Rule

1

Player's Edition
See Rules Of Golf
The Game, Player Conduct and the Rules
Player's Edition
See Rules Of Golf
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1.1
1.2
1.3
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Rule 2

Purpose: Rule 1 introduces these central principles of the game:

  • Play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lies.
  • Play by the Rules and in the spirit of the game.
  • You are responsible for applying your own penalties if you breach a Rule, so that you cannot gain any potential advantage over your opponent in match play or other players in stroke play
1.1
The Game of Golf

Golf is played by striking your ball with a club, and each hole starts from the teeing area and ends when your ball is holed on the putting green.

You should normally play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lies.

1.2
Standards of Player Conduct

All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by:

  • Acting with integrity - for example, by following the Rules, applying all penalties, and being honest in all aspects of play.
  • Showing consideration to others - for example, by playing at a prompt pace, looking out for the safety of others, and not distracting the play of another player.
  • Taking good care of the course - for example, by replacing divots, smoothing bunkers, repairing ball-marks, and not causing unnecessary damage to the course.

You should check to see whether the Committee has adopted a Code of Conduct, as you could get a penalty if you do not follow it.

1.3
Playing by the Rules

You are expected to recognize when you have breached a Rule and to be honest in applying your own penalties.

You may ask for help with the Rules from a referee or the Committee, but if help is not available in a reasonable time you must play on and raise the issue later.

There are times when you must make estimates, such as the spot where to replace your ball, the point where your ball crossed the edge of a penalty area or when taking relief under the Rules. You are expected to consider all available information and to make a reasonable judgment in the circumstances.

A penalty applies to you when a breach of a Rule results from your own actions, the actions of your caddie, or the actions of another person acting with your authority or knowledge.

Penalties are meant to cancel out any potential advantage. There are three main penalty levels:

  • One-Stroke Penalty: Applies in both match play and stroke play.
  • General Penalty: Loss of hole in match play and a two-stroke penalty in stroke play.
  • Disqualification: Applies both in match play and stroke play.

See Full Rules For more information on penalties, including how penalties are applied when multiple breaches have occurred.

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:

  • The front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee-markers set by the Committee, and
  • The side edges are defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers.
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).

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.

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.

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:

  • A lip, wall or face at the edge of a prepared area and consisting of soil, grass, stacked turf or artificial materials,
  • Soil or any growing or attached natural object inside the edge of a prepared area (such as grass, bushes or trees),
  • Sand that has spilled over or is outside the edge of a prepared area, and
  • All other areas of sand on the course that are not inside the edge of a prepared area (such as deserts and other natural sand areas or areas sometimes referred to as waste areas).
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.

Referee

An official named by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.

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:

  • Yellow penalty areas (marked with yellow lines or yellow stakes) give you two relief options (Rules 17.1d(1) and (2)).
  • Red penalty areas (marked with red lines or red stakes) give you an extra lateral relief option (Rule 17.1d(3)), in addition to the two relief options available for yellow penalty areas.

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.

  • Stakes: When defined by stakes, the edge of the penalty area is defined by the line between the outside points of the stakes at ground level, and the stakes are inside the penalty area.
  • Lines: When defined by a painted line on the ground, the edge of the penalty area is the outside edge of the line, and the line itself is in the penalty area.
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).

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.

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.

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.