Rules Review – Parts of the Golf Course

Part One of a Four-Part Series

Every golf course is divided into four major parts.  Understanding these four parts of the golf course is essential to understanding HOW to apply the Rules of Golf. In the next four weeks we are going to discuss the four parts of the golf course.rules-of-golf-notes_html_3debb6f2

Week One: The Teeing Ground

The teeing ground is the starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers.  ONLY the two club-length area is considered the teeing ground, even though that area does not take up all the area on a tee box.


A few Rules to remember about the teeing ground:

  • If you accidentally knock your ball off the tee and you had no intention of making a stroke, there is no penalty. You may replace the ball and play away. (Rule 11-3)
  • You may stand outside the teeing ground to make a stroke at a ball that is inside the teeing ground. (Rule 11-1)
  • Don’t touch the tee markers – if you move a tee marker before you make your first stroke from the teeing ground, you will be penalized under Rule 13-2 for improving your lie, area of intended swing or line of play. (Rule 11-2)
  • Make sure you’re playing from the correct tee markers – In stroke play, if a player plays from outside the teeing ground (which also includes playing from the WRONG teeing ground), she incurs a two-stroke penalty and must then play a ball from inside the teeing ground. If she fails to do so before making a stroke from the next teeing ground, she is disqualified. Make sure you know which set of tee markers you are supposed to play from BEFORE starting your round. (Rule 11-4b)

Helpful hints about the teeing ground:

  • If you are proceeding under the stroke and distance option of a Rule (i.e. you hit your ball out of bounds and must return to the tee, you are taking relief from a water hazard, you have declared your ball unplayable), and your original stroke was made from the teeing ground, you can tee your ball for your next stroke.
  • Every tee box on the course other than the teeing ground of the hole being played is THROUGH THE GREEN (therefore, if a relief option is available that will allow you to drop on a different tee box, you do NOT get to re-tee the ball).

Make sure to check back next week for Part Two of this series – the Putting Green!
Questions about the teeing ground? Email Maggie.

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