Golf is a game rife with rules of play, rules of etiquette and rules of scoring. You may never master all the intricacies of these rules, but you should familiarize yourself with some of the more important ones.
The Ten Rule You Need To know
- You must play the same ball from the teeing ground into the hole. Change only when the rules allow.
- You must hole out on each hole. If you don’t, you don’t have a score and are thus disqualified.
- You must play the ball as it lies.
- When you ball is in a hazard, whether a bunker or a water hazard, you cannot touch the ground or water in the hazard with your club before impact.
- You cannot improve the line of a putt before your stroke by repairing marks made by the spikes on player’s shoes.
- When your ball is in play, you must not touch it except as permitted or cause it to move. If you do, you incur a penalty stroke and must replace the ball.
- Obstructions are anything artificial. Some obstructions are moveable. Others are not, so you must drop your ball within one club length of your nearest point of relief.
- If your ball is lost in a water hazard, you can drop another behind the hazard, keeping the point where the ball last crossed the hazard between you and the hole.
- If you lose your ball anywhere else other than in a hazard, return to where you hit your previous shot and hit another with one stroke penalty. To save time, if you think your ball may be lost, you may hit a provisional ball which will become your ball in play if you don’t find the original ball within 5 minutes of searching for it.
- If your ball is unplayable you have 3 options:
- Play from where you hit your last shot
- Drop within 2 club lengths of where your ball is now
- Keep the point where the ball is between you and the hole and drop a ball on that line.
- Don’t talk while someone is playing a stroke
- Be ready to play when it’s your turn. Make your decisions while you’re walking to your ball or while waiting for someone else to play.
- The honour on a given tee goes to the player with the lowest score on the previous hole
- Make sure everyone in your four-ball is behind you when you hit
- Pay attention to the group behind you too. If the group behind yours plays faster than you do, let them play through at a par-3.
- Repair your ball marks on the greens; smooth out the footprints in bunkers or replace any divots you find on the fairways especially when you haven’t got a caddy with you.