Rules and Regulations of Paying Golf

Etiquette

Courtesy on the Course

Safety
Prior to playing a stroke or making a practice swing, the player should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like which may be moved by the stroke or swing.

Consideration for other Players
The player who has the honor should be allowed to play before his opponent or fellow-competitor tees his ball.
No one should move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when a player is addressing the ball or making a stroke.
No player should play until the players in front are out of range.

Pace of Play
In the interest of all, players should play without delay. Players searching for a ball should signal the players behind them to pass as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. They should not search for five minutes before doing so. They should not continue play until the players following them have passed and are out of range.
When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green. 
If a match fails to keep its place on the course and loses more than one clear hole on the players in front, it should invite the match following to pass.

 

Priority on the Course

Priority on the Course
In the absence of special rules, two-ball matches should have precedence over and be entitled to pass any three or four-ball match, which should invite them through.
A single player has no standing and should give way to a match of any kind.
Any match playing a whole round is entitled to pass a match playing a shorter round.

 

Care of the Course

Holes in Bunkers
Before leaving a bunker, a player should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by him.

Replace Divots, Repair Ball-Marks and Damage by Spikes
Through the green, a player should ensure that any turf cut or displaced by him is replaced at once and pressed down and that any damage to the putting green made by a ball is carefully repaired. On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoe spikes should be repaired.

Damage to Greens - Flagsticks, Bags, etc.
Players should ensure that, when putting down bags or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it, in handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly placed in the hole before the players leave the putting green. Players should not damage the putting green by leaving on their putters, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

Golf Carts
Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.

Damage through Practice Swings
In taking practice swings, players should avoid causing damage to the course, particularly the tees, by removing divots.

Definitions

Addressing the ball
Advise
Ball deemed to Move
Ball Holed
Ball Lost
Ball in Play
Bunker
Caddie
Casual Water
Committee
Competitor
Course
Equipment
Fellow Competitor
Flagstick
Forecaddie
Ground under repair
Hazards
Hole
Holed
Honor
Lateral Water Hazard
Line of Play
Line of Putt
Loose Impediments
Lost Ball
Marker
Matches
Move or Moved
Observer
Obstructions
Out of Bounds
Outside Agency
Partner
Penalty Stroke
Provisional Ball
Putting Green
Referee
Rub of the Green
Rule
Sides and Matches
Stance
Stipulated Round
Stroke
Teeing Ground
Through the Green
Water Hazard
Wrong Ball

Addressing the ball
A player has "address the ball" when he has taken his stance and has also grounded his club, except that in a hazard a player has addressed the ball when he has taken his stance.

Advice
"Advise" is any counsel or suggestion which could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke.
Information on the Rules or on the matters of public information, such as the position of hazards or the flagstick on the putting green, is not advice.

Ball Deemed to Move
See " Move or Moved".

Ball Holed
See "Holed".

Ball Lost
See "Lost Ball".

Ball in Play
A ball is "in play" as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. It remains in play until holed out, except when it is lost, out of bounds or lifted, or another ball has been substituted whether or not such substitution is permitted, a ball so substituted becomes the ball in play.

Bunker
A "bunker is a hazard consisting of a prepared area of ground, often a hollow, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like. Gras-covered ground bordering or within a bunker is not part of the bunker. The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker.

Caddie
A "caddie" is one who carries or handles a player's clubs during play and otherwise assists him in accordance with the Rules.
When one caddie is employed by more than one player, he is always deemed to be the caddie of the player whose ball is involved, and equipment carried by him is deemed to be that player's equipment, except when the caddie acts upon specific directions of another player, in which case he is considered to be that other player's caddie.

Casual Water
"Casual Water" is any temporary accumulation of water on the course which is visible before or after the player takes his stance and is not in a water hazard. Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction. Dew and frost are not casual water. A ball is in casual water when it lies in or any part of it touches the casual water.

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Committee
The "Committee" is the committee in charge of the competition or, if the matter does not arise in a competition, the committee in charge of the course.

Competitor
A "competitor" is a player in a stroke competition. A "fellow-competitor" is any person with whom the competitor plays. Neither is partner of the other.
In stroke play foursome and four-ball competitions, where the context so admits, the word "competitor" or "fellow-competitor" includes his partner.

Course
The "course" is the whole area within which play is permitted.

Equipment
"Equipment" is anything used, worn or carried by or for the player except any ball he has played at the hole being played and any small object, such as a coin or a tee, when used to mark the position of a ball or the extent of an area in which a ball is to be dropped. Equipment includes a golf cart, whether or not motorised. If such a cart is shared by two or more players, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of the player whose ball is involved except, when the cart is being moved by one of the players sharing it, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be that player's equipment.
Note: A ball at the hole being played is equipment when it has been lifted and not put back into play.

Fellow-Competitor
See "Competitor".

Flagstick
The "flagstick" is a movable straight indicator, with or without bunting or other material attached, centered in the hole to show its position. It shall be circular in cross-section.

Forecaddie
A "forecaddie" is one who is employed by the Committee to indicate to players the position of balls during play. He is an outside agency.

Ground under Repair
"Ground under repair" is any portion of the course so marked by order of the Committee or so declared by its authorised representative. It includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked. Stakes and lines defining ground under repair are in such ground. Stakes defining ground under repair are obstructions. The margin of ground under repair extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. A ball is in ground under repair when it lies in or any part of it touches the ground under repair.
Note 1: Grass cutting and other material left on the course which have been abandoned and are not intended to be removed are not ground under repair unless so marked.
Note 2: The committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from ground under repair or an environmentally-sensitive area which has been defined as ground under repair.

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Hazards
A "hazard" is any bunker or water hazard.

Hole
The "hole" shall be 4.25 inches (108mm) in diameter and at least 4 inches (100mm) deep. If a lining is used, it shall be sunk at least 1 inch (25mm) below the putting green surface unless the nature of the soil makes it impractical to do so, its outer diameter shall not exceed 4.25 inches (108mm).

Holed
A ball is "holed" when it is at rest within the circumference of the hole and all of it is below the level of the lip of the hole.

Honor
The sided entitled to play first from the teeing ground is said to have the "honor".

Lateral Water Hazard
A "lateral water hazard" is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard so situated that it is not possible or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable to drop a ball behind the water hazard in accordance with Rule 26-1b.
The part of a water hazard to be played as a lateral water hazard should be distinctively marked. A ball is in a lateral water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the lateral water hazard.
Note 1: Lateral water hazards should be defined by red stakes or lines.
Note 2: The Committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from an environmentally-sensitive area which has been defined as a lateral water hazard.

Line of Play
The "line of play" is the direction which the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke, plus a reasonable distance on either side of the intended direction. The line of play extends vertically upwards from the ground, but does not extend beyond the hole.

Line of Put
The "line of put" is the line which the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke on the putting green. Except with respect to Rule 16-1e, the line of putt includes a reasonable distance on either side of the intended line. The line of putt does not extend beyond the hole.

Loose Impediments
"Loose impediment" are natural objects such as stones, leaves, branches and the like, dung, worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them, provided they are not fixed or growing, are not solidly embedded and do not adhere to the ball.
Sand and loose soil are impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.
Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player.
Manufactured ice is an obstruction.
Dew and frost are not loose impediments.

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Lost Ball
A ball is "lost" if:
a. It is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player's side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it, or
b. The player has put another ball into play under the Riles, even though he may not have searched for the original ball, or
c. The player has played any stroke with a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, whereupon the provisional ball becomes the ball in play.
Time spent in playing a wrong ball is not counted in the five-minutes period allowed for search.

Marker
A "marker" is one who is appointed by the Committee to record a competitor's score in stroke of play. He may be a fellow-competitor. He is not a referee.

Matches
See "Sides and Matches"

Move or Moved
A ball is deemed to have "moved" if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.

Observer
An "observer" is one who is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule. An observer should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

Obstructions
An "obstruction" is anything artificial, including the artificial surfacing and sided of roads and paths and manufactured ice, except:
a. Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings.
b. Any part of an immovable artificial object which is out of bounds, and
c. Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course.

Out of Bounds
"Out of bounds" is ground on which play is prohibited.
When out of bounds is defined by reference to stakes or a fence or as being beyond stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level excluding angled supports.
When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds.
The out of bounds line extends vertically upwards and downwards.
A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds.
A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

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Outside Agency
An "outside agency" is any agency not part of the match or in stroke play, not part of the competitor's side and includes a referee, a marker, an observer and a forecaddie.
Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.

Partner
A "partner" is a player associated with another player on the same side.
In a threesome, foursome, best-ball or four-ball match, where the context so admits, the word "player" includes his partner or partners.

Penalty Stroke
A "penalty stroke" is one added to the score of a player or side under certain Rules. In a threesome or foursome, penalty strokes do not affect the order of play.

Provisional Ball
A "provisional ball" is a ball played under Rule 27-2 for a ball which may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds.

Putting Green
The "putting green" is all ground of the hole being played which is specifically prepared for putting or otherwise defined as such by the Committee. A ball is on the putting green when any part of it touches the putting green.

Referee
A "referee" is one who is appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules. He shall act on any breach of a Rules which he observed or is reported to him.
A referee should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.

Rub of the Green
A "rub of the green" occurs when a ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by any outside agency. (see Rule 19-1).

Rule
The term "Rule" includes Local Rules made by the Committee under Rule 33-8a.

Sides and Matches
Side: A player, or two or more players who are partners.
Single: A match in which one plays against another.
Threesome: A match in which one plays against two, and each side plays one ball..
Foursome: A match in which two play against two, and each side plays one ball.
Three-ball: A match play competition in which three play against one another, each playing his own ball. Each player is playing two distinct matches.
Best ball: A match in which one plays against the better ball of two or the best ball of three players.
Four-ball: A match in which two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players.

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Stance
Taking the "stance" consists in a player placing his feet in position for and preparatory to making a stroke.

Stipulated Round
A "stipulated round" consists of playing the holes of the course in their correct sequence unless otherwise authorised by the Committee. The number of holes in stipulated round is 18 unless a smaller number is authorised by the Committee. As to extension of stipulated round in match play, see Rule 2-3.

Stroke
A "stroke" is the forward movement of the club made with the intension of fairly striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the club head reaches the ball he is deemed not to have made a stroke.

Teeing Ground
The "teeing ground" is the starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-length in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers. A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the teeing ground..

Through the Green
"Through the green" is the whole area of the course except:
a. The teeing ground and the putting green of the hole being played; and
b. All hazards on the course.

Water Hazard
A "water hazard" is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course (whether or not containing water) and anything of a similar nature.
All ground or water within the margin of a water hazard is part of the water hazard. The margin of a water hazard extends vertically upwards and downwards. Stakes and lines defining the margins of water hazards are in the hazards. Such stakes are obstructions. A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard.
Note 1: Water hazards (other than lateral water hazards) should be defined by yellow stakes or lines.
Note 2: The Committee may make a Local Rule prohibiting play from an environmentally-sensitive area which has been defined as a water hazard.

Wrong Ball
A "wrong ball" is any ball other that the player's"
a. Ball in play.
b. Provisional ball or
c. Second ball played under Rule 3-3 or Rule 20-7b in stroke play.
Note: Ball in play included a ball substituted for the ball in play whether or not such substitution is permitted.


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