Rules of Golf

USGA Rules of Golf Document

The link below provides a good summary of the major changes to the Rules of Golf as of January 1, 2023
CLICK HERE Key Changes to the Rules of Golf January 1, 2023

You can click on the appropriate rule to go directly to that rule on the USGA website. Note – please give the USGA website time to load the correct rule after clicking.

I. Fundamentals of the Game (Rules 1-4)

Rule 1 – The Game, Player Conduct and the Rules
Rule 2 – The Course
Rule 3 – The Competition
Rule 4 – The Player’s Equipment

II. Playing the Round and a Hole (Rules 5-6)

Rule 5 – Playing the Round
Rule 6 – Playing a Hole

III. Playing the Ball (Rules 7-11)

Rule 7 – Ball Search: Finding and Identifying Ball
Rule 8 – Course Played as It Is Found
Rule 9 – Ball Played as It Lies; Ball at Rest Lifted or Moved
Rule 10 – Preparing for and Making a Stroke; Advice and Help; Caddies
Rule 11 – Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person, Animal or Object; Deliberate Actions to Affect Ball in Motion

IV. Specific Rules for Bunkers and Putting Greens (Rules 12-13)

Rule 12 – Bunkers
Rule 13 – Putting Greens

V. Lifting and Returning a Ball to Play (Rule 14)

Rule 14 –Procedures for Ball: Marking, Lifting and Cleaning; Replacing on Spot; Dropping in Relief Area; Playing from Wrong Place

VI. Free Relief (Rules 15-16)

Rule 15 – Relief from Loose Impediments and Movable Obstructions (including Ball or Ball-Marker Helping or Interfering with Play)
Rule 16 – Relief from Abnormal Course Conditions (Including Immovable Obstructions), Dangerous Animal Condition, Embedded Ball

VII. Penalty Relief (Rules 17-19)

Rule 17 –Penalty Areas
Rule 18 – Stroke-and-Distance Relief, Ball Lost or Out of Bounds, Provisional Ball
Rule 19 – Unplayable Ball

VIII. Procedures for Players and Committee When Issues Arise in Applying the Rules (Rule 20)

Rule 20 – Resolving Rules Issues During Round; Rulings by Referee and Committee

IX. Other Forms of Play (Rules 21-24)

Rule 21 – Other Forms of Individual Stroke Play and Match Play
Rule 22 – Foursomes (Also Known as Alternate Shot)
Rule 23 – Four-Ball
Rule 24 – Team Competitions


List of Definitions



Brian Fox
Rules Director