A short-lived rules experiment introduced: On the putting green a player may only clean his ball before the first putt. Putting must be continuous until holed out. These rules were withdrawn in 1970.
Standing astride the line of putt is banned.
Playing characteristics of a club cannot be changed during a round, and having more than 14 clubs now only costs four strokes/two holes maximum.
Unplayable ball: penalty reduced to one stroke; no Provisional allowed.
Striking an unattended flagstick from on the green is now illegal.
Stableford finally makes it into the Rules, but he doesn't live to see it.

[1899]   [1902]   [1904]   [1908]   [1912]   [1920]   [1925]   [1933]   [1939]   [1946]   [1950]   [1952]   [1954]   [1956]   [1960]   [1964]   [1968]   [1970]   [1972]   [1976]   [1980]   [1984]   [1988]   [1992]   [1996]   [2000]   [2004]   [2008]  

[<< 18th Century Rules Codes ] [Home]   [Contents]   [Feedback] [ 19th Century Rules Codes >>]

RULES OF GOLF

AS APPROVED BY
THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB
OF ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND
and the
UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION

effective 1 January 1968.


SECTION I - ETIQUETTE

1.  No one should move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when the player is making a stroke.

2.  The player who has the honour should be allowed to play before his opponent or fellow-competitor tees his ball. 

3.  No player should play until the players in front are out of range.

4.  In the interest of all, players should play without delay.

5.  Players searching for a ball should allow other players coming up to pass them; they should signal to the players following them to pass, and should not continue their play until those players have passed and are out of range.

6.  Before leaving a bunker, a player should carefully fill up all holes made by him therein.

7.  Through the green, a player should ensure that any turf cut or displaced by him is replaced at once and pressed down, and that, after the players have holed out, any damage to the putting green made by the ball or the players is carefully repaired.

8.  Players should ensure that, when dropping bags or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green, and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to the hole, in handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole.  The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

9.  When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.

PRIORITY ON THE COURSE
In the absence of special rules, singles, threesomes and foursomes should have precedence of and be entitled to pass any other kind of match.  A single player has no standing and should give way to a match of any kind.
Any match playing a whole round is entitled to pass a match playing a shorter round.
If a match fail to keep its place on the course and lose more than one clear hole on the players in front, it should invite the match following to pass.


SECTION II - DEFINITIONS

1.  Addressing the Ball
A player has 'addressed the ball' when he has taken his stance and has also grounded his club, except that in a hazard a player has addressed the ball when he has taken his stance.

2.  Advice
'Advice' is any counsel or suggestion which could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke.
Information on the Rules or Local Rules is not advice.

3.  Ball Deemed to Move
A ball is deemed to have 'moved' if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.

4.  Ball Holed
A ball is 'holed' when it lies within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.

5.  Ball in Play
A ball is 'in play' as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground.  It remains in play as his ball until holed out, except when it is out of bounds, lost or lifted, or another ball is substituted in accordance with the Rules or Local Rules.

6.  Ball Lost
A ball is 'lost' if:
a. It be not found or be not identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player's side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it; or
b. The player has put another ball into play under the Rules.
Play of another ball provisionally or of a wrong ball, does not constitute abandonment of a ball in play.
Time spent in playing a wrong ball is not counted in the five-minute period allowed for search.

7.  Caddie, Forecaddie and Equipment
a. A 'caddie' is one who carries or handles a player's clubs during play and otherwise assists him in accordance with the Rules.
When one caddie is employed by more than one player, he is always deemed to be the caddie of the player whose ball is involved, and equipment carried by him is deemed to be that player's equipment, except when the caddie acts upon specific directions of another player, in which case he is considered to be that other player's caddie.
Note: In threesome, foursome, best-ball and four-ball play, a caddie carrying for more than one player should be assigned to the members of one side.
b. A 'forecaddie' is one employed by the Committee to indicate to players the position of balls on the course, and is an outside agency (Definition 22).
c. 'Equipment' is anything used, worn or carried by or for the player except his ball in play.

8.  Casual Water
'Casual water' is any temporary accumulation of water which is visible before or after the player takes his stance and is not a hazard of itself or is not in a water hazard.  Snow and natural ice are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.

9.  Committee
The 'Committee' is the committee in charge of the competition.

10.  Competitor
A 'competitor' is a player in a stroke competition. A 'fellow-competitor' is any player with whom the competitor plays.  Neither is partner of the other.
In stroke play foursome and four-ball competitions, where the context so admits, the word 'competitor' or 'fellow-competitor' shall be held to include his partner.

11.  Course
The 'course' is the whole area within which play is permitted.  It is the duty of the authorities in charge of the course to define its boundaries accurately.

12.  Flagstick
The 'flagstick' is a movable straight indicator provided by the Committee, with or without bunting or other material attached, centred in the hole to show its position.  It shall be circular in cross-section.

13.  Ground Under Repair
'Ground under repair' is any portion of the course so marked by order of the Committee concerned or so declared by its authorised representative.  It includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked.  Stakes and lines defining ground under repair are not in such ground.  The margin of ground under repair is deemed to extend vertically upwards.

14. Hazards
A 'hazard' is any bunker or water hazard.  Bare patches, scrapes, roads, tracks and paths are not hazards.
a.  A 'bunker' is an area of bare ground, often a depression, which is usually covered with sand.  Grass-covered ground bordering or within a bunker is not part of the hazard.
b.  A 'water hazard' is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (regardless of whether or not it contains water) and anything of a similar nature.
All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard, whether or not it be covered with any growing substance is part of the water hazard.  The margin of a water hazard is deemed to extend vertically upwards.
c. A 'lateral water hazard' is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard running approximately parallel to the line of play and so situated that it is not possible or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable to drop a ball behind the water hazard and keep the spot at which the ball last crossed the hazard margin between the player and the hole.
d. It is the duty of the Committee in charge of a course to define accurately the extent of the hazards and water hazards when there is any doubt.  That part of a hazard to be played as a lateral water hazard should be distinctively marked. Stakes and lines defining the margins of hazards are not in the hazards.

15.  Hole
The 'hole' shall be 4 inches in diameter and at least 4 inches deep.  If a lining is used, it shall be sunk at least 1 inch below the putting green surface unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so; its outer diameter shall not exceed 4 inches.

16.  Honour
The side entitled to play first from the teeing ground is said to have the 'honour'.

17.  Loose Impediments
The term 'Loose impediments' denotes natural objects not fixed or growing and not adhering to the ball, and includes stones not solidly embedded, leaves, twigs, branches and the like, dung, worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them.
Snow and ice are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.

18.  Marker
A 'marker' is a scorer in stroke play who is appointed by the Committee to record a competitor's score.  He may be a fellow-competitor.  He is not a referee.
A marker should not lift the ball or mark its position and, unless he is a fellow-competitor should not attend the flagstick or stand at the hole or mark its position.

19.  Observer
An 'observer' is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule or Local Rule.  An observer should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

20.  Obstructions
An 'obstruction' is anything artificial, whether erected, placed or left on the course, except:
a. Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
b. Artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths;
c. In water hazards, artificially surfaced banks or beds, including bridge supports when part of such a bank.  Bridges and bridge supports which are not part of such a bank are obstructions;
d. Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course.

21.  Out of Bounds
'Out of bounds' is ground on which play is prohibited.
When out of bounds is fixed by stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level; the line is deemed to extend vertically upwards.
When out of bounds is fixed by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds.
A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds.

22.  Outside Agency
An 'outside agency' is any agency not part of the match or, in stroke play, not part of the competitor's side, and includes a referee, a marker, an observer and a forecaddie employed by the Committee.

23.  Partner
A 'partner' is a player associated with another player on the same side.
In a threesome, foursome, or a four-ball where the context so admits, the word 'player' shall be held to includes his partner.

24.  Penalty Stroke
A 'penalty stroke' is one added to the score of a side under certain Rules. It does not affect the order of play.

25.  Putting Green
The 'putting green' is all ground of the hole being played which is specially prepared for putting or otherwise defined as such by the Committee.

26.  Referee
A 'referee' is a person who has been appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and Golf law.  He shall act on any breach of Rule or Local Rule which he may observe or which may be reported to him by an observer (Definition 19).
In stroke play the Committee may limit a referee's duties.
A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

27.  Rub of the Green
A 'rub of the green' occurs when a ball in motion is stopped or deflected by any outside agency.

28.  Sides and Matches
Side: A player, or two or more players who are partners.
Single: A match in which one plays against another.
Threesome: A match in which one plays against two, and each side plays one ball.
Foursome: A match in which two play against two, and each side plays one ball.
Three-ball: A match play competition in which three play against one another, each playing his own ball.
Best-ball: A match in which one plays against the better ball of two or the best ball of three players.
Four-ball: A match in which two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players.
Note: In a best-ball or four-ball match, if a partner be absent for reasons satisfactory to the Committee, the remaining member(s) of his side may represent the side.

29.  Stance
Taking the 'stance' consists in a player placing his feet in position for and preparatory to making a stroke.

30.  Stipulated Round
The 'stipulated round' consists of playing eighteen holes of the course in their correct sequence unless otherwise authorised by the Committee.

31.  Stroke
A 'stroke' is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of fairly striking at and moving the ball.

32.  Teeing
In 'teeing', the ball may be placed on the ground or on sand or other substance in order to raise it off the ground.

33.  Teeing Ground
The 'teeing ground' is the starting place for the hole to be played.  It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers.  A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the stipulated area.

34.  Terms used in Reckoning
The reckoning of holes is kept by the terms:- so many 'holes up' or 'all square', and so many 'to play'.
A side is 'dormie' when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played

35.  Through the Green
'Through the green' is the whole area of the course except:-
a. The teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played;
b. All hazards on the course.



SECTION III - THE RULES OF PLAY

Rule 1. The Game

The Game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match Play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Disqualification.


Rule 2.  The Club and the Ball

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association reserve the right to change the Rules and the interpretations regulating clubs and balls at any time.

1.  Legal Clubs and Balls
The player shall use clubs and balls which conform with Clauses 2 and 3 of this Rule.

2.  Form and Make of Clubs
a. General Characteristics
The golf club shall be composed of a shaft and a head, and all of the various parts shall be fixed so that the club is one unit; the club shall not be designed to be adjustable.
The club shall not be substantially different from the traditional and customary form and make.
An 'iron' club is one with a head which usually is relatively narrow from face to back, and usually is made of steel.
A 'wood' club is one with a head relatively broad from face to back (see figure B) and usually is made of wood, plastic or a light metal.
A 'putter' is a club designed primarily for use on the putting green - see definition 25.
b. Playing Characteristics not to be Changed
The playing characteristics of a club shall not be purposely changed during a round; foreign material shall not be added to the club face at any time.
c. Shape of Head
The length of a clubhead shall be greater than the breadth.
Length shall be determined on a horizontal line, five-eighths of an inch above the sole, from the back of the heel to the end of the toe or a vertical projection thereof.
Breadth shall be determined on a horizontal line between the outermost points of the face and the back of the head or vertical projections thereof.
d. Face of Head
The club shall have only one face designed for striking the ball, except that a putter may have two faces if the loft of both faces is substantially the same.
Club faces shall not embody any degree of concavity on the hitting surface.
Club faces shall not have any lines, dots or other markings with sharp or rough edges, or any type of finish, for the purpose of unduly influencing the movement of the ball.
Markings on the face of an iron club shall conform with the specifications in Appendix II (see Note to this Rule).  The face of an iron club shall not contain an inset or attachment.
e. Shaft
The shaft shall be designed to be straight from the top to a point not more than five inches above the sole.  The shaft shall be generally circular in cross-section.
The shaft shall be fixed to the clubhead at the heel (as illustrated in Fig A).  The shaft shall be attached directly to the clubhead or to a neck or socket of the clubhead; any neck or socket shall not be more than five inches in length measured from the top of the neck or socket to the sole.  The shaft and neck or socket shall remain in line with the heel, or with a point to left or right of the heel, when the club is soled at address.  The distance between the axis of the shaft (or the neck or socket) and the back of the heel shall not exceed five-eighths of an inch in wood clubs and five-sixteenths of an inch in iron clubs.
Exception for Putters - The shaft or neck or socket of a putter may be fixed at any point in the head and need not remain in line with the heel.  The axis of the shaft from the top to a point not more than five inches above the sole shall diverge from the vertical by at least ten degrees in relation to the horizontal line determining length of head under Rule 2-2c.  The shaft in cross section shall be generally circular or otherwise symmetrical.
f. Grip
The grip shall be a continuation of the shaft to which material may be added for the purpose of obtaining a firm hold.  The grip shall be substantially straight and plain in form, may have flat sides, but shall not have a channel or furrow or be moulded for any part of the hands. (see Appendix III)
A device designed to give the player artificial aid in gripping the club, other than a plain glove, shall be deemed to violate this Rule even though it be not part of the club.
(Other artificial devices - Rule 37-9)

Note: Players in doubt as to the legality of clubs are advised to consult the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.  Specifications for markings on iron clubs have been issued to manufacturers and appear at Appendix II.
If a manufacturer is in doubt as to the legality of a club which he proposes to manufacture, he should submit a sample to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club for a ruling, such sample to become the property of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club for reference purposes.



Fig A


3.  The Ball

a. Specifications
The weight of the ball shall be not greater than 1.620 ounces avoirdupois, and the size not less than 1.620 inches in diameter.
Note: Under the Rules of the United States Golf Association, the weight of the ball shall not be greater than 1.620 ounces avoirdupois and the size not less than 1.680 inches in diameter, but in international team competitions the size of the ball shall be not less than 1.620 inches in diameter.
b. Foreign Material prohibited
Foreign material shall not be applied to a ball for the purpose of changing its playing characteristics

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:  Disqualification


Rule 3.  Maximum of Fourteen Clubs

1. Selection and Replacement of Clubs
The player shall start a stipulated round with not more than fourteen clubs. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round except that, without unduly delaying play, he may:
a. if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, add as many as will bring his total to that number;
b. replace a club which becomes unfit for play in the normal course of play.
The addition or replacement of a club or clubs may not be made by borrowing from any other person playing on the course.

2. Sides May Share Clubs
Partners may share clubs, provided that the total number of clubs carried by the side does not exceed fourteen.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 3-1 or 3-2, REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF WRONG CLUBS CARRIED:
Match Play - Loss of hole for each hole at which any violation occurred; maximum penalty per round: loss of two holes.  The penalty shall be applied to the state of the match at the conclusion of the hole at which the violation is discovered, provided all players in the match have not left the putting green of the last hole of the match.
Stroke play - Two strokes for each hole at which any violation occurred; maximum penalty per round: four strokes.
Note: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.

3. Wrong Club Declared Out of Play
Any club carried or used in violation of this Rule shall be declared out of play by the player immediately upon discovery and thereafter shall not be used by the player during the round under penalty of disqualification.


Rule 4.  Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited

Players shall not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or Local Rule or to waive any penalty incurred.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match Play - Disqualification of both sides;
Stroke play - Disqualification of competitors concerned.


Rule 5.  General Penalty

Except when otherwise provided for, the penalty for a breach of a Rule or Local Rule is:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 6.  Match Play

1. Winner of Hole
In match play the game is played by holes.
Except as otherwise provided in the Rules, a hole is won by the side which holes its ball in the fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole.

2. Halved Hole
A hole is halved if each side holes out in the same number of strokes.
When a player has holed out and his opponent has been left with a stroke for the half, nothing that the player who has holed out can do shall deprive him of the half which he has already gained; but if the player thereafter incurs any penalty, the hole is halved.

3. Winner of Match
A match (which consists of a stipulated round, unless otherwise decreed by the Committee) is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played.


Rule 7.  Stroke Play

1. General Rule
The Rules for match play, so far as they are not at variance with specific Rules for stroke play, shall apply to stroke competitions.  The converse is not true.

2. Winner
The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes is the winner.


Rule 8.  Practice

1. During Play of Hole
During the play of a hole, a player shall not play any practice stroke.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-1:
Match play - loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes

2. Between holes
Between the play of two holes, a player shall not play a practice stroke from any hazard, or on to a putting green other than of the hole last played.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-2:
*Match play - loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes
*The penalty applies to the next hole.

3.  Stroke Play
On any day of a stroke competition or play-off, a competitor shall not practice on the competition course before a round or play-off.  When a competition extends over consecutive days, practice on the competition course between rounds is prohibited.
Note: The Committee may, at its discretion, waive or modify these prohibitions in the conditions of the competition (Appendix I-3)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-3:  Disqualification.
(Duty of Committee to define practice ground - Rule 36-4b)

Note 1: A practice swing is not a practice stroke and may be taken at any place on the course provided the player does not violate the Rules.
Note 2: Unless otherwise decided by the Committee, there is no penalty for practice on the course on any day of a match play competition.


Rule 9.  Advice (Def. 2) and Assistance

1.  Giving or Asking for Advice; Receiving Assistance
a. Advice

A player may give advice to, or ask advice from, only his partner or either of their caddies.
b. Assistance
In making a stroke, a player shall not seek or accept physical assistance or protection from the elements.

2.  Indicating Line of Play
Except on the putting green, a player may have the line of play indicated to him by anyone, but no mark shall be placed on the line, nor shall anyone stand on or close to the line while the stroke is being played.
(Indicating line of play on putting green - Rule 35-1e)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 10.  Information as to Strokes Taken

1. General
A player who has incurred a penalty shall state the fact to his opponent or marker as soon as possible.  The number of strokes a player has taken shall include any penalty strokes incurred.

2.  Match Play
A player is entitled at any time during the play of a hole to ascertain from his opponent the number of strokes the latter has taken.  If the opponent give wrong information as to the number of strokes taken and correct his mistake before the player has played his next stroke, he shall incur no penalty; if he fail to do so, he shall lose the hole.


Rule 11.  Disputes, Decisions and Doubt as to Rights

1.  Claims and Penalties
a. Match Play

In match play, if a dispute or doubt arise between the players on any point, in order that a claim may be considered it must be made before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the match, before all players in the match leave the putting green.  Any later claim based on newly discovered facts cannot be considered unless the player making the claim had been given wrong information by an opponent.
b. Stroke play
In stroke play no penalty shall be imposed after the competition is closed unless wrong information had been given by the competitor.
A competition is deemed to have closed:-
In stroke play only - When the result of the competition is officially announced;
In stroke play qualifying followed by match play - When the player has teed off in his first match.

2.  Referee's Decision
If a referee has been appointed by the Committee, his decision shall be final.

3. Committee's Decision
In the absence of a referee, the players shall refer any dispute to the Committee, whose decision shall be final.
If the Committee cannot come to a decision, it shall refer the dispute to the Rules of Golf Committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, whose decision shall be final.
If the point in dispute or doubt has not been referred to the Rules of Golf Committee, the player or players have the right to refer an agreed statement through the Secretary of the Club to the Rules of Golf Committee for an opinion as to the correctness of the decision given.  The reply will be sent to the Secretary of the Club or Clubs concerned.
If play be conducted other than in accordance with the Rules of Golf, the Rules of Golf Committee will not give a decision on any question.

4.  Decision by Equity
If any point in dispute be not covered by the Rules or Local Rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with equity.

5. Stroke play: Doubt as to Procedure
In stroke play only, when a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, he may play out the hole with the ball in play and, at the same time, complete the play of the hole with a second ball.  Before playing a stroke with either ball, the competitor must announce to his marker his intention to proceed under this Rule and must announce which ball he wants to score with if the Rules permit.
On completing the round the competitor must report the facts immediately to the Committee.  If it be found that the Rules allow the procedure selected in advance by the competitor, the score with the ball so selected shall be his score for the hole.  Should the competitor fail to announce in advance his procedure or selection, the score with the second ball shall be his score for the hole if played in accordance with the Rules.

Note 1: The sole purpose of this Rule is to enable a competitor to avoid disqualification when doubtful of his rights or procedure; a competitor is not permitted to play in two ways and then choose his score.
Note 2: The privilege of playing a second ball does not exist in match play.  A second ball played under Rule 11-5 is not a provisional ball under Rule 30


Rule 12.  The Honour

1.  The Honour
a. Match Play

A match begins by each side playing a ball from the first teeing ground in the order of the draw.  In the absence of a draw, the option of taking the honour shall be decided by lot.
The side which wins a hole shall take the honour at the next teeing ground. If a hole has been halved, the side which had the honour at the previous teeing ground shall retain it.
b. Stroke play
The honour shall be taken as in match play.

2.  Second Ball from the Tee
If a player plays a second ball from the tee, he should do so after the opponent or the fellow-competitor has played his first stroke.

3. Playing Out of Turn
a.  Match play
If, on the teeing ground, a player play when his opponent should have played, the opponent may immediately require the player to abandon the ball so played and to play a ball in correct order, without penalty.
b. Stroke Play
If, on the teeing ground, a competitor by mistake play out of turn, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball shall be in play.


Rule 13.  Playing Outside Teeing Ground (Def 33)

a. Match Play
If a player, when starting a hole, plays a ball from outside the teeing ground, the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel the stroke, in which case the player shall tee a ball and play the stroke from within the teeing ground, without penalty.
b. Stroke Play
If a competitor, when starting a hole, plays a ball from outside the teeing ground, he shall count that stroke and any subsequent stroke so played and then play from within the teeing ground with the privilege of teeing his ball.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 13-2Disqualification

Note: Stance. A player may take his stance outside the teeing ground to play a ball within it.


Rule 14.  Ball Falling Off Tee

If a ball, when not in play, fall off a tee or be knocked off a tee by the player in addressing it, it may be re-teed without penalty, but if a stroke is made at the ball in these circumstances, whether the ball is moving or not, the stroke shall be counted but no penalty shall be incurred.


Rule 15.  Order of Play in Threesome and Foursome

1.  General
In a threesome or a foursome, the partners shall strike off alternately from the teeing grounds, and thereafter shall strike alternately during play of each hole.  Penalty strokes (Definition 24) do not affect the order of play.

2.  Match Play
If a player play when his partner should have played, his side shall lose the hole.

3.  Stroke Play
If the partners play a stroke or strokes in incorrect order, such stroke or strokes shall be cancelled, and the side shall be penalised two strokes.  A ball shall then be put in play as nearly as possible at the spot from which the side first played in incorrect order. This must be done before a stroke has been played from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before the side has left the putting green.  If they fail to do so, they shall be disqualified.
If the first ball was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.


Rule 16.  Ball Played as it Lies and not Touched

The ball shall be played as it lies and shall not be purposely moved or purposely touched except that the player may, without penalty, touch his ball with his club in the act of addressing it and except as otherwise provided in the Rules and Local Rules.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:

Match Play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.
(Ball moved accidentally by player - Rule 27-1c)
(Ball moved accidentally after address - Rule 27-1d)


Rule 17.  Improving Lie or Stance and Influencing Ball Prohibited

1. Improving Line of Play or Lie Prohibited
A player shall not improve, or allow to be improved, his line of play or the position or lie of his ball by moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing, or by removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, cut turf placed in position, or other irregularities of surface which could in any way affect a player's lie, except:
a. As may occur in the course of fairly taking his stance;
b. In making the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke;
c. When teeing a ball;
d. In repairing damage to the putting green under Rule 35-1c.

The club may be grounded only lightly and must not be pressed on the ground.
(Removal of obstructions - Rule 31-1)
Note: Things fixed include objects defining out of bounds.

2.  Long Grass and Bushes
If a ball lie in long grass, rushes, bushes, whins, heather or the like, only so much thereof shall be touched as will enable the player to find and identify his ball; nothing shall be done which may in any way improve his lie.
The player is not of necessity entitled to see his ball when playing a stroke.

3.  Building a Stance Prohibited
A player is always entitled to place his feet firmly on the ground when taking his stance, but he is not allowed to build a stance.

4.  Exerting Influence on Ball
No player or caddie shall take any action to influence the position or the movement of a ball except in accordance with the Rules.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes

Note: In the case of a serious breach of Rule 17-4, the Committee may impose a penalty of disqualification.


Rule 18.  Loose Impediments (Def 17)

1. Removal of Impediments
Any loose impediment may be removed without penalty, except when both the impediment and the ball lie in or touch a hazard.  When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment shall not be removed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 18-1:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke Play - Two strokes
(Finding ball in Hazard - Rule 33-1e)

2. Ball Moved
Through the green, if a ball move after any loose impediment lying within a club-length of it has been touched by the player, his partner, or either of their caddies, the player shall be deemed to have caused the ball to move.
The penalty shall be one stroke, and the ball shall be played as it lies.
(Loose impediments on putting green - Rule 35-1b)


Rule 19.  Striking at Ball

1. Ball to be fairly Struck at
The ball shall be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 19-1:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke Play - Two strokes

2. Striking Ball Twice
If the player strike the ball twice when making a stroke, he shall count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.
(Playing a moving ball - Rule 25).


Rule 20.   Ball Farther from the Hole Played First

1. General
When the balls are in play, the ball farther from the hole shall be played first.  If the balls are equidistant from the hole, the option of playing first shall be decided by lot.
Exception: Stroke play on putting green to be continuous - Rule 35-3e
A player or a competitor incurs no penalty if a ball is moved in measuring to determine which ball is farther from the hole.  A ball so moved shall be replaced.

2. Match Play
Through the green or in a hazard, if a player play when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke.  In such a case, the player shall drop a ball as near as possible to the spot from which his previous stroke was played, and play in correct order without penalty.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 20-2:
Loss of hole
(Playing out of turn on putting green - Rule 35-2b)

3. Stroke Play
If a competitor play out of turn, no penalty shall be incurred.  The ball shall be played as it lies.
Exception: Stroke play on putting green to be continuous - Rule 35-3e


Rule 21  Playing a Wrong Ball or Under a Wrong Rule

1. General
A player must hole out with the ball driven from the teeing ground unless a Rule or Local Rule permits him to substitute another ball.

2. Match Play
a. Wrong Ball

If a player play a stroke with a ball other than his own except in a hazard he shall lose the hole.  There is no penalty if a player play a stroke or strokes in a hazard with a ball other than his own provided he then play his own ball; the strokes so played with a ball other than the player's own do not count in the player's score.  The other ball shall be replaced.

When the player and the opponent exchange balls, the first to play the wrong ball shall lose the hole; when this cannot be determined, the hole shall be played out with the balls exchanged.

b. Ball Played under Wrong Rule
If a player play a stroke under a Rule which does not govern the particular case, he shall lose the hole.

3. Stroke Play
a. Wrong Ball

If a competitor play a stroke or strokes with a ball other than his own except in a hazard he shall add two penalty strokes to his score for the hole and shall then play his own ball.   Strokes played by a competitor with a ball other than his own do not count in his score.  There is no penalty if a player play a stroke or strokes in a hazard with a ball other than his own provided he then play his own ball.  The other ball shall be replaced.
b. Ball Played under Wrong Rule
If a competitor play a stroke or strokes under a Rule which does not govern the particular case, he shall add two penalty strokes to his score for the hole and shall then proceed under a Rule which governs the case.  Strokes played by a competitor under a Rule which does not govern the particular case do not count in his score.
c. Rectification After Holing out
If a competitor hole out with a ball other than his own or a ball played under a Rule not governing the particular case, he may rectify his mistake by proceeding in accordance with Rule 21-3, subject to the prescribed penalty, provided he has not made a stroke on the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, has not left the putting greenThe competitor shall be disqualified if he does not so rectify his mistake.


Rule 22.   Lifting, Dropping and Placing

1.  Lifting
a. By Whom

A ball to be lifted under the Rules or Local Rules may be lifted by the owner, his partner or either of their caddies, or by another person authorised by the owner. In any such case the owner shall be responsible for any breach of the Rules or Local Rules.
b. Before Holing Out in Stroke Play
If a competitor's ball be lifted before it is holed out, except as provided for in the Rules or Local Rules, the competitor shall replace it under a penalty of two strokes, provided he does so before he has played a stroke from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he has left the putting green. If he fail to replace it, he shall be disqualified.
(Procedure in discontinuing play - Rule 37-6b)
(Ball moved by outside agency - Rule 27-1a)

2.  Dropping
a. How to Drop

A ball to be dropped under the Rules or Local Rules shall be dropped by the player himself. He shall face the hole, stand erect, and drop the ball behind him over his shoulder. If a ball be dropped in any other manner and remain the ball in play (Definition 5), the player shall incur a penalty stroke.
If the ball touch the player, or if it come to rest against the player and move when he then moves, there is no penalty, and the ball shall be played as it lies.
b. Where to Drop
When a ball is to be dropped, it shall be dropped as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, except when a Rule permits it to be dropped elsewhere or placed. In a hazard, the ball must come to rest in that hazard; if it roll out of the hazard, it must be re-dropped, without penalty.
c.  Rolling into Hazard, Out of Bounds or Two Club-Lengths
If a dropped ball roll out of bounds, or into a hazard, it may be re-dropped without penalty. If a dropped ball roll more than two club-lengths from the point where it first struck the ground, it shall be re-dropped, without penalty. If the configuration of the ground make it impossible to prevent the ball from so rolling, it shall be placed at the point where the ball was last dropped.
d. Rolling Nearer Hole
If a dropped ball come to rest nearer the hole than its original position, it shall be re-dropped, without penalty. If the configuration of the ground make it impossible to prevent the ball from coming to rest nearer the hole, it shall be placed, without penalty.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 22-2 (except 22-2a):
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.

3.   Placing
a. How and Where to Place

A ball to be placed or replaced under the Rules or Local Rules shall be placed by the player, his partner or either of their caddies, on the spot where the ball lay, except when a Rule permits it to be placed elsewhere.
b. Lie of Lifted Ball or Wrong Ball Altered
If the original lie of a ball to be placed or replaced has been altered, either in the play of another ball or when the ball is played as a wrong ball, the ball shall be placed as near as possible to, but not nearer the hole than, the spot where it lay and in a lie similar to that which it originally occupied.
c. Spot Not Determinable
If it be impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be placed, through the green or in a hazard the ball shall be dropped, or on the putting green it shall be placed, as near as possible to the place where it lay, but not nearer the hole.
d.  Ball Moving
If a ball fail to come to rest on the spot on which it was being placed, it must be replaced, without penalty.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 22-3:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.

4.  Ball in Play when Dropped or Placed
A ball dropped or placed under a Rule governing the particular case is in play (Definition 5) and shall not be lifted or re-dropped or replaced except as provided in the Rules.

5.  Lifting Ball Wrongly Dropped or Placed
A ball dropped or placed but not played may be lifted without penalty if:-
a. It was dropped or placed under a Rule governing the particular case but not in the right place or otherwise not in accordance with that Rule. The player shall then drop or place the ball in accordance with the governing Rule.
b. It was dropped or placed under a Rule which does not govern the particular case. The player shall then proceed under a Rule which governs the case.
However, in match play, if, before the opponent plays his next stroke, the player fail to inform him that the ball has been lifted, the player shall lose the hole.

Note: In stroke play a serious breach of Rule 22 should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.


to topTo Top


Rule 23.  Identifying or Cleaning Ball

The responsibility for playing the proper ball rests with the player. Each player should put an identification mark on his ball

1.  Identifying Ball
Except in a hazard, the player may, without penalty, lift his ball in play for the purpose of identification and replace it on the spot from which it was lifted provided this is done in the presence of his opponent in match play or marker in stroke play.
(Touching grass, etc., for identification - Rule 17-2)

2.  Cleaning Ball
A ball may be cleaned when lifted as follows:-

From an unplayable lie under Rule 29-2
For relief from an obstruction under Rule 31
From casual water, ground under repair, or otherwise under Rule 32
From a water hazard under Rule 33-2 or 33-3
On the putting green under Rule 35-1d

Otherwise, during the play of a hole a player may not clean a ball, except to the extent necessary for identification or if permitted by Local Rule.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE;
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 24.  Ball Interfering with Play

Through the Green or in a hazard, a player may have any other ball lifted if he consider that it might interfere with his play. A ball so lifted shall be replaced after the player has played his stroke.
If a ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball so moved shall be replaced.
(Lie of lifted ball altered - Rule 22-3b)
(Putting green - Rule 35-2a and 35-3a.)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 25.  A Moving Ball

1.  Playing Moving Ball Prohibited
A player shall not play while his ball is moving.
Exceptions:-

Ball falling off tee - Rule 14.
Striking ball twice - Rule 19-2.
As hereunder - Rule 25-2.

When the ball only begins to move after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, he shall incur no penalty under this Rule, but he is not exempted from the provisions for:
Ball moving after removal of loose impediment - Rules 18-2 and 27-1e.
Ball moved accidentally by player - Rule 27-1c.
Ball moving after it has been addressed - Rule 27-1d.

2.  Ball Moving in Water
When a ball is in water, the player may, without penalty, make a stroke at it while it is moving, but he must not delay to make his stroke in order to allow the wind or current to better the position of the ball.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 26.  Ball in Motion Stopped or Deflected

1.  General
a. By Outside Agency

If a ball in motion be accidentally stopped or deflected by any outside agency, it is a rub of the green and the ball shall be played as it lies, without penalty.
Exception: - On putting green - Rule 35-lh.
b. Lodging in Outside Agency
If a ball lodge in anything moving, the player shall, through the green or in a hazard, drop a ball, or on the putting green place a ball, as near as possible to the spot where the object was when the ball lodged in it, without penalty.

2.  Match Play
a. By Player

If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, he shall lose the hole.
b. By Opponent
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, the opponent's side shall lose the hole.
(Ball striking opponent's ball - Rule 27-2b)
Exception:
Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b

3.  Stroke play
a. By Competitor

If a competitor's ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes. The ball shall be played as it lies, except when it lodges in the competitor's, his partner's or either of their caddies' clothes or equipment, in which case the competitor shall through the green or in a hazard drop the ball, or on the putting green place the ball, as near as possible to where the article was when the ball lodges in it.
b. By Fellow-Competitor
If a competitor's ball is accidentally stopped or deflected by a fellow-competitor, his caddie, ball or equipment, it is a rub of the green and the ball shall be played as it lies.
Exceptions:-

Ball lodging in fellow-competitor's clothes, etc. - Clause 1b of the Rule
Ball striking fellow-competitor's ball on the putting green - Rule 35-1h and 35-3c
Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes

Note: If the referee or the Committee determine that a ball has been deliberately stopped or deflected by an outside agency, including a fellow-competitor or his caddie, further procedure should be prescribed in equity under Rule 11-4.


Rule 27.  Ball at Rest Moved (Def 3)

1.  General
a. By Outside Agency

If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, except wind, the owner shall incur no penalty and shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
(Opponent's ball moved by player's ball - Rule 27-2b)
Note: If the ball moved is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.
b. During Search
During search for a ball, if it be moved by an opponent, a fellow-competitor or the caddie of either, no penalty is incurred. The player shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
c. By Player, Accidentally
When a ball is in play, if a player, his partner or either of their caddies accidentally move it, or by touching anything cause it to move (except as otherwise provided for in the Rules), the player shall incur a penalty stroke and the ball shall be played as it lies.
(Ball purposely moved or purposely touched - Rule 16)
d. Ball Moving Accidentally After Address
If a ball in play move after a player has addressed it (definition 1), he shall be deemed to have caused it to move and shall incur a penalty stroke, and the ball shall be played as it lies.
(Ball purposely moved or purposely touched - Rule 16)
e. Touching Loose Impediments
If a player has touched a loose impediment (Rule 18 and 35-1b) and the ball move, but not until the player has addressed it (definition 1), he shall be deemed to have caused it to move under paragraph d above and shall incur a penalty stroke. The ball shall be played as it lies.

2.   Match Play
a. By Opponent

If a player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided in the Rules), the opponent shall incur a penalty stroke. The player shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
b. Opponent's Ball Moved by Player's Ball
If a player's ball move an opponent's ball, no penalty shall be incurred. The opponent may either play his ball as it lies, or, before another stroke is played by either side, he may replace the ball.
If the player's ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the opponent's ball and the opponent declare his intention to replace the ball, the player shall first play another stroke, after which the opponent shall replace his ball.
(Putting green - Rule 35-2c)
(Three-ball, Best-ball and Four-Ball match play - Rule 40-1c)

3.  Stroke Play
Ball Moved by a Fellow-Competitor

If a competitor's ball be moved by a fellow-competitor, his caddie, ball or equipment, no penalty shall be incurred. The competitor shall replace his ball before playing another stroke.
Exception to Penalty:  Ball striking fellow-competitor's ball on putting green - Rule 35-3c

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   *Stroke play - Two strokes
(Playing a wrong ball - Rule 21)

*Note: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1


Rule 28.  Ball Unfit For Play

If the ball become so damaged as to be unfit for play, the player may substitute another ball, placing it on the spot where the original ball lay. Substitution may only be made on the hole during the play of which the damage occurred and in the presence of the opponent in match play or the marker in stroke play.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.
(Ball unplayable - Rule 29-2.)

Note 1: Mud or loose impediments adhering to the ball do not make it unfit for play.
Note 2: Where the existence of mud could become an encumbrance to play, the Committee should frame a Local Rule providing for the removal of mud.


Rule 29.  Ball Lost (Def. 6) Out Of Bounds (Def. 21) or Unplayable

1.  Lost or Out of Bounds
a. Procedure

If a ball be lost outside a water hazard or be out of bounds, the player shall play his next stroke as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played or moved by him, adding a penalty stroke to his score for the hole. If the original stroke was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.
(Ball lost in casual water, ground under repair, etc. - Rule 32-3)
b. Ascertaining Location
A player has the right at any time of ascertaining whether his opponent's ball is out of bounds.
A person outside the match may point out the location of a ball for which search is being made.
c. Standing Out of Bounds
A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

2.  Unplayable
a. Player Sole Judge

The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable. It may be declared unplayable at any place on the course except in a water hazard (Rule 33-2, -3).
b. Procedure
If the player deem his ball to be unplayable, he shall either:-

(i) Play his next stroke as provided in Clause 1a of this Rule (stroke-and-distance penalty),
or

(ii) Drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, either (a) within two club-lengths of the point where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, or (b) behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point between himself and the hole, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped. If the ball lay in a bunker, a ball must be dropped in the bunker.
(Ball in casual water, etc.- Rule 32)
(Ball unfit for play - Rule 28)

3.  Provisional Ball
A provisional ball for a ball lost or out of bounds may be played as provided for in Rule 30

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   *Stroke play - Two strokes.

*Note 1: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.
Note 2: The penalty stroke provided for in Rule 29-1 and 29-2 may not be remitted by Local Rule.


Rule 30.   Provisional Ball

1.  Procedure
If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard, or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may at once play another ball provisionally as nearly as possible from the spot at which the original ball was played. If the original ball was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.
a. Before playing a provisional ball, the player must announce his intention to his opponent or his marker. The player is not obliged to state the reason for which he plays a provisional ball. He may not restrict the purpose for which it is played.
b. A provisional ball may be played only before the player or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball.
c. Play of a provisional ball from the teeing ground does not affect the order in which the sides play (Rule 12-2).
d. A provisional ball is never an outside agency.

2.  Play of Provisional Ball
The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be.
If the original ball be lost outside a water hazard (Definition 6) or be out of bounds, he shall continue play with the provisional ball under penalty provided for in Rule 29-1.
If the original ball be not lost or out of bounds, or if it be unplayable or in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, the provisional ball shall be abandoned.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 31.   Obstructions (Def. 20)

1. Movable Obstruction may be Removed
Any movable obstruction may be removed. If the ball be moved in so doing, it shall be replaced on the exact spot from which it was moved, without penalty. If it be impossible to determine the spot or to replace the ball on the exact spot from which it was moved, the ball shall, through the green or in a hazard, be dropped, or on the putting green be placed, as near as possible to the spot from which it was moved but not nearer the hole, without penalty.
When a ball is in motion, an obstruction other than an attended flagstick and equipment of the players shall not be removed.

2.  Interference by Immovable Obstruction
When the ball lies on or touches an immovable obstruction, or when an immovable obstruction within two club-lengths of the ball interferes with the player's stance, stroke or backward movement of his club for the stroke in the direction in which he wishes to play, the ball may he lifted without penalty. Through the green or in a hazard, the ball shall be dropped, or on the putting green placed, within two club-lengths of that point on the outside of the obstruction nearest which the ball originally lay; it must not come to rest in, on or touching the obstruction or nearer the hole than its original position.
The player may not measure over, through or under the obstruction.
Interference with the line of play is not of itself interference under this Rule.
(Ball in hazard - Rule 22-2b)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 32.  Casual Water (Def. 8), Ground Under Repair (Def. 13), Hole Made By Burrowing Animal

1.  Ball Lying in or Touching
If a player's ball lie in or touch casual water, ground under repair, or a hole, cast or runway made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird, the player may obtain relief as follows:
a. Through the Green
Through the green, the player may lift and drop the ball without penalty as near as possible to the spot where it lay, but not nearer the hole, on ground which avoids these conditions.
b. In a Hazard
In a hazard, the player may lift and drop the ball either:

Without penalty, in the hazard as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, on ground which affords maximum relief from these conditions,
or
Under penalty of one stroke
, outside the hazard, but not nearer the hole, keeping the spot where the ball lay between himself and the hole.
c. On the Putting Green
On the putting green, or if such conditions intervene between a ball lying on the putting green and the hole, the player may lift the ball and place it without penalty in the nearest position to where it lay which affords maximum relief from these conditions, but not nearer the hole.

2. Interference
If any of the conditions covered by this Rule interfere with the player's stance, stroke, or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, the ball may be treated as in Clause 1.

3. Ball Lost
a. Outside a Hazard

If a ball be lost under a condition covered by this Rule, except in a hazard, a ball may be dropped without penalty as near as possible to the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the area, on ground which avoids these conditions, but not nearer the hole.
b. In a Hazard
If a ball be lost in a hazard, the player may drop a ball either:

Without penalty, in the hazard, but not nearer the hole than the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the area, on ground which affords maximum relief from these conditions,
or
Under penalty of one stroke
, outside the hazard, but not nearer the hole, keeping the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between himself and the hole.

In order that a ball may be treated as lost, there must be reasonable evidence to that effect.

4. Re-Dropping
If a ball, when dropped, roll into a position covered by this Rule, it may be re-dropped without penalty. If it be impossible to drop a ball so that it will not roll into such condition, it shall be placed.


PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 33.  Hazards And Water Hazards (Def. 14)

1. Touching Hazard Prohibited
When a ball lies in or touches a hazard or a water hazard, nothing shall be done which may in any way improve its lie.
Before making a stroke, the player shall not touch the ground in the hazard or water with a club or otherwise, nor touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard, nor test the condition of the hazard or of any similar hazard; subject to the following considerations:-
a. Stance
The player may place his feet firmly in taking his stance.
b. Touching Fixed or Growing Object
In addressing the ball, or in the stroke or in the backward movement for the stroke, the club may touch any wooden or stone wall, paling or similar fixed object or any grass, bush, tree, or other growing substance (but the club may not be soled in the hazard).
c. Obstructions
The player is entitled to relief from obstructions under the provisions of Rule 31.
d. Loose Impediment outside Hazard
Any loose impediment not in or touching the hazard may be removed.
e. Finding Ball
If the ball be covered by sand, fallen leaves or the like, the player may remove as much thereof as will enable him to see the top of the ball; if the ball be moved in such removal, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball shall be replaced. The ball may not be lifted for identification.
f. Placing Clubs in Hazard
The player may, without penalty, place his clubs in the hazard prior to making a stroke, provided nothing is done which may improve the lie of the ball or constitute testing the soil.
g. Smoothing Irregularities
After playing a stroke, there is no penalty should the player smooth irregularities in the hazard made by footprints or the soil displaced by a stroke provided nothing is done that improves the lie of the ball or assists the player in his subsequent play of the hole.
h. Casual Water, Ground under Repair
The player is entitled to relief from casual water, ground under repair, and otherwise as provided for in Rule 32.
i. Interference by a Ball
The player is entitled to relief from interference by another ball under the provisions of Rule 24.

2. Ball in Water Hazard
If a ball lie or be lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lie in water or not), the player may drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, either:

a. Behind the water hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard between himself and the hole, and with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped,
or
b. As near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was played; if the stroke was played from the teeing ground, the ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground.

Note: If a ball has been played from within a water hazard and has not crossed any margin of the hazard, the player may drop a ball behind the hazard under Rule 33-2a.

3. Ball in Lateral Water Hazard (Def. 14c)
If a ball lie or be lost in a lateral water hazard, the player may, under penalty of one stroke either:

a. Play his next stroke in accordance with Clause 2a or 2b of this Rule,
or
b. Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the margin of either side of the lateral water hazard, opposite the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin. The ball must come to rest not nearer the hole than that point.

Note :If a ball has been played from within a lateral water hazard and has not crossed any margin of the hazard, the player may drop a ball behind the hazard under Rule 33-3b.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  *Stroke play - Two strokes.

*Note 1: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.
Note 2: It is a question of fact whether a ball lost after having been struck toward a water hazard is lost inside or outside the hazard. In order to treat the ball as lost in the hazard, there must be reasonable evidence that the ball lodged therein. In the absence of such evidence, the ball must be treated as a lost ball and Rule 29-1 applies.

Rule 34.   The Flagstick (Def. 12)

1. Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up
The player may have the flagstick attended, removed or held up to indicate the position of the hole. This may be done only on the authority of the player before he plays his stroke. If the flagstick be attended or removed by an opponent, a fellow-competitor or the caddie of either with the knowledge of the player and no objection is made, the player shall be deemed to have authorised it.
If a player or a caddie attend or remove the flagstick or stand near the hole while a stroke is being played, he shall be deemed to attend the flagstick until the ball comes to rest.
If the flagstick be not attended before the stroke is played, it shall not be attended or removed while the ball is in motion.

2. Unauthorised Attendance
a. Match Play

In match play, an opponent or his caddie shall not attend or remove the flagstick without the knowledge or authority of the player.
b. Stroke Play
In stroke play, if a fellow-competitor or his caddie attend or remove the flagstick without the knowledge or authority of the competitor, and if the ball strike the flagstick or the person attending it, it is a rub of the green, there is no penalty, and the ball shall be played as it lies.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 34-1 AND 34-2:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.

3. Ball Striking Flagstick or Attendant
The player's ball shall not strike either:-

a. The flagstick when attended or removed by the player's caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie, or by another person with the knowledge or authority of the player; or
b. The player's caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie when attending the flagstick, or another person attending the flagstick with the knowledge or authority of the player, or equipment carried by any such person; or
c. The flagstick in the hole, unattended, when the ball has been played from the putting green.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 34-3:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes,
and the ball shall be played as it lies.

4. Ball Resting Against Flagstick
If the ball rest against the flagstick when it is in the hole, the player shall be entitled to have the flagstick removed, and if the ball fall into the hole the player shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke.

Note: A referee, observer, marker, steward, gallery marshal or other outside agency should not attend the flagstick.


Rule 35 The Putting Green (Def. 25)

1. General
a. Touching Line of Putt

The line of the putt must not be touched except as provided in Clauses 1b, 1c and 1d of this Rule, but the player may place the club in front of the ball in addressing it without pressing anything down.
b. Loose Impediments
The player may move any loose impediment on the putting green by picking it up or brushing it aside with his hand or a club without pressing anything down. If the ball be moved, it shall be replaced, without penalty.
c. Repair of Ball Marks
The player may repair damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball. The ball may be lifted to permit repair and shall be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted; in match play the ball must be replaced immediately if the opponent so requests.
If a ball be moved during such repair, it shall be replaced, without penalty.
d. Ball May be Lifted for Cleaning Only before First Putt
A ball lying on the putting green may be lifted for the purpose of cleaning, without penalty, only before the player plays his first stroke, and must be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted; in match play the ball must be replaced immediately if the opponent so requests.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-1d:
One stroke.
Note: A ball lifted from the putting green in accordance with other Rules may be cleaned.

e. Direction for Putting
When the player's ball is on the putting green, the player's caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie may, before the stroke is played, point out a line for putting, but the line of the putt shall not be touched in front of, to the side of, or behind the hole.
No mark shall be placed anywhere on the putting green to indicate a line for putting.
f. Testing Surface
During the play of a hole, a player shall not test the surface of the putting green by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.
g. Other Ball to be at Rest
While the player's ball is in motion after a stroke on the putting green, an opponent's or a fellow-competitor's ball shall not be played or touched.
h. Ball in Motion Stopped or Deflected
If a ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green be stopped or deflected by any outside agency, the stroke shall be cancelled and the ball shall be replaced.
i. Ball Overhanging Hole
When any part of the ball overhangs the edge of the hole, the owner of the ball is not allowed more than a few seconds to determine whether it is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest.
j. Ball on a Wrong Putting Green
A ball lying on a putting green other than that of the hole being played must be lifted and dropped off the putting green as near as possible to where the ball lay but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard, without penalty.
Note: Unless otherwise stipulated by the Committee, the term "a putting green other than that of the hole being played" includes a practice putting or pitching green lying within the boundaries of the course.
k. Ball Played as it Lies and not Touched
For ball purposely moved or purposely touched, see Rule 16
l. Standing Astride or on Line of Putt Prohibited
The player shall not make a stroke on the putting green from a stance astride, or with either foot touching, the line of the putt or an extension of that line behind the ball.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-1:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.

Note: When a ball on the putting green is to be lifted, its position should be marked by placing an object, such as a small coin, immediately behind the ball; if the object interfere with another player, it should be moved one or more putter head-lengths to one side

2. Match Play
a. Ball Interfering with Play

When the ball nearer the hole lies on the putting green, if the player consider that the opponent's ball might either be struck by his ball or interfere with his stance or stroke, the player may require the opponent to lift his ball, without penalty. The opponent shall replace his ball after the player has played his stroke. If the player's ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the lifted ball, the player shall first play another stroke before the lifted ball is replaced.
If a ball be accidentally touched or moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball if moved shall be replaced.
b. Playing Out of Turn
If a player play when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall replace his ball and play in correct order, without penalty.
c. Opponent's Ball Displaced
If the player's ball knock the opponent's ball into the hole, the opponent shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke.
If the player's ball move the opponent's ball, the opponent may replace it, but this must be done before another stroke is played by either side. If the player's ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the opponent's ball, and the opponent declare his intention to replace his ball, the player shall first play another stroke, after which the opponent shall replace his ball.
(Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four-Ball match play-Rule 40-1c.)
d. Conceding Opponent's Next Stroke
When the opponent's ball has come to rest, the player may concede the opponent to have holed out with his next stroke and may remove the opponent's ball with a club or otherwise. If the player does not concede the opponent's next stroke and the opponent's ball fall into the hole, the opponent shall be deemed to have holed out with his last stroke.
If the opponent's next stroke has not been conceded, the opponent shall play without delay in correct order.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-2:
Loss of hole.

3. Stroke Play
a. Ball Interfering with Play

When the ball nearer the hole lies on the putting green, if the competitor consider that the fellow-competitor's ball might either be struck by his ball or interfere with his stance or stroke, the competitor may require the fellow-competitor to lift or play his ball, at the option of its owner, without penalty.
Exception:- Play to be continuous - Rule 35-3e
If the owner of the ball refuse to comply with this Rule when required to do so, the competitor making the request may lift the ball, and the owner of the ball shall be disqualified.
Note: It is recommended that the ball nearer the hole be played, rather than lifted unless the subsequent play of a fellow-competitor is likely to be affected.
b. Ball Assisting Play
If the fellow-competitor consider that his ball lying on the putting green might be of assistance to the competitor, the fellow-competitor may lift or play first, without penalty.
c. Ball Striking Fellow-Competitor's Ball
When both balls lie on the putting green, if the competitor's ball strike a fellow-competitor's ball, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes and shall play his ball as it lies. The fellow-competitor's ball shall be at once replaced.
d. Ball Lifted Before Holed Out
For ball lifted before holed out, see Rule 22-1b.
e. Play to be continuous
On the putting green, each competitor shall play continuously until his ball is holed. However, if the fellow-competitor consider that the competitor would stand on his line of play, the fellow-competitor may require the competitor to lift his ball and play in turn

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-3e:
One stroke.
Note 1. This supersedes any conflicting provisions of Rules 20-1, 20-3 and 35-3a.
Note 2. This rules does not apply in four-ball stroke play.


Rule 36 The Committee (Def. 9)

1. Conditions
The Committee shall lay down the conditions under which a competition is to be played.
Certain special rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The results of matches played and the scores returned in these circumstances shall not be accepted.

2. Order and Times of Starting
a. General

The Committee shall arrange the order and times of starting, which, when possible, shall be decided by lot.
b. Match Play
When a competition is played over an extended period, the Committee shall lay down the limit of time within which each round shall be completed.
When players are allowed to arrange the date of their match within these limits, the Committee should announce that the match must be played at a stated hour on the last day of the period unless the players agree to a prior date.
c. Stroke Play
Competitors shall play in couples unless the Committee authorises play by threes or fours. If there be a single competitor, the Committee shall provide him with a player who shall mark for him, or provide a marker and allow him to compete alone, or allow him to compete with another group.

3. Decision of Ties
The Committee shall announce the manner, day and time for the decision of a halved match or of a tie, whether played on level terms or under handicap.
A halved match shall not be decided by stroke play. A tie in stroke play shall not be decided by a match.

4. The Course
a. New Holes

New holes should be made on the day on which a stroke competition begins, and at such other times as the Committee considers necessary, provided all competitors in a single round play with each hole cut in the same position.
b. Practice Ground
Where there is no practice ground available outside the area of a competition course, the Committee should lay down the area on which players may practise on any day of a competition, if it is practicable to do so. On any day of a stroke competition, the Committee should not normally permit practice on or to a putting green or from a hazard of the competition course.
c. Course Unplayable
If the Committee or its authorised representative consider that the course is not in a playable condition, or that insufficient light renders the proper playing of the game impossible, it shall have the power in match and stroke play to order a temporary suspension of play, or in stroke play to declare play null and void and to cancel all scores for the round in question.
When a round is cancelled, all penalties incurred in that round are cancelled.
When play has been temporarily suspended, it shall be resumed from where it was discontinued, even though resumption occur on a subsequent day.
(Procedure in discontinuing play - Rule 37-6b)

5. Modification of Penalty
The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf. A penalty of disqualification, however, may, in exceptional individual cases, be waived or be modified or be imposed under Rule 1 if the Committee consider such action warranted.

6. Defining Bounds and Margins
The Committee shall define accurately:

a. The course and out of bounds.
b. The margins of hazards, water hazards, and lateral water hazards, where there is any doubt.
c. Ground under repair.
d. Obstructions.

7. Local Rules
a. Policy

The Committee shall make and publish Local Rules for abnormal conditions, having regard to the policy of the Governing Authority of the country concerned as set forth in Appendix I attached to these Rules.
b. Waiving Penalty Prohibited
A penalty imposed by a Rule of Golf shall not be waived by a Local Rule.


Rule 37 The Player

1. Conditions
The player shall be responsible for acquainting himself with the conditions under which the competition is to be played.

2. Caddie and Forecaddie
For any breach of a Rule or Local Rule by his caddie, the player incurs the relative penalty.
The player may have only one caddie, under penalty of disqualification.
The player may send his own caddie forward to mark the position of any ball. If a forecaddie be employed by the Committee, he is an outside agency (Def. 22).

3. Infringement Assisting Partner
If a player's infringement of a Rule or Local Rule assist his partner's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the player.

4. Handicap
Before starting in a handicap competition, the player shall check his handicap from the official list, and in the case of match play or bogey, par or Stableford competitions, he shall inform himself of the holes at which strokes are given or taken.

5. Time and Order of Starting
The player shall start at the time and in the order arranged by the Committee.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-5: Disqualification.

6. Discontinuance of Play
a. When Permitted

The player shall not discontinue play on account of bad weather or for any other reason, unless:-
He considers that there be danger from lightning,
or
There be some other reason, such as sudden illness, which the Committee considers satisfactory.
If the player discontinue play without specific permission from the Committee, he shall report to the Committee as soon as possible.
General Exception: - Players discontinuing match play by agreement are not subject to disqualification unless by so doing the competition is delayed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-6a: Disqualification.

b. Procedure
When play is discontinued in accordance with the Rules, it should, if feasible, be discontinued after the completion of the play of a hole. If this is not feasible, the player should lift his ball after marking the spot on which it lay; in such case he shall replace the ball on that spot when play is resumed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-6b:
Match play - Loss of hole; *Stroke play - Two strokes.
*Note: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.

7. Undue Delay
The player shall at all times play without undue delay. Between the completion of a hole and driving off the next tee, the player may not delay play in any way.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-7:
*Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.
For repeated offence - Disqualification.
*If the player delay play between holes, he is delaying the play of the next hole, and the penalty applies to that hole.

8. Refusal to Comply with Rule
If a competitor in stroke play refuse to comply with a Rule affecting the rights of another competitor, he shall be disqualified.

9. Artificial Devices
Except as provided for under the Rules, the player shall not use any artificial devices:-
a. Which might assist him in making a stroke or in his play;
or
b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions which might affect his play.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-9: Disqualification.


Rule 38 Scoring in Stroke Play

1. Recording Scores
The Committee shall issue for each competitor a score card containing the date and the competitor's name.
After each hole the marker shall check the score with the competitor. On completion of the round the marker shall sign the card and hand it to the competitor; should more than one marker record the scores, each shall sign the part for which he is responsible.

2. Checking Scores
The competitor shall check his score for each hole, settle any doubtful points with the Committee, ensure that the marker has signed the card, countersign the card himself, and return it to the Committee as soon as possible.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 38-2: Disqualification.

The competitor is solely responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole. The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores and application of the correct handicap.

3. No Alteration of Scores
No alteration may be made on a card after the competitor has returned it to the Committee.
If the competitor return a score for any hole lower than actually played, he shall be disqualified.
A score higher than actually played must stand as returned.
Exception - Four-ball stroke play - Rule 41-6a.


Rule 39 Bogey, Par or Stableford Competitions

1. Conditions
A bogey, par or Stableford competition is a form of stroke competition in which play is against a fixed score at each hole of the stipulated round or rounds.

a. The reckoning for bogey or par competitions is made as in match play. The winner is the competitor who is most successful in the aggregate of holes
b. The reckoning in Stableford competitions is made by points awarded in relation to a fixed score at each hole as follows:-
   For hole done in one over fixed score
For hole done in fixed score
For hole done in one under fixed score
For hole done in two under fixed score
For hole done in three under fixed score
1 point
2 points
3 points
4 points
5 points
The winner is the competitor who scores the highest number of points.

2. Rules for Stroke Play Apply
The Rules for stroke play shall apply with the following modifications:-
a. No Return at any Hole
Any hole for which a competitor makes no return shall be regarded as a loss in bogey and par competitions and as scoring no points in Stableford competitions.
b. Scoring Cards
The holes at which strokes are to be given or taken shall be indicated on the card issued by the Committee.
c. Recording Scores
In bogey and par competitions the marker shall be responsible for marking only the gross number of strokes for each hole where the competitor makes a net score equal to or less than the fixed score. In Stableford competitions the marker shall be responsible for marking only the gross number of strokes at each hole where the competitor's net score earns one or more points.

3. Disqualification Penalties

a. From the Competition
A competitor shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following:

Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 8-3 - Practice before Round
Rule 24 - Ball Interfering with Play: Stroke Play
Rule 35-3a - Putting Green: Stroke Play, Ball Interfering with Play.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-5 - Time and Order of Starting.
Rule 37-6a - Discontinuance of Play.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-8 - Refusal to Comply with Rule.
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
Rule 38-2 - Checking Scores.
Rule 38-3 - No Alteration of Scores, except that the competitor shall not be disqualified when a breach of this Rule does not affect the result of the hole.
b. For a Hole
In all other cases where a breach of a Rule would entail disqualification, the competitor shall be disqualified only for the hole at which the breach occurred.
(Modification of penalty - Rule 36-5
.)


Rule 40 Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four-Ball Match Play

1. General
a. Rules of Golf Apply

The Rules of Golf, so far as they are not at variance with the following special Rules, shall apply to all three-ball, best-ball and four-ball matches.
b. Ball Influencing Play
Any player may have any ball (except the ball about to be played) lifted or played, at the option of the owner, if he consider that it might interfere with or be of assistance to a player or side, but this may not be done while any ball in the match is in motion.
c. Ball Moved by Another Ball
If a player's ball move any other ball in the match, the owner of the moved ball shall replace his ball, without penalty.
d. Playing out of Turn
Through the green or in a hazard, a player shall incur no penalty if he play when an opponent should have done so. The stroke shall not be replayed.
On the putting green, if a player play when an opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke in correct order, without penalty.

2. Three-Ball Match Play
In a three-ball match, each player is playing two distinct matches.
a. Ball Stopped or Deflected by an Opponent
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, that opponent shall lose the hole in his match with the player. The other opponent shall treat the occurrence as a rub of the green (Def. 27).
Exception: - Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b.
b. Ball at Rest Moved by an Opponent
If the player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided in the Rules), Rule 27-2a applies. That opponent shall incur a penalty stroke in his match with the player, but not in his match with the other opponent.

3. Best-Ball and Four-Ball Match Play
a. Order of Play

Balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.
b. Ball Stopped by Player's Side
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by the player, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player is disqualified for the hole. His partner incurs no penalty.
c. Ball Stopped by Opponent's Side
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, the opponent's side shall lose the hole.
Exception
: - Ball striking person attending flagstick Rule 34-3b.
d. Partner's Ball Moved by Player Accidentally
If a player, his partner, or either of their caddies accidentally move a ball owned by their side or by touching anything cause it to move (except as otherwise provided for in the Rules), the owner of the ball shall incur a penalty stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. The ball shall be played as it lies.
e. Ball Moved by Opponent's Side
If a player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided for in the Rules), that opponent shall incur a penalty stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to the other opponent. The player shall replace the ball, without penalty.
f. Maximum of Fourteen Clubs
The side shall be penalised for a violation of Rule 3 by either partner.
g. Disqualification Penalties
A player shall be disqualified from the match for a breach of Rule 37-5 (Time and Order of Starting), but, in the discretion of the Committee, the penalty shall not necessarily apply to his partner (Def. 28 - Note).
A side shall be disqualified for a breach of any of the following:-

Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
A player shall be disqualified for the hole in question and from the remainder of the match for a breach of Rule 37-6a (Discontinuance of Play), but the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
(Modification of penalty - Rule 36-5)
h. Infringement Assisting Partner or Affecting Opponent
If a player's infringement of a Rule or Local Rule might assist his partner's play or adversely affect an opponent's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the player.
i. Penalty Applies to Player Only
In all other cases where, by the Rules of Golf, a player would incur a penalty, the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
j. Another Form of Match Played Concurrently
In a best-ball or a four-ball match when another form of match is played concurrently, the above special Rules shall apply.


Rule 41 Four-Ball Stroke Play

1. Conditions
a. The Rules of Golf, so far as they are not at variance with the following special Rules, shall apply to four-ball stroke play.
b. In four-ball stroke play two competitors play as partners, each playing his own ball.
c. The lower score of the partners is the score of the hole.
If one partner fail to complete the play of a hole, there is no penalty. (Wrong score - Rule 41-6a)
d. Only one partner need be responsible for complying with Rule 38.

2. Ball Influencing Play
Any competitor may have any ball (except the ball about to be played) lifted or played, at the option of the owner, if he consider that it might interfere with or be of assistance to a competitor or side, but this may not be done while any ball in the group is in motion.
If the owner of the ball refuse to comply with this Rule when required to do so, his side shall be disqualified.

3. Balls to beat Rest
While the competitor's ball is in motion after a stroke on the putting green, any other ball shall not be played or touched.

4. Ball Struck by Another Ball
When the balls concerned lie on the putting green, if a competitor's ball strike any other ball, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes and shall play his ball as it lies. The other ball shall be at once replaced.
In all other cases, if a competitor's ball strike any other ball, the competitor shall play his ball as it lies. The owner of the moved ball shall replace his ball, without penalty.

5. Order of Play
Balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.

6. Disqualification Penalties
a. From the Competition

A competitor shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner:-

Rule 8-3 - Practice before Round.
Rule 37-5 - Time and Order of Starting.
Rule 38-3 - No Alteration of Scores, except that the competitor shall not be disqualified when a breach of this Rule does not affect the result of the hole. When the competitor's breach of Rule 38-3 affects the result of the hole, his partner's score becomes the side's score of the hole if returned in accordance with Rule 38-3.
A side shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following:-
Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-8 - Refusal to Comply with Rule.
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
Rule 38-2 - Checking Scores.
Rule 41-2 - Ball Influencing Play, Refusal to Lift.
By both partners, at the same hole, of a Rule or Rules the penalty for which is disqualification either from the competition or for a hole.
b. From the Remainder of the Competition
A competitor shall be disqualified for the hole in question and from the remainder of the competition for a breach of Rule 37-6a (Discontinuance of Play), but the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
c. For the Hole Only
In all other cases where a breach of a Rule would entail disqualification, the competitor shall be disqualified only for the hole at which the breach occurred.
(Modification of penalty-Rule 36-5.
)

7. Infringement Assisting Partner
If a competitor's infringement of a Rule or Local Rule assist his partner's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the competitor.

8. Penalty Applies to Competitor Only
In all other cases where, by the Rules of Golf, a competitor would incur a penalty, the penalty shall not apply to his partner.



to topTo Top
Appendix
Rules of Amateur Status