rules of playDid you know that golf drove $84 billion in sales in the US? If you’re an avid golfer and about to take part in a tournament, you’ve come to the right place.

Wondering what the rules of play are for a golf tournament? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over tournament rules, so you don’t have to worry.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.

Rules of Play in Golf: A Guide

Playing a round of golf with friends offers more freedom on the green. In a tournament, there is a certain standard upheld. We will go over some of the rules so you can head to your first tournament and feel prepared.

Plan with Your Caddy

In a typical round of golf, you might ask your friend what iron they hit or point on the green where you think the line is.

In a competitive tournament, this behavior is illegal. The only exception is if you’re in a team match. You can plan with your caddies and partners.

Differences Between Lateral and Water Hazards

A lateral hazard’s marked in red while a water hazard’s marked in yellow. Unless you have a clean shot, don’t try to play from the hazard. Otherwise, you’ll face a one-shot penalty.

With a water hazard, you can identify where your ball last crossed the hazard. Drop it as far back as you want from that area.

You can play your next shot by dropping the ball where you played your last stroke. Re-tee if it was your first shot. You could also go to the designated drop area, but not all hazards have this.

A lateral hazard is different. You need to identify where the ball crossed into the hazard. You’re given a two clubs length area to drop. You’re also able to go on the other side of the hazard and drop there.

Leave Trees and Sandy Areas Untouched

If your ball rolls under a tree and it still looks like you have a shot, you can’t break that branch in the way. You cannot bend or move anything fixed or growing in the area where you hope to swing.

In the sand, you cannot ground your club or move anything from it. For example, if there are a few rocks around your ball, don’t throw them away.

Time for a Lost Ball

If you have lost a ball, you have five minutes to search for it. The clock begins ticking when you start looking for it, not after you’ve taken your shot. Once five minutes passed, and you haven’t found your ball, it’s considered lost.

No Practicing While Playing

If you’re playing a hole, you cannot make practice strokes on or off the course. Between two holes, you cannot make a practice stroke either.

The only exception is when players practice putting or chipping. You can practice these when you’re near a putting green of the hole or any practice green. You can also practice when near the teeing area. Don’t cause a delay while practicing.

Timing of Play

You should not delay the play either while playing a hole or between two holes. You’re allowed a short delay for specific reasons. If you seek help from a referee or if you become ill or injured.

Recognize that your pace could affect how long it will take others in the tournament. A player should play at a quick pace throughout the round of golf. This includes the time given to move from one place to another.

Also, maintain awareness over the time it takes to prep each stroke. Keep an eye on how long you take to move to the next teeing area. Try and prepare ahead of time for the next stroke.

Identifying Your Golf Ball

Once the ball stops on the putting surface, you can mark it with a disk or coin. You can lift and clean it but replace it in the exact spot.

Has your ball gotten buried in the rough and now you’re not sure if it’s yours? You can lift a golf ball to identify it. You must announce to your opponents your intention to raise the ball and mark the position.

Ball Striking

If you’re in an awkward stance, you must strike the ball with the head of the club. You can’t scrape, spoon, or flick it. A two-shot penalty and the loss of the hole is the potential outcome.

Safety Measures

If there’s a chance you might reach the group ahead of you, make sure you yell ‘fore’ right away. Apologize to any of the players if your ball lands nearby. This is proper etiquette on the grounds.

Maintain Your Professionalism

People might understand displays of frustration. A burst of rage isn’t as tolerable. Screaming, throwing clubs, or yelling is unacceptable. These types of fits could lead to a dangerous situation between yourself and others.

Treat everyone with respect and watch your temper.

End of Game Etiquette

Make sure at the end of the round that you shake hands with your fellow players. Congratulate the winner and console the losers. Thank them for their company and the time spent together.

The fun with playing golf at a tournament is you get to make new friends and see old ones. If you want to learn more, check out our guide on watching golf live.

Contact Us Today

We hope you found this article on rules of play for a golf tournament insightful. Take time to go over these before your upcoming match.

Contact us today to chat about organizing your Master’s experience.