The Rules Of Golf Simplified!



The "Rules of Golf" starts with a section that defines some basic terms.

This Definitions Sections has more than forty definitions .... how many do you know, hand on heart?

They can be thought of as a "golfer guide" to better rounds.

The Rules of Golf Book


This is the 2010 edition of the "Rules of Golf" handbook, issued by the "Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews", the governing body of golf.

Although I don't expect you to buy the handbook and read it .... there are easier ways to get to grips with the golf rules

Now let's walk ourselves through the nine most common definitions:

Casual Water - any accumulation of water on the course which is temporary (ponds, streams etc are permanent) and visible before or after the player takes his stance (dew and frost are not casual water).



Ground Under Repair - this includes any part of the course which is marked as "ground under repair".

It also includes material which is piled for removal, and any hole made by the greenkeeper, even if it is not marked.

If your ball lands in "GUR" you may place it outside the area and keep on playing it without penalty.



Hazards - this is defined as an area of the course which is difficult to play through or from. It can be a water hazard - a pond, lake or stream ,for example.A bunker is a hazard, as is a natural hazard, like dense vegetation.

If your ball lands in a hazard there are special rules:

You may not ground the club, not even for a practice swing.

If you can't play the ball as it is there are specified rules that govern exactly how you can drop the ball and play, usually with one stroke penalty.



Loose Impediments - this means natural objects, like pebbles and leaves, and they can be moved without penalty, remember this if you land in a bunker!

The caveats are, that the objects must not be embedded, growing or attached to the ball.

Insects, dung and twigs are also loose impediments.

The "Rules of Golf" go through this in detail!




Obstructions - any man-made object, but not:

(1) objects that out of bounds

(2) any part of an immovable man-made object which is out of bounds; and

(3) any construction declared by the Local Rules Committe to be an integral part of the course.

In most cases you can remove the obstruction and play on without penalty, or - if the obstruction can't be moved - lift and drop the ball without penalty.



Out of Bounds - this ground on which play is prohibited i.e. not part of the course. A ball is out of bounds when ALL of it lies out of bounds.

The markers are the white stakes, so if the ball is partly within the line between the two closest stakes you can play the ball as it is, and you are allowed to take your stance "out of bounds".

Otherwise you drop a ball on the spot where you played this shot from, and you take one stroke penalty.


Putting green


Putting Green - an area specially prepared for putting and containing a 41/2 inch diameter hole. You may lift the ball and clean it, provided you mark the position of the ball so you can replace it in the same spot.

The rules of golf say that you are not allowed to press anything down with your putter, and you may not test the surface of the green (by rolling the ball for example).




Teeing Ground - the starting place for the hole, defined by two tee-markers.

You can tee up anywhere between these tee markers, to the right or the left and behind them, but not in front of an imagined line between them.


Depending on the course this can really make a difference in your play - DVD 4 in this pro set goes through this in detail, as well how some knowledge of the rules of golf can really make a difference to your scores!

Learn more about the "Rules of Golf"!




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