The official golf rule book is about 100 pages long and can be boring to read all those pages. Nonetheless, you don’t need to understand all those rules to start playing golf. For example, as you move from one ball or hole to the next, you should keep the pace and don’t drag other people behind leading to wastage of time. Thus, we have summarized 10 essential golf rules that you need to observe so that you don’t commit any offense on the golf course.
10 Essential Golf Rules that each Beginner should know
Golf Clubs to carry in the Golf Bag
The maximum number of golf clubs that you are allowed in your golf bag during a competitive round is 14 clubs. There is no offense in carrying fewer clubs but you should always discard any extra ones or leave it in the car as it can cost you penalty strokes for every hole that you play.
Avoid Playing the Wrong Golf Ball
For golf balls, ensure that you finish the hole with the ball that you started it with. It is possible that you can change a ball between holes but not during a hole. Nonetheless, if you misplace a golf ball during a hole, you can utilize any other ball as the novel ball in play.
Playing the wrong ball in a match play could result in a loss of holes in singles and will be a two-stroke penalty in stroke play. To avoid getting such a penalty, you should mark a ball more visibly with unique personalized symbols.
Also, avoid the following while playing your golf ball:
- Don’t touch your golf ball unless you’re allowed to
- Don’t break, move or bend anything on the golf course
- Don’t touch the ground in a ditch or the water in a water hazard using your club if the ball goes into one of these.
- Only strike the golf ball once with the head of your golf club: don’t hit it more than once or don’t push it
- Don’t play the wrong golf ball. In a match play, you lose a hole and in stroke play, you incur a two-stroke punishment.
Play within the Parameters of the Tee
Even for a veteran golfer, the first tee shot of a round is always scary so ensure you tee up between and behind the front of the suitable markers and within two club lengths. The penalty of teeing up the golf bag outside of them is two shots in stroke play.
Once you get to the green, there are numerous rules that you need to be aware of to avoid making the wrong choices. When the ball comes to rest on a surface, you can mark it with a disk or a coin, then lift and clean it but recall replacing it in the exact spot. You can have the flagstick attended at all the times but ensure the golf must not strike it.
Play the Ball as it lies
It is important that you play your ball as it lies or wherever it comes to rest except the regulations permit a golfer to do otherwise. There are few exceptions such as removing loose impediments where you can remove litter, loose twigs, remove leaves, or obstructions. Also, you can remove the drainage, man-paths, sprinklers, from which you will obtain free relief and capable to drop your golf ball within one club length at the nearest point of relief.
If a golf ball has come to rest in a spot that you believe cannot be played, you have several options. It is acceptable to hit another golf ball from the spot of the previous shot, drop a ball behind the unplayable lie, or drop the golf ball within two club lengths either side of the unplayable lie. It is good to note that the alternatives deserve a one-stroke penalty.
No way back from Out of Bounds (OB)
As a beginner, you need to know what to do when your golf ball sails out of bounds. If a ball is hit beyond the confine of the golf course, it must be replayed from the original spot accumulating a punishment of one stroke. If you believe that a ball has gone into a water hazard, you can play a provisional ball and declare it.
A player has 5 minutes of searching for a ball and in case it is completely lost you can play a provisional stroke and you will have a one-stroke penalty. In case the original ball is consequently found dry or in bounds within 5 minutes, you may be allowed to continue with the original ball.
Golf can be described as a social sport, in fact, it is one of the most sociable games and it is reflected within the golf rules. There are things that you’re not supposed to ask and advice that you’re should not seek.
You cannot seek advice on the club selection for anyone other than your teammate or a caddie. Also, it is not permissible to offer advice to competitors in a sports competition. Nonetheless, you can seek information on the regulations, positions, or distances of exposures or the flagstick.
Definition of a Ball Strike
The striking of a ball can seem like an issue of technique but it is normally governed in part by the rules and regulation of the game. For example, if you find yourself in a difficult lie with an awkward stance, you must ensure that you strike the golf ball with the head of your club.
It is not allowed to spoon, scrape, or flick in a manner that cannot be illustrated as a stroke. If you violate the rights while striking the ball, there is a two shot penalty in stroke play and loss of hole in singles the match play.
Don’t carry your cart golf bag and move before ascertaining your scores. Always ensure that at the end of each strokeplay round, your card has been correctly completed. This is done by comparing your scores with your playing partner’s car or those that he/she has recorded.
After agreeing on the score, your card should be signed by each party as a correct record of each hole. The addition may not necessarily be correct, but the individual’s scores of each hole should tally. Incorrect scorecards in case the lower scores are included and unsigned ones will lead to disqualification.
There are many rules of playing golf and you cannot probably master all the regulations. Nonetheless, the 10 essential rules that have been explored in this article are essential rules of the game that can guide you and avoid penalties as you play.
Hi there! I am Justin, one of the founders here at Golf Bagsy. I have been golfing since I was 12 and have participated in over 50 tournaments since 2018. When COVID took over the golf tournament schedules during the lockdowns, I spent a good amount of time doing research and writing about golf. I also provide part-time coaching for those looking to learn how to play golf and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.