Rule 6 - Playing a Hole

Purpose of Rule: Rule 6 covers how to play a hole – such as the specific Rules for teeing off to start a hole, the requirement to use the same ball for an entire hole except when substitution is allowed, the order of play (which matters more in match play than stroke play) and completing a hole.

6.1  Starting Play of a Hole

a. When Hole Starts

You have started a hole when you make a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. to begin the hole.

b. Ball Must Be Played from Inside Teeing Area

When starting a hole, if you play a ball from outside 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: (including from a wrong set of tee markers on the same hole or a different hole):

Match Play. There is no penalty and you play your ball as it lies, but your opponentOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. may cancel the strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball., in which case you must play from inside 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 FULL RULES For more information on an opponent cancelling your stroke.

Stroke Play. You get the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. (two penalty strokes) and must correct the mistake by playing a ball from inside 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:. If you do not correct the mistake, you are disqualified.

 For more information on the status of strokes made from outside the teeing area and the disqualification penalty for failing to correct the mistake.

6.2  Playing Ball from Teeing Area

a. When Teeing Area Rules Apply

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: Rules apply whenever you are required or allowed to play 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:.

 For more information on when the teeing area Rules apply.

b. Teeing Area Rules

Your ball is in 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: when any part of the ball touches or is above any part of 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 may stand outside 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: in making the strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. at a ball in 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 may play the ball from 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. placed on the ground or from the ground itself.

 For more information on the teeing area, including certain conditions that can be improved, the restrictions on moving the tee-markers and the treatment of a ball at rest within the teeing area after a stroke.

6.3  Ball Used in Play of Hole

Purpose of Rule: A hole is played as a progression of strokes made from the teeing area to the putting green and into the hole. After teeing off, you are normally required to play the same ball until the hole is completed. You get a penalty for making a stroke at a wrong ball or a substituted ball when substitution is not allowed by the Rules.

a. Holing Out with Same Ball Played from Teeing Area

You may play any conforming ball when starting a hole 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: and may change balls between two holes.

You must 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. with the same ball played 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:, except when:

You should put an identifying mark on the ball to be played.

b. Substitution of Another Ball While Playing Hole

When taking relief by droppingDrop: 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 placing, you may use either the original ball or another ball.

When playing again from where a previous strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. was made, you may use either the original ball or another ball.

When replacingReplace: To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play. a ball on a spot, you are not allowed to substituteSubstitute: To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play. a ball and must use the original ball, with certain exceptions contained in Rule 14.2a.

If you make a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. at an incorrectly substitutedSubstitute: To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play. ball:

c. Wrong Ball

You must not make a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. at a wrong ballWrong Ball: Any ball other than your:.

 For information on the Exception for Ball Moving in Water.

Penalty for Playing Wrong BallWrong Ball: Any ball other than your:: General PenaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play..

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.:

In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., you must correct the mistake by continuing play with the original ball by playing it as it lies or taking relief under the Rules:

6.4  Order of Play When Playing Hole

Purpose of Rule: Rule 6.4 covers the order of play throughout a hole. The order of play from the teeing area depends on who has the honour, and after that is based on which ball is farthest from the hole.

a. Match Play

Starting First Hole. The honourHonour: Your right to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). is decided by the order of the draw or, if there is no draw, by agreement or by using a random method (such as tossing a coin).

Starting All Other Holes. The player who wins a hole has the honourHonour: Your right to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). at the next 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:. If the hole was tied, the player with the honourHonour: Your right to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). at the previous 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: keeps it.

After Both Players Start a Hole. The ball that is farther from the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing. is to be played first.

In all cases, if you play when it is your opponent’sOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. turn to play, there is no penalty and you play your ball as it lies, but your opponentOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. may cancel the strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball..

Exception – Playing Out of Turn by Agreement to Save Time: To save time, you and your opponentOpponent: The person you compete against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. may agree to play out of turn.

 For more information on an opponent cancelling your stroke.

b. Stroke Play

Starting First Hole. The honourHonour: Your right to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). is decided by the order of the draw or, if there is no draw, by agreement or by using a random method (such as tossing a coin).

Starting All Other Holes.

After All Players Start a Hole. The ball that is farthest from the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole you are playing. should be played first.

In all cases, there is no penalty if you play out of turn, except that if you and another player agree to play out of turn to give one of you an advantage, you both get the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. (two penalty strokes).

“Ready Golf”. In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where you or your side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., you are both allowed and encouraged to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way, such as when:

But if the player whose turn it is to play is ready and able to play and indicates that he or she wants to play first, other players should generally wait until that player has played.

 For information on order of play when playing another ball from the teeing area, a provisional ball or when taking relief.

6.5  Completing Play of a Hole

 For information on when a hole has been completed.