About the Rules of Golf

Welcome to the Rules of Golf effective from January 2023 for golfers worldwide. This new edition, while adhering to the principles that have always guided The R&A and USGA in governing the game, continues the modernisation process that began a decade ago in providing plain language, a practical approach and intuitive answers. Our ongoing strategy remains to make the Rules more consistent, simple, accessible and, where possible, less penal. A number of the latest revisions are designed to assist referees and committees in applying the Rules, while keeping the player as the primary focus. We have increased the use of diagrams to illustrate their application and simplified many of the penalty statements. Helpful information has also been transferred from the Clarifications into the relevant Rule. The retained Clarifications remain located in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf and are now considerably reduced in number. Updates to these will continue to be released quarterly on the R&A and USGA websites. The information provided in the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf, which was introduced four years ago as a separate publication, is now provided in digital form (in the Player’s Rule Finder), reflecting the way in which we source information and assisting in the drive to decrease our global carbon footprint by reducing hard copy printing and distribution. Our digital offerings contain numerous explanatory videos and diagrams, along with answers to frequently asked questions. All are aimed to assist in applying the Rules in situations most commonly encountered by players everywhere. Locating the required information is made easier through newly enhanced search functions.