Rule 6 - Playing a Hole

6.1  Starting Play of a Hole

6.1b(1)/1 – Ball Played from Outside Teeing Area in Match Play and Stroke Not Cancelled by Opponent

If, in starting the play of 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:, a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. made from outside the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. is not cancelled, Rule 6.1b(1) provides that the player plays the ball as it lies. However, the player may not always be permitted to play the ball as it lies.

For example, when starting play of a hole, a player hits a ball 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. from outside the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. (such as from a wrong set of tee-markers) and the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. does not cancel the strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball..

Since, the player’s strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. is not cancelled, and the ball is 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., he or she must take stroke-and-distance: relief by playing a ball from where the previous strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. was made. However, as the stroke was not made from inside the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., the ball must be dropped: , not teed (see Rule 14.6b – Previous Stroke from General Area, Penalty Area or Bunker).

6.1/1 – What to Do When One or Both Tee-Markers Are Missing

If a player finds one or both tee-markers missing, the player should seek help from the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course..

However, if that help is not available in a reasonable time, the player should use his or her reasonable judgment (Rule 1.3b(2)) to estimate the location of the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing..

Recognizing that such an estimation must be made promptly and cannot be precise, the player’s reasonable judgment of the location of the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. will be accepted even if later shown to be wrong (Rule 1.3b(2)).

6.2  Playing Ball from Teeing Area

6.2b(4)/1 – Tee-Marker Moved by Player Should Be Replaced

Before making a strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. when playing from a teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., a player must not move a tee-marker in the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. to 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. 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. (Rule 6.2b(4)).

However, there would be no penalty if a player moves a tee-marker by:

Because moving tee-markers can have a significant effect on the competition, they should not be moved and, if they are moved, they should be replaced.

However, if a player moves a tee-marker because he or she thinks it should be in a different position, or deliberately destroys the tee-marker, the CommitteeCommittee: The person or group in charge of the competition or the course. may choose to disqualify the player for serious misconduct contrary to the spirit of the game (Rule 1.2a).

6.2b(6)/1 – Ball That Comes to Rest in Teeing Area Does Not Have to Be Played as It Lies

Any time a player’s ball is inside the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., the player may move the ball to another spot within the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., and may play it from a teeTee: An object used to raise a ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules. without penalty.

For example, a player makes his or her first strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. from the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., barely making contact with the ball, and the ball either comes to rest on the ground within the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. or remains on the teeTee: An object used to raise a ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules..

Since the ball is in the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing., the player may play the ball as it lies or, even though the ball is 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:, may move the ball to any other spot within the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing. and play from there without penalty. The player may also place the ball on a teeTee: An object used to raise a ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules. or adjust the height of the teeTee: An object used to raise a ball above the ground to play it from the teeing area. It must be no longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm) and conform with the Equipment Rules. the ball is resting on.

6.3  Ball Used in Play of Hole

6.3a/1 – What to Do When Balls Exchanged at Unknown Place

If, after holing out: , two players discover that they finished a hole with the other player’s ball but cannot establish whether the balls were exchanged during play of the hole, there is no penalty.

For example, after play of a hole, it was discovered that Player A holed out: with Player B’s ball and Player B holed out: with Player A’s ball. Both players are certain they holed out: with the ball they played from the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing..

In this situation, and because a player is allowed to start each hole with any conforming ball (Rule 6.3a), it should be determined that the balls were exchanged before play on that hole began, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

6.3c(1)/1 – Meaning of “Penalty Strokes Solely From Playing That Ball”

When the strokes: made at a particular ball do not count in the player’s score, any penalty strokes that the player gets while playing that ball do not count unless the player gets a penalty that could also apply to 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:.

Examples of penalties that are disregarded because they could not also apply to the 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: include:

Examples of penalties that are not disregarded because they also apply to the 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: include:

6.4  Order of Play When Playing Hole

6.4c/1 – Stroke Cannot Be Cancelled When Provisional Ball Played Out of Turn from Teeing Area

If a player who has the honourHonour: The right of a player to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). decides to play a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be: after his or her opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play. has played a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be:, the player may not cancel the opponent’s: strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. with the provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be: under Rule 6.4a(2).

For example, Player A has the honourHonour: The right of a player to play first from the teeing area (see Rule 6.4). and plays first from the teeing areaTeeing Area: The area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing.. Player B (the opponentOpponent: The person a player competes against in a match. The term opponent applies only in match play.) plays next and since his or her ball may be 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., decides to play a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be: and does so. After Player B plays the provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be:, Player A decides that he or she will also play a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be:.

Since Player A only made his or her intentions to play a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be: known after Player B had played, Player A has abandoned the right to cancel Player B’s strokeStroke: The forward movement of the club made to strike the ball. with the provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be:. However, Player A may still play a provisional ballProvisional Ball: Another ball played in case the ball just played by the player may be:.

6.5  Completing Play of a Hole

6.5/1 – Another Ball Played After Hole Was Unknowingly Completed

When a player has holed out: , the play of that hole is completed and the player gets no penalty for playing another ball.

For example:

If the player did not know the hole was completed and attempts to complete play of the hole with another ball, the player’s further play is not considered practice (Rule 5.5a).