USGA Rules of Golf

One of the core functions of the USGA is to write and interpret the Rules of Golf. The Association does this in conjunction with the R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland.  The USGA also sets guidelines for competitions and Amateur Status.  Learn and play by the rules for maximum enjoyment of the game.  Here is a list of Questions & Answers to the Rules of Golf that every golfer should know.


Questions on the Rules of Golf” by golf expert Barry Rhodes!

QUESTION 1 :   Is it OK for a player to stick a lump of lead tape on their driver, for the purpose of adjusting its weight, before starting a round?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 2 :   If your ball lies in a red staked hazard – can the stake be removed if it is obstructing your swing?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 3 :   Do you have to make a reasonable effort to find a ball that may be lost or out of bounds if you would prefer to continue play with a provisional ball that you have played to the middle of the fairway?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 4 :   If you think that your ball is lost, so you play another ball (not a provisional) are you permitted to search quickly for the original ball?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 5 :   You are on the putting green and your opponent in match play, or playing partner in a monthly medal stroke competition, makes a putt to the hole.  Whilst his ball is in motion on its way to the hole, you bend down and mark your ball, are you penalized?  Note, your ball is not interfering with his line of putt, you just happen to be standing over it and decide it maybe needs a bit of a clean etc.  So in short, is there a penalty for you marking your ball on the putting green whilst another ball is in motion?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 6 :   I have always understood that you cannot clean the ball by wiping it on the putting green but a fellow competitor disagrees. What is the correct ruling?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 7 :   Today in stroke play I placed my club behind my ball and the ball moved. I replaced the ball and then took my shot. One of my paying partners said that was a penalty. Please what is the ruling?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 8 :   In a four-ball match my partner and I had teed off on the 18th hole when our opponents claimed that we had played out of turn, as they won the 16th and we had halved the 17th.  They then claimed that we had lost the hole for playing out of turn.  We asked them if they wanted to tee off and then we will play again but they insisted they had won the hole. Is this correct?  The club has a Local Rule to play ‘as ready’ golf.

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 9 :   Players A and B are involved in a match.  A enters the teeing ground with two clubs, decides on one and places the other at one side, but inside both the tee markers.  After A has holed out B informs him that he transgressed on the teeing ground and has incurred a loss of hole penalty.  Is this right?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 10 :   A player hits his approach shot to a wrong green by mistake (shank, wrong alignment, etc,), and this wrong green is about 100m or so away from the intended green. I believe the player may not chip or play an iron shot from the green.  Should the player putt his ball off that wrong green and then play a normal approach shot to the intended green or can he pick up his ball, drop it on the apron of the wrong green, nearest to the point of entry to this green?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


QUESTION 11 :   On leaving the putting green in a stroke play competition can you play your ball to the next tee?  I had heard that this incurs a penalty. Please can you advise?

ANSWER:   Gof ball bullet


Visit the official Website of the USGA – Rules of Golf

Three-Ball, Best-Ball and Four-Ball Match Play – In match play the game is played by holes. 

A four-ball match is a type of golf match used in match play competitions.  A four-ball match consists of two teams of two players competing directly against each other.  Each golfer plays his own ball throughout the round.  A team’s number of strokes for a given hole is the lowest individual number of strokes of that team’s players on that hole.

In stroke play, the scores are added normally, and the team with the lower score at the end of the match wins.

In match play, each hole is won by the team whose member has the lowest score on that hole, and that team is awarded a point for the hole.  If the teams tie for a hole, the point for the hole is divided between the teams.  At the end of the match, the team with the most points wins.

This form of golf is commonly played in team golf competitions such as the Ryder Cup,[1] Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup.

In alternate shot play, is where two-person teams take turns hitting each shot until the hole is finished, much like the rotation when you’re playing a game of billiards.  If you hit the first drive on a hole, then your partner will hit the next shot from where your ball landed, then you will take the next turn from where their ball landed, continuing until the hole is finished.  The order, the players that tee off first for their team will tee off on the odd-numbered holes (1, 3, 5…), and their partner will tee off on the even-numbered holes (2, 4, 6…). You will hit from the tee box that matches your tier. For example, if you’re an Amateur, then you’ll tee off from the front tee box, but your Legend partner would tee off from the back tee box. This helps keep the match fair.

BALL  When it’s your turn to hit, you will use the golf ball that’s currently equipped in your inventory, and your partner will be using their own ball as well, so your ball only accumulates hits from the shots that you take.

Instructional Videos of the USGA – Rules of Golf

Rules of GolfKnow the rules, enjoy the game … learn the rules online

Movable Obstructions videos – Play the course as you find it.  Watch this video to learn the exceptions.

Loose Impediments videos – loose impediments may be removed without penalty unless your ball moves.  There are several restrictions that you should know to avoid penalty.

Water Hazards – in you play into a water hazard there are several options from where to play!

Immovable Obstructions – learn what is considered an immovable obstruction and the penalties.

Lost Ball or Out-of-Bounds stroke and distance; provisional ball; water hazards.

Practice without fear!  Play without fear!  Golf is just a game!

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