Rule 3 - The Competition

3.2 Match Play

3.2b(1)/1 – Players Must Not Concede Holes to Deliberately Shorten a Match

Although a player is allowed to concede a hole to his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. at any time before that hole is completed, a player and opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. are not allowed to agree to concede holes to each other to deliberately shorten the match.

For example, before starting a match, a player and his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. agree to alternate the concession of holes 6, 7, 8 and 9 to one another.

If they know that the Rules do not allow them to make concessions in this way and start the match without cancelling the agreement, both players are disqualified under Rule 1.3b(1) (Player Responsibility for Applying the Rules).

If the players are unaware that this is not allowed, the match stands as played.

3.2b(2)/1 – Concession Is Not Valid When Caddie Attempts to Make Concession

One of the actions a caddieCaddie: Someone who helps a player during a round, including in these ways: is not allowed to take is to concede the next strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball., a hole or the match to the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.. If a caddieCaddie: Someone who helps a player during a round, including in these ways: attempts to concede, that concession is not valid. There is no penalty to the player for this action of the caddieCaddie: Someone who helps a player during a round, including in these ways: since Rule 10.3b(3) (Actions Not Allowed By Caddie) does not specify a penalty.

If the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. takes an action based on the caddie’s: attempt to concede, such as lifting a 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: or a ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment., this would be a reasonable misunderstanding under Rule 3.2b(2). There is no penalty and the ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. must be replaced: unless the player then makes a concession.

However, if the caddieCaddie: Someone who helps a player during a round, including in these ways: who made the invalid concession lifted the opponent’s: ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a 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 the ball or ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of a ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. of his or her player, that caddie’s: player would get a penalty if that act was a breach of Rule 9.4 or Rule 9.5.

3.2c(1)/1 – Declaring Higher Handicap Is a Breach Even If Affected Hole Has Not Been Played

If a player declares a higher handicap to his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. before playing the hole that would be affected, the player is still disqualified since this could have affected the opponent’s: strategy.

For example, while waiting on the first tee to start the match, Player A declares that his or her handicap is 12, when it is really 11. Player B declares that his or her handicap is 10, and Player B makes a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. to start play of the 1st hole.

Player A is disqualified under Rule 3.2c(1) because Player B made a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. in the match with the understanding that Player A gets two handicap strokes.

3.2c(2)/1 – Handicap Stroke Not Applied During a Match Is Discovered Later in Match

Handicap strokes that a player fails to apply are treated in the same way as those that are mistakenly applied.

3.2d(1)/1 – Number of Strokes Taken During Play of a Hole Does Not Need to Be Given by Player If It Is the Player’s Turn to Play

If the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. asks the player for the number of strokes taken when it is the player’s turn to play, the player is not required to give this information right away.

The player is required to provide the number of strokes taken only before the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. makes his or her next strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. or takes a similar action. The player may play his or her shot before giving such information.

3.2d(1)/2 – Meaning of the “No Penalty If No Effect on Result of Hole” Exception

During play of a hole, a player must give the right number of strokes taken so his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. can decide how to play the hole. However, after a hole is completed, if a player gives the wrong number of strokes taken, there is no penalty under the Exception to Rule 3.2d(1) if doing so did not affect the opponent’s: understanding of whether the hole was won, lost or tied.

For example, after completing a hole at which the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. scored a 7, the player mistakenly states that he or she scored a 5, when the player actually scored a 6. After starting the next hole, the player realizes that he or she scored a 6. Since the wrong number of strokes taken did not change the fact that the player had won the hole, there is no penalty.

3.2d(1)/3 – Wrong Number of Strokes Given by Player After Hole Completed and the Mistake Is Discovered Several Holes Later

If a player gives the wrong number of strokes taken after a hole is completed, the player gets the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. if the mistake affects the result of the hole and is not corrected in time. In such a case, the match score must be corrected.

For example, after completing the 1st hole the player tells the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. that he or she scored a 4 but actually scored a 5. The opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. scored a 5 on the hole. After playing several more holes, the player realizes that he or she gave the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. the wrong number of strokes taken on the 1st hole.

Even though the hole would have been a tie if the right number of strokes taken had been given, the player gets a loss-of-hole penalty on the first hole because the mistake affected the understanding of the result of the hole. The match score must be corrected.

3.2d(1)/4 – Wrong Number of Strokes Given by Player After Hole Completed and the Mistake Is Discovered After Result of the Match Is Final

If a player unknowingly gives the wrong number of strokes taken after a hole is completed but the mistake is not realized until after the result of the match is final (Rule 3.2a(5) – When Result Is Final), the result of the match stands as played.

For example, after completing the 17th hole, the player tells the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. that he or she scored a 3, but actually scored a 4. The opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. scored a 4 on the hole. The players play the 18th hole, and the result of the player winning the match 1 up is made final. The player then realizes that he or she gave the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. the wrong number of strokes taken on the 17th hole.

Because the player unknowingly gave the wrong number of strokes and the result of the match is final, there is no penalty and the match result stands, with the player as the winner (Rule 20.1b(3) – Ruling Request Made After Result of Match Is Final).

3.2d(1)/5 – Changing Mind About Taking Penalty Relief Is Not Giving Wrong Number of Strokes Taken

The right number of strokes taken means only the strokes: a player has already made and any penalty strokes already received.

For example, the player’s ball lies in a penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if the player’s ball comes to rest there. and the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. asks how the player intends to proceed. Although not required to answer the question, the player advises that he or she will take penalty relief. After the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. plays, the player decides to play the ball as it lies in the penalty areaPenalty Area: An area from which relief with a one-stroke penalty is allowed if the player’s ball comes to rest there..

The player was entitled to change his or her mind and there was no penalty for doing so since stating future intentions is not the same as giving the number of strokes taken.

3.2d(2)/1 – “As Soon as Reasonably Possible” Is Not Always Before the Opponent’s Next Stroke

The broad phrase of “as soon as reasonably possible” allows for consideration of all relevant circumstances, especially how near the player is to the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play..

For example, if the player takes unplayable ball relief when the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. is on the opposite side of the fairway and the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. plays before the player can walk over to tell the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. about the penalty, “as soon as reasonably possible” may be while they are walking up to the holeHole: The finishing point on the putting green for the hole being played: to make their next strokes: .

There is no set procedure for determining what is “as soon as reasonably possible”, but it does not always mean before the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. makes the next strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball..

3.2d(3)/1 – Deliberately Giving Incorrect Match Score or Failing to Correct Opponent’s Misunderstanding of Match Score May Result in Disqualification

Rule 3.2d(3) expects players to know the match score, but does not require a player to give the match score to the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play..

If a player deliberately gives an incorrect match score or deliberately fails to correct the opponent’s: misunderstanding of the match score, he or she has not given the wrong number of strokes taken. But the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should disqualify the player under Rule 1.2a (Serious Misconduct).

3.2d(3)/2 – Agreement to Wrong Match Score at a Prior Hole Discovered Later in Match

If a player and his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. agree to a wrong match score, the match score stands. This is not the same as giving an incorrect number of strokes taken.

For example, after the 10th hole, a player mistakenly says to his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. that the match score is tied and his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. agrees to this score. Before starting the 12th hole, the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. realizes that he or she was actually 1up after the 10th hole and requests a ruling on the basis that the player gave the wrong match score.

Players are expected to know the match score and, because the players agreed to the wrong match score and this was not corrected before starting the 11th hole, the wrong match score stands. There is no penalty to the player who mistakenly gave the wrong match score.

3.3 Stroke Play

3.3b(1)/1 – Marker Should Be Disqualified if He or She Knowingly Certifies a Wrong Score For Another Player

If a markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner., who is a player, knowingly certifies a wrong score for a hole (including a hole score that does not include a penalty that the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. knew the player received on that hole), the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. should be disqualified under Rule 1.2a (Serious Misconduct).

For example, a player returns a scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. with a hole score that is lower than actually taken because he or she was unaware of a penalty that should have been included. However, the player’s markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. was aware of the penalty before the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. was returned, but knowingly failed to notify the player and certified the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. anyway.

Although Rule 3.3b(1) does not apply a penalty for knowingly certifying a wrong score for another player, it is not in the spirit of the game. Therefore, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should disqualify the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. under Rule 1.2a (Serious Misconduct).

The player’s score is then revised as provided in Rule 3.3b(3) (Wrong Score for a Hole).

3.3b(1)/2 – Marker May Refuse to Certify Player’s Score Based on a Disagreement

A markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. is not required to certify a hole score that he or she believes is wrong.

For example, if there is a dispute between a player and his or her markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. about whether there was a breach of the Rules or the player’s score for a hole and the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. reports the facts of the disagreement to the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course., the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. is not required to certify the hole score for the hole that he or she believes is incorrect.

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. will need to consider the available facts and make a decision as to the player’s score on the hole in question. If the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. refuses to certify that hole score, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should accept certification from someone else who saw the player’s actions on the hole in question (such as another player) or the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. itself can certify the player’s score on that hole.

3.3b(2)/1 – Players Are Required to Enter Only Scores on a Scorecard

There is a difference between requiring players to enter a score for a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. into a computer (such as for handicapping purposes) and being required to enter hole scores using an electronic form of scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. approved by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. (such as a mobile scoring application).

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may require players to use a scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. other than a paper scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. (such as an electronic form of scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.), but the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. has no authority to impose a penalty under Rule 3.3b(2) for failing to enter scores elsewhere.

However, to help in administrative matters (such as the efficient production and communication of competition results), a CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may apply a penalty under a Code of Conduct (Rule 1.2b) or provide disciplinary sanctions (such as revoking entry into the next competition) for failing to enter scores elsewhere.

3.3b(2)/2 – No Extra Certification Is Required When Changes on Scorecard Are Made

When the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. or the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. approves a change in a hole score on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play., neither the player nor the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. is required to initial or make any extra certification of the changed score.

The player’s certification applies to all hole scores, including those that were changed.

3.3b(2)/3 – Application of the Exception for Marker Failing to Carry Out His or Her Responsibilities

Under the Exception to Rule 3.3b(2), a player gets no penalty if there is abreach of the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. requirements because of a failure of the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. that is beyond the player’s control.

Examples of how the Exception operates include:

3.3b(3)/1 – Scores on Scorecard Must Be Identifiable to Correct Hole

Under Rule 3.3b, each hole score on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. must be identifiable to the correct hole.

For example, if a markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. enters the player’s front nine scores in the back nine boxes and the back nine scores in the front nine boxes, the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. will still be acceptable if the mistake is corrected by altering the hole numbers so that they go with the right score for each hole.

However, if this mistake is not corrected and, as a result, a hole score is lower than actually taken on that hole, the player is disqualified under Rule 3.3b(3).

3.3b(4)/1 – Meaning of “Handicap” Player Must Show on Scorecard

In net-score stroke-play: competitions, it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that his or her handicap is shown on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.. “Handicap” means the handicap for the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: and tees being played, excluding any handicap allowances as set out within the Terms of the Competition. The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is responsible for applying any handicap allowances and adjustments.

3.3b(4)/2 – Player Not Exempt From Penalty When Committee Provides a Scorecard With an Incorrect Handicap

If the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. provides players with scorecards: containing their handicaps, each player must make sure that the right handicap is shown on his or her scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. before returning it.

For example, as a courtesy, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. chooses to issue pre-printed scorecards: containing the date and each player’s name and handicap.

If such a scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. mistakenly has a player’s handicap being higher than it actually is, and this affects the number of strokes he or she gets, the player is disqualified under Rule 3.3b(4) if he or she does not correct this mistake before returning the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play..

3.3b(4)/3 – No Penalty When a Higher Handicap Has No Effect

If a player returns his or her scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. with a higher handicap than he or she is entitled to, but that higher handicap does not affect how many handicap strokes he or she gets, there is no penalty since it does not affect the competition.

For example, a Term of the Competition is to use 90% of each player’s handicap. A player is a 5 handicap, but the player returns his or her scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. showing a handicap of 6. Since 90% of 5 or 6 equals 5 when rounded to the nearest whole number, using the handicap of 6 does not affect how many handicap strokes the player gets, so there is no penalty.

3.3b/1 – Players Must Be Accompanied by a Marker for the Entire Round

The purpose of a markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. is to certify that a player’s score for each hole is correctly shown on the player’s scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.. If a markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. is not with the player for the entire roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee., the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. cannot be properly certified.

For example, if a player plays several holes without his or her markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. and the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. enters the player’s scores for the holes the player played alone, the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. cannot be properly certified under Rule 3.3b.

The player should have insisted that the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. accompany the player for all of the holes. If the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. was unable to do so, the player should have asked another person to serve as his or her markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner.. If that was not possible, the player was required to stop play and report to the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. so that another markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. could be assigned.

3.3b/2 – Information Put in Wrong Location on Scorecard May Still Be Acceptable

Although all requirements of Rule 3.3b must be met before a scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. is returned, there is no penalty if the correct information is mistakenly entered on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. in a place other than where it was expected to be, except that each hole score on the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. must be identifiable to the correct hole (see 3.3b(3)/1).

For example:

3.3b/3 – Another Scorecard May Be Used if Official Scorecard Is Misplaced

Although a player should return the scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. that he or she was given by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course., Rule 3.3b does not require the same scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. to be returned if it was damaged or misplaced.

For example, if the markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. misplaces a paper scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. that had been handed out by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course., it would be acceptable to use another scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. (such as a club scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play.) so long as that scorecardScorecard: The document where a player’s score for each hole is entered in stroke play. has the player’s name and hole scores, and is certified by the player and markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner..

When an electronic scoring system is used and the player or markerMarker: In stroke play, the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard. The marker may be another player, but not a partner. loses internet connectivity or there is a technical issue, the players should raise the matter with the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. as soon as possible and no later than immediately after the round is completed.