My Three Wishes on the Rules of Golf

  1. I wish everyone had a Rules of Golf Book
  2. I wish everyone read “A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf”
  3. I wish everyone read Section I – “Etiquette; Behavior on the Course”

The Rules of Golf Book is updated every four years. You can obtain a complimentary copy through the USGA by clicking here. We hand them out free of charge at all of the Rules Seminars we present across the state. The Rules of Golf are also listed on the USGA website at in the Rules section.

If you do have a Rule Book, it’s probably stuffed in your golf bag. Do all golfers a favor; take it out and settle down in your most comfortable chair. Trust me; this is not going to take long.

Open it up and turn to page 9. The section title is “How to Use the Rule Book” (self-explanatory). It is two quick pages.

The next section is titled; “A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf”. Once again, self-explanatory. Many people who spend too much time complaining that the Rules of Golf are too complicated, do not even know this section exists! Here you’ll find the short version of the Rules that will get you through 90% of your situations on the golf course. It’s a handy reference.

Congratulations! If you made it through the “Quick Guide”, you are well on your way to becoming familiar with the Rules of Golf. You now know where to look in the Rule Book for how to drop out of a water hazard, off a cart path or away from casual water.

You are at a cross-roads and now have two choices; either take a break and come back at a later time (you probably learned a lot), or continue on. Either now or later, you need to read the next section.

The next section is required reading for all golfers. You should not be allowed on a golf course until you can show proof that you have read this section: “Section I – Etiquette; Behavior on the Course”. It’s only four pages, but read carefully. You may want to re-read it a few times.

It is within this section that you’ll learn what is “The Spirit of the Game” and how to conduct yourself on the golf course, what Pace of Play is and how to keep up with the group ahead. You also will learn how to take care of the course and what can happen to you if you breach the etiquette code.

If you do nothing else in golf, please grant me my three wishes! It will make the game more enjoyable for all of us.

Remember, use the index of the table of contents to find the correct Rule that applies to the situation and follow the Rules of Golf to help yourself to enjoy the game of golf.

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