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How can you find the official rules of golf for free?

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Quick Answer

Access the official rules for golf free of charge on USGA.org, the official website of the United States Golf Association, as of 2015. The website includes all of the rules, frequently asked questions and instructional videos that teach players how to proceed in the event of 12 different situations on the golf course. These rules are enforced by most major golf organizations, including the PGA. Unofficial rules concerning golf etiquette are available on PGA.com.

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Full Answer

Five of the most important rules for golfers to know are out of bounds, lost balls, unplayable lies, cart paths and water hazards. In general, any ball that lands outside of the prescribed playing area, in a water hazard, in some other unplayable position or otherwise not found at all may be replaced by a provisional ball, with the golfer penalized in strokes according to the style of play. This provisional ball is placed in the general vicinity of the original one, under no circumstances getting closer to the hole as a result of the penalty. Alternatively, a golfer may elect to accept an additional penalty to return to the approximate location of the original ball before it was lost. If the original ball is found, the provisional ball must be abandoned immediately.

Many courses have unique rules in addition to the standards established by the USGA. These rules are generally available on the course's score sheets.

Golfers are expected to know the rules of the game, play fast enough to not inconvenience other golfers on the course, treat caddies with respect and avoid foolish behavior. If a game has any special stakes or house rules, all players must know and agree to them. Golfers are expected to volunteer to pay for refreshments and offer the caddies drinks as well.

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