What Are The Basic Rules Of Golf? – A Beginner’s Guide

basic rule golf

Golf is a sport that requires players to have high concentration, body control, and great strategies. Originating in 15th century Scotland, golf has been through a long journey to become one of the most famous sports games with millions of players worldwide.

Due to its long history, golf is not an easy game with many rules and tactics. There is an official golf rules book, written by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew and United States Golf Association that was more than 100 pages.

Now we are sure these 100 pages of rules are very detailed and descriptive for all situations. However, as a beginner or an amateur, you only need to know the most important rules to play. So, what are the basic rules of golf?

Here are our simple rules for you to have a decent golf match.

What Are The Basic Rules Of Golf?

As in all sports, rules are important for players to have an interesting, challenging, and fair game. Therefore, without regulations, sports games would be tedious.

Although golf play – using your club to hit the ball, so it falls into the hole – is simple, the rules make golf hard to master. Understanding this problem, here are the basic rules of golf that a new player needs to know:

Scoring system

Before playing any game, you need to understand how to score points and win. In golf, the scores depend on the player’s strokes to hole the ball.

Important playing information can be found at the start of a hole. Here, you will notice how far the hole is and how many shots or strokes are needed to complete a hole.

A golf winner is someone who has the least number of strokes among other players. Thus, the one who wins the most holes wins the match.

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Player’s position

Before starting the game, you will need to stay in the teeing ground, which is the area where players begin each hole. In this area, there will be four tee positions to choose from. Depends on your experience, you can choose:

  • Yellow tees for beginners and amateurs
  • White tees for high-level players and competitors
  • Red tees for female beginners
  • Blue tees for experienced female players

Therefore, we recommend you choose the right position for a pleasant play.

When playing golf, you won’t be the only one in the teeing ground, so it is important to follow some etiquettes such as:

Remain silent while the other player is teeing off their ball.

Do not move around too much, or block the player’s vision. Your right place is standing side on from the player and checking the coordinate of the balls.

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Out of bound

While playing the game, your ball can fly too far and out of bound. In this situation, you are forced to add one stroke to your score. Thus, in order to continue playing, you’d better stay at the same place and take out another ball called a provisional ball. Then wait for everyone to finish their turn. After that, you can hit that provisional ball and count as a third stroke.

Water hazard

Besides out of bound situations, your ball can fall into water hazard. Similar to out of bounds, the penalty for this case is a 1-plus stroke. You can take the ball to where it last crossed the water hazard and drop it behind that spot. Then make a stroke as normal.

Find your right ball

Using the right balls is something you need to pay attention to when playing golf like the penalty for playing the wrong balls could be a 2-plus stroke.

As all golf balls are white, it can be confusing if you don’t keep track of your balls. We recommend you mark your ball with a pen before the game. You can also choose a golf ball with different colors such as orange, yellow, or pink for better differentiation.

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Enter the green

The green is an area where the hole is located. In this area, the greens are more delicate on the golf course. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid damaging the sites when you are nearly finishing a hole. That means you have to walk carefully and not to park a golf cart close to the green.

When you want to pick up your ball to create space for other players’ balls, you can mark your ball spot with a coin or a plate.

A hole is completed when all the balls have been holed. Then you can leave the green and update on your score.


Golf is a great sport that helps you improve body control and flexibility. However, this game is not easy for starters due to its strict rules, which can prevent people from enjoying the game.

What are the basic rules of golf?  Yes, we hope you get more insights after this article and enjoy the game better without worrying if you play it wrong. In the end, all players have to learn and master golf through their experiences.

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