This document is a reference for MARS Golfers. If you are curious about some aspect of MARS golf and you can’t find it here, please contact the Golf web page maintainer and we will try to add it to the guide.
This latest revision (March 2024) incorporates changes refining our use of Golf Genius to manage League Events, Handicap Allowances from the World Handicap System and other changes.
- League Officers
- New Members
- Annual Kickoff Meeting
- World Handicap System
- Handicap Allowances
- Golf Genius
- Prize Money
- League Championship
- League Rules
- Posting Scores in GHIN
- Pace of Play
- Course Handicap Calculation
- Multiple Tee Boxes
- Hole-In-One Pool
- Summary of Player Responsibilities
The MARS Associates Golf Club accommodates men and women of all levels of golfing ability through the use of the World Handicap System. Membership in MARS Retirees is required to join the golf club. Membership benefits are open to retiree and spouse/significant other, individual retiree, or the surviving spouse/significant other of a retiree. Play begins in early April and continues through October. Numerous formats are used to allow for both individual play and for team events.
The league is open to new membership at any time of the year. You must be a member of MARS Associates to be a member of the MARS Golf League. The current annual assessment is $75 and is allocated as follow:
- Colorado Golf Association (CGA) GHIN Fee – $ 43.00
- CGA Men’s Club dues – $ 1.42
- Tournament Prize Fund – $ 15.00
- Broken Tee League Fee – $ 15.00
- Operating Costs – $1.00
- Broken Tee Grill – $ 4.58
Checks should be made payable to MARS Golf League. Payment can also be made using Zelle; Name : MARS Golf League; email@example.com. This fee covers league tournament prize money, membership in the Colorado Golf Association (CGA) as well as the MARS Golf League. CGA membership includes a GHIN number. GHIN stands for the Golf Handicap Information Network. Our home club is Broken Tee Englewood. Each new member provides contact information for the league roster. This includes name, gender, address, phone, email address, and existing GHIN number if you already have one. Email is the primary means of communication. If you want to join MARS Golf, contact one of the officers. A handicap index is required for all members to compete for prize money in our weekly events. A GHIN number will be provided for new members that do not have an existing GHIN number. Once the new member has been issued a GHIN number, they will be able to start posting scores in GHIN for both league and non-league play. Once 54 holes have been posted in GHIN, the system will start generating a handicap index for the member. 54 holes can be any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds. For members submitting their first scores to obtain an initial handicap index, the maximum score for each hole played is limited to par + 5 strokes.
Annual Kickoff Meeting
Each March the league holds a kickoff meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to get reports from last year’s officers, vote for new officers, introduce the officers, review changes to the rules of golf and how they apply to our league, establish the season schedule, assign cochairs, and discuss any other topics important to our league. Members are contacted by the league President once the meeting is scheduled. The main golf page will be updated when the next meeting is scheduled.
World Handicap System
The World Handicap System™ enables golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. Golfers must post their scores for all rounds played in accordance with the rules of golf. However, beginning in 2016, you cannot post scores for rounds played alone. Playing alone means that you are not playing with any other players. Your scores are used to calculate a Handicap Index. This index represents your potential to score relative to the course ratings and slope. It is calculated based on the best 8 scores out of your most recent 20 rounds. It is intended to represent your potential to score, not your average score. You are expected to score at the level indicated by your index about 20% of the time. Your Handicap Index is recalculated whenever a new score is posted in GHIN. For our events, Golf Genius automatically posts our scores. You can also record scores online at The Colorado Golf Association website or on the GHIN mobile App. This link is also provided in your CGA Handicap Index Revision you receive via email. It is strongly recommended that you review the World Handicap System Rules of Handicapping. If you have handicap questions, please contact the Handicap Chair. The club also has a Handicap Committee responsible for ensuring correct application of handicap requirements. Golf Genius automatically applies the correct handicap index for each event, (Note: the maximum Handicap Index value is 54.0.)
A handicap allowance is the percentage of a Course Handicap™ recommended to create equity based on the format of play.
Since higher-handicap players typically have more variance in their scores and an increased potential to shoot lower net scores, when full Course Handicaps are used in certain formats, players with lower Course Handicaps are generally at a disadvantage. By taking a percentage of Course Handicap, the higher handicap players are impacted more, which brings the expected scores for all players or teams to a more consistent level. Handicap allowances are mainly applied in team formats, where the combination of players can produce lower scores compared to other teams.
Millions of scores and/or simulations were used to determine and validate the handicap allowances used under the WHS™, and the recommendations for each format of play can be found (Appendix C, Rules of Handicapping). These Handicap Allowances are reflected in our Events descriptions below.
Golf Genius is a golf league management web service that is partnered with the USGA. The service provides full league management functions. Including roster, schedule, scheduling, signup, scoring, winner determination including tie breakers, notifications and a two-way interface with the USGA GHIN system. There are two versions: a free version for clubs associated with USGA Golf associations (which we use) and a paid version that has even more capability. Check out our MARS Golf League Portal.
Events are scheduled weekly from the first Thursday in April through the last Thursday in October. Event times are agreed to with the course. We generally start from around 8:30am to 9:00am. Changes occur occasionally to accommodate course requirements. Events are played in accordance with the rules of golf except to the extent necessary to accommodate specific event format requirements indicated in the table below. We also have MARS Golf Rules that incorporate many of the USGA approved Local Rules. Individual scores are posted in the GHIN system – even though the event may be a team event. The exceptions are Scramble, Shamble, Four Club, and Modified Scotch Doubles. Scores for these events are not posted. For team events it is possible that one or more players may be missing.: The Event Manager will assign a “virtual player(s)”, taken from another team, whose handicap is close to that of the missing player(s). The virtual players are not eligible to win prize money. We do not have longest-drive contests. We do limit the number of tees shots a player may have for some events. In those cases, please note whose tee shot was used for each hole on the scorecard. We do have closest to the pin on two par 3 holes per round. Team events are usually avoided for the first few weeks of the season to better allow new members to establish official handicaps. Adverse course conditions such as aeration sometimes result in scheduling Scrambles when posting scores is impractical. Team events are also avoided during the month of October when participation drops significantly. Team event coordination is difficult when players don’t show up. The current event formats are listed below.
|Exception to Rules of Golf
|Individual Stroke Play
|Individual Stroke Play is traditional stroke play golf. Players record the number of strokes taken at each hole and total them up at the end of the round. The lowest net score wins
|4 Team Scramble
|In a 4 Team Scramble event each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays the second shot from within a club length, no nearer to the hole, of the selected ball. The ball may be placed. However, the condition of the lie may not be improved. If the chosen ball is in the rough all team members must hit from the rough even though the fairway may be within one club length. The same is true for bunkers or other penalty areas. This procedure is repeated until the hole is finished. The score for each hole is totaled. The MARS golf league requires that each foursome use the tee shot of each member a minimum of three times. The scorekeeper will record on the scorecard whose drive was used on each hole. Members of a 3 Team scramble team are required to rotate hitting a second shot. This is done on a hole basis. That is, player 1 plays all the second shots on hole 1, player 2 plays all the second shots on hole 2, player 3 on hole 3, and then start over on hole 4. These second shots take the place of the missing fourth player. The score is the total team score minus the team handicap.
|Yes. Teams hit from the same location. Balls are placed one club length from selected ball.
|Foursome (A,B,C,D players) = 25%+20%+15%+10%
Threesome = 30%+25%+15%
Percentages applied based on handicap, not the order listed on the tee sheet. 2 person teams are not permitted in a scramble event.
|4 Team Shamble
|In a 4 Team Shamble event each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then completes the hole with their own ball starting from within one club length, no nearer to the hole, of the selected tee shot. The ball may be placed. However, the condition of the lie may not be improved. If the chosen ball is in the rough all team members must hit from the rough even though the fairway may be within one club length. The same is true for bunkers or other penalty areas. Put each player’s gross score on the scorecard and circle the low net score. The handicap strokes per hole are on the scorecard. The league requires that each foursome use the tee shot of any member a maximum of 9 times. For a threesome the maximum number of tee shots is 10 by any one player. The scorekeeper will record on the scorecard whose tee shot was used on each hole. The team score is the total of the best ball for each hole. Do not circle the score used if you are a threesome. A “virtual player” will be added to your team after the round is complete.
|Yes. Players do not play their own tee shot on every hole.
Team score is sum of all balls on each hole. 2 person teams are not permitted in a shamble event.
|Modified Stableford is an event where the individual score is points rather than strokes. Points are awarded as follows: Hole-In-One = +8, Double Eagle or better = +8; Eagle = +5; Birdie = +3; Par = +1; Bogey = 0; Double Bogey = -1; Triple Bogey or Worse = -2. The points achieved for each hole of the round are added together to produce the total points score. The player with the highest score wins. All point calculations are done based on the net score for the hole. Handicap strokes per hole are calculated by Golf Genius.
|4 Team Best Ball
|The team score for each hole is the low net score of the four team members. The total team score is the sum of the low net scores.
|2 Team Best Ball
|The teams are per the pairings on the scorecard. The team score for each hole is the low net score of the two team members. The total team score is the sum of the low net scores.
|Each player is required to carry only four clubs (instead of the usual fourteen) including the putter. The same 4 clubs must be carried for the entire round. Otherwise, this is the same as Individual Match Play.
|No. However using only four clubs is deemed to be a substantial departure from normal play and therefore scores are not posted.
|3 – 2 – 1 Best Ball
|This is a form of Progressive Best Ball. The team score for the first 6 holes is the sum of the three low net scores of the four team members. For the next 6 holes the team score is the sum of the two low net scores of the four team members. For the last 6 holes the team score is the low net score of the four team members. On the score card, please circle the three, two or one scores used for the best balls. The total team score is the sum of the low net team scores.
|4 Team Best Ball Stableford
|The score for this event is based on the same points as Modified Stableford. Points are calculated for each hole using the score of the low net player in a foursome. The team score is the sum of the points.
|4 Team Cha Cha Cha
|Score is based on best balls on a three-hole rotation. Hole score is determined by best ball on 1st hall, sum of two best balls on 2nd hole and sum of 3 best balls on 3rd hole and so forth for 18 holes.
|2 Team Best Ball Stableford
|The teams are per the pairings on the scorecard. The score for this event is based on the same points as Modified Stableford. Points are calculated for each hole using the score of the low net player in a twosome. The team score is the sum of the points.
|4 Team Lone Ranger
|On each hole one player is assigned to be the Lone Ranger. Player A on hole 1, player B on hole 2, player C on hole 3, player D on hole 4, then repeat the cycle throughout the rest of the round. The score for each hole is the sum of the net score for the Lone Ranger and the net best ball from the other 3 players. Players A, B, C, D follow the order determined by the Golf Genius tee sheet.
|4 Team 2 Best Ball
|The team score for each hole is the sum of the two low net scores of the four team members. The total team score is the sum of the low net score sums.
New events can be added, subject to constraints of Golf Genius. Contact one of the Event Managers if you want to suggest a new event type. They will tell you if the event can be accommodated. Then check with the League President to determine if the league wants to add the event.
Be sure to arrive at an event in plenty of time. Sometimes we can tee off a little earlier than scheduled. Do your best to be ready when your group can tee off. Those of you who are familiar with the cochair responsibilities know that the second cochair is required to sit and sign everybody in and take money. That means that person can’t warm up or otherwise get ready to play until everybody is signed in. If you are in the last few foursomes, please try to sign in a little early so that the cochair can get ready to play golf.
The MARS league has established the practice of using cochairs for our events. The cochairs are the people who make our league a success. Cochairs are responsible for facilitating each event. Two cochairs are assigned to each event. All players are encouraged to act as cochair at least one time during the season. At our current membership level, we need some members to volunteer for 2 or more events. Cochairs are responsible for:
- Collect entry fee
- Pass out prize money from previous events
- After all golfers have checked in, secure pouch in golf bag or cart
- Place and collect Closest-To-Pin markers
- Prepare prize money envelopes
- Put undistributed prize money envelopes in pouch
- Pass pouch and CTP markers to next week’s cochairs
A detailed description of cochair responsibilities can be found in the cochair guidelines.
At the beginning of the season the league president determines the schedule. The league president coordinates the schedule with the golf course. The schedule can change throughout the season – usually because of golf course requirements. On the Thursday two weeks prior to each event at 5:00 PM, Golf Genius automatically opens event sign-ups and sends an email to all players containing links for players to respond that they are playing or not playing in that event. Sign-ups close at 11:00 PM on the Tuesday nine days prior to the event. Any player who has not responded is assumed to be not playing. If a player later wants to play, they can select “playing” from their last Golf Genius email confirming their status or go to the MARS League Portal and change your status. You will need to wait for the Event Manager to inform you that you are playing. Our tee time allocation and the event format could result in an Event being full. You can also notify the Event Manager that you would like to play. If a player becomes unable to play If a player becomes unable to play you can change your status using your recent email, the portal or you can contact the Event Manager. Our Bylaws define the golfer’s possible liability for last minute cancellation.
There is prize money for all events. At each weekly event eligible players are required to pay a $5 entry fee which is then used for prize money for that event. Prizes are awarded for one or more flights of players. There also are prizes for closest to the pin on one par 3 on each 9 holes. See the cochair guidelines for an explanation of how prize money is allocated. Note that members who do not have a handicap index are not eligible to win prize money and are not required to pay the entry fee. The league tournament is different. There is no entry fee required. The prize money is covered by the league membership fee.
The league championship is usually played in August or September. It is an Individual Stroke Play event that spans two weeks. Handicap indexes for players participating in the league championship tournament will remain the same for both rounds unless handicap committee review determines a player’s handicap index needs to be adjusted. The President and Vice-President are normally the Cochairs for this event. Prize Money is determined by the President. There is also a traveling trophy for the medalist (low gross score). No prize money is awarded to the medalist. There is also a traveling trophy and prize money for the most improved player. The most improved golfer excludes members who started or ended the season with a modified GHIN handicap index.
As a Golf Club with membership in the Colorado Golf Association we are required to follow the Rules of Golf. Our competitions require that we all play to the same rules. It is important that you understand the fundamentals of the rules of golf. There are some rules quizzes available in the Golf Links at the bottom of this page. Rules questions that arise during a competition should be directed to the event cochairs for resolution. We have also adopted some local rules for our league which you can read in the MARS Golf Rules.
We use the course provided scorecards for all events. The scorekeeper records each player’s score. Each player must confirm with the scorekeeper from their foursome that their individual hole scores are correct. The scores will be totaled by Golf Genius. Note that handicap strokes per hole must be determined by the players who want to know them. Golf Genius will automatically calculate the correct net score per hole. Enter the names as shown on the Golf Genius tee sheet to facilitate score entry after the round.
Posting Scores in GHIN
Golf Genius will post our individual scores for League events. Every member is responsible for same day posting of their scores for non-league play into GHIN. The score reported for handicap purposes is the gross score adjusted for any holes that exceed the maximum score for handicapping purposes which for players with an existing handicap index is defined as net double bogey. Exception: if the player’s course handicap is more than 54, the maximum hole score for handicap purposes is par + 5 strokes on holes where the player receives 4 or more strokes. Scores can be entered into GHIN three different ways, 18-hole total, 9-hole totals, or hole by hole. If the score is entered hole by hole, then GHIN will automatically adjust the gross score for any holes that exceed the maximum score. If the score is entered as an 18-hole total or 9-hole totals, then the player must make the necessary adjustments to the gross score before submitting it. Hole by hole entry is strongly recommended.
Pace of Play
Pace of Play remains a constant area of focus for our league and for golf in general. Pace of Play is very important to our courses, and we need to stay focused on keeping up with the foursome in front of us. We have developed a set of Pace of Play Guidelines. Please read them and do what they say. In 2018 the league implemented a “maximum score per hole” of double par + 1. When a golfer judges that their score for a hole will be equal to or exceed double par + 1 the player shall pick up and enter double par + 1 on the scorecard. This is allowed by the Rules of Golf revision in 2020 – specifically Rule 21.2 “Alternate Methods for Stroke Play, Maximum Score”
Course Handicap Calculation
The Course Handicap calculation converts a Handicap Index to the number of strokes a player requires to play any golf course with a Course Rating and Slope Rating. This allows portability of a player’s Handicap Index wherever they play. The Course Handicap is used in determining the maximum score per hole for handicapping purposes. The Course Handicap is calculated as follows:
Course Handicap = Handicap Index x (Slope Rating / 113) + (Course Rating – par)
The previous course rating calculation determined the number of strokes to the course rating. The new calculation determines the number of strokes to par. For league play, the event scheduling program determines every player’s course handicap and handicap strokes per hole. For non-league play, the new GHIN app includes a calculator that players can use to determine their course handicap.
Multiple Tee Boxes
The league allows players to compete from different tee boxes. That means people are playing courses of different difficulty. So, how can golfers compete equitably? Prior to 1/1/2020, to compete equitably from different tees, we had to first calculate the Course Handicap and then adjust it by subtracting the rating difference of the different tees. With the advent of the World Handicap System, no such additional adjustment is necessary. The new Course Handicap calculation accounts for different tee boxes and no additional adjustment is necessary.
Weather can affect our play, especially early in the season. Sometimes the weather is so bad that the event is canceled one or more days before the event. If this happens you will be notified by the Event Manager. If the weather is bad on the day of the event and you suspect it may be canceled, call the golf course and they should know if the MARS league has decided to cancel. Precipitation is usually the reason for cancellation. The courses expect us to play if it is dry. We also experience lightning. When lightning threatens, please stop playing and go to the clubhouse or other lightning safe structure. Weather delays are sometimes temporary. It is the Event Manager and cochairs responsibility to declare an event canceled. If the event is canceled before everyone completes 9 holes the entry fees will be refunded. It may be possible to declare a 9-hole event. The courses may refund all or part of your green fees depending on how many holes you have played.
The league maintains a hole-in-one pool. There is a onetime optional $5 charge to participate in the pool. When someone gets a hole-in-one they win all the money paid into the pool. At that point a new pool is started. Note that since 2008 three of our members had a hole in one but had not chosen to participate in the pool.
This website is designed to provide league golfers everything they need to know to participate in the MARS golf league. This includes results, schedules, rules, pace of play assessment, and special announcements If you have recommendations for improving the website please contact the Web maintainer at the bottom of this page.
Summary of Player Responsibilities
- Stay focused on pace of play
- Keep the officers informed of contact information
- Respond promptly to scheduling notifications
- Play by the rules
- Stay focused on pace of play
- Be certain that your score is recorded accurately
- Post all (not just MARS) scores where you play by the rules of golf
- Volunteer to be a cochair.
- Stay focused on pace of play
- Be nice
- Have fun!
Last updated August 16, 2022, by Bob Knickerbocker, firstname.lastname@example.org