Sweetwoods Park Golf Club Club Rules

Part 1 – Management Matters 

1.     Name

The Club shall be called Sweetwoods Park Golf Club (the “Club”).

2.     Objects of the Club

 The objects of the Club are the furtherment of non-political golfing and golf-related recreational activities for members, their guests and visitors.

3.     Structure of the Club

 The Club is a proprietary club, the proprietor of which is Sweetwoods Park LLP, registration number OC334819 (the “Proprietor”). The Proprietor shall have exclusive control over the management and operation of the Club, its properties and facilities and over all membership policies, rules and regulations of the Club.

  • The Proprietor reserves the right to alter the terms of these Club Rules as it deems necessary or desirable, giving reasonable notice to the members.
  • The Proprietor shall decide upon the annual subscription, number of members and membership categories of the Club.
  • The Proprietor shall be responsible for the business management of the Club, providing a measured and maintained golf course, premises, licensed bars and catering and all reasonable necessities for the objects of the Club. The Proprietor shall be responsible for the payment of all expenses and taxes connected therewith, for the engagement, payment and dismissal of staff, and for the operation of the golf course, the clubhouse (including the licensed bars and catering) and professional shop premises, and for all other matters which involve the disbursement of monies. The Proprietor will make the Club’s facilities available to the members on such terms as it deems appropriate.
  • The Proprietor may at any time withdraw all or part of the Club’s facilities for any period with or without notice in connection with any competition or other event or in connection with repair, alteration, maintenance, cleaning or adverse weather conditions, or for any other reasonable purpose.
  • The Proprietor shall be responsible for the management of the Junior’s Section.
  • The Proprietor shall be responsible for organising and running the following golfing events:
    • all Handicap Qualifying competitions; and
    • during the winter period, non-qualifying individual Stableford competitions.

The Proprietor shall charge such entry fee, and set such prize money, for those       competitions as it shall in its discretion think fit.  In setting entry fees for competitions, the Proprietor will take into account the expenditure associated with such competitions (including prize money, updating trophies and honours boards) and will aim to cover its costs but not seek to gain any material profit from the organising and running of such events.

The Proprietor shall be responsible for paying the entry fees for County Club competitions, including the Scratch and Matchplay Championships, the Cyril Blake Cup and the Ladies Division Matchplay Championships.

3.8   The Proprietor may appoint a person to act as a Club Secretary.  The Club Secretary will have responsibility for the administration of the Club’s golfing affairs.  In particular, the Club Secretary shall assist with:

  • the organisation of Handicap Qualifying competitions (and, during the winter period, the organisation of non-qualifying individual Stableford competitions), including allocating prize monies, and updating trophies and honours boards;
  • overseeing expenditure associated with Handicap Qualifying competitions (and non-qualifying individual Stableford competitions);
  • the operation of the Handicap Committee (including) chairing meetings of the Handicap Committee in the absence of the Handicap Secretary;
  • the Club’s relationship and affiliation with the Sussex Country Golf Unions and England Golf.

3.9  The Proprietor shall be responsible for ensuring that the club complies with the CONGU Unified Handicapping System (and any future transition) in accordance with the rules and regulations imposed from time to time by England Golf (or such National Governing Body to which the Club is affiliated from time to time).  The Proprietor will ensure that a person is appointed to act as the Handicap Secretary for the Club.  The Handicap Secretary will hold office for such period as may be agreed with the Proprietor and will report to the Proprietor.  The Handicap Secretary will oversee the implementation and smooth operation of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System in respect of the Club and its members.  The Handicap Secretary shall be assisted by the Handicap Committee in relation to all handicap matters.

3.10  The Proprietor may from time to time appoint, dismiss and replace the Handicap Secretary and the Club Secretary on such terms and with such notice as the Proprietor shall determine.  The Handicap Secretary and the Club Secretary may be the same person.

3.11  To assist with the day to day running of the Club’s golfing affairs the Men’s Captain, the Ladies’ Captain, the Seniors’ Captain and the Handicap Secretary (and the Club Secretary) (the “Club Representatives”) will meet with the Proprietor:

  • annually each autumn to discuss and agree the framework within which competitions, matches and social events are planned for the coming year; and
  • throughout the year to discuss and agree matters relating to the running of the Club within the agreed framework and to ensure that the interests of the members are represented to the Proprietor.

3.12  The Section Committees will not seek to take measures that are clearly in conflict with the Proprietor’s stated interests.  In such an event, and if discussion with the Club Representatives has not resolved the matter, the Proprietor will have the power to overrule the relevant Section Committee’s proposal or action. Notice of such overrule will be given to the relevant Captain in writing, who will require the Section Committee to apply the Proprietor’s ruling at the next available Committee meeting.

3.13  In order to fulfil its objectives for the Club and in addition to the provisions of paragraph 3.12, the Proprietor shall have power to take such action in relation to the affairs of the Club (including the affairs of the Committees) as it may consider necessary or desirable and on such occasions as it may determine.


4.     Amateur Status and Affiliation

  • The Club will operate:
    • under the Rules of Amateur Status laid down by The Royal and Ancient  Golf Club of St.
    • under the rules and regulations of the CONGU Unified Handicapping System, and any conditions imposed on the Schemes/System by the National Authorities or any revision or re-enactment thereof from time to time in
  • The Proprietor will affiliate the Club and the members to the Sussex County Golf Union and England Golf, and will duly exercise the disciplinary powers delegated to it under the England Golf Constitution.
  • The Proprietor will affiliate the Club and lady members to the Ladies Golf Union, and will abide by their rules.


5.     The Proprietor’s policies

  • The Course –The Proprietor’s long-term objective is to create one of the most attractive and exciting courses in the country, whilst maintaining its ability to be an enjoyable challenge to golfers of all levels.
  • Human Rights – The Club will abide by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that “the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status”.
  • Equality – The Club will abide by the Equality Act 2010 which bars discrimination on the grounds of the “protected characteristics” of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race (including ethnic origin, national origin, colour, nationality), religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
  • Members’ Rights and Obligations – All members will be entitled to the rights and privileges accorded to them, and will abide by their obligations required of them, by the Rules of the Club. In accordance with paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 the Club is a mixed-sex club, with men and ladies having equal rights of membership, paying (within their membership categories) the same subscriptions, able to use the course at any time it is available for play, and playing in all Club weekend, mid-week, Seniors’ and Juniors’ competitions.


6.     Amendment of Club Rules

 These Club Rules may at any time be altered, supplemented or revoked by the Proprietor.  The Proprietor may choose, but is not obliged, to consult with the Club Representatives in relation to any such alteration, supplement or revocation.


7.     Interpretation of Club Rules

 The decision of the Proprietor upon any question of interpretation of these Club Rules, or upon any matter affecting the Club and not provided for by these Club Rules, shall be final and binding on members and

  • The headings to these Club Rules are for ease of reference only and shall not be taken into account in their interpretation.


8.     Annual Meeting of the Club

The Proprietor may arrange an annual meeting for the Club’s members (expected to be held in April of each year) at which the Proprietor may report to the members on such matters as it may determine (which may include a report on the Proprietor’s plans for the Club in the coming year).


9.     Dissolution of the Club 

  • The Proprietor may at any time dissolve the Club, provided it gives four weeks’ notice in writing to the members.
  • The Proprietor will distribute to each member at the date of the written notice a sum being the pro rata balance of the cost of their membership subscription from the date of dissolution to the end of that subscription year. The Proprietor will distribute these sums by the date of dissolution.


Part 2 – Membership & Golfing Matters

1.     Conditions of use of the Club by Members, Guests and Visitors 

Members, guests and visitors must:

  • abide by the rules of Golf and of Amateur Status as laid down by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews;
  • comply with the rules of the Unified Handicapping System (UHS);
  • comply with the rules of England Golf and Sussex Golf
  • in the cases of Ladies, comply with the rules of the Ladies’ Golf
    • Members, guests and visitors must conduct themselves in a reasonable and fair manner at all times whilst at the Club and observe the standards of good etiquette when on the Course, including the Club’s dress
    • Visitors must register with the Pro Shop before
    • Members must display bag tags, and visitors playing vouchers, in the form provided by the
    • Members and visitors must pay their bills before they leave the Club


2.     Membership 

  • The categories of annual membership are posted in the Clubhouse and may be amended from time to time. A joining fee may be requested at the discretion of the Proprietor.
  • Membership will be granted by, and at the discretion of, the Proprietor to those persons who have:
  • lodged a completed Application Form with the Membership Administrator; and
  • paid to the Proprietor the required joining fee and

The Proprietor reserves the right to reject any application for or renewal of membership without any explanation for its decision, but not because of any “protective characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.

  • On being granted membership, a person shall be deemed to be bound by the Club Rules, will be issued with a bag tag, will be granted the rights of membership, and must abide by their obligations in these Club Rules.
  • All persons under the age of 14 years must be accompanied by an
  • The Proprietor may grant honorary membership to a person who has given services to the Club or the game of golf. Honorary members will be entitled to the rights and privileges of full
  • The Club shall have three playing sections:
  • a Men’s Section;
  • a Ladies’ Section; and
  • a Seniors’ Section.

A person may be eligible to be a member in respect of more than one Section.


3.     Rights and Obligations of Membership

Subject to paragraph 3.5 of Part 1 of the Club Rules, every member shall have the right of full access to enjoy all the facilities of the clubhouse and the course and the other facilities and services provided by the Proprietor.

  • Members shall not, by reason of membership, be under any financial liability except for the payment of his or her joining fee and subscription fees to the Proprietor, and competition, match and social function fees to the Proprietor and/or a Section Committee.
  • All current members shall be eligible to vote at any meeting of, or in respect of the affairs of a Section.
  • Members may introduce guests who may use the Club facilities. Members are responsible for the behaviour of their guests. No person whose membership has been terminated under Paragraph 7 of this Part 2 of the Club Rules, or whose application for membership has been rejected, shall at any time be introduced as a guest. No member may introduce more than three guests at any one time without the permission of the
  • The Proprietor reserves the right to refuse admission to any guest at its discretion but not because of any “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act
  • Members will be bound by, and will observe, the Club Rules and conditions of use of the Club as set out in paragraph 1 of Part 2 of the Club Rules.


4.     Fees 

  • Joining fees and annual subscriptions will be determined and published by the Proprietor.
  • The Green Fees will be determined and published by the
  • The Club’s membership year will run from 1st May to 30th April and all subscriptions will be paid to the Proprietor prior to the commencement of the membership year to which they relate, provided that the Proprietor may, but shall not be obliged, to accept payment by monthly instalments. A charge may be made by the Proprietor for the monthly instalment
  • A member joining the Club during the membership year shall pay an initial subscription pro rata from the date of joining to the end of the membership year.
  • Any member transferring to a different category of membership during the membership shall pay any additional subscription due on a pro rata basis from the first day of the month of
  • Joining fees, subscriptions and green fees are payable to the Proprietor and are non-refundable unless otherwise stated in these


5. Members in arrears 

  • If any member shall fail to pay his or her annual subscription by the due date, notice will be sent to him or her calling attention to their failure to pay. If such subscription is not paid within 30 days from the date of posting of the said notice, the Proprietor may terminate his or her membership. If at any time the member gives the Proprietor a satisfactory explanation for the failure to pay by the due date, the member may (at the discretion of the Proprietor and on payment of the arrears,) be readmitted to membership without payment of any joining
  • In the event that payment made by cheque does not clear from the member’s account to the Proprietor’s account, the Proprietor reserves the right to pass on any bank charges it incurs as a result of that uncleared cheque.


6.     Resignation of Members 

Any member may resign his or her membership by giving the Proprietor at least one month’s notice in writing. Upon expiry of the notice period, the resigning member shall return his or her membership certificate and bag tag to the Proprietor.


7.     Expulsion of Members, guests and visitors 

The Proprietor retains the right to expel, with or without financial compensation, any member, guest or visitor who, in the opinion of the Proprietor:

  • is considered to be acting against the interests of the Club;
  • abuses or assaults any person at the Club; or
  • is flagrantly in breach of the Rules of Golf or standards of good etiquette.
  • In such a situation, or if any person has cause to criticise the behaviour of another whilst at the Club or on the Course, a representative of the Proprietor, or in the absence of any representative of the Proprietor, any Club Representative may ask the person under criticism to leave the Club or the course forthwith. The Proprietor and the Club Representatives will discuss the incident without delay, and agree the subsequent course of action to be taken.


8.     Death of a Member 

On the death of a member the annual subscription shall be refunded by the Proprietor to the personal representatives of the deceased pro-rata from the date of death to the end of the subscription


9.     Joint Members separating 

On the divorce, judicial or other separation of members having either Oak or Beech joint membership, the following shall apply:

  • If both members wish to remain as members, upon receipt of the joint membership documentation and payment of the additional subscription in respect of single membership from each member, the Proprietor shall convert the joint membership to the appropriate single
  • If one member wishes to resign and the other to remain a member, the remaining member’s membership shall be converted to the appropriate single membership on receipt by the Proprietor of the joint membership documentation and the additional subscription in respect of single membership. The resigning member shall be deemed to have given notice of resignation under Rule


10.  Club property 

  • No member, guest or visitor may take away, or permit to be taken away, any property of the Club under any pretext, or damage or permit to be damaged any property of the Club.


11.  Use of Club for business 

  • No member shall give the address of the Club in any advertisement nor use the Club address for business


12.  Members not to make a profit out of the Club 

  • No member shall, except for any professional services rendered at the request of the Proprietor on any pretence or in any manner receive any profit or monies from or in respect of the Club, whether from the Proprietor or otherwise.


13.  No illegal gaming or betting 

  • No illegal gaming or betting shall be allowed on the Club premises or on the course.


14.  Effect of ceasing to be a Member 

  • On ceasing to be a member of the Club, such person shall forfeit all rights of membership and all claims upon the Proprietor and any section of the Club and their property and funds. Such a person is not entitled to the return of any joining fee, subscription fee or any other fees except as expressly stated in these Club Rules, and will remain liable for any subscription or other fees outstanding at that


15.  Opening of the Club premises 

  • Subject to paragraph 3.5 of Part 1 of the Club Rules, the Club premises and the course shall be open to members and visitors daily between such hours as shall from time to time be determined and published by the


16.  Members’ addresses 

  • Every member of the club shall keep the Proprietor informed of his or her address, telephone number and email address. All notices sent by first class post to such address shall be considered as having been given on the day following posting. All ‘Subject Data’ information provided will be maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (as may be amended from time to time).


17.  Complaints 

Complaints from members should be made in writing:

  • in the case of services provided by the Proprietor, to the Proprietor; and
  • in the case of services provided by the Club to the Director of Golf.

The Proprietor and the Club Representatives will discuss complaints in the case of services provided by the Club and agree a course of action.

  • No member of staff of the Proprietor may be directly reprimanded by a


Part 3 – Terms of Reference for the Committees

1.     The Committees

The members shall form separate committees to organise the respective golfing affairs of:

  • the Men’s Section;
  • the Ladies’ Section; and
  • the Seniors’ Section.

(each a “Section Committee”).

  • The members shall form a committee (the “Handicap Committee”) to support and assist the Handicap Secretary in carrying out his or her work. The Handicap Committee will be chaired by the Handicap Secretary.


2.     The Section Committees

2.1.  Each Section Committee will comprise such members as that Committee or the members of such Section decide, but shall in any event include the following:

  • a Captain;
  • a Captain-Elect (who will act as a Vice-Captain);
  • a Handicap Representative (who will be a member of the Handicap Committee);
  • a Treasurer.

2.2.  A member shall be eligible to act as a Captain of a Section if he or she shall have previously acted as a Captain-Elect.  A member shall be eligible to act as a Captain-Elect of a Section if he or she has been a member of the Club for at least three years.  A member shall be eligible to act as a Handicap Representative of a Section if he or she has been member of the Club for at least three years.  A member shall be eligible to act as a Treasurer of a Section if he or she has been a member of the Club for at least two years.

2.3.  Each Section Committee shall be responsible for carrying out and promoting the following functions and duties:

  • The organisation and regulation of non-qualifying competitions as it deems appropriate after consultation with the Proprietor;
  • The organisation and regulation of inter-club friendly matches;
  • The organisation and regulation of the Club’s participation in County and inter-club competitions;
  • The organisation of social events and activities;
  • The communication of news and events to the members.

2.4.  To ensure that a Section Committee carries out its functions and duties, the members of the Section will elect to the Section Committee the individuals referred to in clause 2.1, other than the Treasurer, as they think fit.  The Treasurer will be appointed by the Captain of the Section.  The Captain of the Section may also appoint members of the Section to fulfil other supportive roles with the approval of the Committee.

2.5.  Notwithstanding clause 2.4, the Proprietor shall be entitled at any time by giving written notice to the Captain of a Section to appoint any person to, or remove any person from, a Section Committee in order to ensure the proper and orderly working of the Club.

2.6.  The Captain-Elect of a Section will automatically become Captain for the year following the year in which they acted as Captain-Elect. In the event of the Captain-Elect resigning or having to terminate their office for unforeseen circumstances the members of the Section shall elect another eligible member to the vacant post.

2.7.  The Captain, having held office for one (1) year, shall retire from office. In the absence of a Captain-Elect, the Captain may be nominated by the Section Committee to renew his/her period of office for the following year. The Section Committee may invite the outgoing Captain to join Section Committee meetings as required during the following year on an advisory basis, and without voting rights, to help ensure continuity of decision-making. The outgoing Captain will endeavour to accede to this request.

2.8.  The Handicap Representative may serve for a period of up to three (3) years and at the end of that period shall either retire or offer themselves for re-election.  In the event of the Handicap Representative resigning, or having to terminate their office for unforeseen circumstances, the Handicap Secretary will assume direct management of handicap matters within the Section for the remainder of the year.  The normal annual election process, as set out in paragraph 3.1, will apply to fill the vacant post.

2.9.  The Treasurer and other Captain appointees may continue in role beyond their year of appointment with the approval of future Captains.

2.10 A Section Committee shall meet at such times at such place as the Committee decides is appropriate. Decisions taken, and the reasons for such decisions, shall be recorded in minutes. These minutes shall be approved, and signed by the chair at the following meeting, and the minutes made available to members.

2.11 No Section Committee shall operate outside its terms of reference.


3.     Election to the Section Committees

3.1.  Each Section Committee shall organise the election of the defined committee members to vacant posts (other than the Treasurer) once every subscription year, no later than 31st March, in such manner that all members of the Section are able to participate.

3.2.  All elections and voting shall be conducted in the following manner:

  • any member may propose another member for election provided they have a seconder and that the proposed member is eligible to stand for
  • members of the Section Committee may be proposers and
  • Should only one (1) member be proposed and seconded for a post, vacant on 1st May, that member shall be elected.
  • If two (2) or more members are proposed for the same vacant post then an election may be conducted at a meeting or by way of a poll conducted by a physical ballot or by e-mail.

3.3.  Invitations for nominations to the Section Committee shall be displayed in the Clubhouse by 1st March.  All nominations should be received in writing to the Section up to 7 days before the date of the election.

3.4.  The Proprietor shall have power to veto the nomination of a Captain-Elect.

3.5.  If at least twenty (20) members of a Section call for an annual meeting of that Section to be held, the Section Committee shall arrange such a meeting at which the Captain and the Committee shall report on the past year’s activities.


4.     Funds and Accounts

4.1.  Each Section Committee shall open a bank account into which are deposited the funds of the Section. All financial dealings will be in accordance with such rules and procedure as may be laid down from time to time, recorded in the minutes and made available to all Section members.

4.2.  Each Section is a non profit-making body.

4.3.  Bank accounts, accounting for all income and expenditure and the safe-keeping of funds, will be the responsibility of the Treasurer for that Section. All withdrawals from the bank accounts shall require the approval of two (2) of the following: Treasurer, and Captain or Captain-Elect. One approval must be that of the Treasurer.

4.4.  The Treasurer shall report to each Section Committee meeting the balance of the Committee’s funds, significant income and expenditure and trends against budget.

4.5.  No activity undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Section Committee shall at any time place the balance of the Committee’s funds in deficit. No liability shall be incurred without prior approval of the Captain (or in his absence the Captain-Elect) and the Treasurer. No expenditure outside the agreed annual budget shall be incurred without the approval of the Section Committee.

4.6.  It is expected that the bank account of a Section Committee will be used for all income received and expenditure incurred in connection with the matters and events referred to in paragraph 2.3 of this Part 3 of the Club Rules.  The Treasurer shall account separately for funds held for the Section Committee’s chosen charity, and these funds shall not be counted as “Committee funds” when assessing whether the Section Committee funds are at risk of being placed in deficit.

4.7.  The financial year of the Section Committees shall be for the twelve (12) months from 1st March to end February.

4.8.  The annual accounts of each Section shall be audited by a qualified person.  The Treasurer’s Report shall be made available to the members, and the audited accounts formally submitted for approval and adoption by members.

4.9.  The current year’s Accounts for all 3 Sections shall be reviewed quarterly by the Proprietor.


5.     Committee members’ responsibilities

5.1.  The members of each Section Committee have collective responsibility to the members of the Section, and shall act in accordance with and in the spirit of the decisions of the Committee.


Version 1   1st May 2018



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