This tenth edition introduced the first definition of a bunker, and the margins of Hazards must now be defined.
A provisional ball may be played up to the point where the original is likely to be (previously there was no provision for this).
Moving a ball in play now costs two strokes in stroke play.
A dropped ball rolling nearer the hole must be re-dropped.
Loose impediments more than a club-length away from the ball may be removed without restriction, except in a hazard.
Two stroke penalty for playing a wrong ball - previously a penalty only applied upon playing a second stroke with the wrong ball.

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RULES OF GOLF

AS APPROVED BY
THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB
OF ST. ANDREWS,

effective 1 January 1934


The Game of Golf consists in a ball being played from the ‘Teeing Ground’ into the ‘Hole’ by successive strokes, with Clubs and Balls made in conformity with the directions laid down in the Clause on ‘Form and make of Golf Clubs and Balls.’


Definitions

1. A ‘side’ consists of one or more players.
If one player play against another, the match is called ‘a single.’
If one play against two, each side playing one ball, the match is called ‘a threesome.’
If two play against two, each side playing one ball, the match is called ‘a foursome.’
If three play against one another, each playing his own ball, the match is called a ‘three ball match.’
If one plays against the better or best ball of two or more players, the match is called a ‘best ball match.’
If two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players, the match is called a ‘four ball match.’

2. ‘Advice’ is any counsel or suggestion which could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club, or the method of making a stroke.
Information as to the Rules of Golf or information indicating the line to the hole is not considered advice.

3. The ‘Course’ is the whole area within which play is permitted; more particularly, it is the ground between the holes which is specially prepared for play.

4. The ‘Teeing Ground’ is the starting place for the hole to be played. The front shall be indicated by two marks, and the Teeing Ground is a rectangular space of the depth of two club lengths directly behind the line indicated by the two marks.

5. ‘Through the Green’ is the whole of the course except the Teeing Ground (definition 4), the Putting Green (definition 10) and Hazards (definition 6).

6. A ‘Hazard’ is any bunker, water (except ‘casual water’), ditch, sand or road. Sand blown on to the grass, or sprinkled on the course for its preservation, bare patches, scrapes, tracks and paths, snow, ice and casual water are not Hazards.
A ‘bunker’ is that part of a depression in the ground where the soil is exposed, and sometimes covered with sand. Grass in a bunker is not part of the Hazard, unless so defined by Local Rule.
It is the duty of the authorities in charge of a Course accurately to define the extent of the Hazards.

7. ‘Casual Water’ is any temporary accumulation of water which is not one of the ordinary and recognised Hazards of the course.

8. ‘Out of bounds’ is ground on which play is prohibited, but it does not include ground under repair.

9. A ball is ‘out of bounds’ when the greater part of it lies outside the Course.

10. The ‘Putting Green’ is all ground, except Hazards, within twenty yards of the hole being played.

11. The hole shall be 4 inches in diameter, and at least 4 inches deep. If a metal lining be used, it shall be sunk below the lip of the hole, and its outer diameter shall not exceed 4 inches.

12. The term ‘loose impediments’ denotes any obstructions not fixed or growing, and includes dung, worm-casts, mole-hills, snow, and ice.

13. A ‘stroke’ is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking the ball.

14. A ‘penalty stroke’ is a stroke added to the score of a side under certain Rules, and does not affect the rotation of play.

15. The side which plays off first from a Teeing Ground is said to have ‘the honour.’

16. In ‘teeing,’ the ball may be placed on the ground, or on sand or other substance in order to raise it off the ground.

17. A player has ‘addressed the ball’ when he has taken his stance by placing his feet on the ground in position for and preparatory to striking at the ball, and has grounded his club, or, if in a Hazard, when he has taken his stance preparatory to striking at the ball.

18. A ball is ‘in play’ as soon as the player has made a stroke on the Teeing Ground and remains in play until holed out, except when it is out of bounds, lost, or lifted in accordance with the Rules.

19. A ball is deemed to have moved if it leave its position and come to rest in any other place.

20. A ball is ‘lost’ if it be not found within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it, and if subsequently found may not be played.

21. The reckoning of strokes is kept by the terms ‘the odd,’ ‘two more,’ ‘three more,’ etc., and ‘one off three,’ ‘one off two,’ ‘the like.’  The reckoning of holes is kept by the terms - so many ‘holes up,’ or ‘all even,’ and so many ‘to play.’
A side is said to be ‘dormie’ when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.

22. The ‘Committee’ is the Committee in charge of the Competition.
A ‘Referee’ is a person who has been authorised by the Committee or agreed upon by the players to accompany a match to decide questions of golfing law. Whether an appeal be made or not a Referee shall take cognisance of any breach of Rule that he may observe or which may be reported to him by any person or persons appointed by himself to assist him. A Referee shall also decide questions of fact after consultation (if necessary) with anyone so appointed.
A ‘Marker’ is a scorer and is not a Referee.

23. A ‘Rub of the Green’ occurs when a ball in motion is stopped or deflected by any agency outside the match.


GENERAL AND THROUGH THE GREEN

Rule 1

Conditions
In Match Play the Game is played by holes:
Except as otherwise provided for in the Rules, a hole is won by the side which holes its ball in fewer strokes than the opposing side, and a hole is halved if both sides hole out in the same number of strokes.

A Match consists of a round of eighteen holes (unless otherwise decreed) and is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played, and is halved if each side wins the same number of holes.

In Competitions players shall not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or Local Rule, nor to waive any penalty incurred.

Penalty - Disqualification of both Sides

In Competitions players using Clubs or Balls which are not in conformity with the clause on ‘Form and make of Golf Clubs and Balls’ shall be disqualified.

Priority on the Course
In the absence of Special Bye-laws for the regulation of play, Matches constituted of singles, threesomes, or foursomes shall have precedence of and be entitled to pass any other kind of Match. A single player has no standing, and shall always give way to a Match of any kind.

Any Match playing a whole round shall be entitled to pass a Match playing a shorter round.

If a Match fail to keep its place on the Course, and lose in distance more than one clear hole on the players in front, it shall allow the Match following to pass, on request being made.


Rule 2

THE TEEING GROUND

The Honour

(1) A match begins by each side playing a ball from the first Teeing Ground in the order of the draw. In the absence of a draw the option of taking the honour shall, if necessary, be decided by lot.
The side which wins a hole shall take the honour at the next Teeing Ground. If a hole has been halved the side which had the honour at the previous Teeing Ground shall retain it.
When a Match has been won, the winner shall take the honour at the next Teeing Ground.

Opponent may Recall Ball
(2) If a player play when his opponent should have had the honour, or play a ball from outside the limits of the Teeing Ground, the ball may be at once recalled by the opposing side, and may be re-teed without penalty.

For Stroke play see Stroke Rule 7

Stance
(3) A player may take his stance outside the limits of the Teeing Ground to play a ball within these limits.

Ball Falling off Tee
(4) If a ball, when not in play, fall off a tee, or be knocked off a tee by the player in addressing it, it may be re-teed without penalty; if the ball be struck under these circumstances, whether moving or not, the stroke shall be counted but no penalty shall be incurred.


Rule 3

Order Of Play In Threesome And Foursome
In a threesome or foursome the partners shall strike off alternately from the Teeing Grounds, and thereafter the players shall strike alternately during the play of each hole.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Disqualification


GENERAL RULES

Rule 4

Advice
(1) A player may not ask for nor take any action which may result in his receiving advice (definition 2) except from his caddie, his partner, or his partner’s caddie.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Disqualification (Stroke Rule 6)

Information as to Strokes Played
(2) A player is entitled at any time during the play of a hole to ascertain from his opponent the number of strokes the latter has played; if the opponent give wrong information as to the number of strokes he has played, he shall lose the hole, unless he correct his mistake before the player has played his next stroke.

Fore-caddie
(3) A player may employ a fore-caddie, but may not receive advice (definition 2) from him.

Indicating Line of Play
(4) A player may at any time have the line to the hole indicated to him, but no mark shall be placed nor shall anyone stand on the proposed line, in order to indicate it, while the stroke is being made. The flag-stick may at any time be held up so as to indicate the position of the hole.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 5

Ball to be Fairly Struck At
The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club, not pushed, scraped, or spooned.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 6

Ball Played Wherever it Lies
A ball must be played wherever it lies or the hole be given up, except as otherwise provided for in the Rules or Local Rules.


Rule 7

The Ball Farther from the Hole Played First
When the balls are in play, the ball farther from the hole shall be played first.  Through the Green, or in a Hazard, if a player play when his opponent should have played, the opponent may at once recall the stroke, and a ball shall be dropped without penalty as near as possible to the place from which the previous stroke was played.
When the balls are equi-distant from the hole the option of playing shall be decided by lot.

For Teeing ground, see Rule 2
For Putting Green, see Rule 31.


Rule 8

Dropping and Placing
When a ball Through the Green is lifted and dropped under the Rules, it must be dropped as near as possible to the place where it lay, and must come to rest not nearer the hole.
If the ball when dropped come to rest nearer the hole it shall be re-dropped without penalty, and in cases where it is impossible owing to the configuration of the ground to prevent a dropped ball rolling nearer the hole, the ball shall be placed.
A ball lifted from the Putting Green must be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted, except as otherwise provided for in the Rules.
For Hazards see Rule 25

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes

How to Drop a Ball
A ball shall be dropped in the following manner:- The player himself shall drop it. He shall face the hole, stand erect, and drop the ball behind him over his shoulder.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes

If, in the act of dropping, the ball touch the player, he shall incur no penalty, and, if it roll into a Hazard, the player may re-drop the ball without penalty.


Rule 9

Ball not to be Touched except as Provided for in Rules
(1) A ball in play may not be touched before the hole is played out, except as provided for in the Rules.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes

Ball not to be Touched except in Addressing
The player may, without penalty, touch his ball with his club in the act of addressing it, provided he does not move the ball.

Ball not to be Touched except for Identification
A ball in play may, after intimation is given to his opponent, be lifted for the purposes of identification, but it must be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted.

For Stroke Play - see Stroke Rule 12

Opponent’s Ball Moved by Player’s Ball
(2) If the player’s ball move the opponent’s ball, the opponent, if he choose, may drop, or in a Hazard or on a Putting Green may place a ball as near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was moved, without penalty, but this must be done before another stroke is played by either side.


Rule 10

Removal of Irregularities of Surface
Irregularities of surface which could in any way affect the player’s stroke shall not be removed nor pressed down by the player, his partner, or either of their caddies; a player is, however, always entitled to place his feet firmly on the ground when taking his stance, but he is not allowed to build a stance.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 11

Removal of Obstructions
Any flag-stick, guidepost, implement, vehicle, bridge, bridge planking, seat, hut, shelter or similar obstruction may be removed. A ball moved in removing such an obstruction shall be lifted and dealt with as provided for in Rule 8 without penalty.

A ball lying on or touching such an obstruction, or lying on or touching clothes, or ground under repair, or a drain cover, hydrant, hydrant cover, or exposed water pipe, or lying in a hole made by the greenkeeper, may be lifted and dealt with as provided for in Rule 8 without penalty.

If the player’s stroke be interfered with by any such obstruction which is immovable and which is within two club lengths of his ball, the ball may be lifted and dropped or on the Putting Green placed not more than two club lengths from the obstacle, but not nearer to the hole, without penalty.
For Hazards see Rule 25


Rule 12

Removal of Loose Impediments
(1) Except when the ball lies in or touches a Hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty.
(2) If the ball move after any loose impediment lying within a club length of the ball Through the Green has been touched by the player, his partner, or either of their caddies, the player shall be deemed to have caused the ball to move and the penalty shall be one stroke.
For Hazards see Rule 25
For Putting Green, see Rule 28

Ball Accidentally Moved
(3) When a ball is in play, if a player, or his partner, or either of their caddies accidentally move it, or by touching anything cause it to move, the penalty shall be one stroke.

Ball Moving after Club Grounded
(4) If a ball in play move after the player has addressed it, he shall be deemed to have caused it to move, and the penalty shall be one stroke.

Note: If the player has lifted a loose impediment (see Rule 12(1) and 28(1)) and the ball has not moved until the player has addressed it, he shall only be deemed to have caused the ball to move under Section (4) of this Rule, and the penalty shall be one stroke.


Rule 13

Playing a Moving Ball
A player shall not play while his ball is moving, except in the case of a teed ball (Rule 2), or a ball struck twice (Rule 14), or a ball in water (Rule 26).  When the ball only begins to move while the player is making his backward or forward swing, he shall incur no penalty under this Rule, but he is not exempted from the provisions of Rule 12 or Rule 28(1).

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 14

Striking Ball Twice
If a player, when making a stroke, hit the ball twice, he shall count the stroke and a penalty stroke in addition.


Rule 15

Moving or Bending Fixed or Growing Objects
Before striking at a ball in play, a player shall not improve the position of his ball by moving, bending, or breaking anything fixed or growing, except (1) so far as is necessary to enable him fairly to take his stance in addressing the ball, or (2) in making his backward or forward swing. The club may only be grounded lightly, and not pressed on the ground.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 16

Balls within a Club Length of each other
When a ball not on the Putting Green lies within a club length of another ball, the ball lying nearer the hole may, at the option of either the player or the opponent, be lifted until the other ball is played, and shall then be replaced as near as possible to the place where it lay.

If either ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball so moved shall be replaced.

If the lie of the lifted ball be altered in playing the other ball, the lifted ball may be placed as near as possible to the place where it lay and in a lie similar to that which it originally occupied.


Rule 17

Moving Ball Stopped
(1) In the event of a rub of the green (definition 23) the ball shall be played from where it lies.

Ball Lodging in Anything Moving
(2) If a ball lodge in anything moving, a ball shall be dropped, or if on the Putting Green, placed, as near as possible to the spot where the object was when the ball lodged in it, without penalty.

Ball at Rest Displaced by Outside Agency
(3) If the lie of a ball at rest be altered by any agency outside the Match, except wind, the player shall drop a ball as near as possible to the place where it lay, without penalty; and if the ball be displaced on the Putting Green, it shall be replaced without penalty.


Rule 18

Ball Interfered with by Opponent, etc
If a player’s ball strike or be moved by an opponent or his caddie, or his clubs, the opponent’s side shall lose the hole except as provided for in Rules 9(2), 16, 21(3), 31(1), 32(2), and 33.


Rule 19

Ball Striking the Player, etc
If a player’s ball strike himself, or his partner, or either of their caddies, or forecaddies, or their clubs, his side shall lose the hole.
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes (Stroke Rule 9)


Rule 20

Playing Opponent’s Ball
(1) If a player play the opponent’s ball his side shall lose the hole, unless:-
(a) The opponent then play the player’s ball, in which case the penalty is cancelled, and the hole shall be played out with the balls thus exchanged.
(b) The mistake occur through wrong information given by an opponent or his caddie, in which case there shall be no penalty; if the mistake be discovered before the opponent has played his next stroke, it shall be rectified by dropping or on the Putting Green placing a ball as near as possible to the place where the opponent’s ball lay.

Playing Ball Outside the Match
(2) If a player play a stroke with the ball of anyone not engaged in the match, and the mistake be discovered and intimated to his opponent before his opponent has played his next stroke, there shall be no penalty; if the mistake be not discovered and so intimated until after the opponent has played his next stroke, the player’s side shall lose the hole.

For stroke play - see Stroke Rule 8.


Rule 21

Looking for Ball in Bent, etc
(1) If a ball be lost in fog, bent, bushes, long grass, or the like, only so much thereof shall be touched as will enable the player to find his ball.

In Sand
(2) If a ball be completely covered by sand, only so much thereof may be removed as will enable the player to see the top of the ball; if the ball be touched in removing the sand, no penalty shall be incurred.

Accidentally Moved by Opponent in Search
(3) If a player or his caddie when searching for an opponent’s ball accidentally touch or move it, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball, if moved, shall be replaced.


Rule 22

Lost and Unplayable Ball
(1) Except as provided for in Rule 27, if a ball be lost or be deemed by the player to be unplayable, the player shall play his next stroke as nearly as possible at the spot from which the ball which is lost or unplayable was played, adding a penalty stroke to the score for the hole.

If the stroke was played from the Teeing ground, a ball may be teed; if from Through the Green or a Hazard it shall be dropped, and if on the Putting Green it shall be placed.

(2) If a ball has been played on to a part of the Course where it is likely to be lost or unplayable, the player may, in order to save delay, at once play another ball provisionally in the manner provided for in this rule, but if the first ball be neither lost nor deemed unplayable it shall continue in play without penalty.

The player may continue to play with a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the previous ball is likely to be.

Note:- A provisional ball may only be played under the second section of this rule before the player or his partner goes forward to search for the ball which has been played with the previous stroke.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
For Stroke Play - See Stroke Rule 11


Rule 23

Ball out of Bounds
(1) If a ball lie out of bounds the player shall play his next stroke as nearly as possible at the spot from which the ball which is out of bounds was played, adding a penalty stroke to the score for the hole.
If the stroke was played from the Teeing Ground, a ball may be teed; in all other cases a ball shall be dropped.

In the case of a ball played out of bounds, the penalty stroke may be remitted by Local Rule. (See Note)

Provisional Ball Played
(2) If a player after making a stroke consider that his ball may be out of bounds, he may, in order to save delay, at once play another ball provisionally in the manner provided for in this Rule, but if it be discovered that the first ball is not out of bounds, it shall continue in play without penalty, provided the ball is not deemed unplayable.

Note:- Out of Bounds - If the penalty stroke has been remitted by a Local Rule and a provisional ball has been played under these conditions, on reaching the place where the first ball is likely to be, if the player or his opponent be still in doubt, the player is not entitled to presume that the first ball is out of bounds till he has made a search of five minutes

A provisional ball may only be played under the second section of this Rule before the player or his partner goes forward to search for the ball which has been played with the previous stroke.

The player may continue to play with a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the previous ball is likely to be.

Ascertaining Location of Ball
(3) A player has the right at any time of ascertaining whether his opponent’s ball is out of bounds or not.

Standing Out of Bounds
(4) A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Disqualification


Rule 24

Ball Unfit for Play
If a ball be so damaged as to be unfit for play, the player may change it on intimating to his opponent his intention to do so. Mud adhering to a ball shall not be considered as making it unfit for play.

For Stroke play - see Stroke Rule 12


HAZARDS AND CASUAL WATER


Rule 25

When a ball lies in or touches a Hazard, the club shall not touch the ground, nor shall anything be touched or moved, before the player strikes at the ball, subject to the following exceptions:
(1)The player may place his feet firmly on the ground for the purpose of taking his stance.
(2) In addressing the ball, or in the backward or forward swing, any grass, bent, bush, tree, or other growing substance, or the side of a bunker, wall, paling, or other immovable obstacle may be touched.
(3) Steps or planks placed in a Hazard by the Green Committee for access to or egress from such Hazard, or any obstruction mentioned in Rule 11, may be removed, and if a ball be moved in so doing, it may be replaced without penalty.
If any fixed steps or plank interfere with a player’s stroke the ball may be lifted and placed as near as possible to the spot where it lay in a similar lie and position without penalty
(4) Any loose impediment not in or touching the Hazard may be lifted
(5) The player shall be entitled to find his ball as provided for by Rule 21.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 26

Ball Moving in Water
When a ball is in water a player may, without penalty, strike at it while it is moving, but he must not delay to make his stroke in order to allow the wind or current to better the position of the ball.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 27

Ball in Water Hazard or in Casual Water in a Hazard
(1) If a ball lie or be lost in a recognised water Hazard (whether the ball lie in water or not) or in casual water in a Hazard, the player may drop a ball under penalty of one stroke either:
(a) behind the Hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball crossed the margin of the Hazard between himself and the hole, or
(b) In the Hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball entered the water between himself and the hole.
If the ball was played from the Teeing Ground a ball may be teed, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played.

Ball in Casual Water Through the Green
(2) If a ball lie or be lost in casual water through the green, the player may drop a ball, without penalty, on dry ground as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole.
If a ball when dropped roll into the water, it may be re-dropped without penalty.

Ball in Casual Water on the Putting Green
(3) If a ball on the Putting Green lie in casual water, or if casual water intervene between a ball lying on the Putting Green and the hole, the ball may be played where it lies, or it may be lifted without penalty and placed in the nearest position to where it lay which is not nearer to the hole and which affords a stroke to the hole without casual water intervening.

Water Interfering with Stance
(4) A ball lying so near to casual water that the water interferes with the player’s stance may be treated as if it lay in casual water, under the preceding Sections of this Rule.

Want of Space to Drop
(5) If it be impossible from want of space in which to play, or from any other cause, for a player to drop a ball in conformity with Sections (1) and (2) of this Rule, or to place it in conformity with Section (3), he shall ‘drop’ or ‘place’ as nearly as possible within the limits laid down in these Sections, but not nearer to the hole.

Penalty for breach of Rule - Loss of Hole
Penalty for breach of Rule in Stroke Play - Two Strokes



PUTTING GREEN


Rule 28

Removal of Loose Impediments
(1) If the player’s ball, when on the Putting Green, move after any loose impediment lying within six inches of it has been touched by the player, his partner, or either of their caddies, the player shall be deemed to have caused it to move and the penalty shall be one stroke.

(2) In moving any loose impediment with the club it must not be laid with more than its own weight upon the ground, nor must anything be pressed down either with the club or in any other way.

Touching Line of Putt
(3) The line of putt must not be touched, except by placing the club immediately in front of the ball in the act of addressing it, and as above authorised.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 29

Direction for Putting
(1) When the player’s ball is on the Putting Green, the player’s caddie, his partner, or his partner’s caddie may, before the stroke is played, point out a direction for putting, but in doing this they shall not touch the ground on the proposed line of the stroke. No mark shall be placed anywhere on the Putting Green.

Shielding Ball from Wind
(2) Any player or caddie engaged in the Match may stand at the hole, but no player or caddie shall endeavour, by moving or otherwise, to influence the action of the wind upon the ball.

A player is, however, always entitled to send his own caddie to stand at the hole while he plays his stroke.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 30

Opponent’s Ball to be at Rest
When the player’s ball lies on the Putting Green, he shall not play until the opponent’s ball is at rest.

Penalty in Match Play - Loss of Hole
Penalty in Stroke Play - Two Strokes


Rule 31

Ball Within Six inches, Lifted
(1) When the balls lie within six inches of each other on the Putting Green (the distance to be measured from their nearest points), the ball lying nearer to the hole may, at the option of either the player or the opponent, be lifted until the other ball is played, and the lifted ball shall then be replaced as near as possible to the place where it lay.

If either ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball so moved shall be replaced.

Playing out of Turn
(2) On the Putting Green, if a player play when his opponent should have played, the stroke shall be at once recalled by the opponent and the ball replaced.

Note:- For a ball which is displaced on a Putting Green, see Rule 17(2) and (3).
For a player playing the opponent’s ball on the Putting Green, see Rule 20(1).

Casual Water
For casual water on a Putting Green, see Rule 27(3).


Rule 32

Removal of Flag-Stick
(1) Either side is entitled to have the flag-stick removed at any time, but a player may always have the position of the hole indicated to him; if a player’s ball strike the flag-stick, which is held by or has been removed by himself, or his partner, or either of their caddies, his side shall lose the hole; if the player’s ball strike the flag-stick which is held by or has been removed by an opponent or his caddie, the opponent’s side shall lose the hole.

If a player or caddie holds or removes the flag-stick when a stroke is being played, such player or caddie shall be deemed to continue to hold the flag-stick until the ball comes to rest.

If the ball rest against the flag-stick which is in the hole, the player shall be entitled to remove the flag-stick, and, if the ball fall into the hole, the player shall be deemed to have been holed out at his last stroke.

Displacing and Replacing of Balls
(2) If the player’s ball knock the opponent’s ball into the hole, the opponent shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke.

If the player’s ball move the opponent’s ball, the opponent, if he choose, may replace it, but this must be done before another stroke is played by either side.

If the player’s ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the opponent’s ball, and the opponent declare his intention to replace his ball, the player shall first play another stroke, after which the opponent shall replace his ball.

Ball on Lip of Hole
(3) When the player has holed out and the opponent’s ball has come to rest, the player may knock away the opponent’s ball, conceding the half if holing at the odd, and claiming the hole if holing at the like.

If the player does not knock away the opponent’s ball, and it fall into the hole, the opponent shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke.

If the opponent’s ball has not been knocked away, the opponent shall play any subsequent stroke without delay.


Rule 33

Penalty of Loss of Hole Qualified by Half Previously Gained
When a player has holed out and his opponent has been left with a stroke for the half, nothing that the player who has holed out can do shall deprive him of the half which he has already gained, but if the player thereafter incur any penalty under the Rules of Golf he shall concede the half of the hole to his opponent.


GENERAL PENALTY

Rule 34

Loss of the Hole
Where no penalty for the breach of a Rule or Local Rule is stated, the penalty shall be the loss of the hole.

Penalty in Stroke Play - Two strokes



DISPUTES

Rule 35

Claims, When and How Made
If a dispute arise on any point, a claim must be made before the players strike off from the next Teeing Ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before they leave the Putting Green.  If a Referee has been appointed or has been agreed upon by the players his decision shall be final; if no Referee has been appointed the players have the right of determining to whom the point shall be referred, but should they not agree, either side may have an agreed statement referred officially through the Secretary of the Club, to the Rules of Golf Committee, whose decision shall be final.  If the point in dispute be not covered by the Rules of Golf, the arbiters shall decide it by equity.



SPECIAL RULES FOR STROKE COMPETITIONS.

Rules for the Conduct of Stroke Competitions

STROKE RULE 1

The Winner
(1) In Stroke Competitions, the competitor who holes the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes shall be the winner.

Order of Play
(2) Unless otherwise sanctioned in exceptional circumstances by the Committee, competitors shall play in couples; if from any cause there be a single competitor, the Committee shall either provide him with a player who shall mark for him, or select a marker for him and allow him to compete alone, or allow him to compete with another couple.
The order and times of starting should, when possible, be determined by ballot.

STROKE RULE 2

Not to Discontinue Play in Bad Weather
(1) Competitors shall start in the order and at the times arranged by the Committee. They shall not discontinue play nor delay to start on account of bad weather or for any reason whatever, except such as the Committee may consider satisfactory.

Penalty - Disqualification

Course Unplayable
(2) If the Committee consider that the Course is not in a playable condition, or that insufficient light renders the proper playing of the game impossible, it shall at any time have power to declare play null and void.

STROKE RULE 3

Ties, How and When Decided
If the lowest scores be made by two or more competitors the tie or ties shall be decided as the Committee may determine. The Committee shall appoint the day and time for the decision of the ties.

STROKE RULE 4

New Holes
(1) New holes should be made on the day on which Stroke Competitions begin.

Practice on Day of Competition
(2) On the day or days of the Competition no competitor shall practice before starting by playing on or on to, any of the Putting Greens, nor shall he intentionally play at any hole of the stipulated round which is within his reach.

Penalty - Disqualification.

STROKE RULE 5

The Scores, How Kept
(1) The score for each hole shall be kept by a marker or by each competitor acting as a marker noting the other’s score. Should more than one marker keep a score, each shall sign the part of the score for which he is responsible. The scores should be called out after each hole. On completion of the stipulated round the card shall be signed by the marker, and the competitor shall see that it is handed in as soon as reasonably possible.

Penalty - Disqualification.

Scoring cards should be issued with the date and the player’s name entered on the card.

Marking and Addition of Scores
(2) No alteration can be made on any card after it has been returned. If it be found that a competitor has returned a score lower than that actually played, he shall be disqualified.
For the additions of the scores marked the Committee shall be responsible.

Committee to Decide Doubtful Penalties
(3) If, on the completion of the stipulated round, a player is doubtful whether he has incurred a penalty at any hole, he may submit his scoring card with a report of the circumstances either verbal or in writing as the Committee may decide. The Committee shall then determine what penalty, if any, has been incurred.


Rules for Play in Stroke Competitions

STROKE RULE 6

Advice
A competitor shall not ask for nor take any action which may result in his receiving advice (definition 2) except from his caddie.
NOTE: A fellow-competitor is not a partner.

Penalty - Disqualification.

STROKE RULE 7

The Honour
(1) The honour shall be taken as in Match Play, but if a competitor by mistake play out of turn, no penalty shall be incurred, and the stroke cannot be recalled.

Playing outside of Limits of Teeing Ground
(2) If at any hole a competitor play his first stroke from outside the limits of the Teeing Ground, he shall count that stroke, tee a ball, and play his second stroke from within these limits.

Penalty - Disqualification.

STROKE RULE 8

Must Hole out with own Ball
(1) A competitor shall hole out with his own ball at every hole under penalty of disqualification.

Playing with Wrong Ball
(2) If a competitor play a stroke or strokes with a ball other than his own he shall incur a penalty of two strokes. He shall then play his own ball.

Exception in Hazards
(3) In a Hazard, if a competitor play a stroke or strokes with a ball other than his own, and the mistake be discovered before he has played a stroke with the wrong ball from outside the limits of the Hazard, he shall incur no penalty provided he then play his own ball.

Penalty - Disqualification.

STROKE RULE 9

Ball Striking or Moved by another Player
If a competitor’s ball strike or be stopped by another player, or his clubs, or his caddie, it is a rub of the green, except as provided for in Stroke Rule 13(1) and the ball shall be played from where it lies. If a competitor’s ball which is at rest be accidentally moved by another competitor, or his caddie, or his clubs, or his ball, or any outside agency except wind, a ball shall be placed as near as possible to the spot where it lay.

Penalty - Disqualification.

Ball Striking the Player, etc
If a player’s ball strike himself, or his caddie, or his clubs, he shall incur a penalty of two strokes.


STROKE RULE 10

Allowed to Lift another Player’s Ball
A competitor may have any other player’s ball played or lifted, at the option of its owner, if he find that it interferes with his play.

STROKE RULE 11

Lifting Ball
A ball may be lifted from any place on the course. If a player lift a ball under the provisions of this rule, he shall either:-

(1) play a ball as provided for in Rule 22, or
(2) tee and play a ball under penalty of two strokes behind the place from which the ball was lifted; if this be impossible he shall tee and play a ball under penalty of two strokes as near as possible to the place from which the ball was lifted, but not nearer to the hole.
In preparing a tee as above authorised, the player is exempted from the restrictions imposed by Rule 15.

Penalty - Disqualification.

STROKE RULE 12

Lifting for Identification
For the purpose of identification, a competitor may at any time lift and replace his ball on the spot from which it was lifted in the presence of the player with whom he is competing.

Ball Unfit for Play
If a ball be so damaged as to be unfit for play, the player may change it on intimating to his fellow competitor or marker his intention to do so. Mud adhering to a ball shall not be considered as making it unfit for play.

Penalty - Two Strokes


STROKE RULE 13
PLAY WITHIN 20 YARDS OF HOLE

Ball Striking Flag-Stick, etc
(1) When a competitor’s ball lying within twenty yards of the hole is played and strikes, or is stopped by, the flag-stick or the person standing at the hole, the penalty shall be two strokes.

Ball Striking Fellow-Competitor’s Ball
(2) When both balls are on the Putting Green, if a competitor’s ball strike the ball of the player with whom he is competing, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes, and the ball which was struck shall be at once replaced, see Stroke Rule 10.*
* [Editor's note: This is a printed mistake. The reference is actually to Stroke Rule 9.  Stroke Rules were re-arranged and updated from the 1920 edition, but this cross reference seems to have been missed. It was corrected in the 1938 edition.]

Nearer Ball may be Lifted
(3) The competitor whose ball is the farther from the hole may have the ball which is nearer to the hole lifted or played at the option of its owner. If the latter refuse to comply with this Rule when requested to do so, he shall be disqualified.

Ball nearer Hole of Assistance to Player
(4) If the competitor whose ball is the nearer to the hole consider that his ball might be of assistance to the player with whom he is competing, he should lift it or play first.

Ball Lifted when Player’s Ball in Motion
(5) If the competitor whose ball is the nearer to the hole lift his ball while the player’s ball is in motion, he shall incur a penalty of two strokes.

Ball Lifted before Holed Out
(6) If a competitor or his caddie pick up his ball from the Putting Green before it is holed out (except as provided for above), he shall, before he has struck off from the next Teeing Ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he has left the Putting Green, be permitted to replace the ball under penalty of two strokes.

STROKE RULE 14

General Penalty
Where in the Rules of Golf the penalty for the breach of any rule is the loss of the hole, in Stroke Competitions the penalty shall be the loss of two strokes, except where otherwise provided for in these Special Rules.

STROKE RULE 15

General Rule
The Rules of Golf, so far as they are not at variance with these Special Rules, shall apply to Stroke Competitions.

STROKE RULE 16

Disputes, how Decided
If a dispute arise on any point it shall be decided by the Committee, whose decision shall be final, unless an appeal be made to the Rules of Golf Committee, as provided for in Rule 35.


RULES FOR STROKE PLAY FOURSOME COMPETITIONS.

The Special Rules for Stroke Competitions shall apply to Stroke Play Foursome Competitions, and where the context so admits the word ‘competitor’ shall be held to include the ‘partner.’


RULES FOR BOGEY COMPETITIONS.

A bogey competition is a form of Stroke Competition in which play is against a fixed score at each hole of the stipulated round or rounds.

The reckoning is made as in Match Play and the winner is the competitor who is most successful in the aggregate of holes. The Rules for Stroke Competitions shall apply with the following exceptions:-

(1) Any hole for which a competitor makes no return shall be regarded as a loss. The marker shall only be responsible for the marking of the correct number of strokes at each hole at which a competitor makes a score either equal to or less than the fixed score, under handicap.

(2) Any breach of Rule which entails the penalty of disqualification, shall only disqualify the competitor for the hole at which the breach of Rule occurred; but a competitor shall not be exempted from the general disqualification imposed by Stroke Rules 2(1), 4(2), and 5(1) and (2) provided that Stroke Rule 5(2) shall not operate when a mistake in the marking of a card does not affect the result of the hole.

Note:- The holes at which strokes are to be given or taken should be indicated on the Scoring Card.


RULES FOR THREE-BALL, BEST BALL AND FOUR-BALL MATCHES

GENERAL

(1) Any player may have any ball in the Match lifted or played, at the option of its owner, if he considers that it might interfere with or be of assistance to a player or side, but this is only permissible before the player has played his stroke.

(2) If a player’s ball move any other ball in the Match, the moved ball must be replaced as near as possible to the spot where it lay, without penalty.

(3) Through the Green a player shall incur no penalty for playing when an opponent should have done so, and the stroke shall not be recalled.

On the Putting Green the stroke may be recalled by an opponent, but no penalty shall be incurred.

THREE-BALL MATCHES

(4) During a Three-Ball Match if no player is entitled at a Teeing Ground to claim the honour from both opponents, the same order of striking shall be followed as at the last Teeing Ground.

(5) In a Three-Ball Match, if a player’s ball strike or be moved by an opponent or an opponent’s caddie or clubs, that opponent shall lose the hole to the player. As regards the other opponent the occurrence shall be treated as a rub of the green.

BEST BALL AND FOUR-BALL MATCHES

(6) Balls belonging to the same side shall be played in the order the side deems best.

(7) If a player’s ball strike, or be moved by an opponent or an opponent’s caddie or clubs, the opponent’s side shall lose the hole.

(8) If a player’s ball (the player being one of a side) strike, or be stopped by himself, or his partner, or either of their caddies or clubs, only that player shall be disqualified for that hole.

(9) If a player play a stroke with his partner’s ball, and the mistake be discovered and intimated to the other side before an opponent has played another stroke, the player shall be disqualified for that hole, and his partner shall drop a ball as near as possible to the spot from which his ball was played, without penalty. If the mistake be not discovered till after the opponent has played a stroke, the player’s side shall lose the hole.

(10) In all other cases where a player would by the Rules of Golf incur the loss of the hole, he shall be disqualified for that hole, but the disqualification shall not apply to his partner.



FORM AND MAKE OF GOLF CLUBS AND BALLS

Clubs
The Rules of Golf Committee will not sanction any substantial departure from the traditional and accepted form and make of golf clubs, which in its opinion, consist of a shaft and a head which do not contain any mechanical contrivance, such as springs; it also regards as illegal the use of such clubs as those of the mallet-headed type, or such clubs as have the neck so bent as to produce a similar effect.

Club faces shall not have any degree of concavity nor more than one angle of loft, nor any lines, dots, or other markings with sharp or rough edges, made for the obvious purpose of putting a cut on the ball.  Insets in the faces of iron clubs are not allowed.

Note:- The following general considerations will guide the Rules of Golf Committee in interpreting the above:-

(1) The head of a golf club shall be so constructed that the length of the head from the back of the heel to the toe shall be greater than the breadth from the face to the back of the head.

(2) The shaft shall be fixed to the heel, or to a neck, socket, or hose which terminates at the heel. The lower part of the shaft shall, if produced, meet the heel of the club, or a point opposite the heel, either to right or left, when the club is soled in the ordinary position for play.


Balls
The weight of the ball shall not be greater than 1.62 ounces avoirdupois, and the size not less than 1.62 inches in diameter.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LOCAL RULES

When necessary, Local Rules should be made for such obstructions as rushes, bushes, trees, hedges, fixed seats, fences, gates, railways, walls, pumps, boundary stones, notice boards, and drains, for such difficulties as rabbit scrapes, hoof marks, and other damage caused to the course by animals, for such local conditions as the existence of mud which may be held to interfere with the proper playing of the game, and for the preservation of the course.

Ball when Dropped; when Placed
When a ball is lifted under a Local Rule, the Rules of Golf Committee recommends that if it is to be played from ‘Through the Green’, it should be dropped; if it is to be played on the Putting Green of the hole that is being played, it should be placed.  The provisions of Rule 8 should be applied.
NOTE: For a ball out of bounds, see Rule 23.


ETIQUETTE OF THE GAME OF GOLF

1.  No one should move or talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when the player is making a stroke.

2.  The player who has the honour should be allowed to play before his opponent tees his ball.

3.  No player should play until the party in front are out of range.

4.  When the result of a hole has been determined, players should immediately leave the Putting Green.

5.  Players while looking for a lost ball should allow other matches coming up to pass them; they should signal to the players following them to pass, and having given such a signal, they should not continue their play until these players have passed and are out of range.

6.  A Player should see that any turf cut or displaced by him is at once replaced and pressed down.

7.  Players should carefully fill up all holes made in a bunker.

8.  Players should see that their caddies do not injure the holes by standing close to them when the ground is soft, or in replacing the flag-stick.

9.   A player who has incurred a penalty stroke should intimate the fact to his opponent as soon as possible.

10.  Players should at all times play without undue delay.


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