2. Winter rules apply throughout the year; you may always improve your lie by moving your ball any distance within reason no closer to the hole from a discretionary unplayable lie resulting from course conditions; As always people, trees improperly planted in front of your ball are only considered “course conditions” under this rule for those moving their balls only so far as necessary to avoid bending clubs; Tall grass on the other hand is always to be considered “course conditions” entitling you to move your ball vertically as much as you are able (without using a tee Bill);

Special Rule 2a): a/k/a “Fenner/Pettigrew Rule”: Any and all offers of “gimmee putt(s)” shall be considered mandatory at the sole discretion of the offeror who will always have the option of either enforcing the “gimmee acceptance” or withdrawing the offer if the offeree in fact strikes the ball; (this is intended only as an anti-handicap sandbagging rule and does not likely affect any of a variety of Snappers who routinely beg for gimmees inside a 12 ft radius of the hole)

3. Out of bounds or lost ball shall be a one stroke penalty with the ball to be played by “line of flight” at the point out of bounds; You always take your distance in this league and treat any such unfortunate occurrence as if you had hit into a lateral hazard;

Penalty Strokes: (re-write for clarification, 6/18/09)Penalty Stokes shall be assessed for one and only one infraction, i.e., out of bounds or lost ball. Out of bounds or lost ball shall be a one stroke penalty with the ball to be played by “line of flight” at the point out of bounds; You always take your distance in this league and treat any such unfortunate occurrence as if you had hit into a lateral hazard; You also are expected to be able to be able to give yourself a reasonable shot after taking the penalty stroke by moving back on your line of flight as far as necessary and/or moving laterally within reason from your actual distance. If you have a doubt as to your line of flight, actual distance and/or reasonable drop zone to achieve the fair, common sense spirit of the rule, ask your opponent: “Can I drop here?” and opponents you then say either: “Sure, go ahead, that looks right to me” or ” Hell no dumbass, drop back there a ways farther back”.

Penalty strokes shall not be assessed for any other technical infraction or departation from the USGA rules of golf, including but not limited to ” Ball moving at address”, “Accidental grounding of club in sand trap or hazard”, “Attesting to the wrong score on official scorecard”, “hitting opponent’s or wrong ball” (If this happens you hit again, this time your own ball from where you were supposed to and the first shot, good or bad, does not count), or ” failing to announce a provisional in advance” (if this happens and you find your own ball after that, hit your own ball without penalty and the first shot is always considered a provisional and good or bad it does not count.)

Special Rule 3a): a/k/a the “7-11 Rule”: Any player achieving a score totaling double par plus one stroke, or any player for any reason believing that such score would be as good or better than he could possibly hope to achieve by addressing and striking (or attempting to strike) his ball again, no matter how close in proximity his ball at that time remains to the tee box from which he began scoring for the hole , shall have not only the option but the responsibility of picking his ball up (if he knows where it is and this is otherwise possible) and immediately duck walking to the next tee box for a fresh start on the next hole. (this rule was added in an attempt to address unique challenges posed by Sugarbush to those wishing to speed play and limit lost balls to under a dozen per player per night and keep 9 hole handicaps down to double digits only.

4. Play white tees;

Special Rule 4a): a/k/a “The Majestic Rule”: Don’t’Play White tees; Don’t’ Play White Tee Markers. Play Blue Tee Markers. At several hundred yards shorter from the blues than the Sugarbush whites, this rule, 1st mandated by Snapper for week 1 (2006) @ the Majestic for which he was voted AOTD was then adopted by the same quorem as a good idea.

5. No make up dates are allowed; If you cannot make it, please send a sub; we will help you with locating subs if you ask; This is especially important with a small league to make it fun for everyone;

Special Rule 5a, a/k/a the “Cowan/Peltier Revision”: Each team (hereinafter referred to as OFFENDING TEAM) may choose, without suffering a complete forfeit of the match, no more often then once per golf season, and not on any position round week (position round caveat striken from rule by 2 out of 3 Carlsons on 6/15/2011), to refuse to show up at all for a scheduled match with an opponent, hereinafter referred to as OFFENDED TEAM , but instead to each send a substitute player in their place, which sub or subs may, but need not know anyone on the league, may, but need not be of equal or similar ability to the regular members of OFFENDING TEAM, the OFFENDED TEAM (or other Snappers for that matter), may but need not have established or partially established handicaps on the league. The “hole by hole” scoring will be accepted into the running point total in our standings for the OFFENDING TEAM but the 4 match points are forfeited as in rule 8. OFFENDED TEAM may but need not insist in a subsequent week upon adequate compensation in the form of one can of beer each from OFFENDING TEAM for their trouble. Should no regular team member and only one sub show up for a match, or should an OFFENDING TEAM choose to blow us off with two subs more than the once per season Cowan and Peltier do, no points are awarded ; that would be a different rule we are not passing right now.

6. When only one team member shows up and has no sub for his absent partner, his handicap is doubled, as is his hole by hole score and matched against the opposition for purposes of hole by hole points; However, the 4 “match points” are forfeited to the opposing team;

Rule 6(a) 2011 Darren Bentley Exclusion… Since Darren’s presumed partner Rey Farah (aka Reliable Rey) pimped out of the partnership a few days before league, Darren being willing to play with himself (doubled score/doubled hndcap) is excluded from the 4 match point forfeit rule applicable to everyone else.

Rule 6(b) 2011 Reliable Rey Exception to the 2011 Darren Bentley exclusion: Since Rey wishes to golf with Darren when he feels like it without prior commitment, and Darren is cool with that, Rey and/or anyone else wishing to do so any particular week shall golf with Darren, pay $25 for greens fees to Snapper who in turn will purchase weekly green fees that week for the extra player that week since the Majestic is charging us only for 19 spots.

Rule 6(C) 2019 The Snapper/Lawless exception: But if only one member of each team appears opposing each other for a match no one is inconvenienced or both of them are but in any case they shall not each forfeit 4 points to the other and both score as they advocated but instead shall play for the points as usual in the match.

7. Forfeit time is any time after the opposing team has completed their first hole or someone else not on the league has teed off behind them, whichever occurs first; the opposing team is of course expected to be the last off the tee for the league;

Special Rule 7A, a/k/a, “Markunas/Wolfendon Rule”: Tee times (tee orders) are scheduled in advance for each match. In the spirit of “ready golf” , should one or more members of a team not be present at the tee box when it is their SCHEDULED turn to go off, then the next SCHEDULED match in which all members (or subs) expected to be present that night may tee off; Should more than one SCHEDULED match not be ready and prepared to tee off in their SCHEDULED order, then the first complete group, in the order SCHEDULED may tee off to begin their match; Should a previously SCHEDULED match be passed over in this fashion, they will claim the tee and begin their match as soon as all members (or subs) expected to be present that night arrive at the tee box irrespective of how early a later SCHEDULED team or team may have arrived or how long a later SCHEDULED team or teams may have been at the tee box waiting their turn; Should a team or teams tee off earlier than their SCHEDULED position at a time when one or more matches SCHEDULED ahead of them is ready to begin with all members (or subs) expected to be present that night at the tee box, then the later SCHEDULED match will not be counted for league play and no points will be awarded to either later SCHEDULED team participating therein. Nothing contained herein shall preclude the teams in a SCHEDULED match from voluntarily deferring if they wish to a later SCHEDULED match, as a matter of courtesy or in exchange for an “arms length transaction” involving beer or lucre.
Note:Opting for another stern warning, Jerry “Kofi” Carlson dissented and/or abstained and did not participate in this rule change mandate.

Special Rule 7B a/k/a The CHAD ELLIS COMMON SENSE/COMMON COURTESY CLARIFICATION: Any league member or substitute, attempting and failing to comply with rule 7 by arriving after either the opposing team has completed the 1st hole or a golfer or group not on our league has teed off behind them, whichever is first to occur, shall immediately proceed to their rightful match, wheresoever it shall be found to be located on the course at the time. Such late golfer shall then attempt to negotiate a common courtesy/common sense respite from the rule with his opponents for the night, eg, #1 if on the 1st hole perhaps the nonleague members would allow you to play through and catch up, or eg #2 finishing the round from there and then should it appear daylight would allow, completing and scoring the missed hole(s) at the completion of the round for a full 9 hole score capable of being posting and handicapping. Caveat: Do not in the mistaken belief that it makes common sense agree to simply accept a “7-11” rule max out for the hole or holes missed as that would create for you an artificially high handicap for the weeks following. Caveat #2: Understand that any negotiation with a fellow Snapper league member to be successful ought to involve the mention of beer in some fashion. Should common courtesy and/or common sense not prevail or allow you to post a score for the evening representing 9 holes actually completed, then by all means continue to golf (after all you paid for the round and are entitled to it or so much as you are capable of actually attending) but understand that you are simply a pacer and your incomplete score will not count for point(s), average or handicap. The match will be scored as if you are not present under either rule 6 or rule 8 as the case may be.

8. When no opposition shows, teams to whom the match has been forfeited automatically receive the 4 “match points” and then score points by matching their card hole by hole against another team’s scorecard selected at random in the clubhouse at the completion of play as if they had in fact played the randomly selected team, except that the randomly selected team cannot score additional points of their own in this fashion;

9. The tie breaker to determine position round match-ups will use composite team averages, with the lower team average getting the higher seed. Year end tie breaker to determine position in final standings will use points earned in all “head-to-head” match-ups between the tied teams during the year (even if one or more subs were involved). Second tie breaker will be composite averages, and the third tie breaker a Carlson coin flip.

10. For safety reasons, please do not play with the wildlife under any circumstances. This would include box turtles, as well as Snappers. This rule also prohibits side wagers involving wildlife like “closest chip to the woodchuck for a buck”.

11. SCHEDULE: A full season 18 week schedule of pairings including two position rounds is prepared and disseminated at the start of the season. It shall be considered binding throughout the season. Rainouts (i.e, any week not completed by all matches by reason of nature, weather, Act of God or Act of War) have no affect whatsoever on the schedule the following week(s) with the exception of shortening the season and eliminating the appropriate number of scheduled matches at the end of the season. The schedule is what it is. Note: Should one or more groups fail to complete the entire 9 hole round for the evening due to a “Rain out”, then all groups and matches (including those already completed or more rightly termed believed to have been completed) are void ab initio and are deemed rained out; no points, no scores, no handicaps, no AOTD’s (although this last one about AOTD’s is bound to be one day revised and amended I suspect.)


We have a traditional 80% from your score to par, but with a 5-week moving average whereby the last 5 weeks only, determine your handicap.

Handicap Rule
Your starting handicap for your first 3 rounds will be based on last year’s season average. Your fourth round handicap will be based on your 3 round total for this year. We will still be employing the “5 week moving average” for handicap calculation after your fifth round. New golfers (and subs) that do not have at least 3 rounds last year, will not establish a handicap until they have logged 3 rounds this year. Until then, their handicap will be based on that week’s score.

Included in your dues, the traditional year end outing is 1st Sat or Sun after we finish in September. It is a 4 man scramble of fair teams comprised of only league members and necessary fill in substitutes who were subs on the league. The intention of one last get together for the year. After the scramble we have dinner (also included in the outing) and award yearly prizes and final sheets and prize money and such (as minimal as it is). Prize money is approximately $25/man and is awarded mostly for braggin rights and beer.

The allowance I plan on fluctuates between $50 – $80/man depending on rainouts and such. I have never had to ask for additional cash for a year end although no rainout 18 week years in the past caused a downsize in the course or the meal purchased. Here is where we have been in the past:

2018 Lyon Oaks – Wixom
2017 Westwynd Golf Club  – Oakland
2016 Solitude Links – Kimball
2015 Timber Ridge -E Lansing
2014 Golden Fox – Plymouth
2013 Greystone-Washington
2012 Apple Mountain – Freeland
2011 Copper Hills- Oxford,
2010 Orchards – Washington,
2009 Eagle Eye – E Lansing,
2008 Davison CC – Davison,
2007 Boulder Pointe – Oxford,
2006 Bay Valley CC – Bay City,
2005 Kimberley Oaks – St. Charles,
2004 Timbers – Frankenmuth, 
2003 Fortress – Frankenmuth,
2002 Copper Ridge CC – Davison, 
2001 Tyrone Hills – Fenton,
2000 Dunham Hills – Hartland, 
1999 Timbers – Frankenmuth, 
1998 Devils Ridge – Oxford,
1997 Majestic – Hartland,
1996 Majestic – Hartland,
1995 Sugarbush CC – Davison,
1994 IMA Brookwood – Burton, 
1993 Davison CC – Davison,
1992 IMA Brookwood – Burton,
1991 Dunham Hills – Hartland, 
1990 Flint Elks Club – Grand Blanc, 
1989 IMA Brookwood – Burton, 
1988 Grand Blanc CC – Grand Blanc

If you have a suggestion as to location or day (Sat vs Sun) bring it up and we will discuss it and I’ll see what I can negotiate. Vote early for this year’s venue if you are interested.