Golf Rules and Laws

In the game of golf, a ball is stuck by a club from a spot called teeing ground to a second prepared area having a hole in it known as "putting green". Grounds called Fairway and Rough lie between the tee and the putting green. The object of the game is to put the ball into the hole on the putting green in the fewest possible strokes. There are 18 holes in the golf area making one round of golf.

There are two forms of play in golf. One is the Match Play in which the game is decided by holes won or lost. The other is the Stroke Play which is decided by the total number of strokes played to complete a round. The below rules are followed in all international and national golfing events around the world.

When playing golf, you should remember three principles:

  • Play the course as you find it. Play the ball as it lies.
  • If you cannot do any of them do what you think as fair.
  • Follow the rules which seem fair to you.

To know the rules of golf, you should be familiar with the definition of terms used in golf. Here are the important ones.

  • Teeing ground. Starting place defined by two markers.
  • Hazards. Any bunker or water hazards
  • Through the Green. Entire area of the golf course except the teeing ground, putting green and all hazards.
  • Putting green. An area prepared for putting with a four and a half inch diameter hole.
  • Loose impediments. Natural objects like stones, leaves etc.
  • Obstructions. Any manmade object except object defining out of bounds or any immovable manmade object out of bounds.

There are well defined rules of the game. Most important of these are

  • You are allowed a maximum of 14 clubs.
  • If you cannot identify your ball, it is lost, so put an identification mark on the ball.
  • You cannot play a practice stroke during a hole
  • Tee off between and not in front of Tee marker.
  • Play the ball as it lies.
  • The ball must be properly struck, not pushed or spooned.
  • If you play a wrong ball, you lose the hole in a match and incur two-stroke penalty in a stroke-play.

On the Putting Green.

  • Do not test the surface by rolling a ball.
  • You may mark, lift or clean the ball; but must place it on the exact spot.
  • Lifting, dropping and placing the ball, moving the ball at rest, the ball must be replaced in same spot.


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