Golf Rules

This page covers the summary of major changes, local rules, and the silver tee application rules

Golf’s New Rules: Summary of Major Changes

  1. No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search. [Rule 7.4]
  2. No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green. [Rule 13.1d]
  3. New standard to determine if you caused your ball to move. [Rule 9.2]
  4. When the original location of your ball is not known, replace it on its estimated spot. [Rule 14.2c]
  5. No penalty if your ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you, your equipment, or your caddie. [Rule 11.1]
  6. 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. [Rule 14.3]
  7. Your ball must be let go from knee height and fall through the air without touching any part of your body or equipment. [Rule 14.3]
  8. Your ball must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped, or else it must be redropped. [Rule 14.3]
  9. A fixed distance of the longest club in your bag, other than your putter, will be used for measuring. [Rule 14.3]
  10. Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the current 5 minutes). [Rule 18.2]
  11. You may always substitute a ball when taking relief. [Rule 14.3]
  12. Relief allowed without penalty for an embedded ball anywhere (except in sand) in the “general area” (a new term for “through the green”). [Rule 16.3]
  13. In taking lateral relief, you will drop within two club-lengths of where your ball entered the penalty area. The size of a club-length will always be measured using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter. [Rule 14.3]
  14. One of your options for relief from either a red or yellow penalty area will be called back-on-the-line relief. [Rule 14.3]
  15. 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. [Rule 13.1d]
  16. Repair of almost any damage allowed on the putting green (including spike marks and animal damage). [Rule 13.1c(2)]
  17. 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.
  18. No penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or anywhere else) hits the unattended flagstick in the hole. [Rule 13.2a(2)]
  19. Areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc. (in addition to areas of water) may now be marked as red or yellow “penalty areas.”
  20. No penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground, or grounding your club in a penalty area. [Rule 17]
  21. Committees are given the discretion to mark any penalty area as red so that lateral relief is always allowed. [Rule 17]
  22. Relief from a red penalty area no longer allowed on the opposite side from where the ball last entered the penalty area. [Rule 17.1d]
  23. Relaxed Rules relating to loose impediments and touching the ground in a bunker. [Rules 12.2a and 12.2b]
  24. Relief allowed outside a bunker for an unplayable ball for two penalty strokes. [Rule 19.3b]
  25. A club damaged during a round can continue to be used, even if you damaged it in anger. [Rule 4.1]
  26. You will not be allowed to replace a damaged club during a round if you were responsible for the damage. [Rule 4.1]
  27. The use of DMDs will be allowed unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting their use. [Rule 4.1]
  28. A caddie is not allowed to stand on a line behind you while you are taking your stance and until your stroke is made. [Rule 10.2b(4)]
  29. Your caddie may lift and replace your ball on the putting green without your specific authorization to do so. [Rule 14.1b]
  30. 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. [Rule 10.1a]
  31. It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds. [Rule 5.6]
  32. A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where your score for a hole is capped at a max score. [New permitted Local Rule, Rule 21.2]
  33. The proposed new Rules speak to the high standards of conduct expected from players. [Rule 1.2a]
  34. Committees are given authority to adopt their own code of player conduct and to set penalties for breaches of that code. [Rule 1.3b]
  35. When you have good reason to mark and lift your ball, you are no longer required to first announce your intention. [Rules 4.2c, 7.3 and 16.4]
  36. A player’s reasonable judgment will not be second-guessed based on later evidence. [Rule 1.3b(2)]
  37. A new Local Rule will provide an alternative to stroke-and-distance relief for a ball that is lost outside a penalty area or out of bounds. [New permitted Local Rule]

Useful Links

All the above “[rules]” with accompanying video clips are available online on the USGA Website
The new Complete Manual “2019 Rules and Interpretations” is available online on the USGA Website

Local Rules


2019 New Golf Rules click here


  1. The RULES of GOLF, including Definitions, Decisions, Etiquette and Rules on Amateur Status apply at all times, supplemented by PSC Local Rules and Golf Club Local Rules. In the event of conflict between PSC and Golf Club Local Rules, PSC Local Rules shall prevail. It is the Players responsibility to know and be aware of all the above.
  2. The SPIRIT of the GAME of GOLF: All players should conduct themselves in disciplined manner demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times. Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise. Players should not stand close to or directly behind the ball or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play. Caddies should be encouraged to be similarly aware.
  3. SLOW PLAY: If a group loses more than one clear hole on the players in front, they should invite the following group to play through. Caddies should be encouraged NOT to ‘mark’ balls on the green until requested to do so.
  4. Golf Club LOCAL RULES as laid down by the Golf Club are usually posted in the club house or on the scorecard.
  5. DROP ZONES – Drop Zones will NOT be used EXCEPT at the following holes:- 1st at Green Valley, A1 at Laem Chabang, 14th at Pleasant Valley [environmentally  sensitive  area],
  6. CALL HOLES: there shall be no calling up of players or groups during a PSC authorized competition except when other players or members not participating in the competition request this courtesy.
  7. FLOWER BEDS: Check Golf Club Local Rules.
  8. RED ANTS: Relief may be taken from red ants if they constitute a ‘Dangerous Situation’ (Rule 1-4/10), agreement must be obtained from a marker or a fellow competitor. A player may NOT obtain relief if INTERFERENCE by anything other than the ‘Dangerous Situation’ makes the stroke impracticable then the only option is to proceed under the ‘Unplayable’ Rule.
  9. OBSTRUCTIONS: Relief must be taken from STAKED TREES and YOUNG TREES (not bushes) less than two metres in height. They are to be treated as Immovable Obstructions.
  10. YARDAGE MARKERS – All manmade yardage markers should to be treated as Immovable Obstructions.
  11. A CONCRETE DITCH (not marked as a water hazard) should be treated as an Immovable Obstruction.
  12. STONES in bunkers should be treated as Movable Obstructions.
  13. ABNORMAL GROUND CONDITIONS: It can be difficult for all areas of GUR to be properly marked, if the ground conditions appear to be GUR, then it should be treated as GUR subject to the agreement of a marker or fellow competitor.
  14. EDGING GROOVES around the fringes of Greens may be treated as GUR.
  15. EMBEDDED BALL: A ball embedded in its own pitch mark, through the green, may be Lifted, Cleaned and Dropped without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay.
  16. WASHED OUT AREAS and damage caused by excessive drainage of flood waters may be treated as GUR. If applicable in a BUNKER, the ball must be dropped in the same bunker.
  17. When BUGGIES are NOT allowed on fairways and wet conditions prevail, a player may Lift, Clean and Place the ball ONLY on FAIRWAYS and on GRASS cut to fairway height or lower. The ball must be marked and replaced within six inches of where it lay.
  18. The Tournament Organiser may, should the Golf Course conditions merit it, apply additional rules on the day. Example:- Lift, Clean and Drop Through the Green.
  19. WATER HAZARDS: If hazards are unmarked or insufficiently marked, the line defining the margin of the hazard is where the ground breaks down to form the depression. If a water hazard is completely unmarked it should be treated as a Lateral Water Hazard. Exceptions:- Unmarked Concrete Ditches should be treated as Immovable Obstructions. Angel Hair Plant scrubland areas along fairways in Laem Chabang may be treated as Lateral Water Hazards.
  20. MEASURING DEVICES: In all tournaments a player may obtain distance information by using a device function that measures DISTANCE ONLY, provided that it does not unnecessarily disrupt the pace of play. The use of any other type of device is in breach of Rule 14.3, the penalty for which is disqualification, regardless of whether such functions are actually used or not.
  21. SCORECARDS – In an Eligible Competition ALL PLAYERS must exchange cards. The Player’s Full Name, PSC number and Signature must be LEGIBLE in the appropriate place and the Markers signature must be LEGIBLE in the appropriate place. The card must show the players Handicap on the day together with the Date and Tees played. It is the Players responsibility to make certain that they play of the correct handicap.Cards must be properly completed using the first line for Gross Scores and the second line for Stableford Points. The Marker should record his own ‘scores’ on the player’s card in a manner that is clearly distinguishable from the player’s scores. The total Stableford Points (or Gross / Net) should be clearly marked and highlighted.Caddies MAY NOT mark a card. Members of the same family should not mark each other’s cards and friends should avoid repeatedly marking each other’s cards.

Silver Tee Application Rules

The purpose of ‘Silver’ Tees is to encourage players to continue playing despite loss of distance caused by advancing years or physical infirmity. The key factor is that no hole or holes should be ‘unplayable’ due to the required carry over water hazards etc. From 1st March 2018 Players wishing to change from the Regular Men’s tees to play from the Silver/Senior Tees will have to qualify under the following criteria.

  1. The primary consideration for approval is distance / carry. The longest carry required in the Chonburi area is 150 yards and this should be the ‘standard’ guideline. All other golf skill issues are managed and controlled by the existing handicap system, ie Course Rating, Slope Rating and playing off ‘Different Tee’ calculations.
    Players should be a minimum of 60 years and have a current Handicap Index not less than 24.
  2. The player must complete an application form available from the PSC office.
  3. The player will be assessed for suitability by the Society Organizer and another member of the group from where the player plays from, or in their absence, the PSC Golf Chairman and a member of his Handicap Committee. A reasoned assessment for suitability would be the player’s inability to ‘carry’ a Tee shot 150 yards.
  4. Once the application has been approved the player should play off the Silver Tees off his current Handicap Index for all future rounds. However Society Competition Organizer may be permitted to waive if appropriate.
  5. In the absence of Silver Tee Boxes or Markers the player will play two meters behind the Red Tee Markers.