Shandon Golf Club Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Policy


1. Introduction

The purpose of this code is to assist members and guests of Shandon Golf Club to know and understand the standards of behaviour expected, and shall apply at all times when at Shandon Golf Club, or representing Shandon Golf Club in WGI competitions.

The policy sets out the disciplinary process and outlines to all players, members and the public how to make a complaint and how the disciplinary process of Shandon golf Club works.

2. Code of Conduct

As a member of Shandon Golf Club a certain standard of behaviour is expected that reflects the basic requirements of sportsmanship, integrity, courtesy and respect to be shown to all other members, competitors, officials and the public.

Without limiting the basic requirements of sportsman ship, integrity, courtesy and respect, matters of conduct likely to reflect unfavourably on the game include:

  • Bad temper, club throwing, foul and abusive language
  • Failure to adhere to the rules and etiquette of the game of golf
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary gamesmanship
  • Physical violence and threatening behaviour

A person engaging in any behaviour that may be detrimental to the game of golf or Shandon Golf Club is in breach of the code of conduct and should be reported to the Club Captain.

It is in the best interests of the game that such behaviour is reported and all players, members and members of the public are encouraged and have a duty to report such behaviour.

3. Disciplinary Committee

The Board of Shandon Golf Club will appoint a Disciplinary Committee to oversee the complaints procedure set out in Section 4 and to conduct investigation, hearings and impose penalties within the guidelines in Section 7 as may be deemed necessary.

The Committee will be made up of:

  • Men’s and Women’s Club Captains
  • A member of the Shandon Golf Club Board

The Disciplinary Committee will be responsible for implementing this policy in a fair and impartial manner. The Men’s Club Captain will act as Convenor.

4. Complaints Procedure

Complaints may be made by any person including a competitor, member, visiting guests, other associated golf club members, and members of the public.

Complaints must be made in the first instance to either the General Manager or the Club Captain of the Shandon Golf Club, within 3 working days of the matter occurring. These must be then followed up in writing in an acceptable timeframe.

Once received the Club Captain will determine the offence, and grade it in accordance with Section 5 below. The Club Captain will then take the following actions;

a. If the matter is Grade 1, of a minor nature, the Club Captain will discuss the complaint with the person(s) involved and deal with the complaint by either dismissing the complaint or deal with it by way of the first step in Appendix 2 whereupon the matter will be closed;

b. If the matter is Grade 1, but the person involved has already had step one of Appendix 2, then the Club Captain will discuss the complaint with the person(s) involved and either dismiss the complaint or deal with it by way of the second step in Appendix 2;

c. If the matter is a Grade 2 or 3 offences, or involves a Grade 1 suspension or expulsion, the Club Captain will carry out a preliminary investigation and gather all the facts of the complaint as is reasonably available within seven days from the receipt of the Complaint notice. This may include speaking to the accused person and getting a written report from that person. The matter will then be referred to The Disciplinary Committee in accordance with paragraph 6.

The Club Captain will be responsible for keeping all parties involved informed about the complaints process.

5. Grading of Complaints

All complaints and charges are to be graded 1 to 3 with one being the lightest grading and three the most serious. This is done by reference to Appendix 1 and the following notes.

The Club Captain is required to determine the grading of the offence. The grading allocated will determine the action to be taken and the potential penalty a player may receive. Therefore consistency of grading across offences is important and it is a requirement that records are kept to support the grading process.

On some occasions, the Club Captain may not recommend a grading because of the seriousness of an incident and may automatically refer the charge to the Disciplinary Committee.

6. Disciplinary Committee Functions

The disciplinary committee will meet on an as required basis to perform the following functions:

– Review complaints information notices in relation to grade 1 offences and ensure consistency in application

– Consider all grade 2 and 3 complaints and appeals to a grade 1 penalty

– Where necessary hold investigations, including a hearing into the complaint or appeal

Notice of any hearing of the Disciplinary Committee shall be given, in the case of a complaint, to the person or persons the subject of the complaint and the complainant; and in the case of an appeal, to the persons affected by the appeal and the appellant.

The notice will specify the date time and place of any hearing and will be accompanied by copies of all material relevant to the complaint. The notice will also specify if the hearing is to be attended by written submissions or whether the parties are required to attend in person, with the opportunity to have representation attend also. Hearings will be in private with only the accused and his/her representative and the Disciplinary Committee.

No formal legal representative or counsel shall be entitled to attend, provided that the Disciplinary Committee may receive such legal advice as it deems necessary.

Any participant to the hearing will advise if a conflict of interest could be lodged by any party.

7. Decisions and Penalties

If a complaint is upheld by the Disciplinary Committee, it shall give its decision in writing, within 5 days, with reasons for the decision and any penalty imposed.

It would be expected that the Disciplinary Committee will deal severely with proven cases of serious misconduct and in some cases the conduct may constitute a criminal offence in which case the matter should be referred to the Police.

Appendix 1

General examples of grading of complaints of conduct likely to bring the game into disrepute (not an exhaustive list)

Grade 1 Offences

  • Bad language
  • Improper treatment of equipment, including throwing of clubs
  • Use of club other than within the intentions of the game e.g. damaging trees with clubs etc
  • Ill-mannered behaviour
  • Failure to complete a round when representing the club in any sanctioned tournament/interclub match

Grade 2 Offences

  • Behaviour bringing the club into disrepute
  • Theft of minor items
  • Excessive or offensive bad language
  • Verbal abuse or threatening behaviour to another player
  • Breaking clubs

Grade 3 Offences

  • Any serious misuse of alcohol or drugs on the course or club premises
  • Serious theft
  • Assault of a player, official, member, guest or member of the public
  • Sexual or verbal harassment

Appendix 2

Grade 1 Offence

If no previous offences any one of the following process will be adopted:

1. Verbal warning with notice on file;

2. Written warning issued to member;

3. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;

If the next incident is a Grade 2 offence then that process will override the above.

Grade 2 Offence

If no previous offences any one of the following process will be adopted depending on the seriousness of the offence:

1. Written warning issued to member;

2. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;

3. Penalty of expulsion as determined by the Disciplinary Committee

If the offence is considered serious, or there are other recent offences, then a step can be passed at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee.

Grade 3 Offence

Depending on the seriousness of the offence any one of the following actions may be adopted;

1. Written warning issued to member;

2. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;

3. Penalty of expulsion as determined by the Disciplinary Committee

Step 1 will only be taken if the offence is of a lesser scale otherwise a penalty of suspension will usually be imposed.

A clean slate policy will apply to any offence after a twelve month period from date of last penalty.