Rules of Golf and
Tips for Play
Ground Conditions - Mushy
soft mushy earth considered casual water?
Soft, mushy earth is not casual water unless water is visible on the
surface before or after the player takes his stance - see Definition of
"Casual Water." (Decision 25/1)
Procedure for Moving Ball-Marker to the Side
moving a ball-marker to the side, must the position of the ball be
marked first and then the ball-marker moved, or can I simply measure to
the side of the ball?
player may either mark the position of the ball, measure to one side of
the mark, and move the ball-marker to that spot, or he may place the
putter head directly to the side of the ball and place the ball-marker,
thereby eliminating one step. See Decision 20-1/16.
Lifting Ball for Identification
I permitted to lift a ball that I believe is mine to identify it?
under Rule 12-2, a ball may be lifted for identification. The player
must announce his intention to lift the ball to an opponent,
fellow-competitor or marker, and mark the position of the ball. He may
then lift the ball and identify it, provided that he gives his opponent,
marker or fellow-competitor an opportunity to observe the lifting and
This may be done anywhere on the course, including when the ball lies in
a hazard (Rule 12-2).
is a universal condition of eligibility for playing in golf competitions
A person who
acts contrary to the
his status as an
and as a
result will be ineligible to play in amateur competitions
Playing for Prize Money
must not play
golf for prize money or its equivalent in a match, competition or
participate in an event where prize money or its equivalent is offered,
provided that prior to participation he waives his right to accept prize
money in that event.
(Conduct contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rules — see Rule
7-2.) (Policy on Gambling — see
General - An
accept a prize (other than a
in excess of
$750 or the equivalent, or such a lesser figure as may be decided by the
USGA. This limit applies to the total prizes or
received by an
in any one
competition or series of competitions.
prize, including a cash prize, for a hole-in-one made while playing golf
may exceed the above prize limit
Should rakes be placed in or outside bunkers?
There is not a perfect answer for the position of rakes, but on balance
it is felt there is less likelihood of an advantage or disadvantage to
the player if rakes are placed outside of bunkers.
may be argued that there is more likelihood of a ball being deflected
into or kept out of a bunker if the rake is placed outside the bunker.
It could also be argued that if the rake is in the bunker it is most
unlikely that the ball will be deflected out of the bunker.
However, in practice, players who leave rakes in bunkers frequently
leave them at the side which tends to stop a ball rolling into the flat
part of the bunker, resulting in a much more difficult shot than would
otherwise have been the case. This is most prevalent at a course where
the bunkers are small. When the ball comes to rest on or against a rake
in the bunker and the player must proceed under Rule 24-1, it may not be
possible to replace the ball on the same spot or find a spot in the
bunker which is not nearer the hole — see Decision 20-3d/2.
rakes are left in the middle of the bunker, the only way to position
them is to throw them into the bunker and this causes damage to the
surface. Also, if a rake is in the middle of a large bunker, it is
either not used or the player is obliged to rake a large area of the
bunker, resulting in unnecessary delay.
Therefore, after considering all these aspects, it is recommended that
rakes should be left outside bunkers in areas where they are least
likely to affect the movement of the ball.
Ultimately, it is a matter for the Committee to decide where it wishes
rakes to be placed.
The Crossings would
like to have the rakes left in the bunkers and on the side away from the
putting surface. It is best to enter and leave the bunkers from the
lowest point of the bunker.
How to fix a pitch mark...
Rule 17.1 Flagstick
Attended, Removed or Held Up
17-1. Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up
Before making a
from anywhere on the
the player may have the
attended, removed or held up to indicate the position of the
is not attended, removed or held up before the player makes a
must not be attended, removed or held up during the
while the player's ball is in motion if doing so might influence the
movement of the ball.
is in the
anyone stands near it while a
being made, he is deemed to be attending the
If, prior to
is attended, removed or held up by anyone with the player's knowledge
and he makes no objection, the player is deemed to have authorized it.
attends or holds up the
being made, he is deemed to be attending the
until the ball comes to rest.
attended, removed or held up flagstick while ball in motion - see Rule
Rule 15. Substituted
Ball; Wrong Ball
15-3. Wrong Ball
- b. Stroke Play
he incurs a penalty of two strokes.
must correct his mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding
he fails to correct his mistake before making a
or, in the case of the last hole of the round, fails to declare his
intention to correct his mistake before leaving the
he is disqualified.
made by a
do not count in his score. If the
belongs to another
its owner must place a ball on the spot from which the
was first played.
There is no
penalty if a
that is moving in water in a
made at a
moving in water in a
do not count in the
(Lie of ball to be placed or replaced altered - see Rule
(Spot not determinable - see Rule
Ball Played as it Lies
- All defined terms are in
and are listed alphabetically in the Definitions section.
The ball must be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the
(Ball at rest moved - see Rule
13-2. Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or
Line of Play
A player must not improve or allow to be improved:
· the position or lie of his ball,
· the area of his intended
line of play
or a reasonable extension of that line beyond
· the area in which he is to drop or place a ball, by any of the
· pressing a club on the ground,
· moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including
and objects defining
out of bounds),
· creating or eliminating irregularities of surface,
· removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots
or other cut turf placed in position, or
· removing dew, frost or water.
However, the player incurs no penalty if the action occurs:
· in grounding the club lightly when
addressing the ball,
· in fairly taking his
· in making a
or the backward movement of his club for a
· in creating or eliminating irregularities of surface within the
11-1) or in removing dew, frost or water
· on the
removing sand and loose soil or in
repairing damage (Rule
- see Rule
Nearest Point of
The "nearest point of relief" is the reference
point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an
immovable obstruction (Rule 24-2), an
abnormal ground condition
(Rule 25-1) or a wrong putting green (Rule
It is the point on the course
nearest to where the ball lies:
(i) that is not nearer the hole, and
(ii) where if the ball were so positioned, no interference by the
condition from which relief is sought would exist for the stroke
the player would have made from the original position if the condition
were not there.
NOTE: In order to determine the
nearest point of relief accurately, the player should use the club with
which he would have made his next stroke if the condition
were not there to simulate the address position, direction
of play and swing for such a stroke.
Rule of the Day - Ball Lands on the Wrong Green
If you hit your ball onto the wrong putting
green, you may not hit off the green. There is no penalty for picking
up your ball and dropping it off the green at the nearest point of
relief (Rule 25-3). Drop the ball within one club-length of the nearest
point of relief but no closer to your intended pin. The nearest point
of relief would not include dropping it in a hazard or on the green.
You may clean the ball when you lift it from the green.
Rule of the Day
- Animal Steals Your Ball
If a groundhog, fox or squirrel steals your
ball as it sits on the fairway, you may replace the ball at the original
spot without any penalty (Rule 18-1). However, a ball moved by
wind or water must be played where it ends up. a snake that moves
your ball is considered an outside agency, like a groundhog or squirrel,
but a dead snake is a loose impediment and may be moved if it is
blocking your path. Make sure the snake is actually dead. If
you are not sure, you can take a free drop.
When a ball has been moved by an animal and it is not clear where its
original position was, the player may replace his ball without penalty
in an area that provides neither and advantage nor a disadvantage by
agreement with playing partners. (Decision 18-1/5)
Water Hazard Trivia
How to avoid getting hit by a golf ball
a water hazard on the golf course.
Nearest Point of Relief - Cart Path
Nearest Point of Relief - Ground Under Repair
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