Rules of Golf

Rules of Golf

The new Rules of Golf are now in force

The Rules have changed to make the game easier to understand and more welcoming for new players.

The new Rules include changes to:

  • Dropping procedure
  • Measuring in taking relief
  • Removing the penalty for a double hit
  • Balls lost or out of bounds

You can read the official 2019 Rules of Golf at The R&A website.

Take a look at our Rules advice


Rules of Golf Education

England Golf offers three levels of rules education, using R&A teaching resources.

At each stage, there is the opportunity to sit an exam which is recognised nationally by England Golf and throughout The R&A’s jurisdiction.

Level 1

Level 1 Rules Seminars are held over one day. They’re aimed at golf club members and club officials who want to learn more about the Rules. They can be the first step for people who want referee at county level. These Rules Schools are run by England Golf’s county unions, associations and merged counties. For information on seminars in your area, please contact your county secretary.

Level 2

Level 2 Rules Seminars are held over two days. They are for the referees on county tournament panels and they are run by a county or region, in conjunction with England Golf. In 2019, the priority is for current referees to requalify in the new Rules. After this, Level 2 Rules Schools will be run to meet counties’ needs for more referees.

Level 3

Level 3 Rules Seminars are held over three days. They are for England Golf’s own championship panel officials and are run in conjunction with the R&A. In 2019 the priority is for current referees to requalify in the new Rules. After this, Level 3 Rules Schools will be run to meet England Golf’s needs for more referees.

In addition, The R&A Level 1 Online Rules Academy will soon be available, click here for details. It will include the opportunity to take the Level 1 exam online and gain an official R&A certificate.

England Golf has presentations available for any club official who would like to present on the new Rules to their members.

Email for more information

County officials may also be available to give a Rules presentation to members. Click here for contact details.