Rule 1 - The Game, Player Conduct and the Rules

1.2 Standards of Player Conduct

1.2a/1 - Meaning of Serious Misconduct

The phrase “serious misconduct” in Rule 1.2a is intended to cover player misconduct that is so far removed from the expected norm in golf that the most severe sanction of removing a player from the competition is justified. This includes dishonesty, deliberately interfering with another player’s rights, or endangering the safety of others.

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. must determine if the misconduct is serious considering all the circumstances. Even if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. determines that the misconduct is serious, it may take the view that it is more appropriate to warn the player that a repeat of the misconduct or similar misconduct will result in disqualification, instead of disqualifying him or her in the first instance.

Examples of actions by a player that are likely to be considered serious misconduct include:

Examples of actions by a player that, although involving misconduct, are unlikely to be considered serious misconduct include:

1.3 Playing by the Rules

1.3b(1)/1 – Disqualifying Players Who Know a Rule but Deliberately Agree to Ignore It

If two or more players deliberately agree to ignore any Rule or penalty they know applies, they will be disqualified unless the agreement is made before the roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. and is cancelled before any player involved in the agreement begins his or her roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

For example, in stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., two players agree to consider putts within a club-length of the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: holedHoled: When a ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and the entire ball is below the surface of the putting green., when they know that they must holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: out on each holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played:.

While on the first putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:, another player in the group learns of this agreement. That player insists the two players who made the agreement holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: out, and they do so.

Even though neither player who made the agreement acted on it by failing to holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: out, they are still disqualified because they deliberately agreed to ignore Rule 3.3c (Failure to Hole Out).

1.3b(1)/2 – In Order to Agree to Ignore a Rule or Penalty, Players Must Be Aware the Rule Exists

Rule 1.3b(1) does not apply and there is no penalty if players agree to waive a Rule that they are not aware of or fail to apply a penalty that they do not know exists.

Examples where two players are unaware of a Rule, or where they have failed to apply a penalty, and therefore are not disqualified under Rule 1.3b(1), include:

Interpretations Related to Rule 1.3b(2):
1.3c(1)/1 – Action of Another Person Breaches a Rule For Player

A player is responsible when another person’s action breaches a Rule with respect to the player if it is done at the player’s request or if the player sees the action and allows it.

Examples of when a player gets the penalty because he or she requested or allowed the action include:

1.3c(4)/1 – Intervening Event Between Breaches Results in Multiple Penalties

When a player breaches multiple Rules or the same Rule multiple times, any relationship between the breaches is broken by an intervening event and the player will get multiple penalties.

The three types of intervening events where the player will get multiple penalties are:

1.3c(4)/2 – Multiple Breaches From a Single Act Result in a Single Penalty

A single act may breach two different Rules. In this situation, one penalty is applied. In the case of two Rules with different penalties, the higher-level penalty will apply.

For example, a player presses down the grass behind his or her ball in playIn Play: The status of a player’s ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole: and improves: the lieLie: The spot on which a ball is at rest and any growing or attached natural object, immovable obstruction, integral object, or boundary object touching the ball or right next to it. in the rough, accidentally moving: the ball as well. This single act (that is, pressing down the grass) breached two Rules, Rule 8.1a (Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke) and Rule 9.4b (Lifting or Deliberately Touching Ball or Causing It to Move) and only one penalty applies.

In this case, the penalty under Rule 8.1a is the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. and the penalty under Rule 9.4b is one penalty stroke. Therefore, the higher-level penalty applies and the player loses the hole in match playMatch Play: A form of play where a player or side plays directly against an opponent or opposing side in a head-to-head match of one or more rounds: or must add a total penalty of two strokes in stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition. under Rule 8.1a and the ball must be replaced: .

1.3c(4)/3 – Meaning of Unrelated Acts

Unrelated acts in the context of Rule 1.3c(4) are acts of a player that are of a different type or associated with a different process.

Examples of unrelated acts where multiple penalties apply include:

Examples of related acts where only one penalty applies include:

1.3c(4)/4 – Not Replacing the Ball May Be Considered a Separate and Unrelated Act

In the example given in 1.3c(4)/2, a single act of pressing down grass and moving: the ball breached two Rules (Rule 8.1a and Rule 9.4b) and resulted in a single penalty being applied under Rule 8.1a (Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke).

However, Rule 9.4b (Lifting or Deliberately Touching Ball or Causing It to Move) requires that the movedMoved: When a 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). ball be replaced: and, if it is not replaced: before  the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball., the player will get an additional penalty of two strokes under Rule 9.4b. The failure to replaceReplace: To place a ball by setting it down and letting it go, with the intent for it to be in play. the ball is considered a separate and unrelated act.

1.3c/1 – Player Is Not Disqualified from a Competition When That Round Does Not Count

In competitions where not all rounds: count, a player is not disqualified from the competition for being disqualified from a single roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

Examples of when a player is not disqualified from the competition:

1.3c/2 – Applying Disqualification Penalties, Concessions and Wrong Number of Strokes in a Stroke-Play Play-Off

During a play-off in a stroke-play: competition the Rules are applied as follows: