Tee Off Behind Marker

You are required to tee up your ball behind the front edge & in-between the outside boundaries of the tee markers and up to 2 club lengths of your longest club back of the markers.  Your feet do not have to be in-between the markers.  If you tee off ahead of the markers or outside the 2 club length distance behind markers, you incur a 2 stroke penalty.

Play the Ball as it Lies

You must play the ball as it lies which means you may not touch the ball or move the ball so it sits better on the grass or sand or receive a one-stroke penalty.  Beginner golfers should be kind to them-selves and improve their lie as you see fit until you develop a good golf swing movement pattern.  You just won’t be able to play in club events or establish an official handicap yet.

Search Time

The Rules of Golf state you are only allowed 3 minutes to look for a lost ball or receive a 2 stroke penalty to help keep the pace of play on the golf course.


If your golf sits on or stance is hindered by standing on a cart path or sprinkler head or something man made you may get a free drop where your stance is given relief. 


You are allowed to remove sticks, grass, pine cones or other lose impediments from around your ball as long as when you do your ball does not move, so, be careful or you will incur a one-stroke penalty.

Marking Your Ball on the Green

You must use a flat object such as a coin or ball maker and place it directly behind the golf ball with as little space between the ball marker and ball without touching the ball.  You may not place the marker in font of or to the sides of the golf ball.

Out of Bounds

Out of bounds” refers to those areas outside the golf course from which play is not allowed, or any area designated as out of bounds by the golf course. Out of bounds is marked by white stakes or some type of barrier like a fence or wall.

Lateral Hazard – Red Stake

A “lateral water hazard” is a water hazar or part of a water hazard that runs alongside to or parallel to the golf hole.  These hazards are positioned where you can not find a direct line from behind the hazard to the pin so you drop the ball 2 club lengths from the point the ball entered the hazard no closer to the hole.

Water Hazard – Yellow Stake

When a golfer hits their ball in a yellow-stake water hazard, the golfer has two options to drop the ball, take relief and incur a one-stroke penalty: Drop the ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point where the original shot went in the water hazard between where the golfer drops and the hole.

Actions Allowed in Red or Yellow Stake

If your ball ball lies within a red or yellow stake hazard you may let your club touch the ground, take practice swings, touch the water, remove loose impediments for no penalty, as well as, pick up ball and take relief for a one-shot penalty.

Bunker / Sand Trap

A sand trap or bunker is considered a hazard designed to penalize the golfer for lack of accuracy.  If your golf club touches the sand of a bunker you will receive a one shot penalty stroke.  However, you can move stick or other loose impediments as long as you don’t touch or move your ball. Also, you can to touch the sand or make practice swings to test the surface, you must feel it with your feet.

Accidentally Moved Your Ball

If you accidentally move any player’s ball (even your own ) while searching for it OR on the putting green there is not penalty, just replace the ball in it’s original spot.

If your driver accidentally knocks ball off tee, there is no penalty, 

Unplayable Lie

You may declare the lie, or how your ball sits, unplayable anywhere on the golf course and receive a one-shot penalty for relief. You have 3 options: 1) Go back to the original spot you hit from and play shot again. 2) Drop you ball 2 club lengths from the unplayable spot no nearer the hole (this is most common choice).  3) Drop the ball as far back as you want from a straight line between the unplayable spot and the flag

Repair Damage on Putting Green

You many repair most damage on a putting green such as spike marks, ball marks, and animal or people damage

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Embedded (Plugged) Ball Rule

If your ball is plugged in it own ball mark anywhere in the “general area” of golf course which is the fairway or rough (not sand traps or yellow/red stake hazards) you are able to give yourself one club length relief to lift and clean and drop your ball.

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Accidental Deflections

If your ball is accidentally deflected by you, your partner, caddie, equipment, the flagstick, or even double-hit there is no penalty, just play the ball from where it comes to rest.

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How to “Drop” a Ball

When giving yourself a “drop”, the golf ball must be dropped from a point Knee Height (old rule stated shoulder height) straight down and ball must hit and stay within the relief area.  If it keeps rolling out of relief area 3 times you may place the ball without a drop.