Rules of Golf

All WJGA sponsored events are played under the current revision of the Rules of Golf. The WJGA Hardcard applies to all WJGA administered events.

2024 WJGA Hard Card – Local Rules and Terms of the Competition

WJGA Pace of Play Policy

WJGA Rules Official Page

Are you interested in learning more about the Rules of Golf?

Visit the Rules of Golf Homepage HERE to watch a series of short videos on how to proceed if you find yourself in one of theses common situations.

Rules of Golf FAQs 2020

The following are some of the main changes to the Rules of Golf effective January 1, 2019 that are expected to have the most impact on the game and to be of most interest to golfers.

The items covered here are organized into categories, click each link for videos and info graphics to explain the changes.

Golf Course Etiquette

Proper Divot Repair

Ball at Rest Moved

Ball Moved During Search – No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
Ball Moved on Putting Green – No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green.
Determining Why a Ball Moved – New standard to determine if you caused your ball to move.

Ball in Motion Deflected

Ball in Motion Accidentally Deflected – No penalty if your ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you, your equipment, or your caddie.

Taking Relief

Measuring the Size of the Relief Area Where a Ball Must Be Dropped and Played – Your relief area for dropping a ball will be a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
New Procedure for Dropping a Ball – Your ball must be let go from knee height and fall through the air without touching any part of your body or equipment.
Where a Dropped Ball Must Come to Rest – Your ball must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped, or else it must be re-dropped.

Putting Green

When to Replace a Ball That Moves on Putting Green –  After your ball has been lifted and replaced, you would always replace your ball on its original spot, even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
Repairing Damage on the Putting Green – Repair of almost any damage allowed on the putting green (including spike marks and animal damage).
Touching Line of Play on Putting Green – No penalty for touching your line of play on the putting green so long as doing so does not improve the conditions for your stroke.
Ball Played from Green Hits Unattended Flagstick in Hole – No penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or anywhere else) hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.  If you have someone tend the flag, it must be pulled.

Penalty Areas & Bunkers

Touching Loose Impediments or Ground in Penalty Area –  No penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground, or grounding your club in a penalty area.
Moving or Touching Loose Impediments or Touching Sand in Bunker –  Relaxed Rules relating to loose impediments and touching the ground in a bunker.
Unplayable Ball in Bunker – Relief allowed outside a bunker for an unplayable ball for two penalty strokes.

Playing a Ball

Double Hitting Golf Ball – If your club accidentally strikes your ball more than once during a stroke, there will be no penalty and your ball will be played as it lies.

Pace of Play

Prompt Pace of Play –  It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds.

Player Behavior

Expected Standards of Player Conduct –  The proposed new Rules speak to the high standards of conduct expected from players.

Committees are given authority to adopt their own code of player conduct and to set penalties for breaches of that code. See WJGA Code of Conduct Policy.