Can Shotgun Starts be Run as Qualifying Competitions?

I received a question recently as to the status of Shotgun Starts and whether they could be run as Qualifying Competitons for Handicap Purposes

Under the Rules of Golf, a Committee is at liberty to set any teeing ground where a player will start her/his round and can stipulate the order in which holes are to be played in that round, so covering split tee starts and shotgun

Under the CONGU Unified Handicap System Decision 1(g) Shotgun Starts may be played as Qualifying Competitions so long as the course being played conforms to Competition Playing Conditions

Definition: Competition Play Conditions
Competition Play Conditions prevail during Stroke Play, Par/Bogey and Stableford competitions over 18 holes and for competitions played over a Designated Nine-Hole Course under the Rules of Golf from Competition Tees.
Competition Play Conditions shall not prevail when the length of the course played varies by more than 100 yards (91 metres) from the length of the Measured Course.
Note 1: Special rules apply when the length of a Measured Course has been temporarily reduced or increased – see Clause 13.
Note 2: Special rules apply to Nine-Hole Qualifying Competitions – see Clause 22.

Decision: Dec.1(g) Status of a competition in which shotgun starts are employed or competitors are authorised by the Committee to start other than at the first tee.
Competitions in which competitors are authorised by the Committee to commence play elsewhere than from the first tee will be Qualifying Competitions for handicap purposes provided all other requirements of the
UHS are satisfied. This includes ‘Shotgun Starts’.

So the answer is yes, Shotgun Competitons can be organised as Qualifying Competitions.

2 Replies to “Can Shotgun Starts be Run as Qualifying Competitions?”

  1. we want to have a shot gun start in aid of a charity.

    is this permissable ?

    Thank you.


    1. Normally, Ronnie, no problem with your Charity Event having a Shotgun Start

      A Shotgun is the manner in which a Competition is started and not a Golf Format

      It is often used to allocate tee starts more efficiently and allow more competitors to play at one time, and is also useful in having all competitors returning a the same time, especially if there are prizes and presentations to be made

      In normal play if everyone starts at Hole No.1 then Hole No. 2 is not used for 10-12 minutes until the first group have finished playing Hole No. 1 and Hole 18 is not used for almost 4 hours until the first group have played Hole No.17

      If with your competition, you do not have 18+ teams so not all holes would be used to start, you could consider a Reverse Shotgun

      For example, if you had 11 teams then you could start your competition at Hole No. 8, this would then free up Hole Nos. 1-7 for other players if your Club Management were concerned about preventing visitors/other players going out and so lose revenue

      Unfortunately, at the moment, under COVID-19 Restrictions, Shotguns or Roll-ups are not encouraged or indeed allowed in some countries, this would encourage a large gathering and congregation of players which would compromise social distancing guidelines set down by Governments

      You would have to check with your National/Local Golf Organisation about their rulings on Shotgun Starts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *