The City Golf    Championship

Rules of Golf


This is a summary of some of the principal Rules of Golf. In case of doubt, refer to the complete Rules of Golf as published by the United States Golf Association and the R&A of St. Andrews, Scotland.


  • Plan your shot while walking to your ball or while others are playing.
  • Line up your putt when others are putting and be ready to play when it is your turn.
  • Walk briskly between shots.
  • Walk directly to your golf ball; don't follow others unless assisting in a search.
  • If riding, take several clubs with you to your ball so you won't have to walk back to the cart.
  • Don't step off or measure yardage for every single golf shot, develop an "eye" for distance.
  • Be efficient with your pre-shot routine.
  • Take only one practice swing.
  • Play a provisional ball if the original might be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds.
  • Leave your clubs on the side of the putting green towards the next tee.
  • Exit putting green promptly after holing out.
  • Unless experienced, play the standard tees, not the championship tees.


  • Put an identification mark of your ball. if you can't identify it as yours, it is lost. If your ball becomes unfit for play, you may replace it, without penalty, on the hole where it becomes unfit or between holes.
  • Count your clubs. You are allowed a maximum of 14 clubs.
  • Unless a Local Rule is in place, don't use an artificial device or unusual equipment for guaging or measuring distance.
  • Don't ask for advice from anyone except your partner or your caddie. Don't give advice to anyone except your partner.
  • During a hole you may make a practice swing but not play a practice stroke. Between holes you may practice chip and putt or or near the putting green of the hole last played or the tee of the next hole, but not from a hazard.
  • Play without delay.


  • On the first tee the honor is determined by the order of the draw.
  • In match play, the ball farther from the hole is played first. The winner of a hole tees off first on the next hole. If a player plays out of turn anywhere on the course, his opponent may require him to replay in the correct order.
  • In stroke play, the ball farthest from the hole is played first. The competitor with the lowest score on a hole tees off first on the next hole. There is generally no penalty for playing out of turn.
  • In four-ball competitions, partners may play in the order they consider best.


  • Tee off within two club-lengths behind the front edges of the tee-markers.
  • If you tee off outside this area, in match play there is no penalty but your opponent may require you to replay the stroke. In stroke play you incur a two-stroke penalty and must then play from within the proper area.


  • Play the ball as it lies. Don't touch it unless a Rule permits.
  • Play the course as you find it. Don't improve your lie, the area of your intended stance or swing or your line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole by moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing, except in fairly taking your stance or making your swing. Don't press anything down.
  • If your ball is in a bunker or a water hazard, don't touch the ground in either type of hazard or the water in the water hazard with your hand or club before the downswing.
  • Strike at the ball with the clubhead. Don't push or scrape it. If your club strikes the ball more than once in a single stroke, count the stroke and add a penalty stroke.
  • If you play a wrong ball (except in a hazard), in match play you lose the hole. In stroke play you incur a two-stroke penalty and must then correct the mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding under the Rules.


  • Don't touch the line of your putt unless a Rule permits. You may repair ball marks and old hole plugs on the line but not any other damage, such as spike marks.
  • You may lift your ball from the putting green, and, if desired, clean it. Always mark and replace it on the exact spot.
  • Don't test the surface by scraping it or rolling a ball.
  • If your ball played from the putting green, strikes the flagstick in match play you lose the hole or in stroke play you incur a two-stroke penalty.
  • Always hole out unless in match play your opponent concedes your putt.


  • Before lifting a ball that has to be replaced (e.g.,when the ball is lifted on the putting green to clean it), its position must be marked.
  • When dropping, stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it. a dropped ball must first strike a part of the course where the Rule requires.
  • If a dropped ball strikes the player, his partner, or their caddies or equipment, it must be re-dropped without penalty.
  • A dropped ball must be re-dropped if it rolls into a hazard, out of a hazard, onto a putting green, out of bounds or to a position where there is interference by the condition from which relief is taken (in case of immovable obstructions, abnormal ground conditions, embedded ball and wrong putting green). A re-drop is also a necessary if the dropped ball comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where it first struck a part of the course or nearer the hole than its original position, the nearest point of relief under Rules 24-2 and 25 or where the ball last crossed the margin of a water hazard under Rule 26-1. If the ball when re-dropped rolls into any position listed above, place it where it first struck a part of the course when re-dropped.
  • If it is impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be replaced, through the green, drop it.
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