Rules of Golf
Play the ball as it lies.
Play the course as you find it.
And if you can't do either, do what is fair.
The rules of golf fill a whole book ("The Rules of Golf" which is FREE from our proshop) but here are some of the basics adapted from "The Rules of Golf". For penalties incurred for breaches of the rules and for the full rules, please consult the book.
Play your tee shot from between (not in front of) the markers. You may play your shot from up to two club-lengths behind the markers.
Playing the Ball
If you think the ball is yours but aren't sure, with permission of your marker, you may mark and lift the ball to identify it
Play the ball as it lies. Do not move or bend anything growing to improve the lie of the ball or improve your swing. Do not improve your lie by pressing anything down
You must swing your club and make a stroke at the ball. It is not permissable to push, scrape or spoon the ball.
When not in a hazard, You may remove natural loose impediments (leave, sticks, stones) as long as it doesn't move your ball.
Marking, Lifting, Placing, Dropping
Before the ball is lifted, it must be marked.
On the green, the ball may be lifted to clean it and replaced in exactly the same position
If placing is allowed for the game (check the local rules),On the fairway, The ball may be lifted for cleaning and replaced within 15cm of the marker but not nearer the hole.
In the rough, the ball may not be lifted for cleaning
When lifting a ball to drop, it is not mandatory to mark though it is reccommended
When dropping a ball, stand upright, hold the ball at shoulder height abd at arms length then drop it.
A ball must be redropped if it comes to rest more than two clublengths from where it was dropped or if there is interference from the condition from which relief was being given. (there are 9 conditions where a ball must be re-dropped so check these out!)
If the second time the ball is dropped it comes to rest in any of these positions, it must be placed where it first touched the ground on the second drop.
In bunkers (or Water Hazards if you choose to play out of them), before your downswing, you may not touch the ground or water in the Hazard with either your club or your hand. You may not remove loose impediments,
In a water hazard (yellow stakes), You may play the ball from the hazard or you can take a penalty and either play the ball from where you originally hit the ball into the hazard or drop any distance behind the hazard in line with the hole and where the ball entered the hazard.
In a lateral water hazard (red stakes) You can do any of the above or, taking a penalty, Drop within two club lengths of and not neare the hole than :the point where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard or a point on the opposite side of the hazard equidistant to the hole from the point where the ball last crossed the margin.
Lost or Out of Bounds
If your ball is lost or out of bou nds, you must take a penalty and play another ball from the same place
If you aren't sure if your ball is lost or out of bounds, announce that you are playing a provisional shot and play another ball from the same place
If you play a provisional ball and you find your ball is not lost or out of bounds, resume play with your original ball and stop play with your provisional ball(no penalty)
If you discover that your ball is out of bounds or lost, continue play with your provisional ball and take a penalty
A ball is considered lost if you have looked for it for 5 minutes and can't find/idntify it.
Ground Under Repair (GUR)
GUR is marked ith blue stakes and you can take a free drop (no penalty) at the nearest point of relief no closer to the hole.
GUR can also include standing water/puddles, coring piles, paths and roads
On the Green
You may lift, clean and replace you ball on the putting green. Make sure it is replaced in the exact spot.
You may repair ball (pitch) marks and old hole plugs but not any other damage e.g. spike marks.
The flag stick must be removed or attended whilst you are putting
Though not srictly rules, good etiquette makes golf more pleasant for everyone. Check out good etiquette here.