Since Jun 12, 1998
The Game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.
1-2. Exerting Influence on Ball
No player or caddie shall take any action to influence the position or the movement of a ball except in accordance with the Rules.
(Removal of movable obstruction see Rule 24-1.)
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 1-2:
Match play - Loss of hole; Stroke play - Two strokes.
Note: In the case of a serious breach of Rule 1-2, the Committee may impose a penalty of disqualification.
1-3. Agreement to Waive Rules
Players shall not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or to waive any penalty incurred.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF RULE 1-3:
Match play - Disqualification of both sides;
Stroke play - Disqualification of competitors concerned.
(Agreeing to play out of turn in stroke play - see Rule 10-2c.
1-4. Points Not Covered by Rules
If any point in dispute is not covered by the Rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with equity.
2-1. Winner of Hole; Reckoning of Holes In match play the game is played by holes. Except as otherwise provided in the Rules, a hole is won by the side which holes its ball in the fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole. The reckoning of holes is kept by the terms: so many;holes up or all square, and so many to play. A side is dormie when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.
2-2. Halved Hole A hole is halved if each side holes out in the same number of strokes. When a player has holed out and his opponent has been left with a stroke for the half, if the player thereafter incurs a penalty, the hole is halved.
2-3. Winner of Match A match (which consists of a stipulated round, unless otherwise decreed by the Committee) is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played. The Committee may, for the purpose of settling a tie, extend the stipulated round to as many holes as are required for a match to be won.
2-4. Concession of Next Stroke, Hole or Match When the opponents ball is at rest or is deemed to be at rest under Rule 16-2, the player may concede the opponent to have holed out with his next stroke and the ball may be removed by either side with a club or otherwise. A player may concede a hole or a match at any time prior to the conclusion of the hole or the match. Concession of a stroke, hole or match may not be declined or withdrawn.
2-5. Claims In match play, if a doubt or dispute arises between the players and no duly authorized representative of the Committee is available within a reasonable time, the players shall continue the match without delay. Any claim, if it is to be considered by the Committee, must be made before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the match, before all players in the match leave the putting green. No later claim shall be considered unless it is based on facts previously unknown to the player making the claim and the player making the claim had been given wrong information (Rules 6-2a and 9) by an opponent. In any case, no later claim shall be considered after the result of the match has been officially announced, unless the Committee is satisfied that the opponent knew he was giving wrong information.
2-6. General Penalty The penalty for a breach of a Rule in match play is loss of hole except when otherwise provided.
3-1. Winner The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes is the winner.
3-2. Failure to Hole Out If a competitor fails to hole out at any hole and does not correct his mistake before he plays a stroke from the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he leaves the putting green, he shall be disqualified.
3-3. Doubt as to Procedure a. Procedure In stroke play only, when during play of a hole a competitor is doubtful of his rights or procedure, he may, without penalty, play a second ball. After the situation which caused the doubt has arisen, the competitor should, before taking further action, announce to his marker or a fellow-competitor his decision to invoke this Rule and the ball with which he will score if the Rules permit. The competitor shall report the facts to the Committee before returning his score card unless he scores the same with both balls; if he fails to do so, he shall be disqualified. b. Determination of Score for Hole If the Rules allow the procedure selected in advance by the competitor, the score with the ball selected shall be his score for the hole. If the competitor fails to announce in advance his decision to invoke this Rule or his selection, the score with the original ball or, if the original ball is not one of the balls being played, the first ball put into play shall count if the Rules allow the procedure adopted for such ball.
Note 1: If a competitor plays a second ball, penalty strokes incurred solely by playing the ball ruled no to count and strokes subsequently taken with that ball shall be disregarded.
Note 2: A second ball played under Rule 3-3 is not a provisional ball under Rule 27-2.
3-4. Refusal to Comply with a Rule If a competitor refuses to comply with a Rule affecting the rights of another competitor, he shall be disqualified.
3-5. General Penalty The penalty for a breach of a Rule in stroke play is two strokes except when otherwise provided.