There are a couple of new wrinkles this year. To speed up play the following was written into the Second Team rules:
In an effort to speed up play if there is doubt as to the likelihood of finding a ball or as to whether a ball is in a hazard the player may hit a provisional ball under Rule 27-2. In addition the competitors may suggest the player hit a provisional ball without being in violation of offering advice. If the original ball is found or is determined to be in a hazard the provisional ball is out of play under Rule 27-2c and you must proceed under the Rules of Golf. Each player is responsible for knowing the rules, or asking the competitors if in doubt.
This means A. You are allowed to suggest to an opponent that he hit a provisional if you think he should, and B. you can hit a provisional even if you are unsure if your ball went into a hazard. Make sure you understand these changes and their intent.
Also new this year is a provision that each foursome turn in one official neat, clean scorecard with only the player scores, the point totals, and 4 signatures on it. No slashes, dashes, dots, no hole by hole match results, etc.; just a clean scorecard so the person entering the results in the computer can read it easily. And remember, it needs 4 signatures. Therefore on the first tee, decide in your foursome who will be keeping this clean card. One of you must take responsibility for that. If you are the one keeping the clean card, I suggest you also keep a second card to keep track of your matches, but that is up to you. I think it is helpful to know where you stand in each match. And please don’t leave the grounds until you are certain the official scorecard has been signed and turned in.
Your opponents should all know about these new changes this year, but likely some won’t have gotten the message, so make sure you communicate with them, especially about the clean scorecard.
Don’t forget about the dress code, which hasn’t changed – shirts with collars are required and no denim is allowed. Cell phones must be turned off, but you can use a range finder on a Smartphone or equivalent, as long as the phone function is turned off, and the device measures distance only.