Rule 2 - The Course

Purpose of Rule: Rule 2 introduces the basic things you should know about the course:

It is important to know the area of the course where your ball lies and the status of any interfering objects and conditions, because they often affect your options for playing your ball or taking relief.

2.1 Course Boundaries and Out of Bounds

Golf is played on a 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.. Areas not 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. are 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..

2.2 Defined Areas of the Course

There are five areas 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.. 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., which covers the entire 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 four specific areas: .

It is important to know 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. where your ball lies as this affects the Rules that apply in playing your ball or taking relief.

 For information on how to treat a ball that is lying on two parts of the course.

2.3  Objects or Conditions That Can Interfere with Your Play

Free relief (relief with no penalty) may be available from: 

But you do not get free relief from 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 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. that interfere with your play.

2.4 No Play Zones

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. is 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. that you are not allowed to play your ball from. You must also take relief if the 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. interferes with your stanceStance: The position of your feet and body in preparing for and making your stroke. or area of intended swing when playing a ball outside the 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..