Rules of golf

Rules of golf

The Rules of Golf are standardized procedures in which the game of golf should be played.

A central principle, although not one of the numbered rules, is found on the R&A rule book's cover:

"Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you can’t do either, do what is fair. But to do what is fair, you need to know the Rules of Golf."

The Rules of Golf (book)

The Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status is published every four years by the governing bodies of golf (R&A/USGA) to define how the game is to be played. The Rules have been published jointly in this manner since 1952, although the code was not completely uniform until 2000 (with mostly minor revisions to Appendix I). The Rules Committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) has responsibility for upkeep and application of the rules worldwide except in the United States and Mexico, which are the responsibility of the United States Golf Association (USGA).

The term "Rules" can be said to include the following:
*"Decisions on the Rules of Golf", a book published every 2 years by the USGA and R&A to clarify questions and queries raised by the Rules.
*Local rules set by the Committee of a golf club, for example to denote the method used to define the boundaries of the course, ball drops, environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs), etc.
*Rules of etiquette, covered by the main book, define the proper behaviour of those playing the game.
*Rules often adopted in competitions, for example the prohibition on using automotive transportation during a round and Rules related to Temporary Immovable Obstructions (TIOs).
*Rules governing the size, shape and performance of golf equipment (clubs and balls) as defined by the R&A/USGA (Appendices I and II).
*Rules governing golfers with disabilities who play in accordance with "A Modification of the Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities" as published by the R&A and USGA.

Note that while the USGA defines its own Handicapping and Course Rating system, the R&A defers this responsibility to each respective national governing body.

The R&A is a private golf club run for the benefit of its members. As such, since 2004 it has passed responsibility of publishing the rules to a private company, R&A Rules Ltd, operating under the stewardship of the R&A.

In 2004, the University of Chicago Press published a plain-language translation of this book. It was entitled "The Rules of Golf in Plain English", by the lexicographer Bryan A. Garner and USGA rules official Jeffrey S. Kuhn. The purpose was to make the rules more accessible than the official version, which is pervasively legalistic and opaque.

The current rules booklet, the 31st edition, is valid from 1 January 2008 to the end of 2011. The big change that has come with this edition is a new rule about Club Heads not having too much 'spring' effect. This has led to the publishing of The [ List of Conforming Driver Heads] and The [ List of Non-Conforming Drivers]

External links

* [ 2008-2011 Rules of Golf (free download)]
* [ 2004-2007 Rules of Golf (free download)]
* [ Royal and Ancient Golf Club website]
* [ United States Golf Association website]

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