RULES OF GOLF
Effective January 2019
As the governing body of golf in Canada, Golf Canada holds the exclusive right to govern, publish and distribute the Rules of Golf across the nation.
The Rules are typically updated every four years through the work of the R&A and the United States Golf Association. A joint committee of these associations, on which the Chair of Golf Canada’s Rules and Amateur Status Committee sits, is charged with revising, modernizing and improving the Rules of Golf. These two documents form the complete Rules of Golf that are used universally throughout the world of golf.
For clubs or committees in charge of competitions, the Conditions of Competition and Standard Local Rules that Golf Canada implements at all championships is posted for your reference. In addition, a list of local rules that should be considered is available on this website.
RULES OF GOLF PUBLICATIONS
Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf
‘Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf’: An abridged, user-friendly set of the Rules with shorter sentences, commonly used phrases, and diagrams. Written in the “second person,” The Player’s Edition is intended to be the primary publication for golfers
Full Rules of Golf
‘Full Rules of Golf’: The full edition of the Rules will be written in the third person and will include illustrations. The Rules of Golf is intended to be the primary publication for officials and is expected Golf Club Committees and Referees will use the publication as their primary Rules of Golf resource.
The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf
The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf: This “guidebook” replaces the Decisions book and will contain information to best support committees and officials. It includes interpretations on the Rules, Committee procedures (available local rules and information on establishing the terms of the competition), and the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. It is a “long-form” resource document intended as a supplementary publication.
- 2023 Rules of Golf
- Outcome changes for 2023 Rules of Golf
- Poster – 5 Key Changes for 2023
- 2023 Golf Canada Local Rules and Terms of the Competition
- Additional Clarifications of the 2023 Rules of Golf – December 16, 2022
- Additional Clarifications of the 2023 Rules of Golf – April 3, 2023
- Additional Clarifications of the 2023 Rules of Golf – July 3, 2023
- Additional Clarifications of the 2023 Rules of Golf – October 5, 2023
- Rule 25 Request Form
- Rule 25 Guidance to Local Committees
- All Abilities Assessment Process
- Golf Canada Rule 25 Policy
Need more info? Here are some additional websites and additional resources:
Golf Canada Rules of Golf (Resources, Education)
R&A Rules Hub (Full Rules, Searches, Videos, Quizzes)
USGA Rules Hub (Full Rules, Searches, Videos, Quizzes)
General Area (Quizzes, Referee Tools)
- Rules of Golf App – iOS
- Rules of Golf App – Android
- Search and browse the Rules of Golf on the R&A Rules Explorer
- Visual Search on the R&A Website and App
- Quiz on the R&A Website and App
- R&A Rules Modernization website
- USGA Rules Modernization website
- Green Reading Material Resources
In addition to publishing the Rules of Golf, Golf Canada is committed to train and educate all golfers that could ultimately lead to national certification as a Referee.
One of the main objectives of the Rules Modernization Initiative was to create consistency around the world in many facets of the Rules of Golf, including educating and training referees, this was instilled in 2019. The exams that Golf Canada use and the designation by marks achieved will be consistent throughout the countries allied to the R&A, such as Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The R&A’s Rules education program consists of a three-tiered approach. In order to align the programs, Golf Canada’s current Levels 1 and 2 will be consolidated into just one level (the new Level 1). We will maintain separate programs for individuals to continue through our Rules Education Pathway at the provincial and national level, which will be the new Level 2 and Level 3.
Whether you’re interested in becoming a Referee or just want to learn more about the game, our rules education program(s) offers plenty of great content including a fun and interactive way to learn the Rules of Golf.
LEVEL 1 – R&A ONLINE
In partnership with the R&A, level 1 provides an interesting and easy way to learn the basics of the Rules of Golf. This level will focus on etiquette, the principle definitions and commonly encountered situations on the course. As part of the level 1 program, students will be able to test their knowledge by taking the review questions at the end of each section before attempting the online level 1 Exam. The program is ideal for juniors, beginners and golfers who have had no previous experience with the Rules.
- R&A Level 1 (Link will send you to R&A website)
LEVEL 2 – (PROVINCIAL) RULES SEMINAR INFORMATION
Level 2 (provincial certification) seminars will be conducted by provincial golf associations, and the curriculum will begin to look at the more important playing Rules in detail. Some of the complexities that are found in the decisions book are introduced along while also implementing on-course demonstrations. Level 2 (provincial) will be designed for individuals with an involvement in tournament administration, or a desire to have such an involvement.
- Educational materials will be made available in January of 2024 through Golf Canada for the provincial associations. The Spring of 2024 provincial Rules training session will be held in Saskatoon from March 15 – 17.
- REGISTER – please register and you will be included on the 2024 rules information and seminar details.
LEVEL 3 – (NATIONAL) RULES SEMINAR INFORMATION
Level 3 (national certification) will consist of a three-day seminar run by Golf Canada. It serves to give guidance and advice on refereeing at the highest level. This program is intended for experienced referees who wish to improve both their technical and practical knowledge as a referee.
Golf Canada’s seminars on the Rules of Golf are intended for experienced referees.
Entry Requirements – 2024 dates TBD.
3-DAY SEMINARS (Fri. to Sun.)
Priority for registration for the spring 2024 series of Rules of Golf seminars on the new Rules of Golf will be given to persons who:
- have achieved 85% or better on the Level 3 Rules Exam written in 2013 or later; or
- have achieved 85% or better on the Level 4 Rules Exam written in 2013 or later; or
- have achieved 70% or better on the USGA Rules Exam written in 2013 or later; or
- have been previously certified at Level 4 or equivalent by Golf Canada;
- have completed the required practical hours for Level 3 or Level 4
NOTE: For this seminar series, there will not be an option to write the exam without attending the seminar.
The top 10 Rules Essentials will allow every golfer to learn the essentials of the new Rules of Golf in a fun and user-friendly way. There will be 10 short videos to explain the most commonly used Rules.
The Committee Toolkit has been designed to help those responsible for preparing the golf course for general play and for those running and administering competitions at all levels. The “Toolkit” aims to help Committees familiarize the Committee Procedures section of the Official Guide, and to better understand the changes that they need to make to reflect the new Rules. The toolkit also includes a ‘Local Rules Creator’. The purpose of this is to helps Clubs and Committees with the process of updating Local Rules.. Of course, the amount of space available on scorecards is limited and with that in mind, short form Local Rules are also available.