Trashman, shop around, not all IDPA clubs are the same. The group I belong to are pretty loose. If you tell them you are shooting to qualify for IDPA all rules apply but otherwise, they set up a course and you shoot through it. As long as your equipment doesn't deviate too much they don't make a fuss. Check around you might be suprised!
"shootin is shootin" as long as it's safe! Have fun dude!