Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

Four rules questions - How many can you get right?

How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

We test your knowledge on the rules of the game with these four on-course situations. How well do you know your golf rules?

Answers at the bottom of the page.

1) In stroke play, after failing to escape from a greenside bunker, Jezz angrily strikes the sand with his club. His action does not affect his new lie in the bunker. What is the ruling?

How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

A. There is no penalty

B. Jezz incurs a penalty of two strokes

C. Jezz is disqualified

Related: Golf's Bunker Rules: What you can and can't do

2) In stroke play, casual water is not visible before or after Fergus takes his normal stance. He presses down hard with one foot, causing water to appear around his shoe. What is the ruling?

How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

A. Fergus is entitled to free relief

B. Fergus must play the ball as it lies

C. Fergus incurs a penalty of two strokes for creating the casual water

3) In match play, Jezz holds his arm below shoulder height and drops his ball after finding a water hazard. Before he plays, Fergus points out that his arm was too low when he dropped. Jezz drops the ball again from shoulder height. What is the ruling?

How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

A. Jezz automatically loses the hole

B. Jezz incurs a penalty of one stroke

C. There is no penalty

Related: What to do when your golf ball goes for a swim

4) Jezz and Fergus are partners in a fourball match. Before putting, Jezz indicates to Fergus his line of putt by pointing at an old ball mark on the putting green for him to aim at. What is the ruling?

How Well Do You Know Your Golf Rules?

A. There in no penalty

B. Jezz is disqualified for that hole only

C. The side loses the hole

Related: Golf Monthly Rules Homepage


1) B - Jezz incurs a penalty of two strokes for touching the ground in the hazard with his club (Rule 13-4b). None of the exceptions to Rule 13-4 apply to Jezz's action

2) B - Fergus must play the ball as it lies. Relief from casual water is only permissible if the casual water is visible before or after the player takes his or her stance.

3) C - There is no penalty. To drop a ball, the player must stand tall, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it (Rule 20-2a). If the ball is dropped in any other manner and the error is then corrected, there is no penalty. Otherwise, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.

4) A - There is no penalty (Rule 8-2b). A player may have the line of putt indicated to him by his or her partner or either of their caddies. The putting green must not be touched, nor may a mark be placed anywhere for the purpose of indicating the line of putt. However, pointing to an existing repaired ball mark on the putting green as an aiming point is permissible.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x