The Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf is intended for you, the golfer. Much of the information from the full Rules of Golf that is intended for those administering golf competitions has been left out of the Player’s Edition. This means that the Player’s Edition has under half of the content of the full Rules, and it means that it is possible to read the entire Player’s Edition in a short period of time.
The Player’s Edition also serves as a helpful on-course resource that should assist you in resolving the vast majority of Rules situations that you are likely to encounter on the course, or at least encounter on a regular basis.
When looking to answer a question or resolve a Rules issue on the course, the Contents page (at the front of the book) can be a helpful tool to enable you to find the Rule that is relevant to your situation.
The Index (at the back of the book) can also help you to identify quickly the Rule that is relevant to your situation. For example:
If you accidentally move your ball on the putting green, identify the key words in the question, such as “ball moved” or “putting green”.
The relevant Rules (Rule 9.4 and Rule 13.1d) can be found under the headings “Ball Moved” and “Putting Green” in the Index.
A reading of these Rules will confirm the correct answer.
In addition to using the Contents and the Index in the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf, the following points will assist you in using this Rule book efficiently and accurately:
There are over 70 defined terms (for example, abnormal course condition, general area, etc.) and these form the foundation around which the Rules are written. A good knowledge of the defined terms (which are italicised throughout the book and contained in one section near the back of the book) is very important to the correct application of the Rules.
To answer any question on the Rules you must consider the facts of the case in some detail.
You should identify:
The form of play (are you playing match play or stroke play; is it single, foursome or four-ball; etc.).
Who is involved (does the question involve you, your partner or caddie, your opponent or his or her caddie, or an outside influence).
On what part of the course did the incident occur (was it in a bunker, in a penalty area, on the putting green, etc.).
What actually happened.
As stated above, reference to the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf should provide the answer to the majority of questions that you will encounter on the course. But, if you are in doubt, refer your question to the Committee on returning to the Clubhouse.