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Golf Rules: 10 Rules Every Golfer Must Know

Here you will find 10 basic golf rules that every golfer must know!

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I spent a day researching golf rules to provide the best-updated information in this article.

As a sports passion, I believe that golf players should know the details of the rules so that they can comply and follow them. Unfortunately, most reviews about golf rules do not detail them, they mostly outline them which is not bad but it is always better to present detailed information so that the golfer can go through, understand and follow them.

Always check with your golf course and coach.

Keep reading to get to know the golf rules.

Don’t forget to follow them!!!

1. Preparation for the game

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Bringing the right amount of equipment is a rule in golf, a golfer is allowed to bring 14 clubs in a bag. Borrowing clubs from other players is not advisable, always make sure you have tees and golf balls.

Dress Code

Most courses require you to wear polo shirts, dress pants, khaki pants, and khaki shorts. You can also wear golf shoes, but if you are a beginner there’s no rush, you can buy while you get more serious with the game. 


Although this may be a common practice, this rule you should find out more about it. In some private courses, it is necessary to tip cart jockeys and the people running beverage carts.

Tee time

It is important to reserve the time before showing up at a course. Once you reserve, make sure you are on time, if you miss the time there’s a high chance of losing the spot.

2. The basics

  • Holes must be played in order, 1 through 9, or 1 through 19.
  • Use your correct handicap.
  • Mark your ball so that you can identify it during the course.
  • You can only strike the ball with the clubhead. 
  • You are not allowed to push, scrape, rake, hit the ball while it’s moving.

3. Teeing off- who goes first?

  • You should place the ball between the tee markers, small colored cones. 
  • A player who has ‘honors’ tees off first.
  • The first hole can be determined randomly. On the Remaining holes, the player that has the best score on the preceding hole typically goes first.
  • On shots from the tee market to the green, the player whose ball get’s further from the hole plays first.

4. How to play your ball

One of the most important principles in golf is to play as it lies.

  • Do not move or touch the ball.
  • Where the ball stops or comes to rest is where you should take your next shot.

Would like to know how to hit a golf ball? Read our review on how to hit a golf ball to find out.

5. Out of Bounds & Lost balls

  • When you lose your ball, hit the ball out of bounds there’s a penalty called stroke-plus-distance. This is for you to add one stroke to your score and go back to where you hit the shot from and hit it again.
  • If you hit the ball out of bounds you can play a second ball  which is called provision ball off the tee, you should wait until everyone tees off before you hit your prevision ball and then count as your third stroke.

6. Water Hazards

  • Water hazards are usually marked on golf courses with yellow or red lines or stakes.
  • You can take 1-stroke penalty if your ball ends inside the water and take a shot closer to the edge where your ball went in.

7. Putting Green

  • If your ball is on the green you can brush away any loose impediments such as leaves or sticks.
  • Always mark with a coin if you pick up your ball to get it out of the way for another ball.
  • If the ball overhangs the edge of the hole, a player can wait for 10 seconds to see if it will drop inside.
  • You are not allowed to test the surface of the green by rolling a ball or scraping the surface.

8. Keep Moving

  • Don’t take too long, don’t make players behind you wait for a lot of time.
  • Always be ready to play when its your turn.
  • If your group is slower than any group behind you, allow the group behind you to advance.

9. Asking For Advice

During the play, you should not give advice on how to play to any player and not ask for advice from anyone unless it is your partner or caddie. However, you can ask for reminders about rules and etiquette. 

10. Taking care of the course

It is your responsibility as a player to take care of the course while you are playing.

  • Be aware of the position of the other golfers while you are playing.
  • If you use a cart, follow and comply with rules by keeping the cart on the path because the cart can damage the grass.
  • Repairing the pitch marks on the green and divots in the fairway.
  • Smooth out the sand after landing in a bunker, you can use the rake to remove your footprints.

If you are a beginner player, we invite you to read our 11 Golf Tips for beginners article.

Founder & Chief-Editor

Author: Ian Chitsungo

My point of view is simple, golf is a symbol of excellence.

Play with passion, discipline and sportsmanship to get the best out of your game!

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