The Rules of Golf
A Quick Guide to the Rules in Brief for Members:
As golf is a self-regulating game, all golfers should have a good understanding of the fundamental Rules, as contained in this guide. However, this guide is not a substitute for the Rules of Golf, which should be consulted whenever any doubt arises. For more information on the points covered in this guide, please refer to the relevant Rule.
1. Before commencing your round:
1.1 Read the Local Rules on the score card or the notice board.
1.2 Put an identification mark on your ball. Many golfers play the same brand and model of ball and if you can’t identify your ball, it is considered lost. (Rules 12-2 and 27-1)
1.3 Count your clubs. You are allowed a maximum of 14 clubs. (Rule 4-4)
2. During the round:
2.1 Don’t ask for “advice” from anyone except your partner (i.e. a player on your side) or your caddies. Don’t give advice to anyone except your partner. You may ask for information on the Rules, distances and the position of hazards, the flagstick, etc. (Rule 8-1)
2.2 Don’t play any practice shots during play of a hole. (Rule 7-2)
3. At the end of your round:
3.1 In match play, ensure the result of the match is posted.
3.2 In stroke play, ensure that your score card is completed properly and return it as soon as possible. (Rule 6-6)
1. Play with the American size ball. Carry no more than 14 clubs.
2. Tee off within two club lengths behind the markers. The player farther from the hole plays first. The winner of the hole tees off first on the next hole.
3. Strike at the ball with the head of the club, don’t push or scrape it.
4. Don’t ask advice from anyone except your caddie or your partner. Don’t give advice to anyone except your partner.
5. Don’t use artificial devices to help you play, gauging or measuring distances or conditions or to give artificial aids in gripping.
6. Play without delay.
Play of the Ball:
1. Play the ball as it lies. Don’t touch it unless a Rule permits it.
2. If your ball becomes damaged and unfit for play, you may replace it with another; no penalty.
3. If you play a wrong ball(except in a hazard), you lose the hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
1. Play the course as you find it.
2. In the rules there is no difference between fairway and rough. Hazards are either bunkers (sand traps) or water hazards.
3. Don’t move, bend or break anything fixed or growing except in fairly taking your stance or making your swing. Don’t press anything down.
4. In a hazard, don’t touch the ground, sand or water (in a water hazard) with your club before the downswing.
5. If your ball is on a wrong putting green, drop ball off the green.
Loose impediments are natural objects not fixed or growing, suck as stones and leaves. You may lift them out of your way unless they are in a hazard. If the ball moves, there is a penalty of one stroke and the ball must be replaced, except that on the putting green there in no penalty.
Obstructions are man made objects. If they are movable, you may move them, even in a hazard. If they are immoveable and interfere with your swing or stance, you may drop away within one club length of the nearest point of relief (not nearer the hole) without penalty. Out-of-bounds fences and markers are not obstructions.
Accidentally Moving Ball:
If your ball is moved accidentally by you, your partner or one of your caddies, replace it and add a penalty stroke. If it is moved by someone or something else, replace it without penalty to you.
Lost-Out of Bounds- Unplayable:
Lost out of bounds: add a penalty stroke, go back and drop a ball at the place where you played the shot. On the teeing ground you may tee it.
Unplayable: either do the same or drop within two club lengths not nearer the hold or any distance behind the unplayable spot (in a bunker, drop in the bunker) and add a penalty stroke.
Ball in Water Hazard:
1. You may drop either behind a water hazard or at the place where you played the shot; add a penalty stroke.
2. In a lateral water hazard you have another choice, drop within two club lengths of (1) the place where the ball last crossed the hazard or (2) an equidistant point on the margin on the opposite side; add a penalty stroke.
1. You may play a provisional ball may be out of bounds or lost, but not because you think it may be unplayable or in a water hazard.
2. If your original ball turns out to be unplayable or in a water hazard, the provisional ball must be abandoned.
3. Play the provisional ball before you go forward to look for the original and announce the it is a provisional ball.
Casual Water, Ground Under Repair:
You may drop away from casual water, ground water repair or burrowing animal holes or cast, no penalty. On the putting green place or in a hazard drop at the nearest point of relief not nearer the hole, otherwise drop within one club length of nearest point or relief not nearer the hole.
1. When permitted to drop, face the hole and drop the ball at arms length.
2. Re-drop if the ball, (a) stops nearer the hole (b) rolls more than two club lengths, out of bounds, onto a putting green or into a hazard or (c) strikes you before it strikes the ground.
3. A ball to be dropped in a hazard must stay in the hazard.
1. Don’t touch the line of your putt unless a Rule permits.
2. Don’t test the surface by scraping it or rolling the ball.
3. you may lift (but not change) your ball on the putting green after marking it position; replace it on the next spot.
4. You may repair ball marks or old hole plugs.
5. Only your caddie or partner may point out your line of putt.
6. If another ball interferes, you may have it marked. If your ball hits another when played from the putting green, you are penalized two strokes in stroke play but nothing in match play.
7. Always hole out, unless in match play your opponent concedes the putt. 8. If your ball overhangs the hole, you are allowed only a few seconds to see whether it is at rest. If then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is at rest.
If your ball strikes the flag when played from the putting green, you lose the hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
Applying the Rules:
1. Observe local rules as well as Rules of Golf.
2. In a Rules argument, the committee at the course decides.
3. You may be disqualified if you agree to ignore Rules or waive penalties.
1. Don’t move, talk or stand close or directly behind a player making a stroke.
2. Don’t play until the group in front is out of the way.
3. Always play without delay. Leave the putting green as soon as all players in your group have holed out.
4. Let faster groups play through.
5. Replace divots. Smooth out footprints in bunkers.
6. Don’t step on the line of another’s putt.
7. Don’t drop clubs on putting green.
8. Replace the flag stick carefully in an upright position.
9. Leave the course in the condition in which you’d like to find it.
Ace: a hole in one
Birdie: a score of one under par for a hole
Bogey: a score of one over par for a hole
Casual Water: a temporary accumulation of water, not recognized as a hazard
Closed Stance: right foot drawn away from the line of flight
Club Face: when open the ball will slice, when closed it will hook
Direction & Distance: two main problems of all golf shots
Divot: a piece of soc cut by the player’s club, Replace it
Dog Leg: a bend in the fairway
Eagle: a score of two under par for a hole
Fairway: well kept, closely cropped area which is the direction from tee to green
Fore: warning cry of the golf course, if ball is going in direction of people
Green: the putting surface that is, the area where the hole is located
Hazard: any bunker or water hazard
Hook: a shot that curves from the right to left
Interlocking Grip: proper grip of the club
Lie: position of the ball Match Play: the golfer who wins the most holes is the winner
Medal Play: the golfer who has the fewest shots is the winner
Open Stance: left foot drawn away from the line of flight Helps those who hook ball
Par: designated number of strokes a player should make on a hole.
Rough: higher grass bordering the fairway
Slice: a shot that curves from left to right Tee: starting place for each hole, marker define the specific starting place
*Subject to ratification.