Do you know that the 34 Rules of Golf take up 82 pages of the rule book? That number doesn’t include definitions, appendices, and index, which add up to 208 pages! The separate Decisions book with the official interpretation of the rules expands the number to 582 pages plus 139 pages of indexing!
Can an amateur or a beginner know all these rules? Yes, but you may discover that you don’t even need half of them! That’s why we will now present 10 most basic golf rules, which are applicable to the most of the golf situations. Let’s get started!
- The ball is played as it lies.
- Do not break, bend, press down, or move anything growing or fixed on the golf course, except if you are taking your stance or swing.
- You are allowed to lift unfixed and not growing natural objects except in a water hazard or bunker. You get no penalty.
- You may move movable man-made objects. As for immovable objects, you are allowed to take relief by dropping away within one club length of the nearest point of relief, but no nearer the hole, with no penalty. You must drop in a bunker in the case of bunker. You are not allowed to drop away in a water hazard or if the object is defined out of bounds.
- You are allowed to take relief from ground under repair, casual water, burrowing animal holes, casts, and anywhere except for a water hazard. On the putting green, take relief at the nearest point of relief no nearer the hole. Otherwise, drop away within one club-length of the nearest point of relief no nearer the hole. As for bunkers, you have to drop in the bunker. This is no-penalty as well.
- In a water or bunker, do not touch the water or ground with your hands or the club before the stroke.
- If you hit your golf ball into a water hazard and cannot find it, you can drop behind either the point where the ball crossed the hazard margin or at the place you played the shot at. You are allowed to tee the ball on the tee. You receive one penalty stroke. If you hit the ball into a lateral hazard, you are allowed to drop either within two club lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin or within two club lengths of an equivalent distant from the hole on the opposite margin. This also costs one penalty stroke.
- If you hit your ball out of bounds and cannot find it after five minutes of search, you get one penalty stroke and go back and drop a ball at the place you played the shot from. You are allowed to tee the ball on the tee. You should play a provisional ball before searching for the first one.
- If you have an unplayable lie, you are allowed to drop a ball at the place you played the previous shot from with one penalty stroke. You may tee the ball on the tee. You can alternatively drop either within two club lengths no nearer the hole or any distance behind the unplayable spot, keeping it between you and the hole. If the ball is in the bunker, you must drop in it. If you can’t play from a water hazard, apply the rule 7.
- You are allowed to repair ball marks and old hole plug marks on the putting green if they are in the line of your putt, but not spike marks.