15th Edition. The Rules code of 1950 was a complete revision, and a forerunner of the joint 1952 edition with the USGA. There had been seventeen years and a world war since the last revision.
The new layout integrated match play and stroke play, and provided greater detail.
The R&A experimented with distance-only penalties for lost ball, unplayable and out of bounds; and a general reduction for non-deliberate violations to one stroke.
A new definition of unplayable ball, and for an unplayable ball the choice is distance only or drop within two club lengths for one penalty stroke.

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RULES OF GOLF

AS APPROVED BY THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB

OF ST. ANDREWS,

effective 1 January 1950


The Game of Golf consists in a ball being played from the ‘teeing ground’ into the ‘hole’ by successive strokes in accordance with the Rules, and using clubs and balls made in conformity with Rule 1, clauses 2 and 3.


SECTION I

DEFINITIONS

1. Addressing the Ball
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 making a stroke, and has grounded his club.
In a hazard a player has ‘addressed the ball’ when he has taken his stance preparatory to making a stroke.

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

3. Ball deemed to move
A ball is deemed to have ‘moved’ if it leave its position and come to rest in any other place.
If the ball oscillate without leaving its original position it has not ‘moved.’

4. Ball holed
The ball is ‘holed’ when it lies within the circumference of the hole and is below the level of the lip of the hole.

5. Ball in play
A ball is ‘in play’ as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground, and it remains in play until the result of the hole has been determined in match play, or until holed out in stroke play, except when it is out of bounds, lost, unplayable, unfit for play, or where a Rule permits a ball to be substituted for the original ball.
A ball is brought back into play when a stroke has been made at it or a substituted ball on the teeing ground, or when it or a substituted ball has been dropped or placed in accordance with the Rules.

6. Ball lost
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. If subsequently found it is not ‘in play.’

7. Ball out of bounds
The ball is ‘out of bounds’ when the whole of it lies outside the boundaries of the course.

8. Ball unplayable
The ball is ‘unplayable’ if the player consider he cannot make a stroke at it and dislodge it into a playable position.

9. Caddie
A ‘caddie’ is one who carries a player’s clubs and who is allowed to give the player or his partner advice.
During the play of a round the player is responsible for the actions of his caddie.

10. Casual water
‘Casual Water’ is any temporary accumulation of water which is not within the margin of a water hazard.
If snow or ice cannot be treated as a loose impediment (def. 20), it may be treated as ‘casual water.’

11. Committee
The ‘Committee’ is the committee in charge of the competition.

12. Competitor
A ‘competitor’ is a player in a stroke competition. A ‘fellow-competitor’ is the player or players with whom the competitor plays. Neither is partner of the other.
In stroke play foursome competitions where the context so admits, the word ‘competitor’ or ‘fellow-competitor’ shall be held to include his partner.

13. Course
The ‘Course’ is the whole area within which play is permitted. It is the duty of the Authority in charge of the course to define its boundaries accurately.

14. Flagstick
The ‘flagstick’ is a moveable indicator, with or without bunting or other material attached, placed in the hole to show its position.

15. Golf Club or Golfing Society
A recognised ‘Golf Club’ or ‘Golfing Society’ is one which has a constitution governing the conduct of its affairs and regularly appointed office-bearers.

16. Ground under Repair
‘Ground under repair’ is any portion of the course so marked by order of the Committee concerned. Play on it is prohibited.

17. Hazards and Water Hazards
(i) A hazard is any bunker, sand, footpath or road. Sand blown onto the grass, or sprinkled on the course for its preservation, bare patches, scrapes, tracks, long grass and the like, heather and the like, snow, ice and casual water are not hazards.
A bunker is that part of a depression in the ground, and that part only, where the soil is exposed, and is usually covered with sand.
Grass covered ground verging a bunker or surrounded by a bunker is not part of the ‘hazard.’
A ‘footpath’ is any gravel, stone, cinder, sand or any similar artificially made path. Tracks made by animals or machines used in green-keeping are not ‘footpaths.’ A ‘road’ is any macadamised, gravel, sand or any similar artificially made road. Tracks made by mechanical vehicles and carts used in green-keeping are not ‘roads.’
(ii) A ‘water hazard’ is any sea lake, pond, river or other water course (which includes ditch and drain), and anything of a similar nature.
All ground within the margin of a water hazard, whether or not it be covered with water or any growing substance, is part of the water hazard.
(iii) A ‘lateral water hazard’ is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard running approximately parallel to the line from the tee to the hole and so placed that when a ball is dropped within two club lengths of where the ball entered the water hazard it is not possible to keep that part of the hazard between the player and the hole.
(iv) It is the duty of the Authority in charge of the course to define the extent of the hazards and water hazards when there is any doubt.

18. Hole
The hole shall be 4 inches in diameter, and at least 4 inches deep. If a lining be used, it shall be of metal and should be sunk not less than half an inch below the lip of the hole, and its outer diameter shall not exceed 4 inches.

19. Honour
The side which is entitled to play first from the teeing ground is said to have ‘the honour.’

20. Loose Impediments
A ‘loose impediment’ is any natural object not fixed or growing on the course, and includes dung, worm-casts, mole-hills, loose stones, snow and ice.
If snow and ice cannot be treated as a loose impediment it may be treated as casual water (Def. 10).

21. Marker
A ‘marker’ is a scorer and is not a referee. It is not part of the duties of a marker to attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

22. Observer
An ‘observer’ is appointed by the Committee to assist the referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule or Local Rule. It is not part of the duties of the observer to attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift or mark the position of the ball.

23. Obstructions
An ‘obstruction’ is anything artificial erected or placed on the course and anything temporarily left on the course. Boundaries are not obstructions.

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

25. Partner
A ‘partner’ is a player associated with another player on the same side.
In a threesome or a foursome where the context so admits, the word ‘player’ shall be held to include the partner.

26. Penalty stroke
A ‘penalty stroke’ is one added to the score of a side under certain Rules. It does not affect the order of play.

27. Putting green
The ‘putting-green’ is all ground except hazards within twenty yards of the hole being played.

28. Referee
A ‘referee’ in match play 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. A ‘referee’ in stroke play has the same duties as in match play but can only be appointed by the Committee. Whether an appeal be made or not a referee shall take cognizance of any breach of Rule or Local Rule which he may observe, or which may be reported to him by any observer or observers appointed by himself to assist him. A referee shall also decide questions of fact after consultation, if necessary, with an observer so appointed.
It is not part of the duties of a referee to attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

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

30. Side
A ‘side’ consists of a player or of two or more players who are partners.
If one player play against another, the match is called a ‘single.’
If one player 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.’
If one plays against the better of two or the best ball of more than two players, the match is called a ‘best ball.’
If two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players, the match is called a ‘four ball.’

31. Stipulated round
The stipulated round consists of playing in their correct sequence, the eighteen holes of the course unless otherwise authorised by the Committee.

32. Stroke
A ‘stroke’ is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking or moving the ball.

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

34. Teeing ground
The ‘teeing ground’ is the starting place for the hole to be played. The front is indicated by two marks, and the teeing ground is a rectangular space two club lengths in depth directly behind the line indicated by the two marks.

35. Terms used in reckoning
In match play the reckoning is kept by the terms ‘the odd,’ ‘two more,’ ‘three more,’ etc.; ‘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 ‘dormie’ when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.

36. Through the Green
‘Through the Green’ is the whole of the course except:- (i) the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played.
(ii) all hazards on the course.


SECTION II

GOLF CLUBS AND BALLS

RULE 1. THE GOLF CLUB, AND GOLF BALLS

1. Use of illegal clubs or balls prohibited
Players shall not use clubs or balls which do not conform to the regulations laid down in clauses 2 and 3 of this Rule.

2. Form and make of golf clubs
The golf club comprises a shaft and a head which do not contain any mechanical contrivance such as springs.
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 an additional spin on the ball.  Insets in the faces of iron clubs are not allowed.
The head of the 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.
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.
The mallet-headed type of club, or club with neck so bent as to produce a similar effect is illegal.

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

Penalty for breach of Rule - Disqualification..


RULE 2. RESTRICTED TO FOURTEEN CLUBS

Before starting a stipulated round the player shall select his clubs, which must not exceed fourteen in number. He is limited to the clubs so selected for that round, except that, without unduly delaying play, he may:-
(i) if he started with fewer than fourteen add as many as will bring his total to that number;
(ii) replace a club which becomes unfit for play in the normal course of play.
The addition or replacement of a club or clubs must not be made by borrowing from a partner, opponent or fellow-competitor.

Penalty for breach of Rule - Disqualification.


SECTION III

PROCEDURE

RULE 3. COMPLIANCE WITH RULES

Players shall not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or Local Rule, or to waive any penalty incurred.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Disqualification of both sides;
Stroke play - Disqualification of competitors concerned.
.


RULE 4. MATCH PLAY

1. Played by holes
In match play the Game is played by holes.

2. Winner of hole
Except as otherwise provided for in the Rules, a hole is won by the side which holes its ball in the fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lowest net score wins the hole.

3. Halved hole
The hole is halved if each side holes out in the same number of strokes.
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 incurs any penalty under the Rules of golf he shall concede the half of the hole to his opponent.

4. Winner of match
A match consists of a stipulated round, unless otherwise decreed by the Committee, and is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes remaining to be played.
The match is halved if each side win the same number of holes.


RULE 5. STROKE PLAY

1. Winner
The competitor who holes the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes is the winner.

2. Must hole out
A competitor shall hole out with his own ball at every hole of the stipulated round. If he fail to hole out with his own ball he shall be disqualified.
(Holing out with the wrong ball in stroke play - see Rule 20,2(i)(c)).


RULE 6. PRACTICE STROKE

During the play of a hole a player shall not make any practice stroke.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of Hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.


RULE 7. PRIORITY ON COURSE

1. Precedence
In the absence of special bye-laws for the regulation of play, singles, threesomes or foursomes shall have precedence over, and be entitled to pass, any other kind of match.

2. Match playing round
Any match playing a stipulated round shall be entitled to pass a match playing an incomplete round.

3. Single player
A single player has no standing and shall always give way to a match of any kind.

Exception: Competitor playing alone by order of the Committee - Rule 40,2(iii)

4. Failure to keep place
If players fail to keep their place on the course and lose in distance more than one clear hole on the players in front, the players immediately following must be allowed to pass.

5. Committee to draw up regulations
Subject to clauses 2, 3 and 4 of this Rule, Committees should draw up regulations governing the priority on their Courses.


RULE 8 ADVICE (Def. 2)

1. Asking for advice
A player shall not ask for, nor take any action which could result in his receiving advice, except from his caddie, his partner or his partner’s caddie.

2. Indicating position of the putting green
A player may have the position of the putting green indicated to him by anyone.
(For indicating position of the hole - Rule 38,1(i)).

3. Indicating line of play
A player may have the line of play indicated to him, but only by his caddie, his partner or his partner’s caddie.
No one shall place a mark on, or while the stroke is being made, stand on the proposed line of play in order to indicate it.
(Indicating line of play on putting green - Rule 39,1(ii)(b)).

Penalty for breach of Rule - One stroke.


RULE 9. INFORMATION AS TO STROKES TAKEN

Match play
(i) 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 taken. If the opponent give wrong information as to the number of strokes he has taken and correct his mistake before the player has played his next stroke, he shall incur no penalty; if he fails to do so he shall lose the hole.
(ii) The number of strokes a player has taken shall include any penalty strokes incurred.


RULE 10. GENERAL PENALTY

Where no penalty for the breach of a Rule or Local Rule is stated, the penalty shall be loss of hole in match play and disqualification in stroke play.


RULE 11. DISPUTES

1. Claims, when and how made
If a dispute or doubt arise on any point the matter must be raised before the players strike off from the next teeing round, or in the case of the last hole of the round, before they leave the putting green.

2. Referee’s decision final
If a referee has been appointed by the Committee or has, in match play, been agreed upon by the players, his decision shall be final.

3. Committee’s decision final
If no referee has been appointed, or agreed upon, the players shall refer the dispute to the Committee, whose decision shall be final. If the Committee cannot come to a decision they shall refer the dispute through the Secretary of the Club to the Rules of Golf Committee, whose decision shall be final.

4. Decision by equity
If the point in dispute be not covered by the rules of Golf or Local Rules the decision shall be made in accordance with equity.

5. Player may ask for interpretation of Rule
The finality of any decision given by a referee or Committee is absolute for the occurrence under discussion, but nothing in this Rule shall be taken as precluding any player from requesting, through the Secretary of his Golf Club, the interpretation by the Rules of Golf Committee of any Rule, or the procedure in any particular case.

6. Committee shall not give decision
If play be conducted other than in accordance with the Rules of Golf, the rules of Golf Committee will not give a decision on any question.


SECTION IV

TEEING GROUND

RULE 12. THE HONOUR (Def. 19)

1. The honour
(i) Match play
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 decide 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.

(ii) Stroke play
The honour shall be taken as in match play.

2. Playing out of turn
(i) Match play
If, on the teeing ground, a player play when his opponent should have had the honour, the opponent may require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall tee a ball and play in correct order without penalty.

(ii) Stroke play
If, on the teeing ground, a competitor by mistake play out of turn no penalty shall be incurred and the ball shall be played as it lies.

3. Second stroke from tee
If the player has to play his second stroke from the tee he shall do so after the opponent or fellow-competitor has played his first stroke.


RULE 13. PLAYING OUTSIDE LIMITS OF TEEING GROUND (Def. 34)

1. Match play
If a player, when starting a hole, play a ball from outside the limits of the teeing ground, the opponent may require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall tee a ball and play his next stroke from within these limits without penalty.

2. Stroke play
If a competitor when starting a hole, play a stroke or strokes from outside the limits of the teeing ground, he shall count the stroke or strokes, tee a ball, and play his next stroke from within these limits. If he fails to do so, he shall be disqualified.

Note:
Stance.
A player may take his stance outside the limits of the teeing ground to play a ball within these limits.


RULE 14. BALL FALLING OFF TEE

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, but if a stroke be made at the ball in these circumstances, whether the ball be moving or not, the stroke shall be counted and the ball shall be played as it then lies without penalty.


RULE 15. ORDER OF PLAY IN THREESOMES AND FOURSOMES

1. General
Partners strike alternately
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. A penalty stroke or strokes does not affect the order of play.

2. Match play
Playing in correct order
If a player play a stroke when his partner should have done so and the mistake be discovered and intimated to the opposing side before another stroke is played by either side, the player’s side shall count the stroke thus played as penalty, and shall replay the stroke in correct order. If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped and if on the putting green it shall be placed as near as possible to the spot from which the side played in incorrect order.
If the mistake be not so rectified, or if two or more strokes are played in incorrect order, the side shall lose the hole.

3. Stroke play
Playing in incorrect order
If the partners play a stroke in incorrect order that stroke shall count as penalty, and the partners shall replay the stroke in correct order. If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped and if on the putting green it shall be placed as near as possible to the spot from which the partners played in incorrect order.
If two or more strokes are played in incorrect order the partners concerned shall be disqualified.


SECTION V

GENERAL AND THROUGH THE GREEN

RULE 16. BALL PLAYED AS IT LIES

The ball shall be played as it lies except as otherwise provided for in the Rules or Local Rules.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.


RULE 17. BALL TO BE FAIRLY STRUCK AT

The ball shall be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.


RULE 18. STRIKING BALL TWICE

If the player, when making a stroke, strike the ball twice he shall count the stroke and add a penalty stroke - making two in all.


RULE 19. BALL FARTHER FROM HOLE PLAYED FIRST

1. General
(i) Play in turn
When the balls are in play, the ball farther from the hole shall be played first.
Exception - Nearer ball interfering with play. Rules 23,2 and 39,3(i) and (ii).
(ii) Balls equidistant
When the balls are equidistant from the hole the option of playing first shall be decided by lot.

2. Match play
If through the green or in a hazard a player play when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall drop a ball as near as possible to the spot from which his previous stroke was played, and play in correct order without penalty.
(For putting green - see Rule 39,2(ii)).

3. Stroke play
If a competitor by mistake play out of turn no penalty shall be incurred. The ball shall be played as it lies.


SECTION VI

THE BALL - OCCURRENCES IN COURSE OF PLAY

RULE 20. PLAYING THE WRONG BALL

The responsibility of playing his own ball rests with the player.

1. Match play
(i) Playing opponent’s ball
(a) If the player play the opponent’s ball and the mistake be discovered and intimated to his opponent before the opponent has made a stroke at the player’s ball or at a substituted ball brought into play, the player shall incur the penalty of one stroke, and shall then play his own ball. The opponent shall place as near as possible to the spot which his original ball occupied and in a similar lie.
(b) If the player play the opponent’s ball and the opponent then play the player’s ball, there shall be no penalty. The hole shall be played out with the balls thus exchanged.
(c) If the player play the opponent’s ball and the mistake be not discovered until after the opponent has made a stroke at a substituted ball brought into play, the player shall lose the hole.
(d) If the player play the opponent’s ball and the opponent then play a ball outside the match, there shall be no penalty. The player shall then play his own ball and the opponent shall place a ball as near as possible to the spot which his original ball occupied and in a similar lie.

(ii) Playing ball outside match
(a) If the player play a stroke or strokes with the ball of anyone not engaged in the match, and the mistake be discovered and intimated to his opponent before the opponent has made his next stroke at his original ball or at a substituted ball brought into play, the player shall incur the penalty of one stroke and shall then play his own ball. If the mistake be not discovered until after the opponent has played his next stroke, the player shall lose the hole.
(b) If the player play a stroke or strokes with the ball of anyone not engaged in the match and the opponent then play the player’s ball, there shall be no penalty. The player shall place a ball as near as possible to where his original ball lay and in a similar lie; the opponent shall play his own ball.

Penalty for breach of Rule 20,1(i) and (ii) - Loss of hole.

2. Stroke play
Playing fellow-competitor’s or another ball
(a) Except in a hazard, if a competitor play a stroke or strokes with his fellow-competitor’s or any ball other than his own, he shall incur the penalty of one stroke. He shall then play his own ball.
(b) In a hazard, if a competitor play a stroke or strokes with his fellow-competitor’s or any ball other than his own, he shall incur no penalty provided the mistake be discovered before a stroke is made at the ball from outside the limits of the hazard, and the competitor then plays his own ball.
(c) Provided the competitor has not made a stroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, has not left the putting green, he may, if he discover he has holed out with a wrong ball, rectify his mistake by finding and holing out with his own ball, adding a penalty stroke to his score for the hole.
(ii) Fellow-competitor’s ball replaced
If the fellow-competitor’s ball be played by the competitor, the fellow-competitor shall, without penalty, place a ball as near as possible to where his ball lay and in a lie similar to that which the original occupied.

Penalty for breach of Rule 20,2(i) and (ii) - Disqualification.


RULE 21. DROPPING AND PLACING

1. How to drop a ball
(i) 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 for breach of Rule 21,1(i) - One stroke.

(ii) If, in the act of dropping, the ball touch the player, he shall incur no penalty, and, if it roll into a hazard or out of bounds, the player may re-drop the ball without penalty.
If a 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 from rolling nearer to the hole, or into a hazard or out of bounds or into casual water, the ball shall be placed without penalty.

2. When dropped, when placed
When a ball is lifted under a Rule or Local Rule, if it is to be played from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped as near as possible to the spot where it lay - except when a Rule permits it to be dropped or placed elsewhere; if it is to be played on the putting green of the hole being played, it shall be placed on the spot from which it was lifted - except when a Rule permits it to be placed elsewhere.

Penalty for breach of Rule 21,2 -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.


RULE 22. LIFTING THE BALL ‘IN PLAY’ (Def 5)

1. Ball not to be lifted
The player shall not lift his ball ‘in play’ or allow it to be lifted, except as provided for in the Rules or Local Rules.

2. Lifted by player
The ball to be lifted under the Rules or Local Rules shall be lifted by the player or his partner.

3. For identification
The player may without penalty lift his ball ‘in play’ for the purpose of identification, provided he lifts and replaces it on the spot from which it was lifted in the presence of his opponent in match play or marker in stroke play. (Touching grass, etc., for identification - see Rule 32,1.)
Note:
Before beginning a round players should mark their balls for the purpose of identification.

4. Cleaning ball ‘in play’
Unless permitted by Local Rule a ball ‘in play’ may not be cleaned.

Penalty for breach of Rule 22 - One stroke.


RULE 23. BALL INTERFERING WITH PLAY

1. Match play
(i) Balls within a club length of each other
If a player‘s ball, when not on the putting green, lie within a club length of an opponent’s ball, the opponent’s ball, at the option of either player or opponent, may be lifted by the owner, who shall replace it after the player has played his stroke. (For putting green - see Rule 39,2(i).)

(ii) Ball outside the match
If the ball of anyone not engaged in the match interfere with play, it nay be lifted and shall be replaced after the player has played his stroke

2. Stroke play
Fellow-competitor’s ball
A competitor may have the fellow-competitor’s ball or any other player’s ball lifted or played at the option of the owner if it interfere with his play. The ball shall be lifted by the owner and replaced after the competitor has played his stroke.

Exception: Fellow-competitor’s ball nearer hole on putting green - see Rule 39,3(i) and (ii).

3. Ball accidentally moved
If a ball be accidentally moved in complying with clause 1 or 2 of this Rule no penalty shall be incurred and the ball so moved shall be replaced.

4. Lie of lifted ball altered
If the lie of the ball lifted under clause 1 or 2 of this Rule be altered in playing the other ball, the lifted ball shall be placed as near as possible to the spot from which it was lifted and in a lie similar to that which it originally occupied.


RULE 24. MOVING BALL

1. Moving ball not to be played
The player shall incur the penalty of one stroke if he play while his ball is moving

Exceptions:
Ball struck falling off tee - Rule 14
Ball struck twice - Rule 18
And as hereunder - Rule 24,2 and 3

2. Ball moving in water
When the ball is in water the player may without penalty make a stroke 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 for breach of Rule 24,2 -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.

3. Ball moving after player has begun backward swing
The player shall incur no penalty under this Rule if his ball begins to move after he has begun the backward movement of his club for the stroke, or the stroke itself, but he is not exempted from the provisions laid down for :-
Ball moving after removal of loose impediment - Rule 34,2.
Ball moving after it has been addressed - Rule 26,1(iv)(b).


RULE 25. BALL IN MOTION STOPPED OR DEFLECTED

1. General
(i) By outside agency
If the ball in motion be stopped or deflected by any outside agency, it is a rub of the green and the ball shall be played as it lies, without penalty.

(ii) Ball lodging in anything moving or in a mobile object at rest
If the ball lodge in anything moving, or in any mobile object which is at rest, the player shall, through the green or in a hazard, drop a ball, or on the putting green place a ball as near as possible to the spot where the object was when the ball lodged in it, without penalty.

(iii) By player
If, accidentally, the player’s ball be stopped or deflected by himself, his partner, or either of their caddies, clubs or other equipment, the player shall incur the penalty of one stroke and the ball shall be played as it lies, except when the ball lodges in the player’s, partner’s or either of their caddies’ clothes, clubs or other equipment, in which case the player shall, without further penalty, through the green or in a hazard drop, or on the putting green place a ball as near as possible to where the article was when the ball lodged in it.

2. Match play
By opponent
If the player’s ball be accidentally stopped or deflected by an opponent, or his caddie, clubs or other equipment, the opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke and the ball shall be played as it lies, except when the ball lodges in the opponent’s or his caddie’s clothes, clubs or other equipment, in which case the opponent shall incur no further penalty, and the player shall through the green or in a hazard drop, or on the putting green place a ball as near as possible to where the article was when the ball lodged in it.

3. Stroke play
By fellow-competitor
If the competitor’s ball be stopped or deflected by the fellow-competitor, his caddie, clubs, ball or other equipment, it is a rub of the green and the ball shall be played as it lies.

Exceptions:
Ball lodging in fellow-competitor’s clothes, etc - Clause 1(ii) of this Rule applies.
Ball striking fellow-competitor’s ball, etc., on putting green - Rule 39,3(iii)
Ball striking flagstick or person at hole - Rule 38,3(ii)

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification
.


RULE 26. BALL AT REST MOVED (Def. 3)

1. General
(i) By outside agency
If the ball at rest be moved, or if the lie be altered, by an outside agency, the player shall, without penalty, through the green or in a hazard, drop a ball, or on the putting green place a ball as near as possible to the spot from which the ball was moved.

(ii) By wind
If the player’s ball which is at rest be moved by wind it shall be played as it lies.

(iii) During search
During a search for a ball, if it be accidentally moved by the player, his partner, opponent, fellow-competitor, or any of their caddies, no penalty shall be incurred. The player shall drop the ball as near as possible to the spot from which it was moved.

(iv) By player
(a) When the ball is ‘in play,’ if the player, his partner, or either of their caddies accidentally move it, or by touching anything cause it to move (except when a search for it is being made) the player shall incur the penalty of one stroke and the ball shall be played as it lies.
(b) When the ball is ‘in play,’ if it move after the player has grounded his club, or in a hazard after he has taken up his stance, he shall be deemed to have caused it to move and the penalty shall be one stroke, the ball shall be played as it lies.
(c) If the player has removed a loose impediment (Rule 34) and the ball move, but not until the player has grounded his club, he shall be deemed to have caused it to move under section iv(b) of this clause only and the penalty shall be one stroke.

2. Match play
(i) By opponent
If the player’s ball be accidentally moved by an opponent, his caddie, clubs or other equipment (except when a search is being made) the opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke and the player shall place a ball as near as possible to the spot from which the ball was moved.

(ii) Opponent’s ball moved by player’s ball
If the player’s ball move the opponent’s ball no penalty shall be incurred; the opponent may either play his ball as it lies, or, provided he does so before another stroke is played by either side, he may through the green or in a hazard drop a ball as near as possible to the spot where his original ball lay.
If the player’s ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the opponent’s ball and the opponent declare his intention to drop a ball, the player shall first play another stroke after which the opponent shall drop a ball.
(For putting green - see Rule 39,2(iii)(b)).

3. Stroke play
Competitor’s ball moved by fellow-competitor
If the competitor’s ball be accidentally moved by the fellow-competitor, his caddie, clubs ball or other equipment, no penalty shall be incurred. The competitor shall place a ball as near as possible to the spot from which the ball was moved.

Exceptions:
During search - see Rule 26,1(iii)
Ball striking fellow-competitor’s ball on putting green - see Rule 39,3(iii).

RULE 27. BALL UNFIT FOR PLAY

1. Player may substitute another ball
If, in the opinion of the player, his ball ‘in play’ be so damaged as to be unfit for play, he may change it without penalty on intimating to his opponent in match play, or marker in stroke play, his intention to do so. The substituted ball shall be placed on the spot from which the damaged ball was lifted.

2. Mud adhering to ball
The player may not presume his ball unfit for play by reason of mud adhering, unless permitted by Local Rule.

Penalty for breach of Rule - One stroke.

Note:
In conditions where the existence of mud could make a ball unfit for play, the Committee should frame a Local Rule providing for the removal of mud.

RULE 28. BALL LOST (Def. 6)

1. Loss of distance
Except as provided for in Rule 36 (ball lying or lost in casual water in a hazard or in a water hazard) if the ball be lost the player shall incur the penalty of loss of distance.
If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped, and if from the putting green it shall be placed, as near as possible to the spot from which the ball which is lost was played.

2. Provisional ball
If the player consider his ball may be lost (except in casual water in a hazard or in a water hazard) he may play another ball provisionally before going forward to search for the original ball.
The player may continue to play with the provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If the original ball be found, within five minutes of beginning to search for it, it remains the ball ‘in play.’ If it be not so found, the second ball is the ball ‘in play’ and the stroke or strokes made at the first ball shall count in the score for the hole.
The player is only permitted to play one ball provisionally under this Rule.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.


RULE 29. BALL OUT OF BOUNDS (Def. 7)

1. Loss of distance
If the ball lie out of bounds the player shall incur the penalty of loss of distance.
If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped, and if from the putting green it shall be placed, as near as possible to the spot from which the ball which is out of bounds was played.

2. Provisional ball
If there be doubt whether the ball lie out of bounds the player may play another ball provisionally before going forward to search for the original ball.
The player may continue to play with the provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If the original ball be found in bounds within five minutes of beginning to search for it, it remains the ball ‘in play.’ If it be not found, the second ball is the ball ‘in play’ and the stroke or strokes made at the first ball shall count in the score for the hole.
The player is only permitted to play one ball provisionally under this Rule.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.

Notes:
(i) Ascertaining if ball out of bounds
The player has the right at any time of ascertaining if his opponent’s ball lie out of bounds or within bounds.
(ii)Player may stand out of bounds
The player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.


RULE 30. BALL UNPLAYABLE (Def. 8)

Loss of distance or one stroke

Except as provided for in Rule 36 (ball lying in or lost in casual water in a hazard or in a water hazard) if the ball be unplayable the player shall

either

(i) incur the penalty of loss of distance. If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped, and if from the putting green it shall be placed, as near as possible to the spot from which the ball which is unplayable was played,
or

(ii) under penalty of one stroke play his next stroke at a spot no more than two club lengths from where the ball lies unplayable, but not nearer the hole. If the unplayable ball lie through the green a ball shall be dropped through the green; if in a hazard a ball shall be dropped in the hazard, and if on the putting green a ball shall be placed on the putting green.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.

Notes:
(i) Provisional ball may not be played
The playing of a provisional ball is not permitted. When a second ball is played in the manner provided for in this Rule it becomes the ball ‘in play.’
(ii) Player sole judge
The player, taking into consideration the conditions laid down in Definition 8, is the sole judge as to whether his ball is playable or unplayable.

SECTION VII

FIXED OR GROWING OBJECTS

RULE 31. IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACE

1. May not be removed or pressed down
Except when teeing a ball, irregularities of surface which could in any way affect a player’s stroke shall not be removed or pressed down by the player, his partner, or either of their caddies.

2. Building of stance not allowed
A player is always entitled to place his feet firmly on the ground when taking his stance, but he is not allowed to build a stance

Penalty for breach of Rule - One stroke.


RULE 32. MOVING, FIXED OR GROWING OBJECTS

1. Fog, bent, long grass, bushes, whins
If the ball lie in fog, bent, long grass, rushes, or the like, or in bushes, whins, heather, or the like, only so much thereof shall be touched as will enable the player to find and identify his ball; nothing shall be done which can in any way improve its lie.

Penalty for breach of Rule 32,1 -
Match play - loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.

2. Moving, bending or breaking fixed or growing objects
(i) Shall not improve line of play

During the play of a round a player shall not improve, or allow to be improved, his line of play, the position or lie of his ball, by moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing.
Exception:
Bending or breaking when teeing a ball - see Rule 31,1

Penalty for breach of Rule 32,1 and 2(i) -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.

(ii) Bending or breaking in addressing
The player shall incur no penalty by bending or breaking anything fixed or growing in so far as is necessary to enable him to fairly take his stance in addressing the ball, or in making the backward movement of his club for the stroke, or the stroke itself. The club may be grounded only lightly and must not be pressed on the ground.

Penalty for breach of Rule 32,2(ii) - One stroke.


SECTION VIII

OBSTRUCTIONS, LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS,
GROUND UNDER REPAIR

RULE 33. OBSTRUCTIONS (Def. 23)

1. Movable obstruction may be removed
Any movable obstruction may be removed. If the ball be moved in so doing it shall be replaced without penalty.

2. Ball lying on, touching, or within two club lengths
If the player’s ball
(i) lie on any obstruction,
(ii) touch an immovable obstruction, or
(iii) lie within two club lengths of an immovable obstruction, the player may, without penalty, through the green lift and drop the ball, or on the putting green place the ball, not more than two club lengths radius from that point
(i) at which the ball crossed the margin of the obstruction,
(ii) at which the ball touched the obstruction, or
(iii) of the obstruction nearest which the ball originally lay,
but not nearer to the hole.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of Hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.

(For obstruction in a hazard - see Rule 36,1(iii) and (iv)


RULE 34. LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS (Def. 20)

1. Removal of loose impediments
Except when both the ball and the loose impediment lie in or touch a hazard, any loose impediment may be removed without penalty.

2. Ball moved
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 it to move. The penalty shall be one stroke, and the ball shall be played as it lies.
(For impediments on the putting green - see Rule 39,1(i))


RULE 35. GROUND UNDER REPAIR (Def 16)

1. Ball lying on or touching
(i) Through the green

If the player’s ball lie on or touch ground under repair or lie in a hole made by a greenkeeper, through the green the player shall without penalty drop a ball not more than two club lengths from the ground under repair, or the hole made by a greenkeeper, but not nearer to the hole being played.
If the ball lie within two club lengths of ground under repair the player may without penalty drop a ball not more than two club lengths from the ground under repair, but not nearer to the hole.

(ii) In a hazard
If the player’s ball lie on or touch ground under repair in a hazard the player shall without penalty drop a ball in the hazard not more than two club lengths from the ground under repair, but not nearer the hole.

(iii) On the putting green
If the player’s ball lie on or touch ground under repair, or lie in a hole made by a greenkeeper, on the putting green, the player shall without penalty lift it and place it in the nearest position to where it lay which is not nearer to the hole being played and which affords a stroke to that hole without ground under repair or a hole made by a greenkeeper intervening.
If ground under repair or a hole made by a greenkeeper intervene between a ball lying on the putting green and the hole being played, the player may without penalty lift it and place it in the nearest position to where it lay which is not nearer to that hole and which affords a stroke to that hole without ground under repair or a hole made by a greenkeeper intervening.

2. Ball lost
If the ball cannot be found on ground under repair, the player shall, subject to a Local Rule to the contrary, treat it as a lost ball (Rule 28).


SECTION IX

HAZARDS, WATER HAZARDS, CASUAL WATER

RULE 36. HAZARDS AND WATER HAZARDS (Def. 17)

1. Ball lying in or touching
When the ball lies in or touches a hazard or water hazard, nothing shall be done which can in any way improve its lie. If, prior to making a stroke, the player touch the ball, ground or water with his club, or touch or move anything, he shall incur the penalty of one stroke, subject to the following exceptions:-

(i) The player may place his feet firmly on the ground for the purpose of taking his stance.
(ii) In addressing the ball, in making the backward movement of his club for the stroke, or the stroke itself, any grass, bent, bush, tree, or other growing substance, or the side of a bunker, wall, paling or other immovable obstacles may be touched.
(iii) Any movable obstruction in a hazard or water hazard may be removed; if the ball be moved in so doing it shall be replaced without penalty.
(iv) The ball lying on, or touching, or lying within two club lengths of any obstruction (such as fixed steps, bridges, planks or other fixed obstructions placed in, or across, a hazard for access to or egress from, or for crossing over a hazard) may be lifted without penalty and dropped in the hazard not more than two club lengths from the obstruction, but not nearer to the hole.
(v) Any loose impediment not in or touching a hazard may be removed.
(vi) The player shall be entitled to find his ball in accordance with Rule 32,1. If his ball be covered by sand e may remove as much thereof as will enable him to see the top of his ball; if the ball be moved in such removal no penalty shall be incurred; the ball shall be replaced.
(vii) The player may, without penalty, place his clubs in a hazard prior to making a stroke, provided nothing is done which could improve the lie of the ball or which could constitute a testing of the soil.

2. Ball in water hazard, or in casual water in a hazard
If the ball lie in or be lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lie in water or not) or in casual water in a hazard, the player may:-
(i) Play the ball as it lies,
or
(ii) incur the penalty of loss of distance. If the stroke was played from the teeing ground a ball may be teed anywhere on the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard it shall be dropped, and if from the putting green it shall be placed as near as possible to the spot from which the ball which lies in the water hazard or in casual water in a hazard was played.
or
(iii) Under the penalty of one stroke drop a ball

(a) not more than two club lengths behind the hazard or water hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball entered it between himself and the hole, or
(b) in the hazard or water hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball entered the water between himself and the hole.

3. Ball in lateral water hazard
If the ball lie or be lost in a lateral water hazard, the player may play his next stroke in accordance with clause 2(i) or (ii) of this Rule, or under the penalty of one stroke, drop a ball

(i) not more than two club lengths from where the ball entered the water hazard, but not nearer the hole, or
(ii) in the water hazard, no more than two club lengths from where the ball entered the water, but not nearer the hole.

4. Want of space to drop
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 clauses 2(iii) and 3(i) and (ii) of this Rule, he shall play his next stroke in accordance with clause 2(ii).

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.


RULE 37. CASUAL WATER (Def 10)

1. Ball lying in
(i) Through the green

If the ball lie 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 redropped without penalty. If it be impossible to drop it so that it will not roll into the water, a ball shall be placed.

(ii) On putting green
If the ball lie in casual water on the putting green or if casual water intervene between the ball on the putting green and the hole, the ball may be played as it lies, or it may be lifted and placed without penalty in the nearest position to where it lay, but not nearer the hole, which will enable the player to play to the hole without casual water intervening.

2. Interfering with stance
If the ball is lying so near to casual water that the player’s stance is interfered with, it may be treated as if it lay in casual water under the preceding clause of this Rule.

3. Want of space in which to play
If it be impossible from want of space in which to play, or from any other cause, for a player to drop or place a ball in conformity with this Rule, he shall drop or place it as nearly as possible within the limits laid down, but not nearer the hole.

Penalty for breach of Rule -
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Disqualification.


SECTION X

THE FLAGSTICK

RULE 38. THE FLAGSTICK (Def 14)

1. General
(i) May be held up at any time

The flagstick may be held up at any time to indicate the position of the hole but only by any player or caddie within the match.

(ii) Interfering with play
The player may have the flagstick removed at any time if he consider that it might interfere with his play.

(iii) Ball resting against flagstick
If the ball rest against the flagstick which is in the hole, the player or his caddie shall be entitled to remove the flagstick, and if the ball fall into the hole, the player shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke.
Note:
Outside agency should not attend flagstick.
A referee, observer, marker, steward, or other outside agency should not attend the flagstick.

2. Match play
(i) Flagstick unattended

The player incurs no penalty if his ball strikes the flagstick which has not been removed or is not held by his partner or either of their caddies.

(ii) Opponent may have flagstick removed
The opponent may have the flagstick removed if he consider it might be of assistance to the player, but the player is always entitled to send his own caddie to stand at the hole and hold the flagstick to indicate the position of the hole, while he is playing his stroke.

(iii) Flagstick held by player’s side
If the player’s ball strike the flagstick which is held by, or has been removed by, himself, his partner or either of their caddies, he shall incur the penalty of one stroke, and his ball shall be played as it lies.

(iv) Flagstick held by opponent
Except as provided for in clause (v), if the player’s ball strike the flagstick which is held by, or has been removed by an opponent or an opponent’s caddie, the opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke. The player shall play his ball as it lies.

(v) Flagstick held at player’s request
If an opponent or an opponent’s caddie (the player having no caddie), hold the flagstick at the player’s request no penalty shall be incurred by either side if the holder of the flagstick is struck by the player’s ball or if the ball strikes or is stopped by the flagstick. The player shall play his ball as it lies.

(vi) Deemed to hold flagstick
If a player or a caddie holds or removes the flagstick when a stroke is being played, that player or caddie shall be deemed to hold the flagstick until the ball comes to rest.

3. Stroke play
(i) Striking flagstick

A competitor incurs no penalty if, playing from farther than twenty yards from the hole, his ball strike the flagstick which is not held or has not been removed. If the flagstick is attended, or has been removed, at the player’s request, and his ball strike it, he shall incur the penalty of one stroke and shall play his ball as it lies.
(ii) Ball within twenty yards of the hole
When the competitor’s ball lying within twenty yards of the hole, whether it lie on the putting green or in a hazard, is played and strikes or is stopped by the flagstick whether it is in the hole or not, or the person standing at the hole, the competitor shall incur the penalty of one stroke and shall play the ball as it lies.


SECTION XI

ON THE PUTTING GREEN AND WITHIN
TWENTY YARDS OF THE HOLE

RULE 39. THE PUTTING GREEN (Def 27)

1. General
(i) Removal of loose impediments

(a) A player may remove any loose impediment from the putting green either by picking it up or brushing it aside either with his hand or a club; nothing must be pressed down, and if a club is used it shall not be pressed with more than its own weight on the ground.

Penalty for breach of Rule 39,1(1)(a) - One stroke.

(b) If the player’s ball 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 his ball to move and shall incur the penalty of one stroke. The ball shall be played as it lies.

(ii) Touching line of putt
(a) Except as provided for in clause 1(i)(a) of this Rule, the line of the putt must not be touched. The player shall, however, incur no penalty in placing the club in front of the ball in the act of addressing it.
(ii) 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 line for putting, but in doing so the line of the putt shall not be touched, in front of, to the side of, or behind the hole. No mark shall be placed anywhere on the putting green to indicate a line for putting.

(iii) Ball to be at rest
When the player’s ball lies on the putting green he shall not play until his opponent’s or fellow-competitor’s ball is at rest.

Penalty for breach of Rule 39,2(ii) and (iii) - One stroke.

(iv) Shielding ball from wind
A player or caddie shall not endeavour to influence the action of the wind upon the ball.

Penalty for breach of Rule 39,1(iv)
Match play - Loss of Hole;
Stroke play - Disqualification

2. Match play
(i) Ball within six inches lifted

When the balls lie within six inches of each other on the putting green (the distance to be measured from the nearest points) the ball lying nearer the hole, at the option of the player or opponent, may be lifted by its owner, who shall mark its position and replace it after the farther ball has been played.
If either ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball so moved shall be replaced.

(ii) Playing out of turn
On the putting green if a player play by mistake when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall replace his ball and play in correct order without penalty.

Penalty for breach of Rule 39,2(ii) - Loss of hole

(iii) Displacing and replacing of balls
(a) 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.
(b) If the player’s ball move the opponent’s ball, the opponent 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.

(iv) Ball lying on lip of hole
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 he has holed out at the odd, and claiming the hole if he has holed out 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 with his last stroke.
If the opponent’s ball has not been knocked away the opponent shall pay his next stroke without delay. If he fail to do so he shall incur the penalty of one stroke.

3. Stroke play
(i) Ball on lip of hole to be played

If the competitor’s ball lie on the lip of the hole he shall hole out without delay. If he fail to do so he shall incur the penalty of one stroke.

(ii) Ball nearer the hole interfering with play
When the nearer ball lies on the putting green, if the competitor whose ball is farther from the hole (whether it lies on the putting green, through the green, or in a hazard) consider that the nearer ball might interfere with his play, or if the owner of the nearer ball consider that his ball might be of assistance in the playing of the farther ball, the nearer ball shall be played first. If the balls lie in such a position that the farther ball interfere in any way with the play of the nearer ball, the owner of the farther ball shall mark its position and remove it if required to do so. He shall replace it after the player has holed out.

(iii) Ball striking fellow-competitor’s ball
When both balls lie within twenty yards of the hole, if the competitor’s ball strike the ball of the fellow-competitor, the competitor shall incur the penalty of one stroke and shall play his ball as it lies. The fellow competitor’s ball shall at once be replaced.

(iv) Ball lifted while competitor’s ball in motion
If the fellow competitor or his caddie lift his ball while the competitor’s ball is in motion, the fellow-competitor shall incur the penalty of one stroke and shall replace his ball after the competitor’s ball has come to rest.

(v) Ball lifted before holed out
If a competitor or his caddie lift his ball from the putting green before it is holed out, except as provided for in the Rules or Local Rules, he may replace it under the penalty of one stroke, provided he does so before he has played a stroke from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he has left the putting green. If he fail to so replace it he shall be disqualified


SECTION XII

COMPETITIONS

RULE 40. DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE

1. Conditions
The Committee shall lay down the conditions under which the competition is to be played. Certain special rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that the combining of the two forms of play is not practical and should not be allowed by Committees.

2. Order and times of starting
(i) General

The Committee shall arrange the order and times of starting, which, when possible, shall be decided by ballot.
(ii) Match play
When a competition is played over an extended period the Committee shall lay down the limit of time within which matches in each section shall be completed. When players are allowed to arrange the date of their match within these limits, the Committee should announce that the match must be played at a stated hour on the last day of the period, unless the players agree to a prior date.
(iii) Stroke play
Competitors shall play in couples unless the Committee sanctions otherwise. If there be a single competitor the Committee shall:-
(a) provide him with a player who shall mark for him;
(b) provide a marker and allow him to compete alone, or
(c) allow him to compete with another couple.

3. Decision of ties
The Committee shall announce the manner, day and time for the decision of a halved match or of a tie, whether played on level terms or under handicap.
A halved match shall not be decided by stroke play; a tie in stroke play shall not be decided by a match.

4. The Course
(i) New holes - Stroke play

New holes should be made on the day on which a stroke competition begins, and at such other times as the Committee consider necessary.
(ii) Practice ground
Where there is no practice ground available outside the area of a competition course, the Committee shall lay down the area on which the competitors may practise on the day or days of a stroke competition - such area shall not include any putting green on the competition course or courses.
(iii) Stewards
The Committee may employ stewards for any purpose - e.g. to control crowds, mark the position of the ball. The steward is an outside agency.
(iv) Course unplayable
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 have power to order a suspension of play in match play, or to declare play null and void in stroke play. In match play when there has been a suspension of play the Committee shall declare the method of dealing with unfinished matches and time of resumption of play.

5. Handicapping
When a competition is played under handicap the Committee shall declare the player’s handicap before the start of play. When a Committee has announced a player’s handicap, that player shall play out the competition with the handicap so announced. If, during the course of the competition, the Committee decide to adjust the handicap of anyone competing, the adjustment shall not apply to that particular event.

6. Scoring cards - Stroke play
Scoring cards shall be issued with the date and competitor’s name entered on the card.
Two-columned cards for competitor and fellow-competitor should not be used as they are liable to lead to confusion.
In Bogey competitions the holes at which strokes are to be given or taken shall be indicated on the card.
The Committee are responsible for the addition of scores marked and for the alteration of the score at any hole in the case of a doubtful penalty referred to them.


RULE 41. DUTIES OF PLAYER

1. Conditions
The player shall be responsible for making himself acquainted with the Conditions under which the competition is to be played.

2. May not employ fore-caddie
The player may not employ a fore-caddie unless permitted by Local Rule.

3. Practice - Stroke play
On the day or days of a stroke competition a competitor, before starting or during the course of the competition, shall not practise on the course or courses over which the competition is being held, outside the area defined by the Committee as practice ground.

Penalty for breach of Rule 41,3 - Disqualification.

4. Handicapping
Before starting in a handicap competition the player shall check his handicap from the official list, and in the case of match play or bogey competitions shall make himself aware of the holes at which strokes are given or taken.

5. Order of play
Players shall start in the order and at the times arranged by the Committee.

6. Discontinuance of play
Bad weather, illness

Players shall not delay to start or discontinue play on account of bad weather or for any reason, except that a player may discontinue play without penalty
(a) if he consider that there be a danger from lightning,
or
(b) there be some other reason such as sudden illness, which the Committee could consider satisfactory.

Penalty for breach of Rule 41(5) and (6) - Disqualification

7. Undue delay
Players shall at all times play without undue delay. The Committee shall have power to disqualify any player or players who in their opinion unduly delay the play of any other player or players.

8. Doubtful penalty
Where there is no referee, if a player is doubtful whether a penalty has been incurred at any hole, he shall report the circumstances to the Committee either orally or in writing, as the Committee may determine.
I stroke play the report must be accompanied by the competitor’s score card.

9. Checking of score
In stroke play a competitor should check his score at the completion of every hole and on completion of the round shall countersign his card and hand it in.


RULE 42. THE KEEPING OF SCORES - STROKE PLAY

1. The duties of the Marker
(i) The score for each hole shall be kept by a Marker, or by each competitor acting as a Marker by noting his fellow-competitor’s score. Should more than one Marker keep a score, each shall sign the part of the score for which he is responsible.
(ii) The scores shall be called out and recorded after the result of each hole has been determined.
(iii) On completion of the stipulated round the card shall be signed by the Marker and countersigned by the competitor, who shall hand it in as soon as reasonably possible.
A card cannot be held to be valid until it has been signed by both marker and competitor, but a competitor should not be disqualified for a breach of this clause until a reasonable attempt has been made to obtain a missing signature.

2. No alteration to score
(i) The scores are returned for each hole shall be binding unless altered by the Committee in the case of a doubtful penalty.
(ii) If it be found that a competitor has returned a score at any hole lower than that actually taken, he shall be disqualified.

3. Doubtful penalty
If it is doubtful whether a penalty has been incurred during the round, the Marker, together with the competitor shall refer it to the Committee, either orally or in writing, as the Committee may determine before the card is completed. The Committee shall determine what penalty, if any, has been incurred.

(For disputes see Rule 11)


RULE 43. BOGEY OR PAR COMPETITIONS

1. Conditions
(i) A Bogey or Par competition is a form of stroke competition in which play is against a fixed score at each hole of the stipulated round or rounds.
(ii) The reckoning is made as in match play.
(iii) The winner is the competitor who is most successful in the aggregate of holes.

2. Rules for stroke play apply
The Rules for stroke play shall apply with the following exceptions:-

(i) No return at any hole
    Any hole for which a competitor makes no return shall be regarded as a loss.
(ii) Score equal to or less than Bogey
The Marker shall only be responsible for the marking of the actual number of strokes at each hole where a competitor makes a score equal to or less than the fixed score under handicap.

3. Breach of Rule
Any breach of a Rule which would entail the penalty of disqualification shall disqualify the competitor for the hole at which the breach occurred, but a competitor shall not be exempted from the general disqualification imposed by:-

Rule 1(1), use of illegal clubs and balls.
Rule 2, Number of clubs to be carried.
Rule 3, Compliance with Rules.
Rule 41,5; 41,6 and 41,7 Order of play, Discontinuance of play, and Undue delay.

Disqualification for a breach of Rule 42,2 (no alteration to scores), shall also apply, but only when a mistake in marking affects the result of a hole.


SECTION XIII

THREE-BALL, BEST BALL AND FOUR-BALL MATCH PLAY

The Rules of Golf so far as they are not at variance with the following special Rules, shall apply to all three-ball, best ball and four-ball matches.


RULE 44. THREE-BALL, BEST BALL AND FOUR-BALL

MATCH PLAY

1. General
(i) Player may have ball lifted

Before the player has made a stroke he may have any other ball in the match lifted, or played, at the option of the owner, if he consider that it might interfere with play or be of assistance to a player or side.
(ii) Player’s ball moves another ball
If the player’s ball move any other ball in the match the owner of the moved ball shall through the green or in a hazard drop a ball or on the putting green place a ball as near as possible to the spot where his original ball lay, without penalty.
(iii) Playing out of turn
Through the green or in a hazard a player shall incur no penalty if he by mistake play when an opponent should have done so. The stroke cannot be replayed; the ball shall be played as it lies.
On the putting green if a player by mistake play when an opponent should have done so, the opponent may request the player to replay the stroke in which case the player shall replace his ball on the spot from which he played in incorrect order, without penalty.

2. Three-ball Match Play
(i) Ball stopped or deflected by an opponent

If the player’s ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie, or other equipment Rule 25,2 applies. That opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke in his match with the player. The other opponent shall treat the occurrence as a "rub of the green."
(ii) Ball at rest moved by an opponent
If the player’s ball be accidentally moved by an opponent, his caddie, clubs, or other equipment (except in searching for it Rule 26,1(iii)), Rule 26,2(i) applies. That opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke in his match with the player. The other opponent shall treat the occurrence as a "rub of the green."
(iii) Playing opponent’s ball
If the player play an opponent’s ball and that opponent play the player’s ball:-

(a) If the mistake be discovered and intimated to the third player before he has made his next stroke, each shall incur the penalty of one stroke in his match with the third player and shall place a ball as near as possible to the spot which his original ball occupied.
(b) If the mistake be not so discovered the hole shall be played out with the balls thus exchanged, but each shall lose the hole to the third player.
Note: In a three-ball match each player is playing two distinct matches. If, therefore, a player play the ball of one of his two opponents he has, as far as the other opponent is concerned, played a ball outside the match.

3. Best Ball and Four-Ball Match Play
(i) Order of play

Balls belonging to the same side shall be played in the order the side considers best.
(ii) Ball stopped or deflected

(a) By player or partner
If the player’s ball be stopped or deflected by the player or his partner, Rule 25,1(iii) applies. The player shall incur the penalty of one stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
(b) By opponent
If the player’s ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent Rule 25,2 applies. The opponent’s side shall incur the penalty of one stroke.

(iii) Ball at rest moved
(a) By player
If, accidentally, the player move his ball, (except in searching for it - Rule 26,1(iii)), he shall incur the penalty of one stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. The ball shall be played as it lies.
(b) By partner
If the player’s ball be accidentally moved by the partner (except in searching for it - Rule 26,1(iii)), the partner shall incur the penalty of one stroke. The player shall, without penalty, replace his ball on the spot from which it was moved.
(c) By opponent
If the player’s ball be accidentally moved by an opponent (except in searching for it - Rule 26,1(iii)), that opponent shall incur the penalty of one stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. The player shall, without penalty, replace his ball on the spot from which it was moved.

(iv) Playing wrong ball
(a) Partner’s ball
If the 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 a stroke, the player shall incur the penalty of one stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. If the mistake be not discovered until after the opponent has played a stroke, the player shall lose the hole. The partner shall drop a ball as near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was moved.
(b) Opponent’s ball
If the player play the opponent’s ball, and that opponent then play the player’s ball, they shall both incur the penalty of one stroke and shall play out the hole with the balls thus exchanged.

(v) Penalty applies to player only
In all other cases, where by the Rules of Golf a player would incur the penalty of loss of hole or one stroke, he shall incur the penalty, but it shall not apply to his partner.


SECTION XIV

LOCAL RULES

The Committee in charge of the Course shall define accurately:-
(i) the boundaries of the course.
(ii) the extent of hazards or water hazards and lateral water hazards where there is any doubt.
(iii) ground under repair.

They shall frame regulations governing priority on the course.
They shall make Local Rules for such abnormal local conditions as the existence of mud, accumulation of leaves, damage caused to the course by animals, or other conditions which could be held to interfere with the proper playing of the Game, or which are necessary for the preservation of the course.

A penalty imposed by a Rule of Golf shall not be waived by a Local Rule.


Rules of Amateur Status

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