Rules of Golf

As golf’s governing body, The R&A is responsible for writing both the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status.

The Rules of Golf have developed over a period of more than 250 years and are written and revised by The R&A and the United States Golf Association. Since 1952, The R&A and USGA have worked closely to produce a joint code of Rules so that, wherever the game is played around the world, the same laws apply.

They don't only cover the playing Rules, but Etiquette and the specifications and regulations that relate to clubs and balls as well

The Rules of Amateur Status establish the framework under which amateur golf is played. The purpose of the Rules of Amateur Status is to maintain the distinction between amateur and professional golf and, particularly given that amateur golf is largely self-regulating with regard to the Rules of play and handicapping, to focus on the game’s challenges and inherent rewards, rather than financial gain.

The Rules of Amateur Status cover matters such as amateurism and professionalism, prizes and prize limits, expenses, instruction and advertising.

All golfers should carry a copy of the R & A Rules of Golf in their bags.  These booklets are available at no cost from your Pro Shop.

For more detailed information, and especially for Golf Administrators and Rules Officials, "The Decisions on the Rules of Golf" is a must in your library.

A quick guide to the rules of golf may be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf


1.     Out of Bounds

  • All areas marked with white stakes.
  • The clubhouse

A ball coming to rest inside the boundary of a residential property is out of bounds and MUST NOT BE RETREIVED. Any player or caddie trespassing on Residential Properties may be liable to prosecution.

 2.     Water Hazards and Lateral Water Hazards

  • These are indicated by Yellow and Red stakes.

Hazard stakes are movable obstructions.

3.     Obstructions

  • Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies)
  • Steps in bunkers are immovable obstructions. Relief is allowed under (Rule 24-2)
  • Immovable obstructions close to putting green.

If a ball lies through the green and an immovable obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green and within two club lengths of the ball interferes on the line of play between the ball and the hole the player may take relief as per (Rule 24-1)

  • All paths are immovable obstructions and relief is allowed under (Rule 24-2)
  • e. Young trees and their irrigation bowl marked with blue stakes.

If such a tree or irrigation bowl interferes with a player’s stance or his intended swing, the ball MUST be lifted without penalty, and dropped in accordance of Rule 24-2b.

4.     If a ball strikes an elevated power line or cable, the stroke MUST immediately be replayed without penalty. This includes the pylon and elevated section rising from the ground. If ball is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be substitute.

5.     Abnormal ground conditions

  • These are indicated with white lines, GUR, or may be casual water.
  • ·      Burrowing animal, reptile, or bird – A PLAYERS STANCE IS EXCLUDED


Relief may be taken from these conditions in accordance with (Rule 25-1b) without a penalty.

6.     Embedded Ball

Through the green, a ball that is embedded in its own pitch mark in the ground may be lifted without penalty, cleaned and dropped as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.

7.     Pine Needles: Finely Mulched Bark

These are considered an integral part of the course and NO RELIEF may be taken.

8.     Preferred Lies:

Please see outside notice board if preferred lies are applicable.

A ball lying on the fairway in play may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within (as specified on the outside notice board) of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it was placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.

If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it, moves the ball-marker prior to putting the ball back into play or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.

9.     Distance Measuring Device

A player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only.

10.   9th and 18th Dam wall.

The Dam wall on the 9th and 18th is considered dangerous, loose, hanging rocks which may give in if under pressure. no golfer is allowed to step on dam wall or fines will be issued.



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Boschenmeer Golf Estate
Paarl Golf Club