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Frequently Asked Questions

The Tournament Referee has compiled a list of his responses to 'frequently asked questions'. It is recommended that you take a copy of the Tournament Rules and these 'Frequently Asked Questions' to each of your round matches, in case of any queries while on the course.


Q: The new World Handicap System (WHS) is now being played at some courses. Does this affect the handicap competitors use in the rest of the matches in the 2020 Daily Mail Foursomes?
A: Due to disruption caused by Covid 19, which has resulted in this year's (2020) competition over-running into 2021, we have agreed with CONGU that players should play off whatever their club playing handicap (WHS index) is at the time of their match, regardless of whether the match is home or away. The Rules and Conditions that have been approved by the R&A for the 2020 (current) competition did not include the slope rating system so are not being applied to matches in the 2020 competition.

As before the maximum handicap allowance of 18 for men and 30 for women, still applies to all matches in the Daily Mail Foursomes.


Q: During the early months of the year we always have winter conditions in place. Is this acceptable?
A:It is up to the club drawn at home to ensure that the course is in the best possible condition to play a fair and proper match.  We appreciate that in the early months of the year it is often the case that some winter conditions will be in play; if so the captain of the home club should make the opposition aware of these prior to day of the match.  The following winter conditions are unacceptable:
a) Carrying a piece of Astroturf mat around and playing from it.
b) Dropping off the fairway in the semi rough or rough (up to three fairways is acceptable if it is for course maintenance purposes).
c) Teeing up the ball in the fairway (up to three fairways is acceptable if it is for course maintenance purposes).
d) Winter tees and greens are acceptable (maximum of six each) as long as the overall length of the course is not reduced by over 300 yards.  Winter greens should be cut to the appropriate length for a green and MUST have regulation size holes (no bucket holes).
If the home course has any of the above winter conditions in place on the date set for of the match then  the away club would be entitled to claim home advantage as long as there are NONE of them in place at their course.  If the away course has ANY of the above winter conditions then the match must remain as drawn.
Q: The home course has a trolley ban. Can the away course claim home advantage?
A: No, a club does not lose home advantage if there is a trolley ban. As Daily Mail Foursomes permits the use of caddies it is recommended that one be used if a player is unable to carry his/her own clubs.
Q: Are bucket holes acceptable?
A: No. Even if some temporary greens are in use the hole MUST be regulation size.
Q. During the winter months we play off a fairway mat that we carry around, can we still elect to do this even if our club lifts the rule for the visiting team in order to retain home advantage?
A. No. 

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: Yes. Players must be 18 or over on 1st January 2019 in order to participate.
Q: Are 5-day members eligible to play?
A: Yes. However bear in mind that many matches, particularly in the early rounds are played at weekends which may be a problem if you are drawn at home and select 5-day members.
Q: Is there a fee to enter the competition?
A. There is no entry fee for the Tournament, but courtesy of the course must be extended to visiting competitors when the match is played.
Q: Can players with an inactive handicap play in the competition?
A. No, players must have an active handicap.
Q. Is a player who is a member of more than one club permitted to represent one of them even if it is not their home club?
A. Yes. However players with multiple memberships can only play for one club in the same year.
Q. Once a match is started, if for any reason we are unable to continue to play, what happens?
A. Unless the reason for abandoning the match is injury or illness, in which case the pair affected must concede the tie, the match should be resumed as soon as possible at the point at which play was ceased. If one pair is unable to offer a new date for the match to be completed then that pair would have to concede (regardless of the score at the time the original match was abandoned). If neither pair can make a new date, or there is insufficient time before the deadline to recommence the match, the Tournament Referee will decide the outcome by tossing a coin.
Q: Can we elect to play all of our matches away?
A. No. It is a condition of entry that clubs must be able to host matches if drawn at home.
Q: We play three eighths of the difference in competing pairs’ handicaps in our club matches, why is this tournament half of the difference?
A: CONGU recommends that half of the difference should be used in foursomes match play.
Q: One of our winning pair has a 4-week holiday planned that effectively rules them out for the entire period allotted to play one of the rounds. Can anything be done about this?
A: Not really. As no extensions to the playing times for rounds can be considered it would be best for the Club to put forward a replacement at the start of the competition. For 20/21 only player substitutions can be made after round one of the competition. No player substitutions are permitted after the second round match has been played.
Q. One of our players has sustained an injury mid-tournament and is unable to play a match. What can we do?
A. No player substitutions are permitted. If a player is unable to play due to injury or illness their club will have to withdraw from the tournament.
Q: We have contacted our opponents and they can only play at weekends, whereas we play all of our golf during the week. What happens in such circumstances?
A: In the early rounds, when it is not possible to play evening golf, the vast majority of matches take place at weekends and therefore it is essential that at least one weekend date is offered.
Q: In trying to arrange our match I have given numerous dates but our opponents can only play on the last weekend. What will happen if the weather prevents us playing on that date?
A: Whilst it is both desirable and advisable to give as many dates as possible, the objective is to find a date that is suitable for both clubs. If a match is not played on or before the last weekend the Tournament Director will decide, on the basis of availability which team will go through to the next round. No match extensions will be allowed.
Q: Must matches be played off Medal Tees?
A: Whenever possible matches should be played off Medal Tees.

Q: What is regarded as reasonable speed of play?
A: Our recommendation (as per the European Tour) is that the player should play their shot 45 seconds after reaching the ball.

Q: One of the players will not be a member of the Club next year?
A: Players must be current members to represent a club. The pair who play in round two must be available to play matches next year.

Q: One of our players has health concerns and does not want to travel to other clubs?
A: As substitutes are now allowed for round two and alternative player can be used.

Q: Our club currently only allows members to play, what do we do if we have a home draw?
A: If your club will not give special dispensation for the visiting players then a match should switch to the away course. If both clubs will only allow members to play, you should inform the Tournament Referee who will decide the match by tossing a coin.

Q: The Clubhouse at our course is currently out of use. Does this mean we must forfeit home advantage?
A: No. As long as there are toilet and hand washing facilities available then you can host the match, however you must make the visiting players aware that the Clubhouse is out of use as well as any other COVID-19 rules that your club has in place.

Contact the Tournament Office at draw@mailgolf.co.uk or 020 7384 3757

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