Rules Education

The R&A, as Governing Authority for the Rules of Golf worldwide with the exception of the United States and Mexico (which are governed by the USGA), takes the educational aspect of its role very seriously.

As part of this role, The R&A produces an extensive range of Rules publications many of which are available free of charge, others that can be purchased from our Shop.

Golf is a self-regulating game and it is the responsibility of all golfers to know the Rules, or at least the basics. The Rules are not just there to penalise you when you do something wrong, they provide the framework for the game itself, and a sound knowledge of them may even save you a few strokes.

The basics, such as taking relief from a cart path and what to do when your ball is in a water hazard, out of bounds or lost, are not as hard as you may think. They are covered in A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf and knowledge of them is enough to see most players around the golf course most of the time.

For those that want to know more than the basics, and for those that need to know more, e.g. referees, golf club officials and Committee members, there is no substitute for a thorough knowledge of the Rule book itself and Decisions on the Rules of Golf. The Rules and Decisions are at the core of The R&A’s Rules Explorer.

The R&A has a formal three-tier Rules educational programme that aims to graduate delegates through each stage. For more information see the Rules Schools section.

Many regional and national golf associations also conduct Rules and refereeing courses – for more information on those you should contact your regional/national associations.

A knowledge of the Rules is only part of it though; it is important to put that knowledge into practice on the course when playing golf or acting as a referee. So, take the chance to expand your knowledge and to get involved at your golf club, regional or national association.

If you are interested in receiving further insight into the Rules and improving your knowledge of the Rules, subscribe to The R&A’s Rules Newsletter. This periodic Newsletter covers everything Rules related – incidents from the Tours, Rules education, tournament blogs, equipment and amateur status news, and much more. Click "Register" at the top of the page to subscribe.

Rules Schools

Rules Schools are conducted across different levels, from those requiring basic instruction, to meeting the demands of more experienced officials looking for tournament-specific guidance. Details of past and future Rules Schools are available here.

Rules Newsletter

Subscribe to The R&A's Rules Newsletter. Gain further insight to the Rules with tournament blogs, incidents from the Tours and more.

Downloads and Publications

The R&A offers a number of Rules publications. These are available for free download, or you can purchase hard copies through The R&A shop.