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The Official Rules of Golf

The Rules of Golf are comprehensive and provide answers to the many issues that arise in a game that is played worldwide on many different types of courses by players of all abilities.

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About Definitions
There are over 70 defined terms and these form the foundation around which the Rules are written. A good knowledge of the defined terms (which are in a lighter blue and bold) is very important to the correct application of the Rules. There are over 70 defined terms and these form the foundation around which the Rules are written. A good knowledge of the defined terms (which are in a lighter blue and bold) is very important to the correct application of the Rules.


A


Abnormal Course Condition
Advice
Animal
Animal Hole
Areas of the Course

B


Ball-Marker
Boundary Object
Bunker

C


Caddie
Club-Length
Committee
Conditions Affecting the Stroke
Course

D


Drop

E


Embedded
Equipment
Equipment Rules

F


Flagstick

G


General Area
General Penalty
Ground Under Repair

H


Hole
Holed
Honour

I


Immovable Obstruction
Improve
In Play
Integral Object

K


Known or Virtually Certain

L


Lie
Line of Play
Loose Impediment
Lost

M


Mark
Marker
Match Play
Movable Obstruction
Moved

N


Natural Forces
Nearest Point of Complete Relief
No Play Zone

O


Obstruction
Opponent
Out of Bounds
Outside Influence

P


Partner
Penalty Area
Point of Maximum Available Relief
Provisional Ball
Putting Green

R


Referee
Relief Area
Replace
Round

S


Scorecard
Serious Breach
Side
Stance
Stroke
Stroke and Distance
Stroke Play
Substitute

T


Tee
Teeing Area
Temporary Water

W


Wrong Ball
Wrong Green
Wrong Place
Animal Hole

Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).

The term animal hole includes:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

Temporary Water

Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty area, and can be seen before or after you take a stance (without pressing down excessively with your feet).

It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as you step on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after your stance is taken.

Special cases:

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Advice

Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round.

But advice does not include public information, such as the location of things on the course, the distance from one point to another, or the Rules.

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Animal Hole

Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).

The term animal hole includes:

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

General Area

The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Mark

To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

Tee

An object used to raise your ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than four inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules.

Ball-Marker

An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Advice

Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round.

But advice does not include public information, such as the location of things on the course, the distance from one point to another, or the Rules.

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Club-Length

The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Lie

The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Line of Play

The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Drop

To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Drop

To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Embedded

When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Equipment Rules

The specifications and other regulations for clubs, balls and other equipment that you are allowed to use during a round. The Equipment Rules are found at RandA.org/EquipmentStandards.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Areas of the Course

The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

General Area

The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Wrong Green

Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repair also includes the following things, even if the Committee does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repair should be defined by stakes or lines:

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Flagstick

A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show you where the hole is.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Conditions Affecting the Stroke

The lie of your ball at rest, the area of your intended stance, the area of your intended swing, your line of play and the relief area where you will drop or place a ball.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Opponent

The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to "holing out"or "hole out", it means when your ball is holed.

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole, see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holed if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting green).

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Lost

The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after you or your caddie (or your partner or partner's caddie) begins to search for it.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Substitute

To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Wrong Ball

Any ball other than your:

Examples of a wrong ball are another player's ball in play, a stray ball, and your own ball that is out of bounds, has become lost or has been lifted and not yet put back in play.

Ball-Marker

An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

Mark

To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Replace

To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Ball-Marker

An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Moved

When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

Moved

When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

Known or Virtually Certain

The standard for deciding what happened to your ball - for example, whether your ball came to rest in a penalty area, whether it moved or what caused it to move.

Known or virtually certain means more than just possible or probable. It means that either:

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Lie

The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Line of Play

The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Temporary Water

Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty area, and can be seen before or after you take a stance (without pressing down excessively with your feet).

It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as you step on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after your stance is taken.

Special cases:

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play.

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play.

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Ball-Marker

An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.

Marker

In stroke play, the person responsible for entering your score on your scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not your partner.

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Opponent

The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Moved

When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not moved.

Abnormal Course Condition

An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Wrong Green

Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area.

No Play Zone

A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area.

Lie

The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Areas of the Course

The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Line of Play

The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

No Play Zone

A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area.

Abnormal Course Condition

An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction.

Movable Obstruction

An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.

If part of an immovable obstruction or integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionBut this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstruction or integral object is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the Committee as integral objects are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral object (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstruction, that part is treated as a movable obstruction.

Integral objects are not obstructions or boundary objects.

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Flagstick

A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show you where the hole is.

Opponent

The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play.

Opponent

The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Natural Forces

The effects of nature such as wind, water or when something happens for no apparent reason because of the effects of gravity.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objects are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objects are not obstructions or integral objects.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Abnormal Course Condition

An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Nearest Point of Complete Relief

Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.

It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stance, swing and line of play you would have used for that stroke.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Areas of the Course

The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

Abnormal Course Condition

An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Line of Play

The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

The line of play is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Drop

To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest.

In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Club-Length

The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round.

Relief Area

The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Areas of the Course

The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

General Area

The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. These are not part of a bunker:

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Wrong Place

Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play.

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.

Match Play

A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Side

Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Equipment Rules

The specifications and other regulations for clubs, balls and other equipment that you are allowed to use during a round. The Equipment Rules are found at RandA.org/EquipmentStandards.

Hole

The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing.

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:

Club-Length

The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round.

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areas, distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty area has not been marked or indicated by the Committee, it is treated as a red penalty area.

The edge of a penalty area extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty area should be defined by stakes or lines.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke.

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Temporary Water

Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty area, and can be seen before or after you take a stance (without pressing down excessively with your feet).

It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as you step on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after your stance is taken.

Special cases:

Obstruction

(see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.

Examples of obstructions:

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Substitute

To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play.

Provisional Ball

Another ball played in case the ball just played by you may be out of bounds or lost outside a penalty area.

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.

Wrong Ball

Any ball other than your:

Examples of a wrong ball are another player's ball in play, a stray ball, and your own ball that is out of bounds, has become lost or has been lifted and not yet put back in play.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objects or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.
Lost

The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after you or your caddie (or your partner or partner's caddie) begins to search for it.

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in play on a hole:

That ball remains in play until it is holed, except that it is no longer in play:

A ball that is not in play is a wrong ball.

When a ball-marker is in place to mark the spot of your ball in play:

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).

Wrong Green

Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area.

General Area

The area of the course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing.

The general area includes all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area, and all wrong greens.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.