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  10 Basic Rules Of Golf

1. Etiquette

Be considerate of your fellow players. Don't talk, move, or distract a player in any other way during his swing.

2. 14-club limit

The USGA allows a maximum of 14 clubs to be carried in a bag. Less than that is okay.

3. Tee markers

When teeing off on a hole, the ball must be behind the tee markers. (Draw an imaginary line between the two markers and tee your ball behind that line.)

4. As it lies

Play the ball as it lies. This means you may not improve the way the ball is at rest. If you are on the green, you may mark and pick up your ball to clean it, but while in the fairway, you must play the ball as it lies. See the USGA rule book for special circumstances like winter rules, obstructions, standing water, etc.

5. Away

The ball farthest from the hole is the one that is played first. The term is "away." Example: "John, you are away, so go ahead and play first." The person with the lowest score for the hole has "the honors," and plays first on the next hole.

6. Sand traps

If your ball lands in the sand trap, remember to rake it after you have played your shot. The groups behind you will appreciate this. Since this is a hazard, you cannot ground your club prior to the swing. Practice swings are okay, as long as you do not contact the sand.

7. Out of bounds

If you hit your ball OB, there is a one-stroke penalty, and you must hit another ball. If you are not sure if the ball is OB, hit a "Provisional Ball" just in case. If you determine the first ball is OB, then you continue on and play with the Provisional Ball.

8. Water hazards

If you hit your ball into a water hazard, you may play it (could be messy), or with a one-stroke penalty, play another ball from where you just hit. Another option is to drop another ball where the original ball entered the hazard, incur a one-stroke penalty and play on.

9. Putting green

When on the green, never walk across another player's line of putt. The imprint that your feet leave on the green can alter the path of the ball. Always step over the line of the putt or around it.

10. Have fun

Golf is a great game, so have fun with it and whenever possible, leave the golf course in the same shape that you found it.

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