Policies and Procedures
DAKOTAS TOUR Policies & Procedures
For Players & Tournament Directors
The Dakotas Tour was founded to provide quality golf events for Amateurs and Professionals in the Upper Midwest. While most events are operated at the local level, all events will strive to provide a unique golf experience for the amateur participants, along with a professional atmosphere, that allows players of all skill levels to compete. The Dakotas Tour’s pro-am structured events will provide competitive pro payouts that are at least equal to the professional entry fees, allow for professional and amateur-friendly formats, and be conducted in a professional and exemplary matter.
A. CODE OF CONDUCT
1. The Dakotas Tour will maintain a strict no-tolerance policy on any behavior unbecoming of a professional. Professionals are expected to treat all amateurs and fellow professionals with courtesy and respect at all times.
2. This is a Pro-Am based tour that relies on the amateur’s participation and enjoyment as well as the professional’s skill and conduct.
3. Conduct such as verbal abuse of any players, volunteers, or staff; vulgar language, club throwing, or damage to the golf course or golf course property is considered a violation. Violations also include the use of any alcohol on the course during practice rounds or competition, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs, cheating, withdrawing without good cause, improper dress, not maintaining financial responsibility, and any other unprofessional behavior. Violations could result in penalty shots, fines, and/or disqualification from one or all events conducted by the Dakotas Tour.
4. Any serious violations, as determined by the Executive Director, can result in automatic suspension and fines at any time. The length of any suspension shall be determined by the Dakotas Tour Executive Director. If a course(s) has been damaged due to a violation, the cost of repairing the damage must be paid in addition to any fines. Any disputes will be decided by the Executive Director in which his decision will be final.
5. The Dakotas Tour will honor the suspension of any professional by any golf-governing body or professional tour.
6. Players are expected to adhere to the Rules of Golf at all times and protect the field from those who do not.
B. DRESS CODE
Slacks are required, however, on a site-by-site basis, Bermuda length shorts may be allowed. In the case of extreme heat or humidity, the Tournament Director has the option to allow shorts at his/her discretion. No denim is permitted. All shirts must reflect appropriate attire, preferably collar shirts or mock turtleneck golf shirts, and must be tucked in at all times. Tee-shirts are not permitted. All hats must be worn forward. Caddies may wear Bermuda-length shorts. Caddies must abide by all other player dress code regulations. Caddies may not wear sandals, flip flops, or golf shoes with spikes. Tennis shoes or teaching shoes are preferred. Players are responsible for their caddies. The Dakotas Tour is a “soft-spike” only tour; no metal spikes are permitted. This Dress Code policy applies to players and caddies whenever they are on the event property. Present yourselves as professionals at all times.
C. ELECTRONIC DEVICES
The use of cell phones is prohibited on the golf course except for emergencies or to contact the host golf shop. Music listening devices will only be permitted on the practice areas before and after tournament rounds. They are not allowed during competition.
A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a competition round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.), all of those features must be turned off. If a player does not turn those features off the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used.
D. ENTRY FEE POLICY
Players must enter events on-line with a credit card through The Dakotas Tour website (www dakotastour.com). All players wishing to play any event on the Dakotas Tour must pay the Tour Membership fee via the website. This fee must be paid before they are considered officially entered into any event.
It is a Code of Conduct violation to not maintain financial responsibility including the payment of entry fees.
E. PROFESSIONAL REFUND POLICY
Any professional withdrawing from an event outside 5 days prior to the official start of the event will be refunded his entire entry fee for that event. The Tour handling fee of $50 will not be refunded.
Any professional withdrawing from an event from 5 days to 48 hrs prior to the official start of the event will be subject to a $50 minimum administration fee plus the Tour handling fee of $50.
Any professional withdrawing inside the 48 hr window prior to the official start of the event will forfeit his entire entry fee.
Refunds will be made after the event is concluded.
A player will be subject to a possible Code of Conduct violation if he withdraws from an event without good cause within 48 hours of the event’s start. A player no-showing for an event is subject to a Code of Conduct violation and may not be refunded any of his entry fees.
F. EXEMPT PROFESSIONAL POLICY
The top-30 players from the previous year’s Bonus Points List will be exempt players. This allows them special exemptions from qualifying at events with qualifiers. Each event’s exempt list will include the top 30 players from the previous year’s Bonus Points List, the top ten place winners from the previous year, all previous winners from that event., and the top 10 from the current points list.
Other exemptions are extended at the discretion of each site. Non-exempt professionals can receive an exemption at an event with a qualifier by finishing in the top five places at the prior major event and be pre-entered in the next event.
G. CARTS AND CADDIES
All players are permitted to use golf carts or pull/push carts. Two carts per foursome and two people per cart are allowed. Caddies may ride based on availability; players have priority on riding. All carts must be kept on the path around all tees and greens and will abide by the golf course’s cart policy; failure to do so will subject the professional to a possible fine. Walking is allowed as long as the event’s pace of play guidelines are being followed.
H. PROFESSIONAL PAYOUT GUIDELINES
Each event may distribute the professional purse using a fair and equitable payout distribution. The following guidelines will be adhered to by all events when determining the distribution:
- 100% of the Professional entry fee will be paid back. Any additional sponsor’s money may be added to the purse and distributed as the tournament director and sponsors see fit.
- Last place money must equal 1% of the professional purse or the professional entry fee, whichever is greater. In the event of a tie for the last place check, the overall total paid to all who tied for that place must at least be equal to one of the above options.
- At least 1/3 of the professional starting field will be paid. (See item 3 in Tournament Guidelines below).
- The posted professional purse may be reduced due to late tournament withdrawals that are not filled, unless the purse is guaranteed.
- In events that have a cut, all players that make the cut will be paid. Make sure that the last place check follows the guideline posted in item (2) above.
I. REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFYING FOR THE BONUS POOL
Players must participate in 80% of the major events (3 and 4-day events) during the current season to qualify for the bonus pool.
If a player Monday qualifies or gets into a Web.Com or PGA tour event at the same time as a major and has to withdraw from the Dakotas Tour event being played at the same time, that player will have that event count towards his total number of events.
J. TOURNAMENT GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are to ensure consistency from tournament to tournament and shall be followed by each event:
1. USGA Rules of Golf govern all play except where modified by the Local Rules. An events’ Local Rules should be posted/published before the start of the event.
2. The USGA 2010 CONFORMING GROOVE rule WILL be enforced. For a list of conforming equipment please check the USGA website database at: www.usga.org/InfoClubsDB/index.asp
3. In compliance with the PGA Tour policy, The Dakotas Tour will adopt the PGA Tour rule to facilitate the cut-line for any event that uses one. That rule says that 'the cut line does not change once it has been posted if player withdrawals or is disqualified unless it is for cheating. If the elimination of players by the above manner, after the cut-line has been posted, affects the 1/3 of the field payout rule, the 1/3 rule will not be in effect.
4. Hole location sheets are available at the Tournament Directors’ option.
5. Multi-day events shall ensure that players have at least one morning and one afternoon starting time during the first two days (unless using a single shotgun). If using multi-tee waves each player shall start at least once on #1 tee and once on #10 tee during the first two days.
6. A method for breaking 1st place ties should be posted/published before the start of the event.
7. A policy for weather delays and round cancellations should be posted/published before the start of the event. Rainout Policy: In the event of a rain suspension, subsequent play - whether on that day or a following day - will be decided by the Tournament Committee. If a complete rainout occurs on the final day of the event, all of that day's play will be canceled and the payout will be distributed according to the standings prior to the round.
8. Whether “Summer” or “Winter” rules are in effect should be clarified. If “Winter” or Preferred Lies” will be used, the USGA recommended language (found in the Rules of Golf-Appendix I) should be used and posted/published.
9. The golf course will be marked appropriately prior to the start of the event, including water hazards, ground-under-repair, out-of-bounds, ball drops, etc. These areas should be marked with stakes and/or appropriately colored lines and be clearly visible to eliminate any potential Rules problems.
10. If a cut is to be made, the policy should be clearly outlined and posted/published.
11. Any purses to be paid should be posted/published with a breakdown of the payment to each place. This can be done after the cut is made and the final field has been determined.
12. Pace of Play policy with follow the current USGA policies, Rules committee members, and how Rules appeals will be handled should be posted/published. Each event will follow the Dakotas Tour Hard Card.
13. Each event will prepare its own pairings for professionals and amateurs. Professionals should be paired with amateurs based on their ability to interact positively with the amateurs, as well as their potential playing ability. Tournament Directors do not have to put a “veteran” or “highly skilled” professional with an amateur team if the Director does not feel that the professional can interact positively with the amateurs and help them to have an enjoyable experience.
14. Scoring should be done in a timely manner and be posted in a public place for all participants to view.
15. Scoring should be done via the Dakotas Tour Blue Golf website during or immediately after each players’ round.
16. A final list of all participants must be sent to the Executive Director with the final results and payout.
17. The fees to be paid to the Dakotas Tour are as follows;
a. Major Events (3 and 4-day tournaments): $250.00 plus $18.50 for each professional
b. Two-Day tournaments: $15.00 for each professional.
c.One-Day tournaments: $12.00 for each professional.
This fee will be deducted from the total entry fee check sent to each tournament director.
18. The professional players Dakotas Tour Membership fee is $200 for the season. A membership fee of $50.00 is available for those professionals that are going to play only one event. Playing in a second event will require the payment of the full membership fee.
19. A universal sign-up cutoff date for exempt players will be used. That date will be 30 days prior to the 1st day of the event. Exempt players will be guaranteed a spot in the field if they are in good standing with the tour and the tournament, and register and pay by this date. If they register after this date they lose the exempt privilege for that event and will need to qualify or become exempt thru other means.
20. On-line registration for players will begin on March 15, 2023.