Basic Rules Of Golf for Beginners

Basic Rules Of Golf Every Player Should Know In In 2023

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Comments: 0

How does it seem to golf, playing with something unusual, and then you know you violated a rule? Despite your innocence, you will lose points.

To avoid such a scenario, there are basic rules of golf that every beginner should know. If you want to understand them, you are at the right place because golf rules seem complex for a beginner to understand. 

Though in existence for a long time, the rules differ slightly with time. I have enjoyed playing golf, and it’s my all-time favorite activity to stay happy and relaxed. Yet, I have also been a beginner and still recall the day I began playing.

The rules seemed to be less than chess, but with implementation, I have become familiar with the ins and outs. I feel these are what make the game enjoyable. Now, my cheerful mind thinks these rules make the game fun.

So, my friend, as a beginner, it is not essential to know all the detailed rules of the sport. In this article, we have listed all the basic rules of golf that you should know! So, as you advance in your career, you will learn about the detailed ones.


  • Checking the number of clubs (up to 14) in your bag before playing is essential to avoid any penalty.
  • Playing the ball where it lies is important, with a few exceptions.
  • It is a common practice to stick with the same ball throughout the entire hole.
  • Scorecards should be signed and double-checked to ensure everything is in order and fair.

10 Basic Rules Of Golf For Beginners

1. Tee Mark Rule

The main goal in golf is to put the golf ball from the tee mark into the hole. So, you always need to stand behind the tee mark. If you stand ahead of it, then you will be liable for one penalty stroke.

However, that does not mean you have limited space to play. As per the rules of golf, you can go two full clubs behind the markers with your longest club, i.e., Driver. It means you can go up to 90 inches behind the tee mark.

2. The Rule Of 14 Clubs

The club is an essential piece of equipment for playing golf. So, a primary rule limits the number of clubs in your bag to 14. Although, you can change the clubs in your bag after completing the level. 

If you carry over 14 clubs in your bag, you would be liable for a 2-stroke penalty for every hole you play. In other situations, it can even lead to your disqualification. 

This is not a brutal rule, as you can frequently change the clubs in your bag.  Still, make it a habit to check the number of golf clubs in your bag before you begin to play.

Also, we don’t recommend carrying less than 14 clubs because golf is not easy. So, taking fewer clubs would be a bad idea.

3. Play Where It Lies

There will be many chances when your ball will not reach the hole or may go in another direction. But the rule usually says you have to play where the ball lies. Still, there are certain exceptions in this case.

It is restricted to pick up your ball and drop it at a different spot. Moreover, when you cannot recognize your ball, you get a chance to rotate it. Consequently, it will confirm that it is your ball.

After you confirm that it is your ball, you can rotate it back to its original position. Besides, you or any player whose ball is kept in the field shouldn’t move from rest unless you hit it. Else, you will be bound to a penalty. 

4. Out Of Bounds Rule 

While hitting the golf ball with a club, there are chances that it may go outside the golf course. In that case, it is identified as white stakes when it goes near a fence, wall, or other man-made structure.

At the same time, you can check the golf course’s local rules to check its structures’ details. 

But such situations are often rare. Also, they are known as ‘Out of bounds’ because the ball goes outside the bounds of the golf course.

You are liable for a one-penalty stroke when you hit the ball out of bounds. Moreover, you will have to replay your previous shot. 

5. Lost Ball Rule 

Golf balls are small in size. So, there can be situations where the ball gets lost, and you cannot locate it. If you don’t find the lost ball within 3 minutes, it will harm your scorecard because it is considered an out-of-bounds shot. 

Consequently, you will get a one-penalty stroke and must replay the shot. If you are sure that the ball is lost, you need to hit a provisional ball to not waste more time.

Also, ensure you don’t hit the wrong ball; that will further impact your scores negatively. 

6. Keep The Same Ball

In golf, you must play with the same ball throughout the hole. Even though your ball gets damaged on the cart part or anything else, you must continue with it. After completing the hole, you can replace the ball with a new one.

Moreover, if you have marked your golf ball with a sharpie, you cannot add markings during that hole. So, you must complete the hole before updating the markings.

7. Sign Your Scorecard

When playing competitive golf or any professional tournaments, you have to exchange scorecards with partners in the game. This happens at the start of a round. So, you will have to keep their scorecard above yours. 

Golfer signing the scorecard - Basic Rules Of Golf

Although someone else will manage your scoreboard, mistakes can occur. So, you can keep a separate scorecard to avoid problems and double-check the scores after the round.

After you cross-check the scorecards, two signatures are required to make it official.

8. No Room For Advice

In every sport, as a beginner, you would end up asking others for advice. For instance, you may ask which club they use for hitting a shot. Or else, you may ask them how to make a difficult shot. If you do this in friendly and practice sessions, then there is no problem. 

But you will get a penalty if you play a serious game or in a tournament.  You would get a one-shot penalty while asking others for advice.  So, you cannot ask for advice or even about their club.

You can only talk with your caddies who carry your golf bags. Further, if it’s a team event, you can ask fellow players for queries about the rules or similar concerns. 

9. Missing To Hit The Ball

As a beginner in golf, there are chances that you whiff and miss hitting the golf ball with your club. This will invite a one-stroke penalty.

However, if the ball falls from the tee or you hit it mistakenly while practising, you will not be liable for any penalty. 

10. Order Of Play

There is a particular order of playing golf. So, no one can randomly get a chance to play a shot. Per the rule, the player placed furthest from the hole can make a shot first. It is an important rule you must follow as a beginner in golf. 

In contrast, in informal games, a ‘ready golf’ method is sometimes adopted where whichever player is ready gets to play a shot first.

In those cases, you need to ensure that there is no confusion and that you don’t get in between someone else’s shots.

The Bottom Line

We have reached the end of this article. So, now you know all the basic rules of golf to play as a beginner. The rules about hitting the ball and marking the scores are strict. So, you need to make sure that you avoid violating the rules to prevent penalties. 

As a beginner,  you can play practice and informal matches where you will learn about your mistakes, and you won’t be liable for penalties every time.

These were the golf rules for beginners. As you advance in playing golf, you will learn about more important technical ones in tournaments and serious games.

Frequently Asked Questions?

How many strokes is a lost ball in golf?

A lost ball in golf typically results in a one-penalty stroke.

How many strokes if you hit the wrong ball?

You incur a two-stroke penalty if you hit the wrong ball in golf.

What is Rule 27 in golf?

Rule 27 in golf refers to if a ball is lost and is not found by the player within five minutes, then the player must play a ball under the penalty of one stroke. Moreover, the player has to ensure that he will play another ball from where he/she last hit the previous ball.

What is the 90-degree rule in Golf?

The 90-degree rule comes into effect when the ball is up against an immovable object such as a cart path, sprinkler heads or anywhere off the green, and then the player gets a free relief.

<a href="" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.


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