Basic & Simple Rules of Golf

TEE 


1. Be ready 
    Be at the first tee 10 minutes before your tee time 
 
2. Identify your ball 
    - Before you play, all players should identify what ball type he/she is playing with 
    - You can also mark your ball with marker 
      2 stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball 
 
3. Teeing ground 
    - Extends from the markers to 2 club-lengths behind (not in front) 
    - Ball must be teed up in this area (ball is outside if entire ball is outside) 
    - Stance can be outside 
      2 stroke penalty for hitting from outside this area 
 
4. Ball falls off the tee 
    - If ball is accidently knocked from the tee before you tee off (i.e. when addressing or because of ill-fated practice swing) 
     No penalty, you can tee the ball up again 
 
5. Air shot (Whiff) 
    - Every stroke counts, even if you miss the ball. If intended as swing – it counts.  (This applies everywhere on the course) 
    - After an air shot on tee, the ball is in play and can no longer be touched 
 
6. Provisional ball 
    - If you suspect that you will not be able to find ball or if it has landed out of bounds, you should play a provisional 
    - Announce that it is provisional – tee it up, play it, until you reach the approximate position where you believe original ball lies 
Note:  If you do not explicitly announce the second ball as provisional it automatically becomes the new ball with a 1 stroke penalty (you are lying 2 after your first shot with the undeclared provisional)
 
FAIRWAY 
 
1. Immovable impediments 
    - You can NOT break anything off or bend anything out of the way 
    - You need to play the ball as it lies 
    2 stroke penalty 
 
2. Loose impediments 
    - Leaves, twigs, stones, grass cuttings or other natural objects CAN be removed without penalty (sand and loose soil can only be removed on the green) 
    - If ball moves as a result, put it back 1 stroke penalty 
 
3. Movable obstructions 
    - Bottles, cans, signs, stakes (yellow, red, blue) CAN be removed without penalty 
    - If ball moves as a result, put it back without penalty 
    - Removing out of bounds posts never permitted 2 stroke penalty 
 
4. Immovable obstructions 
    - Roads, paths with an artificial surface or other fixed, artificial objects 
    - Free relief IF they interfere with the ball’s lie, your stance, or your swing 
     (NO relief if they only interfere with the line of play) 
    - To take relief: nearest point where you can take stance or swing without interference, and drop within 1 club-length (no nearer the hole) 
 
5. Abnormal ground conditions 
    - Ground under repair, casual water, etc. 
    - If ball is lying in, or you would have to take stance in – free relief 
    - To take relief: nearest point where ball/stance is no longer in the area and drop within 1 club-length (no nearer hole) 
 
6. Unplayable Lie 
    - If a ball is in an extremely bad position, the player can declare an unplayable lie 
    - If you hit a provisional, you must use your original ball if found even if unplayable lie 
 OPTIONS 
   1. Drop with 2 club-lengths, (no nearer the hole) 1 stroke penalty 
   2. Re hit/tee from last stroke 1 stroke penalty and distance 
   3. Go back as far as desired on the line from the ball to the flag, 1 stroke penalty and distance 
 
7. Lost Ball – 1 stroke penalty and distance 
   - 5 minutes to look 
   - If you can’t find your ball and if you did not play a provisional, you must go back and take the drop on the site of the last stroke  3 
 
 
8. Out of bounds - 1 stroke penalty and distance 
   - White stakes (out of bounds if entire ball lies out of bounds) 
   - Only 1 option: take a drop on the site of the last stroke 
   - You can NOT take drop from where it went out of bounds, you must go back to the site of the last stroke 
   - If original ball found within 5 minutes and not out of bounds, you MUST play that ball and not provisional 
 
 
9. Water hazard 
   - Yellow Stakes / yellow lines 
   - Do not touch ground/water, do not ground club 2 stroke penalty 
 OPTIONS 
  1. Play it as it lies – no penalty, but can not ground club (not allowed if environmental area) 
  2. Re hit/tee from last stroke 1 stroke penalty and distance 
  3. Go back as far as desired on the line from the flag and intersection (where ball last crossed the margin of the hazard) 1 stroke penalty and distance 
  4. May be drop zone (check score card) 1 stroke penalty 
 
 
10. Lateral hazard 
   - Red stakes/ red lines 
   - Water, marsh, trees, bushes, sensitive areas 
   - Do not touch or test ground/water, do not ground club 2 stroke penalty 
   OPTIONS 
   1. Play it as it lies – no penalty, but can not ground club (not allowed if environmental area) 
  2. Re hit/tee from last stroke 1 stroke penalty and distance 
  3. Go back as far as desired on the line from the flag and intersection (where ball last crossed the margin of the hazard) 1 stroke penalty and distance 
  4. Drop within 2 club-lengths no nearer the hole 1 stroke penalty 
  5. Drop within 2 club-lengths of the point opposite the entry point on opposite side of hazard, same distance from the hole 1 stroke penalty 
  6. May be drop zone (check score card) 1 stroke penalty 
 
 
 
11. How to drop a ball 
   - Shoulder height, arm stretched horizontally 
   - Allowed two attempts (in case ball rolls outside allowable area or into hazard) 
   - After two attempts: then place where nearest to where it last hit the ground 

 
BUNKER 
 
   - Enter low side 
   - Do not touch or test the sand, do not ground club 2 stroke penalty 
   - Loose impediments: can NOT be moved 2 stroke penalty 
   - Rakes can be removed 
   - Old footprints: play as it lies OR declare unplayable, drop in bunker 1 stroke penalty 
   - Striking ball more than once 1 stroke penalty 
   - Abnormal ground conditions (water): 
   OPTIONS 
   1. Drop in bunker nearest point within 1 club-length, no penalty 
   2. Take drop outside bunker, on backwards extension of line from the hole to the ball 
   1 stroke penalty 
 
 
 
GREEN
 
 
   - Once on green, you can mark ball (pick up and clean it) 
   - If ball or marker is moved accidently while marking, picking up or replacing - no penalty 
   - Player who is farthest away goes first (even if one player on fringe); may be deviated from for pace of play 
   - Loose impediments can be removed 
   - Ball marks can be repaired 
   - You are NOT allowed to improve the line of putt by touching or treading on the line;  spike marks may NOT be repaired 2 stroke penalty 
   - If you are putting on the green and your ball hits either the flagstick (in the hole or on the ground) or the person tending it 2 stroke penalty (ball then played from where it lies) 
   - Flagstick must be removed when all balls are on the green; carefully remove and replace flag 
   - Be mindful of other player’s putting line, eye line, your shadow etc. 
 
  
 
For complete Rules of Golf CLICK HERE

 

Borrowed from the Westchester, NY Chapter

 

Other websites that offer simple information, too:

http://www.golfhelptips.com/v/articles/basic-golf-rules.html

http://www.golf-golfing.com/golf_rules.html