How good is your understanding of the game's laws? Test your knowledge with our Rules of Golf Quiz

Rules of Golf quiz

See how you fare with these four Rules of Golf scenarios and check the answers at the bottom of the page…

Photography: Kenny Smith, shot on location at the PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles

A) In stroke play, Fergus removes some sand covering a ball in the bunker to establish if it is his, brushing sand aside rather than marking and lifting his ball to identify it. What is the ruling?

A There is no penalty.

B Fergus incurs a penalty of one stroke.

C Fergus incurs a penalty of two strokes.

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B) In match play, Jezz’s ball lies close to a shelter on his line of play but it does not physically interfere with his stance or the area of his intended swing. What is the ruling?

A Jezz is entitled to free relief from the shelter on his line of play.

B Jezz must play the ball as it lies altering his line of play if necessary, or may declare it unplayable.

C Jezz must declare the ball unplayable.

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C) In stroke play, Fergus finds a ball he thinks is his. Without telling Jezz of his intention to lift it for identification, he marks and lifts the ball to check it is his ball. What is the ruling?

A There is no penalty.

B Fergus incurs a penalty of one stroke.

C Fergus is disqualified.

D) In match play, Jezz asks Fergus to remove the flagstick before he putts. He putts too strongly and his ball rolls past the hole, hitting the flagstick lying on the green. What is the ruling?

A Fergus loses the hole for failing to remove the flagstick effectively.

B Jezz must cancel and replay the stroke.

C Jezz loses the hole.

Answers: 

A – There is no penalty (Rule 12-1a). A player may, without penalty, touch or move the sand in order to find or identify the ball. If the ball is found and identified to be his, the player must recreate the lie by replacing the sand.

B – Jezz must play the ball as it lies, altering his line of play if necessary, or may declare it unplayable (Rule 28). Intervention on the line of play is not, of itself, interference under Rule 24-2. The player must play the ball as it lies (by adapting the line of play if necessary). Alternatively, the player has the option to declare the ball unplayable but it is not compulsory to do so.

C – Fergus incurs a penalty of one stroke. (Rule 12-2). Before lifting the ball for identification, the player must announce his intention to his fellow competitor in stroke play and give the fellow competitor the opportunity to observe the lifting and replacement of the ball. If the player fails to do so, he incurs a penalty of one stroke.

D – Jezz loses the hole (Rule 17-3). The player’s ball must not strike the flagstick when it has been removed from the hole. The player incurs a penalty of loss of hole in match play.