What Is The General Penalty? – Golf Rules Explained

One of the terms in the back of the rule book you’ll find is the General Penalty.

When you read through the rule book you’ll see this term an awful lot when describing what the penalty is for certain rules breaches.

So, what is it?

The General Penalty is the most common penalty in golf and in stroke play it is two strokes and in match play it’s loss of hole.

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If you want some more information about this, if you look at Rule 1.3c, it goes into a little detail around the various different penalties in golf.

You’ll find that one stroke penalties are deemed to apply when it’s a relatively minor breach, whilst the General Penalty is for something a little bit more significant where more of an advantage has been gained.

Beyond that, we get into the realms of disqualification where something more serious has happened that your score couldn’t be considered valid.

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There’s essentially a three-tier system and the General Penalty is the one in the middle that applies to most breaches of the rules.

The three penalties are designed to cancel out any advantage you may have gained from a breach.

A penalty applies when a breach of a rule results from your own actions, the actions of your caddie, or the actions of another person acting with your authority or knowledge.

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