The Rules of Golf

If you're looking for conformation on a rule then look no further than our comprehensive list of every one in the book

Ed Greenland's picture
Thu, 14 Nov 2013

There's always a rule or two that we forget about and some unusual ones you don't even know, so in this rules index we have combined all 34 sections formed by the R&A for you to reference whenever you're left wanting.

As golf’s governing body, The R&A is responsible for writing the Rules of Golf that have developed over a period of more than 250 years and are written and revised by The R&A and the United States Golf Association. Since 1952, The R&A and USGA have worked closely to produce a joint code of Rules so that, wherever the game is played around the world, the same laws apply.

They don't only cover the playing rules, but etiquette and the specifications and regulations that relate to clubs and balls as well as expenses, instruction and advertising.

In 1982, the USGA and the GOLF magazine combined to create the ten golden rules of golf which is a list devised from the most common and essential rules in the game.

But for the main list of over 2000 explanatory sections, here are the Rules of Golf in full...

Rule 1: The game
Rule 2: Match Play
Rule 3: Stroke Play
Rule 4: Clubs
Rule 5: The ball
Rule 6: The player
Rule 7: Practice
Rule 8: Advice; indicating line of play
Rule 9: Information as to strokes taken
Rule 10: Order of play
Rule 11: Teeing ground
Rule 12: Searching for and identifying ball
Rule 13: Ball played as it lies
Rule 14: Striking the ball
Rule 15: Substituted ball; wrong ball
Rule 16: The putting green
Rule 17: The flagstick
Rule 18: Ball at rest moved
Rule 19: Ball in motion deflected or stopped
Rule 20: Lifting, dropping and placing; playing from wrong place
Rule 21: Cleaning ball
Rule 22: Ball assisting or interfering with play
Rule 23: Loose impediments
Rule 24: Obstructions
Rule 25: Abnormal Ground conditions, embedded ball and wrong putting green
Rule 26: Water hazard (including lateral water hazards)
Rule 27: Ball lost or out of bounds; provisional ball
Rule 28: Ball unplayable
Rule 29: Threesomes and foursomes
Rule 30: Three-ball, best-ball and four-ball match play
Rule 31: Four-ball stroke play
Rule 32: Bogey, par and stableford competitions
Rule 33: The Committee
Rule 34: Disputes and decisions

For more rules and etiquette advice check out...

Ten of the Best: Bunker rules, etiquette and tips
Ten of the Best: Etiquette tips
Ten of the Best: Rules Incidents 2013
Ten of the Best: Golf rules for beginners



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