Rules of Golf

Rules for Tournament Play

Player Responsibilities

  • Include:
    • Arriving to the 1st tee on time.
    • When playing a round, you want to ensure that you are at the course with plenty of time to check in and go through your normal warm-up routine.
    • In a casual round of golf, it is proper etiquette to always be on time so you are not responsible for the group waiting for you.
    • In the case that you are late you risk the possibility of losing your tee time.
    • If you are playing in a tournament there are penalties for arriving late to your tee time.
    • If you arrive within five minutes after your designated tee time a two stroke penalty will occur in stroke play, or in match play, you will automatically lose the first hole.
    • If you arrive later than five minutes, you will be disqualified from the tournament.
    • Count your clubs
    • Each player is responsible for having the correct number of clubs in his or her bag before the round starts. The maximum number of clubs that a player can carry in his or her bag is 14. While you are allowed to have less than 14 clubs without incurring a penalty, having more than 14 will result in a two stroke penalty each hole that the number 14 is exceeded, up to four strokes in tournament stroke play.

Equipment and the Rules

  • Distance measuring devices, headphones, and allignment rods.
    • Distance measuring devices are alowed as long as they don’t measure elevation changes. You may not use these devices to obtain information regarding directional information, such as; using the device to receive a recommended line of play or club selection based on the location of the player’s ball. Some committees may ban these devices with the Section 8; Model Local Rule G-5.
    • Headphones and other earplugs to eliminate noise or other distractions are not permitted during a round.
    • Using any type of golf training or swing aid (such as an alignment rod or a weighted headcover or “donut”) or a non-conforming club to make a practice swing or in any other way that creates a potential advantage by helping the player in preparing for or making a stroke (such as help with swing plane, grip, alignment, ball position or posture).

Duties of a Marker

  • A marker is the person keeping your score during the round of golf.
  • As a marker, you are responsible for recording your playing partner’s score and confirming this score after each hole.

Turning in your Scorecard

  • At the conclusion of a tournament round, each player is responsible for turning in his or her scorecard to the scoring committee table.
  • As a player, you are responsible for the hole by hole scores on the card.
    • If a score lower than the actual number is recorded, the player is disqualified.
    • If a score higher than the actual number is recorded, the higher number stands.
    • There is no penalty to a player when the total score of the round is added incorrectly; this is the job of the scoring committee.

Advice (Rule 10.2a)

  • During a round a player must not;
    1. Give advice to anyone in the competition who is playing on the course.
    2. Ask anyone for advice, other than the player’s caddie, or
    3. Touch another player’s equipment to learn information that would be deemed as advice if given by or asked of the other player.
  • “Advice” is any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining their play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke.
  • Information on the Rules or on matters of public information, such as the position of penalty areas or the flagstick on the putting green, is not advice.
  • Sharing distance with another player is considered public information and is not considered advice. This can be by viewing the distance on a fairway marker or by using a distance measuring device.
  • Note: this does not apply before a round, while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a or between rounds of a competition.

Playing the Round (Rule 5)

  • A round is 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the committee. When a round ends in a tie and play will go on until there is a winner: Tied Match Extended One Hole at a Time: This is the continuation of the same round. Play-off in Stroke Play: This is a new round.
  • Practising on the Course Before or Between Rounds: The limitations on practice on the course before or between rounds apply to the player, not to the player’s caddie.
    • 5.2a – Match Play: A player may practise on the course before a round or between round of a match-play competition.
    • 5.2b – Stroke Play: On the day of the competition, a player must not practise on the course before a round. Except, that player may practise on putting or chipping on the practice facilities, generally located near the starting holes of tee timed competitions.
    • A player may practsie on the course after their final round of that day.
    • 5.2b/2 – The permission for practising in Rule 5.5b (Restriction on Practice Strokes Between two Holes) override the prohibitions in Rule 5.2b in that player is allowed to to practise on or near the putting green of the hole just completed even if he or she will play that hole again the same day.