Summary of the Rules of Golf

It is a group’s responsibility to keep up with the group in front.

  • Be ready to play when it is your turn and walk briskly between shots.
  • Players should play without delay.
  • A group is out of position (and falling behind pace of play) when there is:
    1. an open par 3 or 4
    2. if the group ahead is on the green on a par 5
(Rule 26) . . .

The margins of a water hazard or lateral water hazard extend

vertically upwards and downwards.

A ball is in a hazard when it lies in it or any part of it

touches the water hazard.

The stakes are obstructions and all lines

and stakes are in the hazard.

Yellow Stake    Red Stake

Ball Lost or Out of Bounds (Rule 27)

The O/B line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level, excluding the angled supports.

O/B stakes are white. The stakes cannot be moved to make a stroke, and you do not get relief from them.

If O/B is defined by a white line, the line itself is out of bounds.

The O/B line extends vertically upwards and downwards.

A ball is O/B when all of it lies out of bounds.

All scores for handicap purposes, including tournament scores, are subject to the application of Equitable Stroke Control (ESC). This mandatory procedure reduces high hole scores for handicap purposes in order to make handicaps more representative of a player’s potential ability. There is no limit to the number of holes on which ESC reduction may be made.

Course Handicap Maximum Number on any Hole
9 or less Double Bogey
10 through 19 7
20 through 29 8
30 through 39 9
40 or more 10

Nine-hole Equitable Stroke Control

Nine-Hole Course Handicap Maximum Number on Any Hole
4 or less Double Bogey
5 through 9 7
10 through 14 8
15 through 19 9
20 or more 10

Questions regarding rules?


For a more extensive explanation of the Rules of Golf visit the following sites:

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