Adapted from the 1842 R&A code, with very little change.
[1802 Edinburgh Burgess]
RULES FOR THE GAME OF GOLF
TO BE OBSERVED BY THE MEMBERS OF
THE BLACKHEATH GOLF CLUB,
18 May, 1844
Order of Play.
1. 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 a party not entitled to it play first at any hole, the ball may be either taken back, and be 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.
3. 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 one the ball from the other, neither shall be lifted till both parties agree.
Lifting Break-club, etc.
4. Stones, bones, or any break-club within a club’s length of the ball, may be removed when the ball lies on grass, provided the player uses a wooden club; but nothing can be removed if it lies among nettles, or in sand, or in a bunker, in a road, or any hazard. No other loose impediment whatever, such as turf, bent, or mud, etc., 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 gravel, or 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.
5. If the ball lie in an old or supernumerary hole made for the purpose of golfing, or in any other hole not in a hazard out of which it cannot possibly be played, or if played into a cricket tent, it may be lifted, dropped over the shoulder, and played with an iron, without losing a stroke.
Ball in Water.
6. 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.
Entitled to see the Ball.
7. When a ball is covered with nettles, bents, whins, or the like, so much thereof shall be set aside as that the player shall have a view of the ball before he plays. A ball which is stuck fast in mud or wet ground may be loosened.
Clearing Putting Green.
8. All loose impediments, of whatsoever kind, may be removed on the putting-green, which is considered not to exceed twenty yards from the hole.
9. 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 substance may be removed, but it must be done lightly, without pressure, or in 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.
10. When the balls lie within six inches of each other, anywhere except 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 each ball. In a three ball match the ball nearest the hole, and within the prescribed distance of another, must be lifted or played out.&mnsp; In all cases where a ball is lifted, it ought, if possible, to be done by a distinct spectator, and replaced by him as nearly as possible on the same spot, and the ball itself lying in the same way as it did before.
11. If a ball is lost in water, or in any other way, the player (or his partner in a doubles 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 to be the one to be played, without any penalty.
12. 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.
13. 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 his clubs, the adversary loses the hole. If the player or his cady touch his ball in the course of the play, 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; 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 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 has played, must be rectified by replacing the ball in the place where it lay.
14. 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 shoulder.
15. Every party shall go in the same direction of the course, and to the same holes, 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 is on the putting green, till that party shall have holed out. Parties playing two balls shall be entitled to pass parties playing three.
16. New holes shall always be made on the days the medals are played for, and no member of the Club shall be allowed to play at these holes before he starts for the prizes, or to interrupt the competitors in any way.
Playing for Medals.
17. The match to consist of 18 holes, and such members as intend 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, by drawing lots, 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 holes in the fewest strokes is to be declared to be the winner of the medal. If two or more of the highest competitors finish the match in the same number of strokes, they shall play an additional round to decide the matter.
Mistakes about Holes.
18. 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.
19. All disputes about the game shall be determined by the Captain or any Member of the Club present, or if none be present, by a mutual referee. No person is allowed to advise either party, except their own partners or cadies, or interfere in any way. It ought to be understood that, whilst any party is in the act of playing, everybody present should remain quiet, and not speak aloud.