Definitions

Abnormal Course Condition

An animal holeAnimal Hole: Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects)., ground under repairGround Under Repair: Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise)., an immovable obstructionImmovable Obstruction: Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction., or temporary waterTemporary Water: Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty area, and can be seen before or after you take a stance (without pressing down excessively with your feet)..

Advice

Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.) that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball., or deciding how to play during a hole or round. But adviceAdvice: Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. Butadvice does not include public information, such as the location of things on the course, the distance from one point to another, or the Rules. does not include public information, such as the location of things on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground., the distance from one point to another, or the Rules.

Animal

Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans).

Animal Hole

Any hole dug in the ground by an animalAnimal: Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans)., except for holes dug by animalsAnimal: Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans). that are also defined as loose impedimentsLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: (such as worms or insects).

The term animal holeAnimal Hole: Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects). includes:

Areas of the Course

The five defined areas that make up the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.: (1) the general areaGeneral Area: The area of the course that covers all of the courseexcept for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing., (2) the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where: you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areasPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there., (4) all bunkersBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil has been removed. These are not part of a bunker:, and (5) the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). of the hole you are playing.

Ball-Marker

An artificial object when used to markMark: To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball. the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a teeTee: An object used to raise your ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than four inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules., a coin, an object made to be a ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. or another small piece of equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie..

Boundary Object

Artificial objects defining or showing out of boundsOut of Bounds: All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds., such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed.

This includes any base and post of a boundary fence, but does not include angled supports or guy wires that are attached to a wall or fence, or any steps, bridge or similar construction used for getting over the wall or fence.

Boundary objectsBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed. are treated as immovable even if they are movable or any part of them is movable (see Rule 8.1a).

Boundary objectsBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed. are not obstructionsObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. or integral objectsIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed..

Bunker

A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil has been removed. These are not part of a bunkerBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil has been removed. These are not part of a bunker::

Caddie

Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you adviceAdvice: Any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence you or another player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. Butadvice does not include public information, such as the location of things on the course, the distance from one point to another, or the Rules.. A caddieCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b). may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).

Club-Length

The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-lengthClub-Length: The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round. is 43 inches for you for that roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

Committee

The person or group in charge of the competition or the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground..

Conditions Affecting the Stroke

The lieLie: The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball. of your ball at rest, the area of your intended stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke., the area of your intended swing, your line of playLine of Play: The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line. and the relief areaRelief Area: The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors: where you will dropDrop: To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest. or place a ball.

Course

The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

Drop

To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief areaRelief Area: The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors: where your ball must be droppedDrop: To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest. and come to rest.

In taking relief, you must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so that the ball:

Embedded

When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embeddedEmbedded: When your ball is in its own pitch-mark made as a result of your previous stroke and where part of the ball is below the level of the ground. Your ball does not necessarily have to touch soil to be embedded (for example, grass and loose impediments may be between your ball and the soil). (for example, grass and loose impedimentsLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: may be between your ball and the soil).

Equipment

Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddieCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).. Objects used for the care of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground., such as rakes, are equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie. only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddieCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b)..

Equipment Rules

The specifications and other regulations for clubs, balls and other equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie. that you are allowed to use during a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.. The Equipment RulesEquipment Rules: The specifications and other regulations for clubs, balls and other equipment that you are allowed to use during a round. The Equipment Rules are found at usga.org. are found at usga.org.

Flagstick

A movable pole provided by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. that is placed in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing. to show you where the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing. is.

General Area

The area of the courseAreas of the Course: The five defined areas that make up the course: (1) the general area, (2) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (3) all penalty areas, (4) all bunkers, and (5) the putting green of the hole you are playing. that covers all of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. except for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where: you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areasPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there., (3) all bunkersBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil has been removed. These are not part of a bunker:, and (4) the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). of the hole you are playing.

The general areaGeneral Area: The area of the course that covers all of the courseexcept for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing. includes all teeing locations on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. other than the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:, and all wrong greensWrong Green: Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area..

General Penalty

Loss of hole in match playMatch Play: A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds. or two penalty strokes in stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition..

Ground Under Repair

Any part of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. defines to be ground under repairGround Under Repair: Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise). (whether by marking it or otherwise).

Ground under repairGround Under Repair: Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise). also includes the following things, even if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. does not define them as such:

The edge of ground under repairGround Under Repair: Any part of the course the Committee defines to be ground under repair (whether by marking it or otherwise). should be defined by stakes or lines:

Hole

The finishing point on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). for the hole you are playing.

Holed

When your ball is at rest in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing. after your strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).. When the Rules refer to “holing outHoled: When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to “holing out” or “hole out,” it means when your ball is holed. ” or “hole outHoled: When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to “holing out” or “hole out,” it means when your ball is holed.,” it means when your ball is holedHoled: When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to “holing out” or “hole out,” it means when your ball is holed..

For the special case of a ball resting against the flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show you where the hole is. in the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing., see Rule 13.2c (your ball is treated as holedHoled: When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to “holing out” or “hole out,” it means when your ball is holed. if any part of your ball is below the surface of the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used).).

Honour

Your right to play first from the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where: (see Rule 6.4).

Immovable Obstruction

Any obstructionObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstructionObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. or the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground., and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course..

Improve

To alter one or more of the conditions affecting your strokeConditions Affecting the Stroke: The lie of your ball at rest, the area of your intended stance, the area of your intended swing, your line of play and the relief area where you will drop or place a ball. or other physical conditions affecting your play so that you gain a potential advantage for your strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball..

In Play

The status of your ball when it lies on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. and is being used in the play of a hole.

Your ball first becomes in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole. on a hole:

That ball remains in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole. until it is holedHoled: When your ball is at rest in the hole after your stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green. When the Rules refer to “holing out” or “hole out,” it means when your ball is holed., except that it is no longer in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.:

A ball that is not in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole. is a wrong ballWrong Ball: Any ball other than your:.

When a ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. is in place to markMark: To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-marker right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball. the spot of your ball in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole.:

Integral Object

An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. from which free relief is not allowed.

Artificial objects defined by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. as integral objectsIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. are treated as immovable (see Rule 8.1a). But if part of an integral objectIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets the definition of movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course., that part is treated as a movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course..

Integral objectsIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. are not obstructionsObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. or boundary objectsBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed..

Known or Virtually Certain

The standard for deciding what happened to your ball – for example, whether your ball came to rest in a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there., whether it movedMoved: When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so). or what caused it to moveMoved: When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so)..

Known or virtually certainKnown or Virtually Certain: The standard for deciding what happened to your ball – for example, whether your ball came to rest in a penalty area, whether it moved or what caused it to move. means more than just possible or probable. It means that either:

Lie

The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstructionImmovable Obstruction: Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction., integral objectIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed., or boundary objectBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed. touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impedimentsLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: and movable obstructionsMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course. are not part of the lieLie: The spot on which your ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching your ball or right next to it. Loose impediments and movable obstructions are not part of the lie of a ball. of a ball.

Line of Play

The line where you intend your ball to go after a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball., including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line.

The line of playLine of Play: The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line. is not necessarily a straight line between two points (for example, it may be a curved line based on where you intend the ball to go).

Loose Impediment

Any unattached natural object such as:

Such natural objects are not loose if they are:

Special cases:

Lost

The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after you or your caddieCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b). (or your partnerPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play. or partner’sPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play. caddieCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b).) begin to search for it.

Mark

To show the spot where a ball is at rest by either placing a ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. right behind or right next to the ball, or holding a club on the ground right behind or right next to the ball.

Marker

In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., the person responsible for entering your score on your scorecardScorecard: The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play. and for certifying that scorecardScorecard: The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke play.. The markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering your score on your scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not your partner. may be another player, but not your partnerPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play..

Match Play

A form of play where you or your sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. plays directly against an opponentOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. or opposing sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. in a head-to-head match of one or more roundsRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

Movable Obstruction

An obstructionObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstructionObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects. or the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground..

If part of an immovable obstructionImmovable Obstruction: Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction. or integral objectIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. (such as a gate or door or part of an attached cable) meets these two standards, that part is treated as a movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.. But this does not apply if the movable part of an immovable obstructionImmovable Obstruction: Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction. or integral objectIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. is not meant to be moved (such as a loose stone that is part of a stone wall).

Moved

When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).

This applies whether your ball has gone up, down or horizontally in any direction away from its original spot.

If your ball only wobbles (sometimes referred to as oscillating) and stays on or returns to its original spot, your ball has not movedMoved: When your ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so)..

Natural Forces

The effects of nature such as wind, water or when something happens for no apparent reason because of the effects of gravity.

Nearest Point of Complete Relief

Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course conditionAbnormal Course Condition: An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water. (Rule 16.1), dangerous animalAnimal: Any living member of the animal kingdom (other than humans). condition (Rule 16.2), wrong greenWrong Green: Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area. (Rule 13.1f) or no play zoneNo Play Zone: A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area. (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules.

It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke., swing and line of playLine of Play: The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line. you would have used for that strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball..

No Play Zone

A part of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. where the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. has prohibited play. A no play zoneNo Play Zone: A part of the course where the Committee has prohibited play. A no play zone must be defined as part of either an abnormal course condition or a penalty area. must be defined as part of either an abnormal course conditionAbnormal Course Condition: An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water. or a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there..

Obstruction

(see also immovableImmovable Obstruction: Any obstruction that cannot be moved without unreasonable effort or without damaging the obstruction or the course, and otherwise does not meet the definition of a movable obstruction. and movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course.): Any artificial object except for integral objectsIntegral Object: An artificial object defined by the Committee as part of the challenge of playing the course from which free relief is not allowed. and boundary objectsBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed..

Examples of obstructionsObstruction: (see also immovable and movable obstruction): Any artificial object except for integral objects and boundary objects.:

Opponent

The person you compete against in a match. The term opponentOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. applies only in match playMatch Play: A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds..

Outside Influence

Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie. or to the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.:

Out of Bounds

All areas outside the boundary edge of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. as defined by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course.. All areas inside that edge are in bounds.

The boundary edge of the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The boundary edge should be defined by boundary objectsBoundary Object: Artificial objects defining or showing out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, from which free relief is not allowed. or lines:

When a line on the ground defines the boundary edge, stakes may be used to show where the boundary edge is, but they have no other meaning. Boundary stakes or lines should be white.

Partner

A player who competes together with another player as a sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play., in either match playMatch Play: A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds. or stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition..

Penalty Area

An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there.

There are two different types of penalty areasPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there., distinguished by the colour used to mark them:

If the colour of a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there. has not been marked or indicated by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course., it is treated as a red penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there..

The edge of a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there. extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.

The edge of a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there. should be defined by stakes or lines.

Point of Maximum Available Relief

Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course conditionAbnormal Course Condition: An animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, or temporary water. in a bunkerBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil has been removed. These are not part of a bunker: (Rule 16.1c) or on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). (Rule 16.1d) when there is no nearest point of complete reliefNearest Point of Complete Relief: Your reference point for taking free relief from an abnormal course condition (Rule 16.1), dangerous animal condition (Rule 16.2), wrong green (Rule 13.1f) or no play zone (Rules 16.1f and 17.1e), or in taking relief under certain Local Rules..

It is the estimated point where your ball would lie that is:

Estimating this reference point requires you to identify the choice of club, stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke., swing and line of playLine of Play: The line where you intend your ball to go after a stroke, including the area on your line that is a reasonable distance up above the ground and on either side of your line. you would have used for that strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball..

Provisional Ball

Another ball played in case the ball just played by you may be out of boundsOut of Bounds: All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds. or lostLost: The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after you or your caddie (or your partner or partner’scaddie) begin to search for it. outside a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there..

Putting Green

The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. has defined as the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). (such as when a temporary green is used).

Referee

An official named by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules.

Relief Area

The area where you must dropDrop: To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest. a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief areaRelief Area: The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors: whose size and location are based on these three factors:

Replace

To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole..

Round

18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course..

Scorecard

The document where your score for each hole is entered in stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition..

Serious Breach

In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., when playing from a wrong placeWrong Place: Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules. could give you a significant advantage compared to your strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. to be made from the right place.

Side

Two or more partnersPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play. competing as a single unit in a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. in match playMatch Play: A form of play where you or your side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds. or stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition..

Stance

The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball..

Stroke

The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball.

Stroke and Distance

The procedure and penalty when you take relief under Rules 17, 18 or 19 by playing a ball from where your previous strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. was made (see Rule 14.6).

Stroke Play

A form of play where you or your sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. competes against all other players or sidesSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. in the competition.

Substitute

To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole..

Tee

An object used to raise your ball above the ground to play it from the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where:. It must be no longer than four inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment RulesEquipment Rules: The specifications and other regulations for clubs, balls and other equipment that you are allowed to use during a round. The Equipment Rules are found at usga.org..

Teeing Area

The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing areaTeeing Area: The area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing. The teeing area is a rectangle that is two club-lengths deep where: is a rectangle that is two club-lengthsClub-Length: The length of the longest club of the 14 (or fewer) clubs you have during the round (as allowed by Rule 4.1b(1)), other than a putter. For example, if the longest club (other than a putter) you have during a round is a 43-inch (109.22 cm) driver, a club-length is 43 inches for you for that round. deep where:

Temporary Water

Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that is not in a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if your ball comes to rest there., and can be seen before or after you take a stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke. (without pressing down excessively with your feet).

It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as you step on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after your stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke. is taken.

Special cases:

Wrong Ball

Any ball other than your:

Examples of a wrong ballWrong Ball: Any ball other than your: are another player’s ball in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole., a stray ball, and your own ball that is out of boundsOut of Bounds: All areas outside the boundary edge of the course as defined by the Committee. All areas inside that edge are in bounds., has become lostLost: The status of a ball that is not found in three minutes after you or your caddie (or your partner or partner’scaddie) begin to search for it. or has been lifted and not yet put back in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole..

Wrong Green

Any green on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. other than the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). for the hole you are playing. Wrong greensWrong Green: Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole you are playing. Wrong greens are part of the general area. are part of the general areaGeneral Area: The area of the course that covers all of the courseexcept for the other four defined areas: (1) the teeing area you must play from in starting the hole you are playing, (2) all penalty areas, (3) all bunkers, and (4) the putting green of the hole you are playing..

Wrong Place

Any place on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground. other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules.