Rules of Golf

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Golf is, quite simply put, the hitting of a ball with a club into a hole, using a stroke or a number of strokes. The ball must only be played by a club - intentionally moving it or manipulating ambient conditions to affect its movement is strictly prohibited. The aid of caddies may be enlisted during the game, but players must only engage one at a time. Of course, there are many other regulations that govern a game of golf, and we shall look at a few of the most common ones that pertain to golf clubs and balls.

Clubs must not be tampered with, nor be applied with any foreign material that may affect play. Should a golfer’s club be damaged while playing, he or she may continue using the club, or have it mended, as long as the game is not slowed down by this.The golfer may also use a substitute club in place of the damaged one, if it is beyond repair at that moment. However, there are three conditions for replacement clubs - the player must not affect the speed of the game when changing clubs, must not borrow any of the clubs that other players have chosen to use, nor use a club that has been pieced together using different parts.

Each player must begin playing a round with no more than 14 clubs. If he or she begins with fewer than 14, extras may be brought in, as long as the total does not add up to more than 14. The three conditions that regulate the replacement of clubs, as mentioned above, also applies to the addition of clubs.

As with the clubs, golf balls must also not be tampered with, nor be applied with any foreign material that may affect play. A ball will be declared unsuitable for playing if it has ostensible cuts or cracks, or is misshapen. A player is allowed to lift the ball in order to check whether it is suitable for play, but not before letting the other players know that he is about to do so. The ball position must also be marked. The ball cannot be cleaned during the examination. If a substitute ball is to be used, it must be put back at the exact position where the original was.

If a stroke causes a ball to shatter, this stroke will be deemed void, and the player must play another ball, from the exact position of the original, or as close as possible to it. No penalty will be given in this situation.

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