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The rules of golf

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Golf is a precision sport playing outdoors, which involves sending a ball into a hole using golf clubs. The goal is to carry on a defined path, using the least amount of shots. Precision, endurance, technique, concentration are essential qualities for this activity.

Codified in Scotland in 1754 by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the sport has various origins, including jeu de mail. It was so imported from the Netherlands where it was practiced under the name “colf” from the thirteenth century.

Golf started to develop during the second half of the nineteenth century with the arrival of professionalism and private clubs in Scotland and England, where is set up in 1860 the first British Open played by professionals, then in the early twentieth century. This development continues during the First World War redefining the global hierarchy, Americans reaching to end the hegemony of the British. After the Second World War, the golf sees the arrival of other nations such as South Africa, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan or Australia and globalized at the end of twentieth century. In 2010 there were approximately 82 million more or less regular practitioners.

This sport is less practiced by women and, unlike tennis, women’s golf suffers from an uneven media and financial treatment. Similarly in the administration of the Federation: In 2005, in Chapter about gender equality in sport, IGF (International Golf Federation) stated to the Commission of the Olympic program of the International Olympic Committee that the Executive Committee ( or its equivalent) included “14 men and 4 women.” On 9 October 2009, golf is nevertheless again become an Olympic sport that will appear in the program of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.


The rules of golf

“Rule # 1: The Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole until hitting one or more successive strokes in accordance with Rules”

– USGA & R & A Rules Limited, 2008-2011

Golf rules are standardized procedures by which the game of golf should be played. The last update these rules effective January 1, 2012 and applies worldwide. They are implemented by the USGA and R & A Rules Limited (which since 2004 has taken the responsibilities previously held by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews), in consultation with other authorities governing golf worldwide. The rules have attached etiquettes (conduct of a player on a course), definitions (vocabulary golf), appendages (concerning local rules and technical standards relating to the design of clubs and balls) and decisions on the rules of golf, somehow the jurisprudence of golf.

Altogether there are 34 rules arranged into eleven sections:

1- The game 1- (3 rules)
2- The clubs and the ball (2 rules)
3- The responsibilities of the golfer (4 rules)
4. The order of play (1 rule)
5- The start area (1 set)
6- Playing the ball (4 rules)
7- The green (2 rules)
8- The moved, deflected or stopped ball (2 rules)
9- Situations and clearance procedures (9 rules)
10- Other forms of gambling (4 rules)
11- Administration (2 rules)

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