Midterms start next week as we reach the halfway point of our first 16-week semester at the Golf Academy. You may think you know the Rules of Golf, and I’m not saying you don’t. But we have to know them word for word. That’s every a, an, and the. Here’s a sampling of what we’re likely to see on next week’s exam. Define the following:
Bunker = a hazard consisting of a prepared area of ground, often a hollow, from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand or the like. Grass-covered ground bordering the bunker or within a bunker, including a stacked turf face (whether grass-covered or earthen), is not part of the bunker. The margin of a bunker extends vertically downwards, but not upwards. A ball is in a bunker when it lies in or any part of it touches the bunker.
Abnormal Ground Conditions = any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.
Stance = consists in a player placing his feet in position for and preparatory to making a stroke.
Addressing the Ball = when the player has grounded his club immediately in front of or immediately behind the ball, whether or not he has taken his stance.
Ball in Play = as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. It remains in play until it is holed, except when it is lost, out of bounds or lifted, or another ball has been substituted.
Through the Green = the whole area of the course except: the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played; and all hazards on the course.
Opponent = a member of a side against whom the player’s side is competing in match play.
Competitor = a player in a stroke-play competition.
Fellow-Competitor = any person with whom the competitor plays.
Loose Impediments = natural objects, including: stones, leaves, twigs, branches and the like, dung, and worms, insects and the like, and the casts and heaps made by them provided they are not fixed or growing, solidly embedded, or adhering to the ball. Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere. Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Dew and frost are not loose impediments.
Forecaddie = one who is employed by the Committee to indicate to players the position of balls during play. He is an outside agency.
Line of Play = the direction the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke, plus a reasonable distance on either side of the intended direction. The line of play extends vertically upwards from the ground, but does not extend beyond the hole.
Water Hazard (Yellow Stakes) = any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface draining ditch or other open water course (whether or not containing water) and anything of a similar nature on the course. A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard.
Lateral Water Hazard (Red Stakes) = a water hazard or that part of a water hazard so situated that it is not possible, or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable, to drop a ball behind the water hazard in accordance with Rule 26-1b.
When in a water hazard, the player may:
(1) Play it as it lies or under penalty of one stroke
(2) Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played
(3) Drop a ball behind the water hazard, point last crossed, with no limit to how far behind
OUT OF A LATERAL WATER HAZARD
(4) Drop a ball within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than point last crossed
(5) Drop a ball within two club-lengths on the opposite margin of the hazard equidistant from the hole
Ground Under Repair = all ground and any grass, bush, tree or other growing thing within the ground under repair. It includes material piled for removal and a hole made by a greenkeeper, even if not so marked. When the margin is defined by stakes, the stakes are inside the ground under repair, and the margin of the ground under repair is defined by the nearest outside points of the stakes at ground level. The margin extends vertically downwards but not upwards. A ball is in ground under repair when it lies in or any part of it touches the ground under repair.
Out of Bounds = beyond the boundaries of the course or any part of the course so marked. The out of bounds line extends vertically upwards and downwards. A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds. A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds. Objects defining out of bounds such as walls, fences, stakes, and railings are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed.
Rule 5-2. Foreign Material = the ball the player plays must not have foreign material applied to it for the purpose of changing its playing characteristics. Penalty is disqualification. Foreign material must not be applied to the club face for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball. Penalty for breach of rule is one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred in Match play (maximum deduction of two holes) or two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred in stroke play (maximum penalty per round is four strokes).
Unfit for play = a ball visibly cut, cracked, or out of shape. A ball is not unfit for play solely because mud or other materials adhere to it, its surface is scratched or scraped or its paint is damaged or discolored. Before lifting the ball, the player must announce his intention to his opponent, marker, or a fellow-competitor and mark the position of the ball. The ball must not be cleaned. If the player fails to comply, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.
Advice = any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke. Information on the Rules, distance or matters of public information, such as the position of hazards or the flagstick on the putting green, is not advice.
Rule 2-4. Concession of Match, Hole, or Next Stroke = a player may concede a match at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that match. A player may concede a hole at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that hole. A player may concede his opponent’s next stroke at any time, provided the opponent’s ball is at rest. A concession may not be declined or withdrawn.
Caddie = one who assists the player in accordance with the Rules, which may include carrying or handling the player’s clubs during play. When one caddie is employed by more than one player, he is always deemed to be the caddie of the player sharing the caddie whose ball (or whose partner’s ball) is involved, and equipment carried by him is deemed to be that player’s equipment, except when the caddie acts upon specific directions of another player (or the partner of another player) sharing the caddie, in which case he is considered to be that other player’s caddie.
Foursome = a match in which two players play against two other players, and each side plays one ball.
Hole = must be 4 1/4” in diameter and at least 4” deep. If a lining is used, it must be sunk at least 1” below the putting green surface, unless the nature of the soil makes it impracticable to do so.
Observer = one who is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule. An observer should not attend the flagstick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.
Equipment = anything used, worn or carried by the player or anything carried for the player by his partner or either of their caddies, except any ball he has played at the hole being played and any small object, such as a coin or a tee, when used to mark the position of a ball or the extent of an area in which a ball is to be dropped. Equipment includes a golf cart, whether or not motorized. A ball played at the hole being played is equipment when it has been lifted and not put back into play. When a golf cart is shared by two or more players, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of one of the players sharing the cart. If the cart is being moved by one of the players (or the partner of one of the players) sharing it, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be that player’s equipment. Otherwise, the cart and everything in it are deemed to be the equipment of the player sharing the cart whose ball (or whose partner’s ball) is involved.
Dormie = a side is “dormie” when it is as many holes up as there are holes remaining to be played.
Wrong Ball = any ball other than the player’s ball in play; provisional ball; or second ball played under Rule 3-3 or Rule 20-7c in stroke play; and includes: another player’s ball; an abandoned ball; and the player’s original ball when it is no longer in play. If a player makes a stroke at a wrong ball in Match Play, he loses the hole. If the wrong ball belongs to another player, its owner must place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was first played. If the player and opponent exchange balls during the play of the hole, the first to make a stroke at a wrong ball loses the hole. If a competitor makes a stroke or strokes at a wrong ball, he incurs a penalty of two strokes. If the competitor fails to correct his mistake before making a stroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, fails to declare his intention to correct his mistake before leaving the putting green, he is disqualified.
Clubs Damaged = If, during a stipulated round, a player’s club is damaged in the normal course of play, he may: use the club in its damaged state for the remainder of the stipulated round; or without unduly delaying play, repair it or have it repaired; or as an additional option available only if the club is unfit for play, replace the damaged club with any club.
Failing to Hole Out = If a competitor fails to hole out at any hole and does not correct his mistake before he makes a stroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he leaves the putting green, he is disqualified.
Rule 3-3. Doubt as to Procedure = In stroke play, if a competitor is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during the play of a hole, he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls. After the doubtful situation has arisen and before taking further action, the competitor must announce to his marker or fellow-competitor that he intends to play two balls and which ball he wishes to count if the Rules permit. The competitor must report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning his scorecard. If he fails to do so, he is disqualified. If the competitor takes further action before dealing with the doubtful situation, Rule 3-3 is not applicable.
Teeing Ground = the starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers. A ball is outside the teeing ground when all of it lies outside the teeing ground.
Rule 6-6b. Returning Wrong Scorecard = The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his scorecard. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.
Obstructions = anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice, except: objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings; any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds; and any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course. An obstruction is a movable obstruction if it may be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage.
Rule 6-2a. Match Play
If a player begins a match having declared a handicap higher than that to which he is entitled and this affects the number of strokes given or received, he is disqualified.
Rule 6-2b. Stroke Play
If no handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned, or if the recorded handicap is higher than that to which he is entitled and this affects the number of strokes received, he is disqualified.
Rule 6-3a. Time of Starting
If the player arrives at his starting point, ready to play, within five minutes after his starting time, the penalty for failure to start on time is loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Otherwise, the penalty is disqualification.
Rule 6-3b. Groups
The competitor must remain throughout the round in the group arranged by the Committee. Penalty for breach of rule is disqualification.