Golf is a popular sport that’s enjoyed across the world. Held on an 18-hole open course, players use a club to hit their golf ball from the ‘teeing ground’ to the prepared area with holes known as the ‘putting green’. The objective of the game is to manoeuvre the ball, through a series of hitting and putting, into the targeted hole with as few strokes as possible. There are two forms of play that determines the winner of a round. The first categorization, known as ‘match play’, is based on the ground of holes scored. The second, known as ‘stroke play’, is awarded to the total number of strokes involved in completing the round.
There are several rules that must be followed when playing Golf. In this blog post, we’ll go over the basic rules to prepare you for your next round.
When you start playing the game, begin by marking your ball to identify and differentiate it from the other players. This helps when the ball is lost during a game. You must also count your clubs as 14 is the maximum number you can carry. As proper etiquette, it’s not recommended that you provide or ask for advice from your partner or caddie during the round.
2. Tee off
The teeing ground is the starting point to the course where the ball is initially struck with a club. It’s important to remember that when striking, you need to tee off between the markers and not in front of them. There is no penalty involved here, but you may have to play another strike if asked from your opponent.
3. Playing the Ball
Once you play the initial stroke, you have to play the ball from where it lands on the ground. There is no need to tamper with the placement of the ball. If it’s moved by you, your partner or your caddie, then a penalty stroke will be incurred and the ball will be replaced. There is no infraction if the ball is moved by someone else or by another ball. Players must also remember that it’s prohibited to spoon or push the ball, as this is an unfair hit. Playing an opponent’s ball in a match play will lead to a loss of a hole. In stroke play, you will get a two-stroke penalty and will be directed to play the correct ball.
4. The Putting Green
When it comes to playing on the course, you’re allowed to fix ball marks, also known as hole plugs, on the line of your ground. However, you’re not permitted to cause other forms of damage like spike marks. You are permitted to lift up the ball, place the marker and clean it on the putting green. However, testing the putting surface by rolling a ball over it or scraping it, is not allowed. If the ball is played from putting green strikes without the presence of a flagstick, then you will get a penalty. In match play, this means you will lose a hole and in stroke play, you will get a two-stroke penalty.
5. Lifting, Placing and Dropping the Ball
If a ball is lifted for replacement, then the original position should be marked. When you drop a ball, you have to hold the ball at arm’s length and shoulder height. If the ball strikes you, your partner, your caddie or any equipment, there is no penalty but the player will be asked to redo this motion.
Objects on a golf course can sometimes interfere with a game. If the ball is played and hits an obstacle, the player should be granted a replacement without penalty. For courses that run through bodies of water, you should drop the ball within one club length of the nearest point.
7. Out of Course or Lost Ball
If your play falls in a body of water or goes out of bounds, you will be given 5 minutes to retrieve it before it’s considered lost. In replacement, you will be provided with a provisional ball to continue, and must play under a penalty of one stroke. The provisional ball will be abandoned if the lost ball is found.
8. The Loft Game
Unless you’re a strong, well-organized player with experience in stick and ball sports like baseball, softball, hockey and tennis, go for woods with more loft. This is because extra loft makes it easier to get the ball in the air and reduce sidespin, so shots fly straighter. Choose drivers with at least 10 degrees of loft and fairway woods that start at 17, not 15 degrees.
9. Clubs and Balls
Clubs: You can carry a maximum of 14 clubs. If you have more than that, consider leaving them behind to avoid complications. The 14 can be a combination of any type.
Ball: You must finish a hole with the same ball you started with. You may switch balls between holes but not during one. That said, if you lose or damage a ball during a hole, you can use any other ball of your choice.
10. Order of Shot
The player farthest from the hole typically plays first. This is a good rule to follow initially in a group of beginners. Sometimes, players may also follow the ‘ready golf’ rule, which means whoever is ready can play without much emphasis on the order of play. If you play ‘ready golf’, make sure you don’t play while someone who’s far from the hole is already playing.
11. Hitting the Ball
- ● You need to hit the ball with a single strike. Scooping is not allowed. Pushing the ball via extended contact, like one does with a hockey stick, is not allowed.
- ● You can only strike a ball that’s standing still. Never hit a moving ball, unless it’s in the water. Otherwise, counting shots and penalties gets very complicated.
- ● Spot your ball before you hit it. If you strike any other ball that’s not yours, you will get a two-stroke penalty.
- ● An unintentional double hit is not penalized from 2019 onwards but an intentional one is.
12. The Flag Stick
If your ball hits the pin when you’re off the green, it’s not a problem only if no one touches the flag at the time. Since January 2019, you can put with the flag in and leave it there. There is no penalty stroke for leaving the flag in while on the green.
13. Speaking with Other Players
You can only ask your caddy for advice on how to strike the ball. This means you are prohibited from asking another player which club he hit with or which one you should use or how you should putt the ball. You cannot give advice to anyone who’s not your partner in a competition. You and your partner can advise each other only if you play in better ball competitions.
14. Drop a Ball
When you drop a ball, you must do it from knee height. If your ball rolls into the hazard after a drop, make sure you pick it up and drop it again. If after two drops the ball still moves into the hazard or area you dropped from, place it on the spot it landed on when you last dropped it. Make sure you notice where the ball crosses the water hazard and drop at that point or behind that point in line, using the flag.
The above-listed rules should be followed to enjoy a perfect round of golf. Learn 2 Golf, distinguished provider of golf camps in Mississauga, ensure players learn and play following all the mentioned rules.