23rd edition.
Artificial surfaces of roads and paths are now obstructions.
Ball at rest moved: now the ball must be replaced in all cases.
New dropping procedure introduces the concept of nearest point of relief.
Ball to be lifted on the putting green must be marked.
Members of a player's side are not allowed to stand behind the line of a putt.

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RULES OF GOLF

AS APPROVED BY
THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB
OF ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND
and the
UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION

effective 1 January 1976.


SECTION I - ETIQUETTE

COURTESY ON THE COURSE

Consideration for other Players
In the interest of all, players should play without delay.
No player should play until the players in front are out of range.
Players searching for a ball should signal the players behind them to pass as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found; they should not search for five minutes before doing so. They should not continue play until the players following them have passed and are out of range.
When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.

Behaviour During Play
No one should move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when the player is addressing the ball or making a stroke.
The player who has the honour should be allowed to play before his opponent or fellow-competitor tees his ball.

Priority on the Course
In the absence of special rules, two-ball matches should have precedence of and be entitled to pass any three- or four-ball match.
A single player has no standing and should give way to a match of any kind.
Any match playing a whole round is entitled to pass a match playing a shorter round.
If a match fail to keep its place on the course and lose more than one clear hole on the players in front, it should invite the match following to pass.

CARE OF THE COURSE

Holes in Bunkers
Before leaving a bunker, a player should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by him.

Restore Divots, Repair Ball-Marks and Damage by Spikes
Through the green, a player should ensure that any turf cut or displaced by him is replaced at once and pressed down, and that any damage to the putting green made by the ball is carefully repaired.  Damage to the putting green caused by golf shoe spikes should be repaired on completion of the hole.

Damage to Greens - Flagsticks, Bags, etc.
Players should ensure that, when putting down bags, or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green, and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it, handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole.  The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

Golf Carts
Local Notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.

Damage through Practice Swings
In taking practice swings, players should avoid damage to the course, particularly the tees, by removing divots.


SECTION II - DEFINITIONS

1.  Addressing the Ball
A player has 'addressed the ball' when he has taken his stance and has also grounded his club, except that in a hazard a player has addressed the ball when he has taken his stance.

2.  Advice
'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 on the Rules or Local Rules is not advice.

3.  Ball Deemed to Move
A ball is deemed to have 'moved' if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.

4.  Ball Holed
A ball is 'holed' when it lies within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.

5.  Ball in Play, Provisional Ball, Wrong Ball
a.  A ball is 'in play' as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground.  It remains as his ball in play until holed out, except when it is out of bounds, lost or lifted, or another ball has been substituted under an applicable Rule or Local Rule: a ball so substituted becomes the ball in play.
b.  A 'provisional ball' is a ball played under Rule 30 for a ball which may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds.  It ceases to be a provisional ball when the Rule provides either that the player continue play with it as the ball in play or that it be abandoned.
c.   A 'wrong ball' is any ball other that the ball in play or a provisional ball or, in stroke play, an alternate ball played in accordance with Rule 11-5.

6.  Ball Lost
A ball is 'lost' if:
a.  It be not found or be not identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player's side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it; or
b.  The player has put another ball into play under the Rules, even though he may not have searched for the original ball; or
c.  The player has played any stroke with a provisional ball from a point beyond the place where the original ball is likely to be, whereupon the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.
Time spent in playing a wrong ball is not counted in the five-minute period allowed for search.

7.  Caddie, Forecaddie and Equipment
a. A 'caddie' is one who carries or handles a player's clubs during play and otherwise assists him in accordance with the Rules.
When one caddie is employed by more than one player, he is always deemed to be the caddie of the player whose ball is involved, and equipment carried by him is deemed to be that player's equipment, except when the caddie acts upon specific directions of another player, in which case he is considered to be that other player's caddie.
Note: In threesome, foursome, best-ball and four-ball play, a caddie carrying for more than one player should be assigned to the members of one side.
b. A 'forecaddie' is one employed by the Committee to indicate to players the position of balls on the course, and is an outside agency (Definition 22).
c. 'Equipment' is anything used, worn or carried by or for the player except his ball in play. Equipment includes a golf cart. If such a cart is shared by more than one player, its status under the Rules is the same as that of a caddie employed by more than one player.

8.  Casual Water
'Casual water' is any temporary accumulation of water which is visible before or after the player takes his stance and which is not a hazard of itself or is not in a water hazard.  Snow and ice are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.

9.  Committee
The 'Committee' is the committee in charge of the competition.

10.  Competitor
A 'competitor' is a player in a stroke competition. A 'fellow-competitor' is any person with whom the competitor plays.  Neither is partner of the other.
In stroke play foursome and four-ball competitions, where the context so admits, the word 'competitor' or 'fellow-competitor' shall be held to include his partner.

11.  Course
The 'course' is the whole area within which play is permitted.  It is the duty of the Committee to define its boundaries accurately.

12.  Flagstick
The 'flagstick' is a movable straight indicator provided by the Committee, with or without bunting or other material attached, centred in the hole to show its position.  It shall be circular in cross-section.

13.  Ground Under Repair
'Ground under repair' is any portion of the course so marked by order of the Committee concerned or so declared by its authorised representative.  It includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked.  Stakes and lines defining ground under repair are not in such ground.

14. Hazards
A 'hazard' is any bunker or water hazard.  Bare patches, scrapes, roads, tracks and paths are not hazards.
a.  A 'bunker' is an area of bare ground, often a depression, which is usually covered with sand.  Grass-covered ground bordering or within a bunker is not part of the hazard.
b.  A 'water hazard' is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (regardless of whether or not it contains water) and anything of a similar nature.
All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard, whether or not it be covered with any growing substance, is part of the water hazard.  The margin of a water hazard is deemed to extend vertically upwards.
c. A 'lateral water hazard' is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard so situated that it is not possible or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable to drop a ball behind the water hazard and keep the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between the player and the hole.
d. It is the duty of the Committee in charge of a course to define accurately the extent of the hazards and water hazards when there is any doubt.  That part of a hazard to be played as a lateral water hazard should be distinctively marked. Stakes and lines defining the margins of hazards are not in the hazards.

15.  Hole
The 'hole' shall be 4 inches (108mm) in diameter and at least 4 inches (100mm) deep.  If a lining be used, it shall be sunk at least 1 inch (25mm) below the putting green surface unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so; its outer diameter shall not exceed 4 inches (108mm).

16.  Honour
The side entitled to play first from the teeing ground is said to have the 'honour'.

17.  Loose Impediments
The term 'Loose impediments' denotes natural objects not fixed or growing and not adhering to the ball, and includes stones not solidly embedded, leaves, twigs, branches and the like, dung, worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them.
Snow and ice are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.
Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere on the course.

18.  Marker
A 'marker' is a scorer in stroke play who is appointed by the Committee to record a competitor's score.  He may be a fellow-competitor.  He is not a referee
A marker should not lift a ball or mark its position unless authorised to do so by the competitor and, unless he is a fellow-competitor, should not attend the flagstick or stand at the hole or mark its position.

19.  Observer
An 'observer' is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule or Local Rule.  An observer should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

20.  Obstructions
An 'obstruction' is anything artificial, whether erected, placed or left on the course, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths but excepting:
a.  Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
b.  In water hazards, artificially surfaced banks or beds, including bridge supports when part of such a bank.  Bridges and bridge supports which are not part of such a bank are obstructions;
c. Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course.

21.  Out of Bounds
'Out of bounds' is ground on which play is prohibited.
When out of bounds is fixed by stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level; the line is deemed to extend vertically upwards.
When out of bounds is fixed by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds.
A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds.

22.  Outside Agency
An 'outside agency' is any agency not part of the match or, in stroke play, not part of a competitor's side, and includes a referee, a marker, an observer, or a forecaddie employed by the Committee. Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.

23.  Partner
A 'partner' is a player associated with another player on the same side.
In a threesome, foursome, or a four-ball where the context so admits, the word 'player' shall be held to include his partner.

24.  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.

25.  Putting Green
The 'putting green' is all ground of the hole being played which is specially prepared for putting or otherwise defined as such by the Committee.
A ball is deemed to be on the putting green when any part of it touches the putting green.

26.  Referee
A 'referee' is a person who has been appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and of golf law.  He shall act on any breach of Rule or Local Rule which he may observe or which may be reported to him by an observer (Definition 19).
In stroke play the Committee may limit a referee's duties.
A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

27.  Rub of the Green
A 'rub of the green' occurs when a ball in motion is stopped or deflected by any outside agency.

28.  Sides and Matches
Side: A player, or two or more players who are partners.
Single: A match in which one plays against another.
Threesome: A match in which one plays against two, and each side plays one ball.
Foursome: A match in which two play against two, and each side plays one ball.
Three-ball: A match in which three play against one another, each playing his own ball.
Best-ball: A match in which one plays against the better ball of two or the best ball of three players.
Four-ball: A match in which two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players.

Note: In a best-ball or four-ball match, if a partner be absent for reasons satisfactory to the Committee, the remaining member(s) of his side may represent the side.

29.  Stance
Taking the 'stance' consists in a player placing his feet in position for and preparatory to making a stroke.

30.  Stipulated Round
The 'stipulated round' consists of playing the holes of the course in their correct sequence unless otherwise authorised by the Committee.
The number of holes in a stipulated round is 18 unless a smaller number is authorised by the Committee.
In match play only, the Committee may, for the purpose of settling a tie, extend the stipulated round to as many holes as are required for a match to be won.

31.  Stroke
A 'stroke' is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of fairly striking at and moving the ball.

32.  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.

33.  Teeing Ground
The 'teeing ground' is the starting place for the hole to be played.  It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers.  A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the stipulated area.
When playing the first stroke with any ball (including a provisional ball) from the teeing ground, the tee-markers are immovable obstructions (Definition 20).

34.  Terms used in Reckoning in Match Play
In match play, the reckoning of holes is kept by the terms:- so many 'holes up' or 'all square', and so many 'to play'.
A side is 'dormie' when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.

35.  Through the Green
'Through the green' is the whole area of the course except:-
a. Teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played;
b. All hazards on the course.

36.  Types of Club
There are three recognised types of golf club:-
An 'iron' club is one with a head which usually is relatively narrow from face to back, and usually is made of steel.
A 'wood' club is one with a head relatively broad from face to back, and usually made of wood, plastic or a light metal.
A 'putter' is a club designed primarily for use on the putting green - see definition 25.



SECTION III - THE RULES OF PLAY

Rule 1. The Game

The Game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match Play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Disqualification.


Rule 2.  The Club (Def. 36) and the Ball

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association reserve the right to change the Rules and the interpretations regulating clubs and balls at any time.

1.  Legal Clubs and Balls
The player's clubs, and the balls he uses, shall conform with Clauses 2 and 3 of this Rule.

2.  Form and Make of Clubs
a. General Characteristics
The golf club shall be composed of a shaft and a head, and all of the various parts shall be fixed so that the club is one unit; the club shall not be designed to be adjustable, except for weight.
Note: Playing characteristics not to be changed during a round - Rule 2-2b.
The club shall not be substantially different from the traditional and customary form and make, and shall conform with the regulations governing the design of clubs at Appendix II and the specifications for markings on clubs at Appendix III.
b. Playing Characteristics not to be Changed
The playing characteristics of a club shall not be purposely changed during a round; foreign material shall not be added to the club face at any time.
Note: Players in doubt as to the legality of clubs are advised to consult the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. If a manufacturer is in doubt as to the legality of a club which he proposes to manufacture, he should submit a sample to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club for a ruling, such sample to become the property of the Club for reference purposes.

3.  The Ball
a. Specifications

The weight of the ball shall be not greater than 1.620 ounces avoirdupois (45.93gm) and the size not less than 1.620 inches (41.15mm) in diameter.
The velocity of the ball shall be not greater than 250 feet (76.2m) per second when measured on apparatus approved by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews: a maximum tolerance of 2% will be allowed. The temperature of the ball when so tested shall be 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Centigrade).

Note 1: Under the Rules of the United States Golf Association, the size of the ball shall be not less than 1.680 inches (42.67mm) in diameter, but in international team competitions the size of the ball shall be not less than 1.620 inches (41.15mm) in diameter.
Note 2: In laying down the conditions under which a competition is to be played (Rule 36-1) the Committee may stipulate that the ball to be used shall be of certain specifications provided these specifications are within the limits prescribed by Rule 2-3a.
b. Foreign Material prohibited
Foreign material shall not be applied to a ball for the purpose of changing its playing characteristics

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:  Disqualification


Rule 3.  Maximum of Fourteen Clubs

1. Selection and Replacement of Clubs
The player shall start a stipulated round with not more than fourteen clubs. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round except that, without unduly delaying play, he may:
a. If he started with fewer than fourteen, add as many as will bring his total to that number;
b. Replace, with any club, a club which becomes unfit for play in the normal course of play.
The addition or replacement of a club or clubs may not be made by borrowing from any other person playing on the course.

2. Sides May Share Clubs
Partners may share clubs, provided that the total number of clubs carried by the side does not exceed fourteen.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 3-1 or 3-2, REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF WRONG CLUBS CARRIED:
Match Play - Loss of one hole for each hole at which any violation occurred; maximum penalty per round: loss of two holes.  The penalty shall be applied to the state of the match at the conclusion of the hole at which the violation is discovered, provided all players in the match have not left the putting green of the last hole of the match.
Stroke play - Two strokes for each hole at which any violation occurred; maximum penalty per round: four strokes.
Stableford competitions - From total points scored for the round, deduction of two points for each hole at which any violation occurred; maximum deduction per round: four points.

Note: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.

3. Wrong Club Declared Out of Play
Any club carried or used in violation of this Rule shall be declared out of play by the player immediately upon discovery and thereafter shall not be used by the player during the round under penalty of disqualification.


Rule 4.  Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited

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 5.  General Penalty

Except when otherwise provided for, the penalty for a breach of a Rule or Local Rule is:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 6.  Match Play

1. Winner of Hole
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 the fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole.

2. Halved Hole
A 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 incur any penalty, the hole is halved.

3. Winner of Match
A match (which consists of a stipulated round, unless otherwise decreed by the Committee) is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played.


Rule 7.  Stroke Play

1. General Rule
The Rules for match play, so far as they are not at variance with specific Rules for stroke play, shall apply to stroke competitions.  The converse is not true.

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

3. Failure to Hole Out
If a competitor fail to hole out at any hole 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, he shall be disqualified.
(Ball purposely moved, touched or lifted - Rule 27-1c)
.


Rule 8.  Practice

1. During Play of Hole
During the play of a hole, a player shall not play any practice stroke.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-1:
Match play - loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes

2. Between Holes
Between the play of two holes, a player shall not play a practice stroke from any hazard, or on to a putting green other than of the hole last played.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-2:
*Match play - loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes
*The penalty applies to the next hole.

3.  Stroke Play
On any day of a stroke competition or play-off, a competitor shall not practice on the competition course before a round or play-off.  When a competition extends over consecutive days, practice on the competition course between rounds is prohibited.
If a competition extending over consecutive days is to be played on more than one course, practice between rounds on any competition course remaining to be played is prohibited.
Note: The Committee may, at its discretion, waive or modify these prohibitions in the conditions of the competition (Appendix I-3)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 8-3:  Disqualification.
(Duty of Committee to define practice ground - Rule 36-4b)

Note 1: A practice swing is not a practice stroke and may be taken at any place on the course provided the player does not violate the Rules.
Note 2: Unless otherwise decided by the Committee, there is no penalty for practice on the course on any day of a match play competition.


Rule 9.  Advice (Def. 2) and Assistance

1.  Giving or Asking for Advice; Receiving Assistance
a. Advice

A player may give advice to, or ask advice from, only his partner or either of their caddies.
b. Assistance
In making a stroke, a player shall not seek or accept physical assistance or protection from the elements.

2.  Indicating Line of Play
Except on the putting green, a player may have the line of play indicated to him by anyone, but no mark shall be placed to indicate the line, nor shall anyone stand on or close to the line while the stroke is being played.
(Indicating line of play on putting green - Rule 35-1e)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 10.  Information as to Strokes Taken

1. General
A player who has incurred a penalty shall state the fact to his opponent or marker as soon as possible.  The number of strokes a player has taken shall include any penalty strokes incurred.

2.  Match Play
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 fail to do so, he shall lose the hole.


Rule 11.  Disputes, Decisions and Doubt as to Rights

1.  Claims and Penalties
a. Match Play

In match play, if a dispute or doubt arise between the players on any point, in order that a claim may be considered it must be made before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the match, before all players in the match leave the putting green.  Any later claim based on newly discovered facts cannot be considered unless the player making the claim had been given wrong information by an opponent.
b. Stroke play
In stroke play no penalty shall be imposed after the competition is closed unless wrong information had been given by the competitor.
A competition is deemed to have closed:-
In stroke play only - When the result of the competition is officially announced;
In stroke play qualifying followed by match play - When the player has teed off in his first match.

2.  Referee's Decision
If a referee has been appointed by the Committee, his decision shall be final.

3. Committee's Decision
In the absence of a referee, the players shall refer any dispute to the Committee, whose decision shall be final.
If the Committee cannot come to a decision, it shall refer the dispute to the Rules of Golf Committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, whose decision shall be final.
If the point in dispute or doubt has not been referred to the Rules of Golf Committee, the player or players have the right to refer an agreed statement through the Secretary of the Club to the Rules of Golf Committee for an opinion as to the correctness of the decision given.  The reply will be sent to the Secretary of the Club or Clubs concerned.
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.

4.  Decision by Equity
If any point in dispute be not covered by the Rules or Local Rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with equity.

5. Stroke play: Doubt as to Procedure
In stroke play only, when a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, he may play out the hole with both the original ball and, at the same time, an alternate ball in a manner that he believes may be proper under the Rules for the given situation.   The competitor's decision to invoke this Rule must be announced to his marker before the alternate ball is put into play and before any stroke is played with the original ball from the doubtful situation.
The competitor must complete the hole with both balls and, on completing the round, report the facts immediately to the Committee. If the Committee determine that the alternate ball was put into play in accordance with the Rules, the score with the alternate ball shall count.

Note 1: If the original ball is not immediately recoverable, the first ball put into play shall be treated as the original ball.
Note 2: The sole purpose of this Rule is to enable a competitor to avoid disqualification when doubtful of his rights or procedure.
Note 3: The privilege of playing an alternate ball does not exist in match play.  An alternate ball played under Rule 11-5 is not a provisional ball under Rule 30

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 11-5:
Two Strokes.
Note: A serious breach of Rule 11-5 should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.


Rule 12.  The Honour

1.  The Honour
a. 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 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.
b. Stroke play
The honour shall be taken as in match play.

2. Playing Out of Turn
a.  Match play
If, on the teeing ground, a player play when his opponent should have played, the opponent may immediately require the player to abandon the ball so played and to play a ball in correct order, without penalty.
b. 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 in play.
c. Second Ball from the Tee
If a player plays a second ball, including a provisional ball, from the tee, he should do so after the opponent or the fellow-competitor has played his first stroke. If a player play a second ball out of turn, the provisions of Clauses 2a and 2b of this Rule apply.


Rule 13.  Playing Outside Teeing Ground (Def 33)

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

2. Stroke Play
If a competitor, when starting a hole, play his first stroke from outside the teeing ground, he shall count that stroke and any subsequent stroke so played and then tee a ball and play from within the teeing ground, without penalty. If the competitor fail to rectify his mistake before making a stroke on the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before leaving the putting green, he shall be disqualified.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 13-2Disqualification

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


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 is moving or not, the stroke shall be counted but no penalty shall be incurred.


Rule 15.  Order of Play in Threesome and Foursome

1.  General
In a threesome or a foursome, the partners shall strike off alternately from the teeing grounds, and thereafter shall strike alternately during play of each hole.  Penalty strokes (Definition 24) do not affect the order of play.

2.  Match Play
If a player play when his partner should have played, his side shall lose the hole.
In a match comprising more than one stipulated round, the partners shall not change the order of striking from the teeing grounds after any stipulated round.

3.  Stroke Play
If the partners play a stroke or strokes in incorrect order, such stroke or strokes shall be cancelled, and the side shall be penalised two strokes.  A ball shall then be put in play as nearly as possible at the spot from which the side first played in incorrect order. This must be done before a stroke has been played from the next teeing ground, or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before the side has left the putting green.  If they fail to do so, they shall be disqualified.
If the first ball was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.

Note: As in stroke play a stipulated round cannot be more than 18 holes (Def. 30), the order of play between partners may be changed for a second or subsequent round, unless the conditions of the competition provide otherwise.


Rule 16.  Ball Played as it Lies and not Touched

The ball shall be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the Rules and Local Rules.
(Ball at rest moved by player, purposely - Rule 27-1c)
(Ball at rest moved by player, accidentally - 27-1d)
(Ball at rest moving accidentally after address - Rule 27-1f)


Rule 17.  Improving Lie or Stance and Influencing Ball Prohibited

1. Improving Line of Play or Lie Prohibited
A player shall not improve, or allow to be improved, his line of play, the position or lie of his ball or the area of his intended swing by moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing, or by removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, cut turf placed in position, or other irregularities of surface except:
a. As may occur in the course of fairly taking his stance;
b. In making the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke;
c. On the teeing ground a player may press down irregularities;
d. In repairing damage to the putting green under Rule 35-1c.

The club may be grounded only lightly and must not be pressed on the ground.
(Sand and loose soil on the putting green - Def 17 and Rule 35-1b)
(Removal of obstructions - Rule 31-1)

Note: Things fixed include objects defining out of bounds.

2.  Long Grass and Bushes
If a ball lie in long grass, rushes, 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 may in any way improve its lie.
The player is not of necessity entitled to see his ball when playing a stroke.

3.  Building a Stance Prohibited
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.

4.  Exerting Influence on Ball
No player or caddie shall take any action to influence the position or the movement of a ball except in accordance with the Rules.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes

Note: In the case of a serious breach of Rule 17-4, the Committee may impose a penalty of disqualification.


Rule 18.  Loose Impediments (Def 17)

Any loose impediment may be removed without penalty, except when both the impediment and the ball lie in or touch a hazard.  When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment shall not be removed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke Play - Two strokes
(Ball moving after loose impediment touched Rule 27-1e)
(Finding ball in Hazard - Rule 33-1e)


Rule 19.  Striking at Ball

1. 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 19-1:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke Play - Two strokes

2. Striking Ball Twice
If the player strike the ball twice when making a stroke, he shall count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.

(Playing a moving ball - Rule 25).


Rule 20.   Ball Farther from the Hole Played First

1. General
When the balls are in play, the ball farther from the hole shall be played first.  If the balls are equidistant from the hole, the option of playing first shall be decided by lot.
A player or a competitor incurs no penalty if a ball is moved in measuring to determine which ball is farther from the hole.  A ball so moved shall be replaced.

2. Match Play
Through the green or in a hazard, if a player play when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke.  In such a 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.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 20-2:
Loss of hole
(Playing out of turn on putting green - Rule 35-2b)

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


Rule 21  Playing a Wrong Ball (Def 5) or from a Wrong Place

1. General
A player must hole out with the ball driven from the teeing ground unless a Rule or Local Rule permits him to substitute another ball.

2. Match Play
a. Wrong Ball

If a player play a stroke with a wrong ball except in a hazard, he shall lose the hole.  There is no penalty if a player play any strokes in a hazard with a wrong ball provided he then play the correct ball; the strokes so played with a wrong ball do not count in the player's score.  If the wrong ball belong to another player, it shall be replaced where it originally lay.
When the player and the opponent exchange balls, the first to play the wrong ball other than from a hazard shall lose the hole; when this cannot be determined, the hole shall be played out with the balls exchanged.
b. Ball Played from Wrong Place
If a player play a stroke with a ball which has been dropped or placed under an applicable Rule but in a wrong place, he shall lose the hole.
Note: For a ball played outside teeing ground, see Rule 13-1.

3. Stroke Play
a. Wrong Ball

If a competitor play any strokes with a wrong ball (Def 5) except in a hazard, he shall add two penalty strokes to his score for the hole and shall then play the correct ball.  Strokes played by a competitor with a wrong ball do not count in his score.  There is no penalty if a competitor play any strokes in a hazard with a wrong ball, provided he then play the correct ball.
If the wrong ball belong to another player, a ball shall be placed on the spot where the original ball lay.
b. Rectification After Holing Out
If a competitor hole out with a wrong ball, he may rectify his mistake by proceeding in accordance with Clause 3a of this Rule, subject to the prescribed penalty, provided he 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.
The competitor shall be disqualified if he does not so rectify his mistake.
c. Ball Played from Wrong Place
If a competitor play a stroke with a ball which has been dropped or placed under an applicable Rule but in a wrong place, he shall add two penalty strokes to his score for the hole and shall then play out the hole with that ball.
Note 1: For a ball played outside teeing ground, see Rule 13-2.
Note 2: A serious breach of Rule 21-3c should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.


Rule 22.   Lifting, Dropping and Placing

1.  Lifting
A ball to be lifted under the Rules or Local Rules may be lifted by the owner, his partner or either of their caddies, or by another person authorised by the owner. In any such case the owner shall be responsible for any breach of the Rules or Local Rules.
Note: A referee or observer should not lift a ball or mark its position. (Defs. 19 and 26)

2.  Dropping
a. How to Drop

A ball to be dropped under the Rules or Local Rules shall be dropped by the player himself. He shall face the hole, stand erect, and drop the ball behind him over his shoulder. If a ball be dropped in any other manner and remain the ball in play (Definition 5), the player shall incur a penalty stroke.
If the ball touch the player before it strikes the ground, the player shall re-drop without penalty. If the ball touch the player after it strikes the ground or if it come to rest against the player and move when he then moves, there is no penalty, and the ball shall be played as it lies.
b. Where to Drop
When a ball is to be dropped, it shall be dropped as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, except when a Rule permits it to be dropped elsewhere or placed. In a hazard, the ball must come to rest in that hazard; if it roll out of the hazard, it must be re-dropped, without penalty.
c.  Rolling into Hazard, Out of Bounds, Two Club-Lengths or Nearer the Hole
If a dropped ball roll into a hazard, out of bounds, more than two club lengths from the point where it first struck the ground, or come to rest nearer the hole than its original position, it shall be re-dropped without penalty. If the ball again roll into such a position, it shall be placed where it first struck the ground when re-dropped.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 22-2:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.

3.   Placing
a. How and Where to Place

A ball to be placed or replaced under the Rules or Local Rules shall be placed by the player, his partner or either of their caddies, on the spot where the ball lay, except when a Rule permits it to be placed elsewhere.
b. Lie of Ball to be Placed or Replaced Altered
If the original lie of a ball to be placed or replaced has been altered, the ball shall be placed in the nearest lie most similar to that which it originally occupied, not more than two club lengths from the original lie and not nearer the hole.
c. Spot Not Determinable
If it be impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be placed, through the green or in a hazard the ball shall be dropped, or on the putting green it shall be placed, as near as possible to the place where it lay, but not nearer the hole.
d.  Ball Moving
If a ball when placed fail to remain on the spot on which it was being placed, it shall be replaced without penalty. If it still fail to remain on that spot, it shall be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole where it can be placed at rest.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 22-3:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.

4.  Ball in Play when Dropped or Placed
A ball dropped or placed under a Rule governing the particular case is in play (Definition 5) and shall not be lifted or re-dropped or replaced except as provided in the Rules.

5.  Lifting Ball Wrongly Dropped or Placed
A ball dropped or placed but not played may be lifted without penalty if:-
a. It was dropped or placed under a Rule governing the particular case but not in the right place or otherwise not in accordance with that Rule. The player shall then drop or place the ball in accordance with the governing Rule.
b. It was dropped or placed under a Rule which does not govern the particular case. The player shall then proceed under a Rule which governs the case. However, in match play, if, before the opponent plays his next stroke, the player fail to inform him that the ball has been lifted, the player shall lose the hole.

Note: In stroke play a serious breach of Rule 22 should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.


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Rule 23.  Identifying or Cleaning Ball

The responsibility for playing the proper ball rests with the player. Each player should put an identification mark on his ball

1.  Identifying Ball
Except in a hazard, the player may, without penalty, lift his ball in play for the purpose of identification and replace it on the spot from which it was lifted provided this is done in the presence of his opponent in match play or marker in stroke play.
(Touching grass, etc., for identification - Rule 17-2)

2.  Cleaning Ball
A ball may be cleaned when lifted as follows:-

From an unplayable lie under Rule 29-2;
For relief from an obstruction under Rule 31;
From casual water, ground under repair, or otherwise under Rule 32;
From a water hazard under Rule 33-2 or 33-3;
On the putting green under Rule 35-1d or on a wrong putting green under Rule 35-1j.
Otherwise, during the play of a hole a player may not clean a ball, except to the extent necessary for identification or if permitted by Local Rule.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE;
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 24.  Ball Interfering with Play

Through the green or in a hazard, a player may have any other ball lifted if he consider that it might interfere with his play. A ball so lifted shall be replaced after the player has played his stroke.
If a ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball so moved shall be replaced.
(Lie of lifted ball altered - Rule 22-3b)
(Putting green - Rule 35-2a and 35-3a.)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 25.  A Moving Ball

1.  Playing Moving Ball Prohibited
A player shall not play while his ball is moving.
Exceptions:-

Ball falling off tee - Rule 14.
Striking ball twice - Rule 19-2.
As hereunder Rule 25-2.

When the ball only begins to move after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, he shall incur no penalty under this Rule, but he is not exempted from the provisions for:
Ball at Rest Moved by Player, Accidentally - Rule 27-1d.
Ball at Rest Moving after Loose Impediment Touched - Rule 27-1e.
Ball at Rest Moving Accidentally after Address - Rule 27-1f.

2.  Ball Moving in Water
When a ball is in water in a water hazard, 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. A ball moving in water in a water hazard may be lifted if the player elect to invoke Rule 33-2 or 33-3.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;   Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 26.  Ball in Motion Stopped or Deflected

1.  General
a. By Outside Agency

If a ball in motion be accidentally 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.
Exception: - On putting green - Rule 35-lh.
b. Lodging in Outside Agency
If a ball lodge in any moving outside agency, 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.

2.  Match Play
a. By Player

If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, he shall lose the hole.
b. By Opponent
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, the opponent's side shall lose the hole.
(Ball striking opponent's ball - Rule 27-2b)
Exception:
Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b

3.  Stroke play
a. By Competitor

If a competitor's ball be accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes. The ball shall be played as it lies, except when it lodges in the competitor's, his partner's or either of their caddies' clothes or equipment, in which case the competitor shall, through the green or in a hazard, drop the ball, or on the putting green place the ball, as near as possible to where the article was when the ball lodges in it.
b. By Fellow-Competitor
If a competitor's ball be accidentally stopped or deflected by a fellow-competitor, his caddie, ball or 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 1b of the Rule
On the putting green, ball striking fellow-competitor's ball in play - Rule 35-3c
Ball played from putting green stopped or deflected by fellow-competitor, his caddie or equipment - Rule 35-1h.
Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  stroke play - Two strokes

Note: If the referee or the Committee determine that a ball has been deliberately stopped or deflected by an outside agency, including a fellow-competitor or his caddie, further procedure should be prescribed in equity under Rule 11-4. On the putting green, Rule 35-1h applies.


Rule 27.  Ball at Rest Moved (Def 3)

1.  General
a. By Outside Agency

If a ball at rest be moved by an outside agency, the player shall incur no penalty and shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
(Opponent's ball moved by player's ball - Rule 27-2b)

Note 1: Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.
Note 2: If the ball moved is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substituted.
b. During Search
During search for a ball, if it be moved by an opponent, a fellow-competitor or the equipment or caddie of either, no penalty shall be incurred. The player shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
c. By Player, Purposely
When a ball is in play, if a player, his partner or either of their caddies purposely move, touch or lift it, except as provided for in the Rules or Local Rules, the player shall incur a penalty stroke and the ball shall be replaced. The player may, however, without penalty, touch the ball with his club in the act of addressing it, provided the ball does not move (Def 3).
d. By Player, Accidentally
When a ball is in play, if a player, his partner, their equipment or either of their caddies accidentally move it, or by touching anything cause it to move, except as otherwise provided for in the Rules or Local Rules, the player shall incur a penalty stroke and the ball shall be replaced.
(Ball accidentally moved when measuring to determine which ball farther from hole - Rule 20-1)
(Ball accidentally moved in the process of marking - Rule 35-2a or 35-3a)

e. Ball Moving after Loose Impediment Touched
Through the green, if the ball move before the player has addressed it but after any loose impediment lying within a club length of it 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. The penalty shall be one stroke, and the ball shall be replaced.
(Loose impediment on putting green - Rule 35-1b)
f. Ball Moving Accidentally After Address
If a ball in play move after a player has addressed it (Def 1), he shall be deemed to have caused it to move and shall incur a penalty stroke, and the ball shall be played as it lies.

2.   Match Play
a. By Opponent

If a player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided in the Rules), the opponent shall incur a penalty stroke. The player shall replace the ball before playing another stroke.
b. Opponent's Ball Moved by Player's Ball
If a player's ball move an opponent's ball, no penalty shall be incurred. The opponent may either play his ball as it lies or, before another stroke is played by either side, he may replace the ball.
If the player's ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the opponent's ball and the opponent declare his intention to replace the ball, the player shall first play another stroke, after which the opponent shall replace his ball.
(Putting green - Rule 35-2c)
(Three-ball, Best-ball and Four-Ball match play - Rule 40-1c)

3.  Stroke Play
Ball Moved by a Fellow-Competitor

If a competitor's ball be moved by a fellow-competitor, his caddie, ball or equipment, no penalty shall be incurred. The competitor shall replace his ball before playing another stroke.

Exception to Penalty:  Ball striking fellow-competitor's ball on putting green - Rule 35-3c

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  *Stroke play - Two strokes
(Playing a wrong ball - Rule 21)

Note 1: If a player who is required to replace a ball fail to do so, the general penalty for a breach of this Rule will apply in addition to any other penalty incurred.
*Note 2: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1


Rule 28.  Ball Unfit For Play

If the ball become so damaged as to be unfit for play, the player may substitute another ball, placing it on the spot where the original ball lay. Substitution may only be made on the hole during the play of which the damage occurred and in the presence of the opponent in match play or the marker in stroke play.
If a ball break into pieces as a result of a stroke, the stroke shall be replayed, without penalty

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.
(Ball unplayable - Rule 29-2.)

Note 1: Mud or loose impediments adhering to the ball do not make it unfit for play.
Note 2: A player is not the sole judge as to whether his ball is unfit for play. If the opponent or the marker dispute a claim of unfitness, the referee, if one is present, or the Committee shall settle the matter (Rule 11-2 or 11-3).


Rule 29.  Ball Lost (Def. 6) Out Of Bounds (Def. 21) or Unplayable

1.  Lost or Out of Bounds
a. Procedure

If a ball be lost outside a water hazard or be out of bounds, the player shall play his next stroke as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played or moved by him, adding a penalty stroke to his score for the hole. If the original stroke was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.
(Ball lost in casual water, ground under repair, etc. - Rule 32-3)
b. Ascertaining Location
A player has the right at any time of ascertaining whether his opponent's ball is out of bounds.
A person outside the match may point out the location of a ball for which search is being made.
c. Standing Out of Bounds
A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

2.  Unplayable
a. Player Sole Judge

The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable. It may be declared unplayable at any place on the course except in a water hazard (Rule 33-2, -3)
b. Procedure
If the player deem his ball to be unplayable, he shall either:-
(i) Play his next stroke as provided in Clause 1a of this Rule (stroke-and-distance penalty),
or

(ii) Drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, either (a) within two club-lengths of the point where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, or (b) behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point between himself and the hole, with no limit to how far behind that point the ball may be dropped. If the ball lay in a bunker, a ball must be dropped in the bunker.
(Ball in casual water, etc.- Rule 32)
(Ball unfit for play - Rule 28)

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  *Stroke play - Two strokes.

*Note : A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.


Rule 30.   Provisional Ball (Def. 5)

1.  Procedure
If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard, or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally as nearly as possible from the spot at which the original ball was played. If the original ball was played from the teeing ground, a ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground; if from through the green or a hazard, it shall be dropped; if on the putting green, it shall be placed.
a. The player must inform his opponent or marker that he intends to play a provisional ball, and he must play it before he or his partner goes forward to search for the original ball: if he fail to do so, and play another ball, such ball is not a provisional ball and becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 29-1); the original ball must be abandoned.
b. Play of a provisional ball from the teeing ground does not affect the order in which the sides play (Rule 12-2).
c. A provisional ball is never an outside agency.

2.  Play of Provisional Ball
a. The player may play a provisional ball until he reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If he play any strokes with the provisional ball from a point beyond that place, the original ball is deemed to be lost (Def 6c).
b. If the original ball be lost outside a water hazard or be out of bounds, the provisional ball becomes the ball in play, under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 29-1).
c. If the original ball be neither lost outside a water hazard nor out of bounds, the player shall abandon the provisional ball and continue play with the original ball. Should he fail to do so, any further strokes played with the provisional ball shall constitute playing a wrong ball and the provisions of Rule 21 shall apply.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.
Note: If the original ball be unplayable or lie or be lost in a water hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 29-2 or Rule 33-2 or 33-3, whichever is applicable.


Rule 31.   Obstructions (Def. 20)

1. Movable Obstruction may be Removed
Any movable obstruction may be removed. If the ball be moved in so doing, it shall be replaced on the exact spot from which it was moved, without penalty. If it be impossible to determine the spot or to replace the ball, the player shall proceed in accordance with Rule 22-3.
When a ball is in motion, an obstruction other than an attended flagstick and equipment of the players shall not be removed.

2.  Interference by Immovable Obstruction
a. Interference

Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or so close to the obstruction that the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing. The fact that an immovable obstruction intervenes on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under this Rule.
b. Relief
A player may obtain relief from interference by an immovable obstruction, without penalty, as follows:-

(i) Through the Green: Through the green, the nearest point shall be determined (without crossing over, through or under the obstruction) which (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids interference as defined in Clause 2a of this Rule, and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. He shall lift the ball and drop it within two club-lengths of the point thus determined on ground which fulfils (a), (b) and (c) above.

Note: The prohibition against crossing over, through or under the obstruction does not apply to the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths or when the ball lies in or on the obstruction.

(ii) In a Hazard: In a hazard, the player may lift and drop the ball in accordance with Clause (i) above, but that the ball must be dropped in the hazard.
(iii) On the Putting Green: On the putting green, the player may lift and place the ball in the nearest position to where it lay which affords relief from interference, but not nearer the hole.

c. Re-dropping
If a dropped ball roll into a position covered by this Rule, or nearer the hole than its original position, it shall be re-dropped without penalty. If it again roll into such a position, it shall be placed where it first struck the ground when re-dropped.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes


Rule 32.  Casual Water (Def. 8), Ground Under Repair (Def. 13), Hole Made By Burrowing Animal

1.  Interference
Interference by casual water, ground under repair, or a hole, cast or runway made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird occurs when a ball lies in or touch any of these conditions or when the condition interferes with the player's stance or the area of his intended swing. If interference exists, the player may either play the ball as it lies or take relief as provided in Clause 2 of this Rule.

2. Relief
If he player elect to take relief, he shall proceed as follows:-
a. Through the Green

Through the green, the nearest point shall be determined which (a) is not nearer the hole, (b) avoids interference by the condition, and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. The player shall lift the ball and drop it without penalty within two club-lengths of the point thus determined on ground which fulfils (a), (b) and (c) above.
b. In a Hazard
In a hazard, the player shall lift and drop the ball either:-
Without penalty, in the hazard as near as possible to the spot where the ball lay, but not nearer the hole, on ground which affords maximum relief from the condition;
or
Under penalty of one stroke
, outside the hazard, but not nearer the hole, keeping the spot where the ball lay between himself and the hole.
c. On the Putting Green
On the putting green, or if such condition on the putting green intervene between a ball lying on the putting green and the hole, the player shall lift the ball and place it without penalty in the nearest position to where it lay which affords maximum relief from these conditions, but not nearer the hole nor in a hazard.

3. Ball Lost
a. Outside a Hazard

If a ball be lost under a condition covered by this Rule, except in a hazard, the player may take relief as follows: the nearest point to the spot where the ball last crossed the margin of the area shall be determined which (a) is not nearer the hole than where the ball last crossed that margin, (b) avoids interference by the condition, and (c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. He shall drop a ball without penalty within two club-lengths of the point thus determined on ground which fulfils (a), (b) and (c) above.
b. In a Hazard
If a ball be lost in a hazard under a condition covered by this Rule, the player may drop a ball either:-

Without penalty, in the hazard, but not nearer the hole than the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the area, on ground which affords maximum relief from these conditions;
or
Under penalty of one stroke
, outside the hazard, but not nearer the hole, keeping the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between himself and the hole.
In order that a ball may be treated as lost under a condition covered by this Rule, there must be reasonable evidence to that effect.

4. Re-Dropping
If a dropped ball roll into the area from which relief was taken, or come to rest in such a position that area still affects the player's stance or the area of his intended swing, the ball shall be re-dropped, without penalty. If the ball again roll into such a position, it shall be placed where it first struck the ground when re-dropped.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  Stroke play - Two strokes.


Rule 33.  Hazards (Def. 14)

1. Touching Hazard Prohibited
When a ball lies in or touches a hazard or a water hazard, nothing shall be done which may in any way improve its lie. Before making a stroke, the player shall not touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with a club or otherwise, nor touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard, nor test the condition of the hazard or of any similar hazard; subject to the following considerations:-
a. Stance
The player may place his feet firmly in taking his stance.
b. Touching Fixed or Growing Object
In addressing the ball, or in the stroke or in the backward movement for the stroke, the club may touch any wooden or stone wall, paling or similar fixed object or any grass, bush, tree, or other growing substance (but the club may not be soled in the hazard).
c. Obstructions
The player is entitled to relief from obstructions under the provisions of Rule 31.
d. Loose Impediment Outside Hazard
Any loose impediment not in or touching the hazard may be removed.
e. Finding Ball
If the ball be covered by sand, fallen leaves or the like, the player may remove as much thereof as will enable him to see the top of the ball. If the ball be moved in such removal, no penalty shall be incurred, and the ball shall be replaced.
If the ball is believed to be lying in water in a water hazard, the player may probe for it with a club or otherwise. If the ball be moved in such search, no penalty shall be incurred; the ball shall be replaced, unless the player elects to proceed under Clause 2 or 3 of this Rule.
The ball may not be lifted for identification.
f. Placing Clubs in Hazard
The player may, without penalty, place his clubs in the hazard prior to making a stroke, provided nothing is done which may improve the lie of the ball or constitute testing the soil.
g. Smoothing Irregularities
There is no penalty should soil or sand in the hazard be smoothed by the player after playing a stroke, or by his caddie at any time without the authority of the player, provided nothing is done that improves the lie of the ball or assists the player in his subsequent play of the hole.
h. Casual Water, Ground under Repair
The player is entitled to relief from casual water, ground under repair, and otherwise as provided for in Rule 32.
i. Interference by a Ball
The player is entitled to relief from interference by another ball under the provisions of Rule 24.

2. Ball in Water Hazard (Def 14b)
If a ball lie or be lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lie in water or not), the player may drop a ball, under penalty of one stroke, either:-

a. Behind the water hazard, keeping the spot at which the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard between himself and the hole, and with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped,
or
b. As near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was played; if the stroke was played from the teeing ground, the ball may be teed anywhere within the teeing ground.

Note: If a ball has been played from within a water hazard and has not crossed any margin of the hazard, the player may drop a ball behind the hazard under Rule 33-2a.

3. Ball in Lateral Water Hazard (Def. 14c)
If a ball lie or be lost in a lateral water hazard, the player may, under penalty of one stroke either:-

a. Play his next stroke in accordance with Clause 2a or 2b of this Rule,
or
b. Drop a ball outside the hazard within two club-lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard or a point on the opposite margin of the hazard equidistant from the hole. The dropped ball must come to rest not nearer the hole than the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard.

Note :If a ball has been played from within a lateral water hazard and has not crossed any margin of the hazard, the player may drop a ball behind the hazard under Rule 33-3b.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE:
Match play - Loss of hole;  *Stroke play - Two strokes.

*Note 1: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.
Note 2: It is a question of fact whether a ball lost after having been struck toward a water hazard is lost inside or outside the hazard. In order to treat the ball as lost in the hazard, there must be reasonable evidence that the ball lodged therein. In the absence of such evidence, the ball must be treated as a lost ball and Rule 29-1 applies.


Rule 34.   The Flagstick (Def. 12)

1. Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up
Before and during the stroke, the player may have the flagstick attended, removed or held up to indicate the position of the hole. This may be done only on the authority of the player before he plays his stroke. If the flagstick be attended or removed by an opponent, a fellow-competitor or the caddie of either with the knowledge of the player and no objection is made, the player shall be deemed to have authorised it.
If a player or a caddie attend or remove the flagstick or stand near the hole while a stroke is being played, he shall be deemed to attend the flagstick until the ball comes to rest.
If the flagstick be not attended before the stroke is played, it shall not be attended or removed while the ball is in motion.

2. Unauthorised Attendance
a. Match Play

In match play, an opponent or his caddie shall not attend or remove the flagstick without the knowledge or authority of the player.
b. Stroke Play
In stroke play, if a fellow-competitor or his caddie attend or remove the flagstick without the knowledge or authority of the competitor, and if the ball strike the flagstick or the person attending it, it is a rub of the green, there is no penalty, and the ball shall be played as it lies.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 34-1 AND 34-2:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.

3. Ball Striking Flagstick or Attendant
The player's ball shall not strike either:-

a. The flagstick when attended or removed by the player, his partner or either of their caddies, or by another person with the knowledge or authority of the player; or
b. The player's caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie when attending the flagstick, or another person attending the flagstick with the knowledge or authority of the player, or equipment carried by any such person; or
c. The flagstick in the hole, unattended, when the ball has been played from the putting green.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 34-3:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes, and the ball shall be played as it lies.

4. Ball Resting Against Flagstick
If the ball rest against the flagstick when it is in the hole, the player shall be entitled to have the flagstick removed, and if the ball fall into the hole the player shall be deemed to have holed out at his last stroke; otherwise, the ball shall be placed on the lip of the hole without penalty.

Note: A referee, observer, marker, steward, gallery marshal or other outside agency should not attend the flagstick.


Rule 35 The Putting Green (Def. 25)

1. General
a. Touching Line of Putt

The line of the putt must not be touched except as provided in Clauses 1b, 1c and 1d of this Rule, or in measuring (Rule 20-1), but the player may place the club in front of the ball in addressing it without pressing anything down.
b. Loose Impediments
The player may move sand, loose soil or any loose impediments on the putting green by picking them up or brushing them aside with his hand or a club without pressing anything down. If the ball be moved, it shall be replaced, without penalty.
c. Repair of Ball Marks
The player may repair damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball. If the player's ball lie on the putting green, it may be lifted to permit repair and shall be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted; in match play the ball must be replaced immediately if the opponent so requests.
If a ball be moved during such repair, it shall be replaced, without penalty
d. Lifting and Cleaning Ball
A ball lying on the putting green may be lifted without penalty, cleaned if desired and replaced on the spot from which it was lifted; in match play the ball must be replaced immediately if the opponent so requests.
e. Direction for Putting
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 the line of the putt shall not be touched in front of, to the side of, or behind the hole.
While making the stroke, the player shall not allow his caddie, his partner, or his partner's caddie to position himself on or close to an extension of the line of putt behind the ball.
No mark shall be placed anywhere on the putting green to indicate a line for putting.
f. Testing Surface
During the play of a hole, a player shall not test the surface of the putting green by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.
g. Other Ball to be at Rest
While the player's ball is in motion after a stroke on the putting green, an opponent's or a fellow-competitor's ball shall not be played or touched.
h. Ball in Motion Stopped or Deflected
If a ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green be stopped or deflected by any moving or animate outside agency, the stroke shall be cancelled and the ball shall be replaced.
Note: If the referee or the Committee determine that a ball has been deliberately stopped or deflected by an outside agency, including a fellow-competitor or his caddie, further procedure should be prescribed in equity under Rule 11-4.
i. Ball Overhanging Hole
When any part of the ball overhangs the edge of the hole, the owner of the ball is not allowed more than a few seconds to determine whether it is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest.
j. Ball on a Wrong Putting Green
If a ball lie on a putting green other than that of the hole being played, the nearest point shall be determined which (a) is not nearer the hole and (b) is not in a hazard or on a putting green. The player shall lift the ball and drop it without penalty within two club-lengths of the point thus determined on ground which fulfils (a) and (b) above.
Note: Unless otherwise stipulated by the Committee, the term "a putting green other than that of the hole being played" includes a practice putting or pitching green lying within the boundaries of the course.
k. Ball to be Marked when Lifted
When a ball on the putting green is to be lifted, its position shall be marked.
(Lifting and Placing - Rule 22).
Note: The position of a lifted ball should be marked by placing a ball-marker or other small object on the putting green, immediately behind the ball. If the marker interfere with the play, stance or stroke of another player, it should be placed one or more putterhead-lengths to one side.
L. Standing Astride or on Line of Putt Prohibited
The player shall not make a stroke on the putting green from a stance astride, or with either foot touching, the line of the putt or an extension of that line behind the ball. For the purpose of Rule 35-1L only, the line of putt does not extend beyond the hole.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-1:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.

2. Match Play
a. Ball Interfering with Play

When the ball nearer the hole lies on the putting green, if the player consider that the opponent's ball might either be struck by his ball or interfere with his stance or stroke, the player may require the opponent to lift his ball. The opponent shall replace his ball after the player has played his stroke. If the player's ball stop on the spot formerly occupied by the lifted ball, the player shall first play another stroke before the lifted ball is replaced.
If the player's ball be accidentally moved in complying with this Rule, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball shall be replaced.
b. Playing Out of Turn
If a player play when his opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke, in which case the player shall replace his ball and play in correct order, without penalty.
c. Opponent's Ball Displaced
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 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.
(Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four-Ball match play - Rule 40-1c.)
d. Conceding Opponent's Next Stroke
When the opponent's ball has come to rest, the player may concede the opponent to have holed out with his next stroke and may remove the opponent's ball with a club or otherwise. If the player does not concede the opponent's next stroke and the opponent's ball fall into the hole, the opponent shall be deemed to have holed out with his last stroke.
If the opponent's next stroke has not been conceded, the opponent shall play without delay in correct order.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 35-2:
Loss of hole.

3. Stroke Play
a. Ball Interfering with Play

When the ball nearer the hole lies on the putting green, if the competitor consider that the fellow-competitor's ball might either be struck by his ball or interfere with his stance or stroke, the competitor may require the fellow-competitor to lift or play his ball, at the option of its owner, without penalty.
If a ball be accidentally moved in the process of marking, lifting or replacing, no penalty shall be incurred and the ball so moved shall be replaced.
If the owner of the ball refuse to comply with this Rule when required to do so, the competitor making the request may lift the ball, and the owner of the ball shall be disqualified.
Note: It is recommended that the ball nearer the hole be played, rather than lifted, unless the subsequent play of a fellow-competitor is likely to be affected.
b. Ball Assisting Play
If the fellow-competitor consider that his ball lying on the putting green might be of assistance to the competitor, the fellow-competitor may lift or play first, without penalty.
c. Ball Striking Fellow-Competitor's Ball
When both balls lie on the putting green, if the competitor's ball strike a fellow-competitor's ball, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes and shall play his ball as it lies. The fellow-competitor's ball shall be at once replaced.
d. Ball Lifted Before Holed Out
For ball lifted before holed out, see Rule 7-3 and Rule 27-1c.


Rule 36 The Committee (Def. 9)

1. Conditions
The Committee shall lay down the conditions under which a competition is to be played.
Certain special rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The results of matches played and the scores returned in these circumstances shall not be accepted.

2. Order and Times of Starting
a. General

The Committee shall arrange the order and times of starting.
b. Match Play
When a competition is played over an extended period, the Committee shall lay down the limit of time within which each round 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.
c. Stroke Play
Competitors shall play in couples unless the Committee authorises play by threes or fours. If there be a single competitor, the Committee shall provide him with a player who shall mark for him, or provide a marker and allow him to compete alone, or allow him to compete with another group.

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
a. New Holes

New holes should be made on the day on which a stroke competition begins, and at such other times as the Committee considers necessary, provided all competitors in a single round play with each hole cut in the same position.
b. Practice Ground
Where there is no practice ground available outside the area of a competition course, the Committee should lay down the area on which players may practise on any day of a competition, if it is practicable to do so. On any day of a stroke competition, the Committee should not normally permit practice on or to a putting green or from a hazard of the competition course.
c. Course Unplayable
If the Committee or its authorised representative consider that for any reason the course is not in a playable condition, or that there are circumstances which render the proper playing of the game impossible, it shall have the power in match and stroke play to order a temporary suspension of play, or in stroke play to declare play null and void and to cancel all scores for the round in question.
When a round is cancelled, all penalties incurred in that round are cancelled.
When play has been temporarily suspended, it shall be resumed from where it was discontinued, even though resumption occur on a subsequent day.
(Procedure in discontinuing play - Rule 37-6b)

5. Modification of Penalty
The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf. A penalty of disqualification, however, may, in exceptional individual cases, be waived or be modified or be imposed under Rule 1 if the Committee consider such action warranted.

6. Defining Bounds and Margins
The Committee shall define accurately:-

a. The course and out of bounds.
b. The margins of hazards, water hazards, and lateral water hazards, where there is any doubt.
c. Ground under repair.
d. Obstructions.

7. Local Rules
a. Policy

The Committee shall make and publish Local Rules for abnormal conditions, having regard to the policy of the Governing Authority of the country concerned as set forth in Appendix I attached to these Rules.
b. Waiving Penalty Prohibited
A penalty imposed by a Rule of Golf shall not be waived by a Local Rule.


Rule 37 The Player

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

2. Caddie and Forecaddie
For any breach of a Rule or Local Rule by his caddie, the player incurs the relative penalty.
The player may have only one caddie, under penalty of disqualification.
The player may send his own caddie forward to mark the position of any ball.
If a forecaddie be employed by the Committee, he is an outside agency (Def. 22).

3. Infringement Assisting Partner
If a player infringe of a Rule or Local Rule so as to assist his partner's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the player.

4. Handicap
Before starting in a handicap competition, the player shall ensure that his current handicap is recorded correctly on the official list, if any, for the competition and on the card issued for him by the Committee. In the case of match play or bogey, par or Stableford competitions, he shall inform himself of the holes at which strokes are given or taken.
If a player play off a higher handicap than his current one, he shall be disqualified from the handicap competition. If he play off a lower one, the score, or the result of the match, shall stand.

5. Time and Order of Starting
The player shall start at the time and in the order arranged by the Committee.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-5: Disqualification.

6. Discontinuance of Play
a. When Permitted

The player shall not discontinue play on account of bad weather or for any other reason, unless:-
He considers that there be danger from lightning,
or
There be some other reason, such as sudden illness, which the Committee considers satisfactory.
If the player discontinue play without specific permission from the Committee, he shall report to the Committee as soon as possible.
General Exception: - Players discontinuing match play by agreement are not subject to disqualification unless by so doing the competition is delayed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-6a: Disqualification.

b. Procedure
When play is discontinued in accordance with the Rules, it should, if feasible, be discontinued after the completion of the play of a hole. If this is not feasible, the player should lift his ball after marking the spot on which it lay; in such case he shall replace the ball on that spot when play is resumed.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-6b:
Match play - Loss of hole; *Stroke play - Two strokes.
*Note: A serious breach of this Rule should be dealt with by the Committee under Rule 1.

7. Undue Delay
The player shall at all times play without undue delay. Between the completion of a hole and driving off the next tee, the player may not delay play in any way.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-7:
*Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.
For repeated offence - Disqualification.
*If the player delay play between holes, he is delaying the play of the next hole, and the penalty applies to that hole.

8. Refusal to Comply with Rule
If a competitor in stroke play refuse to comply with a Rule affecting the rights of another competitor, he shall be disqualified.

9. Artificial Devices
Except as provided for under the Rules, the player shall not use any artificial device:-
a. Which might assist him in making a stroke or in his play;
b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions which might affect his play; or
c. Which, not being part of the grip (see Appendix IId), is designed to give him artificial aid in gripping the club.
(Exceptions to Rule 37-9c: Plain gloves and material or substance applied to the grip, such as tape, gauze or resin).

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 37-9: Disqualification.


Rule 38 Scoring in Stroke Play

1. Recording Scores
The Committee shall issue for each competitor a score card containing the date and the competitor's name.
After each hole the marker shall check the score with the competitor. On completion of the round the marker shall sign the card and hand it to the competitor; should more than one marker record the scores, each shall sign the part for which he is responsible.

2. Checking Scores
The competitor shall check his score for each hole, settle any doubtful points with the Committee, ensure that the marker has signed the card, countersign the card himself, and return it to the Committee as soon as possible. The competitor is solely responsible for the correctness of the score recorded on each hole.

PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 38-2: Disqualification.

The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores and application of the handicap recorded on the card.
Exception:- Four-ball stroke play - Rule 41-1d.

3. No Alteration of Scores
No alteration may be made on a card after the competitor has returned it to the Committee.
If the competitor return a score for any hole lower than actually played, he shall be disqualified.
A score higher than actually played must stand as returned.
Exception - Four-ball stroke play - Rule 41-8a.


Rule 39 Bogey, Par or Stableford Competitions

1. Conditions
A bogey, par or Stableford competition is a form of stroke competition in which play is against a fixed score at each hole of the stipulated round or rounds.

a. The reckoning for bogey or par competitions is made as in match play. The winner is the competitor who is most successful in the aggregate of holes.
b. The reckoning in Stableford competitions is made by points awarded in relation to a fixed score at each hole as follows:-
   For hole done in one over fixed score
For hole done in fixed score
For hole done in one under fixed score
For hole done in two under fixed score
For hole done in three under fixed score
1 point
2 points
3 points
4 points
5 points
The winner is the competitor who scores the highest number of points.

2. Rules for Stroke Play Apply
The Rules for stroke play shall apply with the following modifications:-
a. No Return at any Hole
Any hole for which a competitor makes no return shall be regarded as a loss in bogey and par competitions and as scoring no points in Stableford competitions.
b. Scoring Cards
The holes at which strokes are to be given or taken shall be indicated on the card issued by the Committee.
c. Recording Scores
In bogey and par competitions the marker shall be responsible for marking only the gross number of strokes at each hole where the competitor makes a net score equal to or less than the fixed score. In Stableford competitions the marker shall be responsible for marking only the gross number of strokes at each hole where the competitor's net score earns one or more points.
Note: Maximum of 14 clubs - see Rule 3-2 and Rule 41-7.

3. Disqualification Penalties

a. From the Competition
A competitor shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following:

Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 8-3 - Practice before Round
Rule 35-3a - Putting Green: Stroke Play, Ball Interfering with Play.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-5 - Time and Order of Starting.
Rule 37-6a - Discontinuance of Play.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-8 - Refusal to Comply with Rule.
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
Rule 38-2 - Checking Scores.
Rule 38-3 - No Alteration of Scores, except that the competitor shall not be disqualified when a breach of this Rule does not affect the result of the hole.
b. For a Hole
In all other cases where a breach of a Rule would entail disqualification, the competitor shall be disqualified only for the hole at which the breach occurred.
(Modification of penalty - Rule 36-5
.)


Rule 40 Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four-Ball Match Play

1. General
a. Rules of Golf Apply

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.
b. Ball Influencing Play
Any player may have any ball (except the ball about to be played) lifted if he consider that it might interfere with or be of assistance to a player or side, but this may not be done while any ball in the match is in motion.
c. Ball Moved by Another Ball
There is no penalty if a player's ball move any other ball in the match. The owner of the moved ball shall replace his ball.
d. Playing out of Turn
Through the green or in a hazard, a player shall incur no penalty if he play when an opponent should have done so. The stroke shall not be replayed.
On the putting green, if a player play when an opponent should have done so, the opponent may immediately require the player to replay the stroke in correct order, without penalty.

2. Three-Ball Match Play
In a three-ball match, each player is playing two distinct matches.
a. Ball Stopped or Deflected by an Opponent
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, that opponent shall lose the hole in his match with the player. The other opponent shall treat the occurrence as a rub of the green (Def. 27).
Exception: - Ball striking person attending flagstick - Rule 34-3b.
b. Ball at Rest Moved by an Opponent
If the player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided in the Rules), Rule 27-2a applies. That opponent shall incur a penalty stroke in his match with the player, but not in his match with the other opponent.

3. Best-Ball and Four-Ball Match Play
a. Order of Play

Balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.
b. Ball Stopped by Player's Side
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by the player, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player is disqualified for the hole. His partner incurs no penalty.
c. Ball Stopped by Opponent's Side
If a player's ball be stopped or deflected by an opponent, his caddie or equipment, the opponent's side shall lose the hole.
Exception
: - Ball striking person attending flagstick Rule 34-3b.
d. Wrong Ball
If a player play a stroke with a wrong ball (Def 5) except in a hazard, he shall be disqualified for that hole, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. If the wrong ball be a ball in the match, its owner shall place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was played.
e. Partner's Ball Moved by Player Accidentally
If a player, his partner, or either of their caddies accidentally move a ball owned by their side or by touching anything cause it to move (except as otherwise provided for in the Rules), the owner of the ball shall incur a penalty stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner. The ball shall be replaced.
f. Ball Moved by Opponent's Side
If a player's ball be touched or moved by an opponent, his caddie or equipment (except as otherwise provided for in the Rules), that opponent shall incur a penalty stroke, but the penalty shall not apply to the other opponent. The player shall replace the ball, without penalty.
g. Maximum of Fourteen Clubs
The side shall be penalised for a violation of Rule 3 by either partner.
h. Disqualification Penalties
A player shall be disqualified from the match for a breach of Rule 37-5 (Time and Order of Starting), but, in the discretion of the Committee, the penalty shall not necessarily apply to his partner (Def. 28 - Note).
A side shall be disqualified for a breach of any of the following:-

Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
A player shall be disqualified for the hole in question and from the remainder of the match for a breach of Rule 37-6a (Discontinuance of Play), but the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
(Modification of penalty - Rule 36-5)
i. Infringement Assisting Partner or Affecting Opponent
If a player's infringement of a Rule or Local Rule assist his partner's play or adversely affect an opponent's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the player.
j. Penalty Applies to Player Only
In all other cases where, by the Rules of Golf, a player would incur a penalty, the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
k. Another Form of Match Played Concurrently
In a best-ball or a four-ball match when another form of match is played concurrently, the above special Rules shall apply.


Rule 41 Four-Ball Stroke Play

1. Conditions
a. The Rules of Golf, so far as they are not at variance with the following special Rules, shall apply to four-ball stroke play.
b. In four-ball stroke play two competitors play as partners, each playing his own ball.
c. The lower score of the partners is the score of the hole.
If one partner fail to complete the play of a hole, there is no penalty. (Wrong score - Rule 41-8a)
d. The marker is required to record for each hole only the gross score of whichever partner's score is to count. The partners are responsible for the correctness of only their gross scores for each hole. The Committee is responsible for recording the better-ball score for each hole, the addition and the application of the handicaps recorded on the card.
e. Only one of the partners need be responsible for complying with Rule 38.

2. Ball Influencing Play
Any competitor may have any ball (except the ball about to be played) lifted or played, at the option of the owner, if he consider that it might interfere with or be of assistance to a competitor or side, but this may not be done while any ball in the group is in motion.
If the owner of the ball refuse to comply with this Rule when required to do so, his side shall be disqualified.

3. Balls to be at Rest
While the competitor's ball is in motion after a stroke on the putting green, any other ball shall not be played or touched.

4. Ball Struck by Another Ball
When the balls concerned lie on the putting green, if a competitor's ball strike any other ball, the competitor shall incur a penalty of two strokes and shall play his ball as it lies. The other ball shall be at once replaced.
In all other cases, if a competitor's ball strike any other ball, the competitor shall play his ball as it lies. The owner of the moved ball shall replace his ball, without penalty.

5. Order of Play
Balls belonging to the same side may be played in the order the side considers best.

6. Wrong Ball
If a competitor play any strokes with a wrong ball (Def 5) except in a hazard, he shall add two penalty strokes to his score for the hole and then play the correct ball (Rule 21-3).
If the wrong ball be a ball in the competition, its owner shall place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was played.

7. Maximum of Fourteen Clubs
The side shall be penalised for a violation of Rule 3 by either partner.

8. Disqualification Penalties
a. From the Competition

A competitor shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following, but the penalty shall not apply to his partner:-

Rule 8-3 - Practice before Round.
Rule 37-5 - Time and Order of Starting.
A side shall be disqualified from the competition for a breach of any of the following:-
Rule 2 - The Club and the Ball.
Rule 4 - Agreement to Waive Rules Prohibited.
Rule 37-2 - Caddie and Forecaddie.
Rule 37-7 - Undue Delay (repeated offence).
Rule 37-8 - Refusal to Comply with Rule.
Rule 37-9 - Artificial Devices.
Rule 38-2 - Checking Scores.
Rule 38-3 - No Alteration of Scores, i.e. when the recorded lower score of the partners is lower than actually played. If the recorded lower score of the partners is higher than actually played, it must stand as returned.
Rule 41-2 - Ball Influencing Play, Refusal to Lift.
By both partners, at the same hole, of a Rule or Rules the penalty for which is disqualification either from the competition or for a hole.
b. From the Remainder of the Competition
A competitor shall be disqualified for the hole in question and from the remainder of the competition for a breach of Rule 37-6a (Discontinuance of Play), but the penalty shall not apply to his partner.
c. For the Hole Only
In all other cases where a breach of a Rule would entail disqualification, the competitor shall be disqualified only for the hole at which the breach occurred.
(Modification of penalty-Rule 36-5.
)

9. Infringement Assisting Partner
If a competitor's infringement of a Rule or Local Rule assist his partner's play, the partner incurs the relative penalty in addition to any penalty incurred by the competitor.

10. Penalty Applies to Competitor Only
In all other cases where, by the Rules of Golf, a competitor would incur a penalty, the penalty shall not apply to his partner.



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Appendix
Rules of Amateur Status