This code, and the almost identical Honourable Company's Rules issued in the same year, are based on the St Andrews Golfers' rules and demonstrate the growing influence of St Andrews as the foremost golf club of the era.
[1802 Edinburgh Burgess]
RULES OF GOLF
TO BE OBSERVED BY THE MEMBERS OF
THE ROYAL PERTH GOLFING SOCIETY, 1839
Order of Play.
I. At the commencement of the day, if the parties cannot agree which of them is to play first, a toss must take place, and whoever wins it plays first or not, as he or they please. If the party not entitled to it play first at any hole, the ball may be either taken back, and played in its proper order, or it may be held as the regular teed stroke, in the adversary’s option. After the teed strokes have been struck, the ball farthest from the hole to which the parties are playing must be played first.
Against Changing the Ball.
III. A ball struck from the tee must not be changed till the hole is played out; and if the parties be at a loss to know the one ball from the other, neither ball is to be lifted till both parties agree.
Lifting Break-clubs, etc.
IV. Stones, bones, or any break-club, within a club length of the ball, may be removed, when the ball lies on grass; but nothing can be removed if it lies in sand, in a bunker, or in whins. No other loose impediment, such as turf, bent, or whins, can be removed on the driving course; and nothing that is fixed or growing can be removed at any time, either on the driving course or putting green. When the ball is in sand, or in a hazard, the player must take care, in aiming at his ball, that he does not alter or improve its position. If he does so he loses the hole.
V. If the ball lie in an old or supernumerary hole, made for the purpose of golfing, it may be lifted, dropped, and played with an iron, from behind the hazard, without losing a stroke.
Entitled to See Ball.
VII. When the ball is covered with fog, bent, whins, or the like, so much thereof shall be set aside as that the player shall have a view of his ball before he plays. A ball which is stuck fast in wet ground may be loosened.
IX. In holing, no mark of any kind shall be made to direct the player to the hole, nor shall the ground be smoothed. Sand or other loose substances may be removed, but it must be done lightly, without pressure, or beating down with the feet, club, or otherwise. The ball must be played fairly and honestly for the hole, and not on your adversary’s ball.
X. When the balls lie within six inches of each other anywhere except on the putting-green, the ball nearest the hole must be lifted if either party require it. On the putting-green it is optional to the player to have a ball in such circumstances lifted or not. The six inches to be measured from the surface of the ball. In a three-ball match, the ball nearest the hole, and within the prescribed distance, must be lifted or played out. In all cases where a ball is lifted, it ought, if possible, to be done by a disinterested spectator, and replaced by him as nearly as possible in the same spot, and the ball itself lying in the same way as it did before.
XI. If a ball is lost, the player (or his partner in a double match) returns to the spot whence the ball was struck, tees another ball, and loses both the distance and the stroke. If the original ball is found before the party playing a new one has come opposite to the ground where it was lost, the first continues the one to be played.
XII. If in striking, the club breaks, it is, nevertheless, to be accounted a stroke, if the part of the club remaining in the player’s hand either strike the ground or pass the ball.
Rubs of the Green.
XIII. Whatever happens to a ball by accident, or is done to it by third parties, or by the fore cady, must be reckoned a rub of the green; if, however, the player’s ball strike his adversary, or his adversary’s cady or clubs, the adversary loses the hole. If the player or his cady touch the ball in the course of the hole with his foot, or anything except his club, or if it strikes himself or his partner, or either of their cadies, or their clubs, or if he strikes twice at the ball, he loses the hole. If one party strikes his adversary’s ball with his club, foot, or otherwise, that party loses the hole; but if he play it inadvertently, thinking it his own, and the adversary also play the wrong ball, the penalty cannot be claimed, and the hole must be played out with the balls as thus changed. If the mistake occurs from information given to one party by the other, the penalty cannot be claimed, and the mistake, if discovered before the other party shall have played, must be rectified by replacing the ball in the place where it lay.
XIV. In all cases where a ball is to be dropped, the party dropping shall front the hole to which he is playing, and drop the ball behind him over his head.
XV. Every party shall go in the same direction of the course, and no party following shall play off till the party in advance shall have played the second stroke, and no party is to play when another party is on the putting-green, till that party shall have holed out. Parties playing two balls shall be entitled to pass parties playing three.
XVI. New holes shall always be made on the day the medal is played for, and no competitor shall play at these holes before he starts for the prizes, under the penalty of being disqualified for playing for the same.
Playing for Medals.
XVII. The Medals to be played for on the North Inch under the following regulations:
The match to consist of 20 holes, and such members as intended to compete for the medal, must give in their names to the Secretary, at or previous to the meeting to be held on the day of competition; they shall then be matched together in parties of two, either by private agreement or by the Council, each player being attended by a marker, for the purpose of recording the strokes as they are struck, on a card prepared for that purpose. On comparing these cards, he who shall be found to have made the 20 holes in fewest strokes to be declared the gainer of the medal. If two or more competitors finish the match in the same number of strokes, they shall play an additional round to decide the matter.
Mistakes about Holes.
XVIII. Mistakes relative to the reckoning of any particular hole cannot be rectified after the parties have struck off for the next hole.
Disputes About the Game.
XIX. Any dispute about the game shall be determined by the Captain, or the Senior Member of Council, present, or if none be present, by a mutual referee.
N.B. - It may not be improper here to mention certain points of etiquette, which, it is proper, should be observed by all who are in the habit of attending Matches of Golf. It is understood that no looker-on is entitled to make any observation whatsoever respecting the play - to walk before the players - to remove impediments out of their way - or, in short, to interfere in the most distant manner with the game, while playing. The player is at liberty, at all times, to ask advice from his partner or cady, but from no other person.