First Published in Golfweek
The Rules of Golf can trip up players at every level due to their complexity and the potential for misinterpretation.
Even the pros can make errors when it comes to applying the rules correctly. Under pressure or in high-stakes situations, a player may misunderstand or forget a specific procedure, leading to a costly mistake.
There are 25 rules in the U.S. Golf Association’s official Rules of Golf. Within each of the rules, there are further explanations for specific situations. There are also 70 defined terms, such as “abnormal course condition” or “teeing area.”
Golfers tend to know some rules in general but likely not all of them.
USGA: Get your copy of the Rules of Golf
As part of a series of stories on the USGA and the rules, this list has been compiled to highlight the most-searched rules in 2023. As a disclaimer, when Golfweek did this search of “golf rules,” a few of the top ones had to do with the proposals on the golf ball or the 90-degree rule, which is really just course etiquette.
Ron Gaines, Golfweek’s Director of Rules & Competition, contributed to this article.
Rule 18 is for stroke-and-distance relief, ball lost or out of bounds, provisional ball. A player has a few options when a ball goes OB. Click here for more.
There is also an option for players to drop in the fairway after hitting a ball out of bounds, with a two-stroke penalty. This local rule must be implemented by the course or tournament committee. Click here for an explanation.
Rule 18 is for stroke-and-distance relief, ball lost or out of bounds, and a provisional ball. Click here for more.