Golf Rules: The Basics

Golf Rules - The Basics

The Rules of Golf

Even those who are new to golf should have a basic understanding of the game. The golfer uses clubs to hit a golf ball from the tee until the ball is holed in the cup, ideally in the fewest number of strokes possible. Golf rules are established for fairness of play and etiquette and can vary depending on the type of game you are playing (match or stroke play, for example.) It’s a good idea to have an understanding of the rules, as it could save you some costly penalty strokes in the future. Here are the basics:

Clubs and Balls

Golf rules put a maximum limit of 14 clubs that the golfer can carry in his or her bag. It’s a good idea to check with USGA official documentation to be sure your golf clubs conform to the Rules of Golf. Golf balls also must conform to certain standards concerning size and construction. Ensure you mark your ball for identification and make sure the integrity of the ball has not become compromised due to a defect or cut during play.


An important rule during play is to correctly record your score for each hole. If you fail to write down correct scores, penalties can be incurred.

Off the Tee

Take care to make sure you know when it is your turn to play. You can incur a penalty for playing out of turn. Usually, the winner of the previous hole will be first to tee off.

When addressing a ball on the tee, make sure that your ball is properly teed within the correct teeing area.

In the Fairway

Establish which player in your group hits first from the fairway. Any attempt to strike the ball counts, whether or not contact is made with the ball. Also, golf rules stipulate that the ball must be played from where it comes to rest in the field of play.

On the Green

Make sure you first repair any damage your ball might have caused on the putting surface from your last shot. Take care not to step directly in the line your opponents may use to putt their ball to the cup. Golf can be a complicated game at times, but with a good understanding of basic golf rules, you should be able to enjoy a great day out at your local course.

Want more? Check out our Golf Vocabulary post!

For more great golf tips, check out what our Golf Pros have to say.

Need a bigger challenge, download the free golf career guide and see what careers interest you in the golf industry.

Contact us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. Required fields are marked with *.