The USGA (United States Golf Association) puts out an official golf rulebook each year that is updated with the latest amendments and changes, if any. Below is a list of a few of the basic regulations:
If you wish to play the game of golf exactly as the rules state, created by the United States Golf Association (USGA), then the following list will help you become familiar with some of the basic regulations:
1. You are not allowed to give advice to your playing partners. Nor are you allowed to accept advice.
2. Every player has a maximum limit of 14 clubs to bring in his or her golf bag when playing the course. Occasionally, a golf club may break and replacing this club is allowed, so long as it is quick and does not interfere or delay the game. In addition, regulations also state that if you purposely break a club out of frustration, you cannot replace it.
3. All players must tee up their ball in the prescribed tee area.
4. You are not allowed to fix any of the spike marks that may be between your ball and the playing hole on the green. Spikes from golf shoes occasionally leave a mark, but this is just considered a challenging hazard. Once the ball is in the hole, you may then fix the marks. And being considerate to fix these marks is good etiquette for the next round of players passing through.
5. If there is frost or morning dew on the putting green, you cannot wipe it away. It must be left alone.
6. On the first hole, the order of people who play will be determined by drawing lots. The following holes are played in the order of players with the best score. Then the player who has the second-best score goes next, then the third, etc.
If there happens to be a tie, the player who had the better score on the previous hole is the one that tees off first. At all other times on the course, the order of players is determined by the furthest ball away from the whole, with the farthest going first, then the second farthest, etc.
7. You can never putt your ball while another player’s ball is still moving.
8. If you make a shot and the ball is literally lying on the edge of the cup, you have 10 seconds to wait until the ball drops in. Once the 10 seconds is over, you must give it another stroke. And if the ball happens to drop in after the 10 seconds is up, but before you actually make your putt, it is then considered an additional stroke.
9. After you have stopped positioning yourself to make a shot, and the ball moves, you have to penalize yourself by one stroke, as well as put the ball back in the original spot.
On the other hand, if the ball happens to move before you are completely positioned to swing, there is no penalty and you simply put the ball back where it was to make another shot.
10. The term “casual water” as it pertains to golf regulations refers to puddles, or anything similar, that are made in the fairway. Should your ball land in a casual water area, you are completely entitled to move the ball and doing so without receiving a penalty.
You simply find the closest point from the casual water that has no obstruction and move the ball over by the length of one club, but not any closer to the hole. Lay the ball down and then continue with your shot.
The casual water does not pertain to puddles, and the like, when they are inside of a hazard area. For example, if your ball lands in a puddle of water that is inside a bunker, there is no relief. The ball has already been hit inside of a hazard and you must suffer through making the shot out of the puddle.
11. Sometimes the ball will become embedded into an area that has soft, muddy turf. This could be on the fairway, the tee box, or the green. If this happens you are entitled to move the ball without receiving a penalty.
Just pick the ball up, clean it off, and place it down as close as possible to the original area where it landed. And just like the casual water rule mentioned above, if your ball becomes embedded in an area of the rough, or anywhere else besides the fairway, green, or tee box, you are unfortunately stuck the challenge of making the shot.
12. Last, but certainly not least, the rules state that if your ball happens to land in an area on the golf course that is under repair, you may be relieved without collecting a penalty. Simply move the ball as close to the outside area of the repair zone as possible, and shoot again.