Learn the Basic Golf Rules & Regulations

Even if you've never played golf before, being familiar with golf rules can help you when you do decide to learn. Golf is a sport played by many Americans because of its combination of relaxing qualities and competitiveness. It is used as a bonding method for coworkers, a way for companies and their clients to do business and a recreational activity for friends. 
  • Don't take more than fourteen clubs with you.
  • You cannot use artificial means of measuring distances or conditions or to help you grip your club.
  • Only your partner or caddy can give you advice.
  • You may practice a swing during a play but not play a practice stroke.
  • The order of play is determined by draw or lot.
  • Match Play. In match play, the golfer whose ball is farther from the hole is played first. The winner of a hole is the first to go at the next hole. If you play out of turn, your opponent may have you replay. If you play the wrong ball, you lose the hole.
  • Stroke Play. In stroke play, the golfer whose ball is farthest from the hole plays first. The golfer with the lowest score at a hole plays first (teeing off first is referring to as "your honor") at the next hole, and there is no penalty for playing out of turn. If you play the wrong ball you get a two-stroke penalty.
  • When teeing off, keep the ball between the tee markers. Your ball can either be even with the markers or up to two club lengths behind them.
  • Play the ball where it lands. Unlike miniature golf, where a little nudge is generally accepted, you can't move the ball in real golf.
  • Similarly, you can't change the course. Everything must remain as is.
  • Hit the ball with the club head.
  • You can clean your ball during play when your ball is on the green/putting surface but you must put it back exactly where it was. 
  • You can't test the surface by rolling the ball.
  • If you hit your ball out of bounds, you'll have to add a stroke penalty and replay the ball. If you suspect your ball is out of bounds or lost, play this ball (called a provisional) before leaving the tee-off area; this will save time, especially on a busy day.
  • Maintain a good pace when playing. 
These are just some of the basic rules of golf. There are more, complex rules, which you will learn as you play. Don't be afraid to ask your golfing partner or consider taking golf lessons to prepare yourself for the green.
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