Re-written and expanded 1829 Rules. This marks the start of an era of more comprehensive rules codes.
[1802 Edinburgh Burgess]
RULES FOR THE GAME OF GOLF
AS IT IS PLAYED BY
THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB OF ST ANDREWS,
Over Their Links, 1842
1. Mode and Order of Playing the Game.
The game of golf is played by two persons, or by four (two of a side) playing alternately. It may also be played by three or more persons, each playing his own ball. The game commences by each party playing off a ball from a place called the tee, near the first hole.
In a match of four, those who are opposed to each other, and to play off, shall be named at starting, and shall continue so during the match. The person entitled to play off first shall be named by the parties themselves; and although the courtesy of starting is generally granted to old captains of the club, or members, it may be settled by lot or toss of a coin.
The hole is won by the party holing at fewest strokes, and the reckoning of the game made by the terms odd and like, one more, two more, &c. The party gaining the hole is to lead, and is entitled to claim his privilege and to recall his adversary's stroke should he play out of order.
One round of the links, or eighteen holes, is reckoned a match, unless otherwise stipulated.
2. Place of Teeing.
The ball must be teed not nearer the hole than two club lengths, and not further from it than four; and after the balls are stuck off, the ball furthest from the hole to which the parties are playing must be played first.
3. Changing the Balls.
The ball struck off from the tee must not be changed, touched, or moved, in any case, except in striking, before the hole is played out; and if the parties are at a loss to know one the ball from the other, neither shall be lifted till both parties agree.
4. Lifting of Break-clubs, &c.
There shall be no lifting or removing of any impediment or obstruction whatever on or off the course (except on the putting green, as specified in Rules 6 and 13), nor is any obstruction to be bent down or levelled with the club. When a ball lies in a bunker or sand, there shall be no impression made or sand removed by the club before or in playing. When a ball lies on clothes or within a club-length of a washing tub, the clothes may be drawn from under the ball, and the tub may be removed.
5. Entitled to see the Ball.
When a ball is completely covered with fog, bent, whins, &c., so much thereof shall be set aside as that the player shall merely have a view of his ball before he plays, whether in a line with the hole or otherwise. A ball stuck fast in wet ground or sand may be taken out and replaced loosely in the hole it has made.
6. Clearing the Putting-green.
All loose impediments of whatever kind may be lifted on the putting-green, or table-land on which the hole is placed, which is considered not to exceed twenty yards from the hole. But a ball, although lying within less than twenty yards of the hole, which requires to be played with a heavy or click-iron, from the broken or uneven surface of the ground, shall not be reckoned on the putting green, nor entitled to the privilege of lifting loose impediments - this privilege being limited to the green or table-land, where iron or wooden putters are alone used.
7. Rabbit-Scrapes, Burrows, Holes, &c.
If a ball lies in a rabbit-scrape, the player shall not be at liberty to take it out, but must play it as from any common hazard; if, however, it lies in a rabbit burrow, or any of the holes made for golfing, he may lift it, drop it behind the hazard, and play with an iron without losing a stroke.
8. Lifting Balls.
When, on any part of the course, or off it, or in a bunker, the balls lie within six inches of each other, the ball nearest the hole must be lifted till the other is played, and then replaced as nearly as possible in its original position - the six inches to be measured from the surface of the balls. In a three-ball match on the putting green, the ball in any degree interposing between the player and the hole must be played out.
9. Ball in Water, or in the Burn, and Place of Re-teeing.
If the ball is half-covered or more with water, the player may take it out, tee it, and play from behind the hazard, losing a stroke. If the ball lies in any position in the burn across the first hole, the player may take it out, tee it behind and lose a stroke, or he may play it where it lies, if he chooses, without a penalty. In taking out and re-teeing, the ball shall be placed immediately behind the spot at which it entered the burn or hazard, and within a club length of the hazard.
10. Rubs of the Green.
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, and submitted to. If, however, the player's ball strike his adversary, or his adversary's cady or clubs, the adversary loses the hole; or if it strikes himself or his partner, or their cadies or clubs, or if he strikes the ball, or strikes at it twice before it stops motion, the player loses the hole.
If the player touch the ball with his foot, or any part of his body, or anything except his club, or with his club moves the ball in preparing to strike, he loses the hole; and if one party strikes his adversary's ball with his club, foot, or otherwise, that party loses the hole. But if he plays it inadvertently, thinking it his own, and the adversary also plays the wrong ball, it is then too late to claim the penalty, and the hole must be played out with the balls thus changed. If, however, the mistake occurs from wrong information given by one party to the other, the penalty cannot be claimed; and the mistake, if discovered before the other party has played, must be rectified by replacing the ball as nearly as possible where it lay.
11. Ball Lost.
If a ball is lost, the player (or his partner, if a double match) returns to the spot where the ball was struck, tees another ball, and loses both the distance and a stroke. If the original ball is found before the party playing a new one has come to the ground where it was lost, the first shall continue the one to be played.
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.
13. Holing Out.
In holing, no mark shall be placed or line drawn to direct the ball to the hole; the ball must be played fairly and honestly for the hole, and not on your adversary's ball, not being in the way to the hole; nor, although lying in the way to the hole, is the player entitled to play with any strength upon it that might injure his position, or greater than is necessary honestly to send your own ball the distance of the hole.
Either party may smooth sand lying around the hole; but this must be done lightly and without pressure, or beating down with the feet, club, or otherwise.
14. Dropping Ball
In all cases where a ball is to be dropped the party doing so shall front the hole to which he is playing, standing close on the hazard, and drop the ball behind him from his head.
New holes shall always be made on the day the medals are played for; and no competitor shall play at these holes before he starts for the prize, under the penalty of being disqualified for playing for the medal. The party losing a ball on a medal day shall, after five minutes search, go back and lose three strokes and the distance as penalty.
Any dispute respecting the play shall be determined by the Captain, or senior member present; or, if none of the members are present, by the captain and his annual council for the time, at their first meeting.