Rules of Golf

Every member should at all times be familiar with the rules of golf. The book,
“Rules of Golf”, may be obtained from the Offfice.

Always carry this book with you for easy reference.

Please click here for a copy of the rules from the R&A


These notes are only intended to assist in the general concept of how various
competitions are played. They must be read in conjunction with the Rules of
Golf and in particular the Committee must lay down the conditions under which
a competition is to be played (Rule 36.1)

The score at each hole is entered on the score card, totalled and the player’s full
handicap deducted. The player who completes the stipulated round in the
fewest strokes will be the winner.

In Par play the score is entered on the card in the same way as in Stroke play
with the exception that where the score exceeds par for the hole, after allowing
for handicap stroke (if the player is in receipt of one or more) the score need not
be written in. It is the custom that when a player is beaten by Par, the ball shall
be picked up. This helps speed up play. After entering the stroke score on the
card, the result is marked in the column provided with a “+” sign for a win, a “0”
for a half, and a “-“ for a loss. At the end of the round the plus and minus signs
are added and the nett result written in as so many “up”, “down” or “all square”.
A player is allowed his full handicap and the strokes are taken at holes as
indicated on the card. Where the limit of handicap is 19 or more, two strokes
will be allowed on some of the holes. These strokes will be taken in the same

This system of scoring by points was introduced by Dr Stableford of the Liverpool
Club in 1931 and has become very popular. The popular method of playing a
Stableford competition is for the player to take strokes at holes as in a Par
competition using handicap and to score points on the nett results at each hole.
At the end of the round all points scored are added up and the player having the
highest number of points is the winner. In scoring without allowing for
handicaps a player who scores Par receives 2 points, or 1 over Par, 1 point. For
a birdie or 1 under Par, 3 points, for an eagle or 2 under Par, 4 points, and so on.
For example: a player receiving a stroke on a par 4 hole scores 4 giving him a
nett 3; for this he receives 3 points. A player at a par 3 hole scores a 4 but does
not receive a stroke; for this he would receive 1 point.

Two players play as partners each taking strokes at holes as in a Par competition.
If one of the partners wins a hole and the other halves it, only the win is counted.
If one halves a hole with par and the other loses it, only the half is counted and
so on. Plus, half, and minus signs are added at the end of the round and
recorded as in an ordinary Par Competition.

Play in exactly the same manner as above, except that the better ball of the
partnership will be credited with points instead of plus, half, or minus.

Two players play as partners and use one ball. The partners strike off
alternatively from the tee and thereafter strike the ball alternately during the
play at each hole. Scoring is done as for a Stroke round and the total is subject
to a deduction of half the partners’ aggregate handicaps.
NOTE: If either player incurs a penalty stroke it does not alter the rotation of
play. In a Foursome stroke play competition, which consists of more than one
stipulated round the order may be changed between rounds unless the
Committee provides otherwise. All the foregoing competitions are forms of
stroke play and subject to the Rules governing stroke play. Special rules for Par
and Stableford competitions are set out in Rule 39. Rule 41 covers the special
rules for Fourball Par and Stableford competitions. In addition to the
competitions listed above many Clubs conduct competitions which are not
specifically covered in the Rules of Golf.
Some of the more popular types of play are listed below together with
suggestions regarding methods of conducting these events.

Played as above except that both players play tee shots at every hole and
afterwards continue with whichever ball they nominate. Handicap allowance is
40 per cent of the aggregate stroke handicaps.

Both players play tee shots at each hole, then play a second stroke with their
partner’s ball. One ball is then selected and play proceeds as in Foursomes with
the owner of the ball selected playing the third stroke.
This event is sometimes called “Pinehurst Foursomes”.

Both players play tee shot and a second stroke (same ball). One ball is then
selected and play proceeds as in Foursomes.