Rule 5 - Playing the Round

5.2  Practising on Course Before or Between Rounds

5.2b/1 – Meaning of “Completing Play of His or Her Final Round for That Day” in Stroke Play

In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., a player has completed his or her final roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. for that day when he or she will not play any more holes that day on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: as part of the competition.

For example, having completed play in the first roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. on the first day of a two-day 36-hole stroke-play: competition, a player is permitted by Rule 5.2b to practise on the competition courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: later that day as long as his or her next roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. will not start until the next day.

However, if the player finishes one roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. but will play another roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. or part of a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: on that same day, practising on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: would breach Rule 5.2b.

For example, having completed play in a stroke-play: qualifying roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. for a match-play: competition, a player practises on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee:. After the conclusion of play, the player is tied for the last qualifying place for the match-play: competition. The tie is to be decided by a hole-by-hole stroke-play: play-off that is scheduled to be played immediately after play the same day on that courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee:.

If the player’s practice on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: was his or her first breach of Rule 5.2b, the player gets the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. applied to the first hole of the play-off. Otherwise, the player is disqualified from the play-off under Rule 5.2b for practising on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: before the play-off.

5.2b/2 – Practice Stroke After Hole but Between Rounds Allowed

The permissions for practising in Rule 5.5b (Restriction on Practice Strokes Between Two Holes) override the prohibitions in Rule 5.2b in that a player is allowed to practise on or near the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that: of the hole just completed even if he or she will play that hole again on the same day.

Examples of when practising putting or chipping on or near the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that: of the hole just completed is allowed even though play for the day is not over include when:

5.2b/3 – Practising May Be Allowed on Course Before a Round in a Competition that Covers Consecutive Days

When a competition is scheduled on a courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: over consecutive days and the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. schedules some players to play on the first day and others to play on a later day, a player is allowed to practise on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: on any day that he or she is not scheduled to play his or her roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee..

For example, if a competition is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and a player is only scheduled to play on Sunday, that player is allowed to practise on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: on Saturday.

5.3  Starting and Ending Round

5.3a/1 – Exceptional Circumstances That Warrant Waiving Starting Time Penalty

The term “exceptional circumstances” in Exception 3 under Rule 5.3a does not mean unfortunate or unexpected events outside a player’s control. It is a player’s responsibility to allow enough time to reach the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: and he or she must make allowances for possible delays.

There is no specific guidance in the Rules for deciding what is exceptional, as it depends on the circumstances in each case and must be left to the determination of the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course..

One important factor not included in the examples below is that consideration should be given to a situation where multiple players are  involved to the extent that the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should consider the situation to be exceptional.

Examples of circumstances that should be considered as exceptional include:

Examples of circumstances that would not generally be considered exceptional include:

5.3a/2 – Meaning of “Starting Point”

In Rule 5.3a, the “starting point” is the teeing area of the hole where the player will start his or her roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. as set by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course..

For example, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may start some groups on the 1st tee and some groups on the 10th tee. In a “shotgun start”, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may assign each group a different hole to start on.

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may set a standard for what it means for the player to be at the starting point. For example, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may state that, to be at the starting point, the player must be within the gallery ropes of the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. of the hole to be played.

5.3a/3 – Meaning of “Ready to Play”

The term “ready to play” means that the player has at least one club and ball ready for immediate use.

For example, if a player arrives at his or her starting point by the starting time with a ball and a club (even if just the player’s putter), the player is considered ready to play. Should the player decide to wait for a different club when it is his or her turn to play, he or she may get a penalty for unreasonably delaying play (Rule 5.6a).

5.3a/4 – Player at Starting Point but Then Leaves Starting Point

When a player is ready to play at the starting point, but then leaves the starting point for some reason, the Rule that applies depends if he or she is ready to play at the starting point at the starting time.

For example, a player’s starting time is 9:00 am and he or she is ready to play at the starting point at 8:57 am. The player realizes that he or she left something in a locker and leaves the starting point to get it. If the player does not arrive back at the starting point at 9:00:00 am, the player is late to his or her starting time, and Rule 5.3a applies.

However, if the player was ready to play at the starting point at 9:00 am and then went to his or her locker, the player may get the penalty under Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay) since he or she satisfied the requirement of Rule 5.3a by being ready to play at the starting point by the starting time.

5.3a/5 – Match Starts on Second Hole When Both Players Late

When both players in a match arrive at the starting point ready to play no more than five minutes after their starting time and neither has experienced exceptional circumstances (Exception 3), they both get a loss of hole penalty and the result of the first hole is a tie.

For example, if the starting time is 9:00 am and the player arrives at the starting point ready to play at 9:02 am and the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. arrives ready to play at 9:04 am, they both get a loss of hole penalty even though the player arrived before the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. (Exception 1). Therefore, the first hole is tied and the match starts on the second hole all square. There is no penalty if they play the first hole to get to the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. of the second hole.

5.5  Practising During Round or While Play Is Stopped

5.5a/1 – Practice Stroke with Ball of Similar Size to Conforming Ball is Breach

A “practice strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. ” under Rule 5.5a covers not only hitting a conforming ball with a club but hitting any other type of ball that is similar in size to a golf ball, such as a plastic practice ball.

Striking a tee or natural object with a club (such as a stone or a pine cone) is not a practice strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball..

5.5b/1 – When Practising Between Holes Is Allowed

A player is allowed to practise putting and chipping when he or she is between the play of two holes. This is when the player has completed play of the previous hole, or in a form of play involving a partnerPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play., when the sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. has completed play of the previous hole.

Examples of when a player is between the play of two holes:

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::

Single

When the player has holed out: , his or her next strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. has been conceded, or the outcome of the hole has been determined.

Foursome

When the sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. has holed out: , its next strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. has been conceded, or the outcome of the hole has been determined.

Four-Ball

When both partners: have holed out: , their next strokes: have been conceded, or the outcome of the hole has been determined.

Stroke PlayStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition.:

Individual

When the player has holed out: .

Foursome

When the sideSide: Two or more partners competing as a single unit in a round in match play or stroke play. has holed out: .

Four-Ball

When both partners: have holed out: , or one partnerPartner: A player who competes together with another player as a side, in either match play or stroke play. has holed out: and the other cannot better the side’s: score.

Stableford, Par/Bogey, and Maximum Score

When the player has holed out: , or has picked up after scoring zero points, losing the hole or reaching the maximum score.

5.5c/1 – Extra Practice Permissions No Longer Apply When Stroke-Play Round Resumed

In stroke playStroke Play: A form of play where a player or side competes against all other players or sides in the competition., when play is resumed by the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. after it had been suspended, all players who had started their rounds: prior to the suspension have resumed the play of their roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.. Consequently, those players are no longer allowed to practise other than as allowed by Rule 5.5b (Restriction on Practice Strokes Between Two Holes).

For example, if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. suspends play for the day and play will resume at 8:00 am on the following day, a player whose group will be the third group to play from a particular teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. is not allowed to continue practising on the designated practice area after play has resumed at 8:00 am.

The player’s roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. has resumed, even though players in his or her group will not be able to make their next strokes: right away. The only practice that is allowed is putting or chipping on or near the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that: of the hole last competed, any practice putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole the player is playing that:, or the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. of the next hole.

5.6  Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of Play

5.6a/1 – Examples of Delays That Are Considered Reasonable or Unreasonable

Unreasonable delays in the context of Rule 5.6a are delays caused by a player’s actions that are within the player’s control and affect other players or delay the competition. Brief delays that are a result of normal events that happen during a roundRound: 18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee. or are outside the player’s control are generally treated as “reasonable”.

Determining which actions are reasonable or unreasonable depends on all the circumstances, including whether the player is waiting for other players in the group or the group ahead.

Examples of actions that are likely to be treated as reasonable are:

Examples of actions that, if causing more than a brief delay in play, are likely to be treated as unreasonable delay are:

5.6a/2 – Player Who Gets Sudden Illness or Injury Is Normally Allowed 15 Minutes to Recover

If a player gets a sudden illness or injury (such as from heat exhaustion, a bee sting or being struck by a golf ball), the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should normally allow that player up to 15 minutes to recover before the player’s failure to continue play would be unreasonably delaying play.

The CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. should also normally apply this same time limit to the total time a player uses when he or she receives repeated treatments during a round to alleviate an injury.

5.7  Stopping Play; Resuming Play

5.7a/1 – When a Player Has Stopped Play

Stopping play in the context of Rule 5.7a can either be an intentional act by the player or it can be a delay long enough to constitute stopping. Temporary delays, whether reasonable or unreasonable, are covered by Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay).

Examples where the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is likely to disqualify a player under Rule 5.7a for stopping play include when:

5.7b(1)/1 – Circumstances That Justify a Player’s Failure to Stop Play

Under Rule 5.7b(1), if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. declares an immediate suspension of play, all players must stop play at once. The intent of this suspension is to enable the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee: to be cleared as quickly as possible when a potentially dangerous situation, such as lightning, exists.

However, there can be confusion or uncertainty when a suspension is declared and there can be circumstances that explain or justify why the player didn’t stop at once. In these cases, the Exception to Rule 5.7b allows the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. to decide that there is no breach of the Rule.

If a player makes a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. after play has been suspended, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. must consider all relevant facts in determining if the player should be disqualified.

Examples where the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is likely to determine that continuing play after suspension is justified include when a player:

An example where the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. is likely to determine that continuing play after suspension is not justified is when a player hears the signal to suspend play but wants to make a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. quickly prior to stopping, such as to complete a hole with a short putt or to take advantage of a favourable wind.

5.7b/1 – Dropping a Ball After Play Has Been Suspended Is Not Failing to Stop Play

Stopping play in the context of Rule 5.7b means making no further strokes: . Therefore, if, after a suspension of play, a player proceeds under a Rule, such as by dropping: a ball, determining the nearest point of complete reliefNearest Point of Complete Relief: The 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. or continuing a search, there is no penalty.

However, if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. has signalled an immediate suspension, in view of the purpose of Rule 5.7b(1), it is recommended that all players take shelter immediately without taking further actions.

5.7c/1 – Players Must Resume When Committee Concludes There Is No Danger from Lightning

The safety of players is paramount and Committees: should not risk exposing players to danger. Rule 5.7a (When Players May or Must Stop Play) allows a player to stop play if he or she reasonably believes that there is danger from lightning. In this situation, if the player’s belief is reasonable, the player is the final judge.

However, if the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. has ordered a resumption of play after using all reasonable means to conclude that danger from lightning no longer exists, all players must resume play. If a player refuses because he or she believes there is still danger, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may conclude that the player’s belief is unreasonable and he or she may be disqualified under Rule 5.7c.

5.7d(1)/1 – Whether Player Must Accept Improved or Worsened Lie in Bunker During a Suspension

When replacing: a ball in resuming play, Rule 14.2d (Where to Replace Ball When Original Lie Altered) does not apply and the player is not required to re-create the original 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..

For example, a player’s ball is embedded in a bunkerBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. when play is suspended. During the suspension of play the bunkerBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. is prepared by the maintenance staff and the surface of the sand is now smooth. The player must resume play by placing a ball on the estimated spot from which the ball was lifted, even though this will be on the surface of the sand and not embedded.

However, if the bunkerBunker: A specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed. has not been prepared by the maintenance staff, the player is not necessarily entitled to the conditions affecting the strokeConditions Affecting the Stroke: The lie of the player’s ball at rest, the area of intended stance, the area of intended swing, the line of play and the relief area where the player will drop or place a ball. he or she had before play was stopped. If the conditions affecting the strokeConditions Affecting the Stroke: The lie of the player’s ball at rest, the area of intended stance, the area of intended swing, the line of play and the relief area where the player will drop or place a ball. are worsened by natural forcesNatural Forces: The effects of nature such as wind, water or when something happens for no apparent reason because of the effects of gravity. (such as wind or water), the player must not improveImprove: To alter one or more of the conditions affecting the stroke or other physical conditions affecting play so that a player gains a potential advantage for a stroke. those worsened conditions (Rule 8.1d).

5.7d(1)/2 – Removal of Loose Impediments Before Replacing Ball When Play Is Resumed

The player must not remove a loose impedimentLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: before replacing: a ball that, if removed when the ball was at rest, would have been likely to cause the ball to move: (Exception 1 to Rule 15.1a). However, when resuming play, if a loose impedimentLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: is now present that was not there when the ball was lifted, that loose impedimentLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: may be removed before the ball is replaced: .