Essential Golf Rules
May 1, 2022

There are many rules in golf and it is sometimes difficult to recollect all of them. But as a beginner, before cramming and trying to recall all the rules, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the basics.

They will form a solid foundation for your success as a golfer.

Below is a list of the essential golf rules.

1. Play the ball as it is

One important rule is always to play the golf ball wherever it comes to a stop. A player cannot move the ball to a spot he prefers. The player is also not to use the club to make the ball stay better on its location. The simple rule is that the player should strike the ball as it lies on the ground, and failure to adhere to this rule will result in a penalty.

However, there are exceptions to the rule allowing a player to play the ball from another place. An example is when the wind moves it; in such a situation, the player will play the ball from its new position.

2. The number of clubs

A player can carry a maximum of fourteen clubs in his bag for a golf competition. He can have less than the maximum but no more. Taking more clubs can earn the player penalty strokes for every hole he plays a ball into. A typical example of a player who suffered from this mistake is Ian Woosnam. He got two strokes deduction in the final round of the 2001 open championship.

3. The teeing area

The teeing ground is a two-club length deep rectangle-shaped area usually identified with colored tee markers. It is where a player plays his first stroke on each hole. The player must play between the tee markers and not in front of them. Players usually mark the tee areas with different colors, including red, blue, yellow, white, etc. The red tees are for women, the yellow for men, and the white ones are usually for golf competitions. The colored tee a player starts with is what he continues on every hole.

4. Playing a provisional ball

A player can play another ball from the exact spot if he thinks he may have lost his ball. Players call this ball a “provisional ball.” However, before he can play the provisional ball, he must inform his partners of his intention. After playing that round, he has three minutes to search for the lost ball. If he finds it, he has to pick up the provisional ball and continue playing with the original one, but if it is indeed lost or out of bounds, he continues with the provisional ball.

5. Unplayable ball

If a player thinks it will be challenging to hit a ball at its current position, he can declare it unplayable and take unplayable ball relief. He can take it anywhere on the course asides from the penalty area. He then has three options to choose to play the ball with, all with a penalty stroke that will add to his score. The first option is the stroke-and-distance, where the player can play the same or another ball where he made the previous stroke; the second option is the back-0n-the-line relief, and the third is the lateral relief.

6. Seeking advice

The rule of golf states that a player must not seek advice from an opposing team, only from his teammates. He must also not advise his opponents. He can only ask about the rules of the game and things relating to golf in general.