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The Course
Purpose: Rule 2 introduces the basic things you should know about the course:
  • There are five defined areas of the course, and
  • There are several types of defined objects and conditions that can interfere with your play.
It is important to know the area of the course where your ball lies and the status of any interfering objects and conditions, because they often affect your options for playing your ball or taking relief.
The Course

Course Boundaries and Out of Bounds

Golf is played on a course. Areas not on the course are out of bounds.

Defined Areas of the Course

There are five areas of the course. The general area, which covers the entire course except for the four specific areas:
  • The teeing area of the hole you are playing (Rule 6.2),
  • All penalty areas (Rule 17),
  • All bunkers (Rule 12), and
  • The putting green of the hole you are playing (Rule 13).
It is important to know the area of the course where your ball lies as this affects the Rules that apply in playing your ball or taking relief. See Full Rules For information on how to treat a ball that is lying on two parts of the course.

Objects or Conditions That Can Interfere with Your Play

Free relief (relief with no penalty) may be available from:
  • Loose impediments (Rule 15.1),
  • Movable obstructions (Rule 15.2), and
  • Abnormal course conditions, which are animal holes, ground under repair, immovable obstructions and temporary water (Rule 16.1).
But you do not get free relief from boundary objects or integral objects that interfere with your play.

No Play Zones

A no play zone is a part of the course that you are not allowed to play your ball from. You must also take relief if the no play zone interferes with your stance or area of intended swing when playing a ball outside the no play zone.
Rule 1The Game, Player Conduct and the Rules
Purpose: Rule 1 introduces these central principles of the game: Play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lies. Play by the Rules ...
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