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Basic Golf Instructions - A Beginner's Guide

Jan 19, 2008
Golf is historically a "gentleman's game" where rules are consistent, fair play is assumed, attire is appropriate for the game, and general courtesy to other golfers is always displayed as part of sportsmanship.

If you're new to golf, keep reading for a very basic understanding of the rules of the sport. Once you have these fundamentals down, you should be able to get through a game of golf. Please note that this summary of the basic rules of golf shouldn't be considered official or as a means of settling disputes. For that, consult a full copy of the rules available online through the USGA or R&A.

Rule 1: The Game (Layout)

- The course holes (1-9 or 1-18) are played in order.
- Players must play by the rules.

Rule 2: Match Play (Game Version)

- In the match play version of golf, each hole is played as a separate contest. So, if you win the first hole by having the least number of strokes on that hole, then you are "one-up." Consequently, if you lose it, then you are "one-down." If the hole is tied, you are "all-square."
- The game is won once one player wins the majority of holes.

Rule 3: Stroke Play (Most Common Game Version)

- The golfer with the lowest total score (number of strokes) for the round (that is, over all the holes) is the winner.
- Every player's ball must be played into the hole before they can begin the next hole.
- Match play and stroke play cannot be played at the same time.

Rule 4/5: Clubs and Balls (Equipment)

- The maximum number of permitted clubs is fourteen.
- Unless the rules allow for it, you may not change your ball during the course of playing a hole.

Rule 6: Player's Responsibilities (Behavior)

- Read the notices posted by tournament officials.
- Use the correct handicap.
- Be ready to start at the correct tee time.
- Have a clearly identifiable ball.
- Keep a correct score and sign your score card before turning it in.
- Never unduly delay play or other players.

Rule 7: Practice

- Players may not hit practice shots while playing a hole.

Rule 8: Advice on the Course

- During play, players may not ask one another for or give advice on how to play a particular shot. You may only ask your caddy or partner.
- Players cannot use markers to line up a shot.

Rule 9: Announcing Your Score

- If your opponent asks, you must always be able to tell him the number of strokes that you've taken, including penalties.

Rule 10: Order of Players

- The player who has won the previous hole or had the lowest score on the previous hole, has "the honor" of going first on the next hole.
- Once playing a hole, the player whose ball is furthest from the hole goes first.

Again, these are the very basics of golf. There are hundreds of rules that fit into the 100+ page booklet of official golf rules. Before you set out for a real game of golf, make sure you understand about playing a ball as it lies, behavior on the putting green, tackling hazards and other rule nuances.
About the Author
For both practical and exciting golf course general golfing improvement aids , golf balls information and more, please visit www.golf-the-course.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning all kinds of relevant interests for the golf enthusiast.
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