Rules Study Guide

Curriculum for ages 10-12

*If you’re 10-12 years old, review the content below to be prepared for your Rules Quiz!


Relief for Ball in Water Hazard (Rule 26)

  • If your ball is in a water hazard (yellow stakes and/or lines) you may play the ball as it lies or, under penalty of one stroke:
  • Play a ball from where you made your last stroke, or
  • Drop behind the water hazard keeping a straight line between the hole, the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard and the spot on which the ball is dropped with no limit to how far you may drop.
  • If your ball is in a lateral water hazard (red stakes and/or lines), in addition to the options for a ball in a water hazard, under penalty of one stroke, you may drop within two club-lengths of, and not nearer the hole than:
  • The point where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, or
  • A point on the opposite side of the hazard equidistant to the hole from the point where the ball last crossed the margin.

Loose Impediments (Rule 23)

  • You may move a loose impediment (i.e. natural loose objects such as stones, detached leaves and twigs) unless the loose impediment and your ball are in the same hazard. If you remove a loose impediment and this causes your ball to move, the ball must be replaced and (unless your ball was on the putting green) you incur a one-stroke penalty.

Moveable Obstructions (Rule 24)

  • moved without unreasonable effort,
  • delaying play or
  • causing damage
  • Movable obstructions anywhere can be moved

  • Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings are not obstructions.
    • Therefore… No relief without penalty!
  • If your ball moves, there is no penalty and you must replace it

Immovable Obstructions (Rule 24-2)

  • Interference by an immovable obstruction occurs when a ball lies in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing.

Nearest Point of Relief

TheĀ nearest point of relief is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction, an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1) or a wrong putting green (Rule 25-3)

The point on the course nearest to where the ball lies that

  1. is not nearer the hole,
  2. Avoids interference (lie, stance, area of swing).

Note: In order to determine the nearest point of relief accurately, the player should use the club with which he would have made his next stroke if the condition were not there to simulate the address position, direction of play and swing for such a stroke.

Through the Green (Defined):

If relief is taken, the player must lift the ball and drop it within one club-length of the nearest point of relief on a part of the course that:

  • is not nearer the hole.
  • avoids interference
  • is not in a hazard or on a putting green

Relief must be “complete” for lie, stance and area of intended swing.