All play on the Amateur Players Tour is governed by the USGA Rules of Golf.  You can find access to the Rules at  In addition to the USGA rules of Golf, tournaments on the Amateur Players tour will be governed by:

Conditions of Competition – Also referred to as a “Hard Card”, the Conditions of Competition includes local rules that will be in effect in every tournament the Amateur Players Tour conducts.  You will be given a copy at the first tee (tee-time events) or registration table (shotgun events).  You can also download a copy on the APT website at  Players are responsible to be aware of these rules.

Notice to Competitors – The Notice to Competitors will cover different local rules for each course that may change based on conditions or specific circumstances that a host course encounters throughout the season.Examples of this are-- a decision to play lift, clean and place in wet conditions; or to play a specific cart path as an integral part of the course; or to not use a local course's drop zone on a specific hole(s).The Notice to Competitors will be printed on the back side of the Hard Card that you will receive at the first tee (tee-time events) or registration table (shotgun events). Players are responsible to be aware and follow these rules. NOTE – The Notice to Competitors takes the place of Local Rules provided on the Host Course’s scorecard.


Play on the Amateur Player Tour will be divided into 5 divisions based on a players APT Handicap Index (see below).

  • Division 1 (3.9 & Below)

  • Division 2 (4.0-8.9)

  • Division 3 (9.0-13.9)

  • Division 4 (14.0-18.9)

  • Division 5 (19.0 & Above)

APT Handicaps

Handicap Indexes for Amateur Players Tour Events are calculated solely by tournament scores in APT Events.  Your APT Handicap Index is not a USGA Index and should not be substituted for one.  Similarly, a USGA index may not be substituted for an APT index.

APT Handicap Differentials are calculated using the USGA Formula that factors in the USGA Course Rating and Slope from the particular set of tees from which each contestant plays. (To determine each players Handicap Differential, subtract the USGA Course Rating from his/her adjusted gross score; multiply the difference by 113; and divide the resulting number by the Slope Rating. Round the final number to the nearest tenth.).

While all tournaments are scored based on the actual score posted, APT Handicap Indexes will be calculated using a variable of the USGA Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) rule. ESC is an adjustment of the actual individual hole scores (for handicapping purposes only) in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability. ESC sets a limit to the number of strokes a player can count toward handicapping on any given hole depending on Course Handicap. Below is the maximum number of strokes a player can take for handicapping purposes by division:

Course Handicap Maximum Number of Strokes/Hole for HANDICAP purposes only
           Division 1 & 2                              Double Bogie
           Division 3 & 4 .                                     7
           Division 5                                   8

APT Handicap Indexes

APT Handicap Indexes will be calculated based upon the best 6 of your last 8 APT Tournaments.  Until an index is validated (see below), the APT Handicap Committee makes the determination on all Division changes.  See the table below for how indexes will be calculated until an index is validated.

Golf Handicaps


The APT Handicap Committee will work with each competitor to place him/her in the proper division.  The Committee will use all available data including GHIN, Playing History and other relevant factors (including your input) in determining the initial placement.  The initial division placement for competition is critical to ensure that you remain eligible to win prizes in your first tournament.  If an incoming player shoots out of his flight (APT Handicap Differential below the lowest ranges of his/her Division), he/she may be disqualified from tournament prizes for the day and be instantly moved to a higher division or may simply be moved to a higher division for the next tournament.  The APT Handicap Committee’s mission is to protect the field by ensuring proper placement based on skill level to ensure the fairest competition possible.


Your APT Handicap Index is considered “Official” once you have completed 8 Tournament Scores.  Before your handicap is official, any Division movement requests should be directed to the APT staff giving the APT Handicap Committee has sole discretion on whether to move a player up or down.

Once an APT Handicap Index is official, the following rules apply:

  • Upward Division Movement

    • If a player’s index falls below the line of the Division that they are currently in, he/she will be promoted if any one of the following apply:

      • After an additional tournament is complete that he/she competes in, his/her APT Handicap Index remains below the line of the Division in which he/she is competing;

      • His/Her APT Handicap Index falls 0.5 below the line of the Division in which he/her is competing; or

      • Player’s APT Handicap Differential is 6 or more strokes below the line of the Division in which he/she is competing.

    • Points Transfers

      • When a player moves upward into a stronger Division, the player will retain either a) 80% of his/her total points or b) the points of the person who is in 3rd place at the time of the movement, whichever is less.

  • Downward Division Movement

    • If a player’s index falls above the line of the Division that they are currently competing in, he/she has the option to request to be moved to a new flight if either of these conditions apply:

      • The players APT Handicap Index is a full one stroke above the line of the Division in which he/she is competing.

      • The players APT Handicap Index is less than a full stroke above the line of the Division in which he/she is currently competing, but the APT Index has stayed above the line for a minimum of four consecutive tournament rounds

    • Points Transfers

      • When a player moves downward into a weaker Division, the player will retain all of the points earned in a higher Division provided that they do not exceed a tie for 2nd place at the time of the movement.  Note: If a player moves upward a Division and then is approved to move downward, the players points lost in the upward transfer will be restored.

  • Exceptional Rounds

    • Divisions in the APT are based on a performance-based Handicap System that groups together players of similar abilities and potential ability.  In order to maintain the integrity of the Tour, the APT Handicap Committee has the authority to promote a player into a higher Division should a player shoot a score that suggests their playing potential is greater than the general ability of the Division in which they are competing.  The Committee will consider player performance history on the APT and relevant available factors off of the tour in making this determination.  If a round is considered to be an exceptional round warranting an Instant Promotion, it will be handled in the following way:

      • Official APT Handicap Indexes – Player will be allowed to win the tournament and claim prize money for the day.  Promotion will happen before the next tournament.

      • Un-official APT Handicap Indexes – Player will be disqualified from winning and unable to claim prize money for the day.  Player will be eligible to play skins in the next Division up if tees played are the same.  Player will receive a full refund of tournament fees for that day and will instantly be promoted to a higher Division.

  • Division Index Lock

    • APT Indexes will freeze after the last regular season event of the season and will stay locked throughout the remainder of the playoffs.  The only exception to this is for players who have un-official indexes.  If an un-official APT index goes more than 1.0 below the barrier of that division, the player will be promoted to a higher division.

Registration Policies and Procedures

  • Eligibility

    • Membership is required for registration into Amateur Players Tour events with the following exceptions:

      • Guest Policy – Guests are allowed to play in up to 2 APT events, but are not eligible to receive prizes for that day if they cannot produce a verifiable, current USGA Handicap Index for flight placement.  Guests will not normally receive season points. However, if a guest decides to join at the end of an event day, points will be added from that event.  We hope that you will choose to invite a potential new member, but if you have a visitor in town for the weekend and want to play golf in a Tour event, you may invite your guest to play and we will pair him/her with you to ensure you both have a great experience.

      • Events open to non-members – The Amateur Players Tour will periodically conduct fall events or special events that will be open to non-members.  These events will be published on

    • Registration

      • General

        • Registration for tournaments are all conducted on-line at or on the Amateur Players Tour App.  Registration typically closes between 7-10 days before the event.  The Registration Deadline will be posted on the Tournament Information Page (TIP) for each tournament.  We strongly recommend downloading the Amateur Players Tour App to stay up to date with registration deadlines, as you will receive a push notification before each tournament closes.  It sometimes is possible to add players to the field after the registration deadline, but late fees may apply.  Courses generally require us to give a final count a week before the tournament, so please follow the registration deadlines to ensure entry into the tournaments.

      • Registration Opens

        • Registrations for Amateur Players Tour Events opens on January 1st.  Players will be able to register for every event at that time.  Depending on the golf course requirements, some field sizes are restricted to a certain number of players, and entries will be granted in the order that they are received.

      • Tee Times

        • Tee times and pairings will be released a minimum of 48 hours before the tournament.  They will be available on the Tournament Information Page (TIP) @, the Amateur Players Tour App, and via e-mail and text sent to each contestant.

      • Tournament Cancellations/No-shows

        • Cancellations - All cancellations from APT events should be done before registration closes to avoid a Cancellation fee.  After the registration deadline, a refund cannot be guaranteed because golf course policies differ.  The APT will be happy to refund you if we do not get charged for your spot.

        • No-shows – If a player no-calls and no-shows at a tournament, no refund will be given.  A player may appeal this by giving an adequate reason for the no-show.  If the reason is accepted, and the golf course does not charge the Tour for the spot, a refund may be given.

        • Late-withdraw – we understand that life happens sometimes and plans have to change last minute.  Please notify the APT Marketing Director Matt Minder by call/text at 217.520.1474 for any last-minute changes.


  • Check-In

    • Tee-time events

      • Check-in will be at the first tee.  Please arrive at the first tee no later than 10 minutes before your scheduled tee-time to get your scorecard, pay for side-games, get Conditions of Competition/Notice to Competitors and last-minute instructions for the day

    • Shotgun Starts

      • Check-in will be at a registration table that will open no later than one-hour before the tournament begins.  Please arrive no later than 45-minutes before the event to check-in and pay for side games and get your Rules Sheets and Scorecards for the day.  Plan on being in your carts 10-minutes before the start of the tournament for last-minute rules.

    • Weather Guidelines

      • Before the tournament - The host course is responsible for determining the golf course's playability for the day.  If weather seems to be an issue for the tournament, please do not call the golf course!  Rather, look for an e-mail and/or text from the APT staff regarding updates.  APT staff will communicate closely with the golf course to make a call on whether the course is playable and then will notify the field.

      • During the tournament – Any delays or cancellation of a tournament will be determined by the golf course in conjunction with APT staff.  Please note that a tournament may be declared official if all players in a Division have completed at least nine holes.  NOTE – Rule 6.8.a (II) allows a player to discontinue play if he/she believes there is danger from lightning. If a player sees lightning and no one has stopped play, please call the pro-shop to notify staff.

      • Make-up Dates – If a tournament is cancelled, a makeup date will be announced as soon as one is determined.  APT staff will make every effort to reschedule with the host golf course.  If a make-up date is announced, registration will automatically carry over to the make-up date.  Players may register for the new make-up date or withdraw if there is a conflict.  You can e-mail the APT staff at

  • Tee Boxes

    • All Divisions will play from a customized set of tees at each tournament.  While these guidelines will not always be 100% followed at every tournament, these will serve as a good basis for the distances that each Division will play.  Seniors and Ladies will be able to play from a shorter distance (see below)

      • Division 1 – 6,800 yards and up

      • Division 2 – 6,500 yards – 6,900 yards

      • Division 3 – 6,400 yards – 6,700 yards

      • Division 4 – 6,300 yards – 6,600 yards

      • Division 5 – 6,200 yards – 6,400 yards

    • Seniors (55 and over)

      • Seniors will be allowed to play from a shorter distance.  The typical range will be between 200 and 400 yards shorter than the regular men’s tee in their Division.  For example, if Division 1 was playing from 6,900 yards, the Division 1 Senior tees guideline would set the tees from 6,500-6,700 yards.

    • Women

      • Women will play from a tee box of the closest comparable slope rating to that of the men in the same flight.  If a tee box is not suitable for that guideline, APT staff will choose a tee box or combination that is suitable.

  • Scoring

    • At the conclusion of play, competitors must immediately return to the scoring area to sign and return scorecards.  In the scoring area:

      • Scorecards must be signed by both the contestant and the scorer. (Live scoring is NOT official for APT tournaments)

      • Any rulings must be declared to the committee and discussed (both Rule 3-3 and General Questions)

      • Hole-by-hole scores must be accurate and accounted for.

        1. If a player signs for a lower hole-by-hole score, he/she is disqualified

        2. If a player signs for a higher hole-by-hole score, then that score becomes official

      • Once a competitor leaves the scoring area, the scorecard is deemed to be official.

  • Tiebreakers

    • First Place Ties – All first-place ties will be broken by an on-course playoff if possible.  If an on-course playoff is not possible due to weather or daylight, ties will be broken by the USGA system for breaking ties and the tournament will be deemed OFFICIAL.

    • All Other Ties

      • Points – All ties will have points split equitably among all those tied.

      • Prize Money – All ties will be broken by the USGA system for breaking ties (See Appendix 1.10.c of USGA Rules of Golf)

        • Lowest 2nd Day Total

        • Last 9 Holes (Back 9 in Shotgun Events)

        • Last 6 Holes (13-18 in Shotgun Events)

        • Last 3 Holes (16-18 in Shotgun Events)

        • 18th Hole

        • #1 Handicap Hole, #2, #3 etc.

  • Tournament Conclusion

    • Once the final scores are calculated and the trophy has been presented to the tournament winner, the tournament is considered OFFICIAL and CLOSED.



The APT Points System is a system designed to reward stellar play over the course of the season to ultimately crown the Player of the Year in each Division.  There are 5 levels of points that players can earn throughout the season – Fall Events, Regular Tournaments, Major Championships, Playoff Events and the Tour Championship.  The points system is designed to reward players who play well throughout the entire season and play well towards the end of the season to crown an overall season champion.  See the breakdown of points below:

points breakdown


Visa Gift Cards will be awarded to the top finishers in each division at every tournament.  The minimum dollar amount per entry to go into the prize pool will be $20. 

  • NOTE – Late entries can affect the Prize Pool calculation.  While we do our best to correct this, it is sometimes not possible in the event of a late entry.  Please make sure you register on-time to ensure accurate prize pool payouts.

  • The Amateur Players Tour adheres to the USGA Rules of Amateur Status regarding all prize payouts.  This means that we will not pay out any single prize value over the amount of $750.

Payout Guidelines

  • The following guidelines will be used when determining payouts.  Please note that prizes will be rounded to a round number.



At the end of the Amateur Players Tour Season, the Playoffs will help to determine the Season Long Points Champion and Player of the Year.  Playoff Events will be worth more points and more money will be added to the prize pool.  There will be two playoff events leading up to the season-ending tour championship.  There is a season-long bonus prize pool that will be awarded at the Tour Championship that will be awarded separately from the Tour Championship prize pools.  These prizes also comply with the USGA Rules of Amateur Status.