June 15, 2024

Golf Rules 101: The Basic Rules Every Beginner Should Know

If you plan to learn how to play golf or understand the game itself better while watching it, a good first step would be learning the basic rules. And these are pretty easy to grasp. So take a look at some of the regulations we sorted out for you to get you started on your golf journey.

Don’t Forget to Count Your Golf Clubs

In competitive golf, you are permitted to have a total of 14 golf clubs or less. Just pay attention not to carry more than that. Because if you carry more than the allowed amount, you will suffer penalty strokes for each hole you play.

Play the Ball as It Lies

The meaning of this rule is that you play your golf ball wherever it lands, without moving it from that particular spot. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You get “free relief” if the obstacles are drainage, sprinklers, or human-made paths. This is covered in rule 13-1 and states that you are allowed to drop the golf ball in the range of one length of a golf club to the nearest relief point. On the other hand, when the ball lands on an unplayable spot, you have three options:

  1. You can choose to make a shoot from the position of the previous shot
  2. Drop the golf ball in the range of 2 golf clubs or less in any direction of the unplayable lie
  3. Drop the golf ball anywhere behind the unplayable lie, but the original lie has to be somewhere between the new lie and the hole

Unfortunately, no matter which option you choose, you will get a one-stroke penalty as defined in rule 28.

Make Sure Not to Play the Wrong Ball

A good thing to do is mark your golf balls with some sort of personal symbol – that way, you can’t mix your ball with someone else’s. Most standard golf balls have similar stamps. Remember that if you play the wrong ball in singles, it can lead to you losing the hole. But in stroke-play, the penalty is two strokes. If your ball lands in an area with multiple balls in play, you can tell the other players and then mark your ball’s position with a tee pug. When your turn comes, you just place the ball on that spot and continue to play – keep in mind that this is all defined in rule 15-1.

When the Ball Goes Out of Boundaries

The golf ball is considered to be out of bounds outside of the course’s defined area. The boundaries are marked with stakes on every hole. When this situation happens, the player must retake the shot from the initial spot from which the attempt was made.