QUICK GUIDE TO BASIC RULES OF
PITCH AND PUTT 2011
International Pitch and Putt Association
General and IPPA Specifications
As Pitch and Putt is a self-regulating game, all golfers should have a good understanding of the fundamental Rules, as contained in this quick guide. However, this guide is not a substitute for the Rules of Golf, which should be consulted whenever any doubt arises.
Pitch & Putt is defined as golf with a difference and the game played on a course of artificial or live grass with the following specifications.
Maximum distance for each hole is 90m and for 18 holes it is 1.200m. Maximum of 3 clubs, one being a putter and possibility of natural or artificial grass for Greens and Teeing grounds. Use of a Tee on the teeing ground is depending local rules.
All Competitions must be played under the R&A Rules of Golf and the Local Rules established by the Committee. To do so, the National Federation, Union or Association in the country where the competition is played will provide a referee to assist and guarantee a correct procedure.
Before commencing your round:
Read the Local Rules on the score card or the notice board.
Put an identification mark on your ball. Many golfers play the same brand and model of ball and if you can‟t identify your ball, it is considered lost. (Rules 12-2 and 27-1)
Remember that in Pitch and Putt, you are only allowed three clubs, one of which is a putter".
During the round:
Don‟t ask for “advice” from anyone except your partner (i.e. a player on your side) or your caddies. Don‟t give advice to anyone except your partner. You may ask for information on the Rules, distances and the position of hazards, the flagstick, etc. (Rule 8-1)
Don‟t play any practice shots during play of a hole. (Rule 7-2)
At the end of your round:
In match play, ensure the result of the match is posted.
In stroke play, ensure that your score card is completed properly and return it as soon as possible. (Rule 6-6)
Rules of the Game
Tee Shot (Rule 11) Play your tee shot from between, and not in front of, the
You may play your tee shot from up to two club-lengths behind the front line of the tee-markers.
If you play your tee shot from outside this area, in match play there is no penalty, but your opponent may require you to replay your stroke; in stroke play you incur a two-stroke penalty and must correct the error by playing from within the correct area.
Playing the Ball (Rules 12, 13, 14 and 15)
If you think a ball is yours but cannot see your identification mark, with the permission of your marker or opponent, you may mark and lift the ball to identify it. (Rule 12-2)
Play the ball as it lies. Don‟t improve your lie, the area of your intended stance or swing, or your line of play by moving, bending or breaking anything fixed or growing, except in fairly taking your stance or making your swing. Don‟t improve your lie by pressing anything down. (Rule 13-2)
If your ball is in a bunker or a water hazard, don‟t touch the ground in either type of hazard, or touch water in the water hazard, with your hand or club before your downswing and don‟t move loose impediments. (Rule 13-4)
You must swing the club and make a stroke at the ball. It is not permissible to push, scrape or spoon the ball. (Rule 14-1)
If you play a wrong ball, in match play you lose the hole; in stroke play you incur a two-stroke penalty and you must then correct the mistake by playing the correct ball. (Rule 15-3)
On the Putting Green (Rules 16 and 17)
You may mark, lift and clean your ball on the putting green; always replace it on the exact spot. (Rule 16-1b)
When making a stroke on the putting green, you should ensure that the flagstick is removed or attended. The flagstick may also be removed or attended when the ball lies off the putting green. (Rule 17)
Ball Moved, Deflected or Stopped (Rules 18 and 19)
Ball at Rest Moved
Generally, when the ball is in play, if you accidentally cause your ball to move, lift it when not permitted or it moves after you have addressed it, add a penalty stroke and replace your ball. However, see the exceptions under Rule 18-2a. (Rule 18-2)
If someone else moves your ball at rest or it is moved by another ball, replace it without penalty to you.
Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped (Rule 19)
If a ball struck by you is deflected or stopped by you, your partner, your caddie or your equipment, add a penalty stroke and the ball is played as it lies. (Rule 19-2)
If a ball struck by you is deflected or stopped by another ball at rest, there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies, except in stroke play where you incur a two-stroke penalty if your ball and the other ball were on the putting green before you played. (Rule 19-5a)
Lifting, Dropping & Placing the Ball (Rule 20)
Before lifting a ball that has to be replaced (e.g. when the ball is lifted on the putting green to clean it), the position of the ball must be marked. (Rule 20-1)
When the ball is being lifted in order to drop or place it in another position (e.g. dropping within two club-lengths under the unplayable ball Rule), it is not mandatory to mark its position although it is recommended that you do so.
When dropping, stand upright, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm‟s length and drop it.
A dropped ball must be re-dropped if it rolls to a position where there is interference from the condition from which free relief is being taken (e.g. an immovable obstruction), if it comes to rest more than two club-lengths from where it was dropped, or if it comes to rest nearer the hole than its original position, the nearest
point of relief or where the ball last crossed the margin of a water hazard.
There are nine situations in total when a dropped ball must be re-dropped and they are covered in Rule 20-2c.
If a ball dropped for a second time rolls into any of these positions, place it where it first struck the course when re-dropped. (Rule 20-2c)
Relief Situations & Procedures (Rules 22, 23, 24 and 25)
When playing golf, you must play the ball as it lies, whether your ball is in a good lie or a bad lie, unless the Rules allow you to do otherwise.
For example, the Rules allow you to move natural objects like leaves and twigs – the Rules call these “loose impediments.”
The Rules also permit you to lift and move your ball if you have interference from certain conditions. Sometimes you can move your ball without penalty, e.g. when you have interference due to a man-made object – called “obstructions” - such as a road or path, or an abnormal ground condition, such as casual water and ground under repair. At other times, you may incur a penalty if you wish to move your ball, e.g. when your ball is in a water hazard.
Ball Lost or Out of Bounds; Provisional Ball (Rule 27)
Check the Local Rules on the score card to identify the boundaries of the course.
If your ball is lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds you must play another ball from the spot where the last shot was played, under penalty of one stroke, i.e. stroke and distance.
You are allowed 5 minutes to search for a ball, after which, if it is not found or identified, it is lost.
If, after playing a shot, you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds you should play a „provisional ball‟. You must state that it is a provisional ball and play it before you go forward to search for the original ball.
If it transpires that the original ball is lost (other than in a water hazard) or out of bounds, you must continue with the provisional ball, under penalty of one stroke. If the original ball is found in bounds, you must continue play of the hole with it, and must stop play with the provisional ball
Ball Unplayable (Rule 28)
If your ball is in a water hazard, the unplayable ball Rule does not apply and you must proceed under the water hazard Rule if taking relief. Elsewhere on the course, if
you believe your ball is unplayable, you may under penalty of one stroke:
play a ball from where the last shot was played, or
drop a ball any distance behind the point where the ball lay keeping a straight line between the hole, the point where the ball lay and the spot on which the ball is dropped, or
drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the ball lies not nearer the hole
If your ball is in a bunker you may proceed as above, except that if you are dropping back on a line or within two club-lengths, you must drop in the bunker.
Care of the Course
Bunkers Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.
Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes
Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage
Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.
Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flag-stick.
In order to avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flag-stick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be
used to remove a ball from the hole.
Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.
The flag-stick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.
Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.
Play at a Good Pace and Keep Up
You should always play at a good pace. The committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow. It's a group‟s responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If they lose a clear hole and delay the group behind, they should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, they should also invite the faster moving group to overtake them.
Be Ready to Play
You should be ready to play as soon as it's your turn to play. When on or near the putting green, leave your bags or carts just off the green on the way to the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, leave the putting green quickly.
If you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, play a provisional ball. Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found.They shouldn't search for five minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play
through, they shouldn't continue play until the group coming through has passed and is out of range
Consideration for Others
No Disturbance or Distraction
You should always show consideration for other players on the course and take care not to not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.
You should also ensure that any electronic devices taken onto the course don't distract other players.
Only tee your ball up when it's your turn to play and remember not to stand close to the ball, directly behind it, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to swing.
On the Putting Green
On the putting green, you should be careful not stand on another player‟s line of putt or, when he is putting, cast a shadow over his line.
And you should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.
Scoring In stroke play, if you're acting as a marker, on the way to the next tee you should, if necessary, check the score with the player concerned and record it.
Safety Ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.
Wait until the players in front are out of range. Players should always alert green staff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them.
If your ball's heading in a direction where there is a danger of it hitting someone, shout a warning immediately. The traditional word of warning is “fore”.
Pace of Play
Pace of Play Guidelines
Clubs, public courses, resorts and competition organisers have differing views on what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable pace of play, but the fact is that slow play detracts from the enjoyment of the game for many players. Few golfers are heard to complain about play being too quick! “
As a general rule, try to keep up with the group in front.”
There is a responsibility, therefore, on all players and administrators to ensure that golf is played at a good pace, and a pace appropriate to the course being played. Factors that may influence what is considered to be an appropriate pace may be the difficulty of the course, the
distances between greens and tees, the climate and also the range of ability of the players on the course.
In addition, it is necessary to make some distinction between golf played as a leisure pursuit and elite golf, where allowances have to be made for players trying to earn a living. At the elite level, there will often be officials on the course who can monitor pace of play and implement a strict policy, which involves groups keeping to a hole-by-hole schedule, and potentially being subject to timing of individual strokes with the threat of penalties if they fail to keep to the clock.
Keep up with the group in front.
If you lose a hole, call the group behind through.
Be ready to play your shot when it's your turn.
Leave the green promptly.
How players can minimise round times:
Be aware of your position with regard to the group in front and keep up with that group.
If you feel that your group is losing ground, tell the other players in your group.
If your group is behind, try to catch up.
If you lose a clear hole and are delaying the group behind, or if there is no group in front of you and you are delaying the group behind, invite the group behind to play through.
Be ready to play your shot. While exercising due consideration for other players in your group, put your glove on, check your yardage, pick your club and line up your putt while others are playing.
At the green, speed up your exit by positioning your bags on the way to the next tee.
Move off the green as soon as all players in your group have holed out and mark score cards at or on the way to the next tee.
Play a provisional ball if your ball may be lost outside a hazard or out of bounds.
Spirit of the Game
Honesty, integrity, courtesy: three words that have come to represent the spirit in which the game of golf and Pitch and Putt is played.
International Pitch and Putt Association (IPPA)
Calle Arroyo del Monte, 5
28035 Madrid – Spain
Registered in Consejo Superior de Deportes, Ministerio del Interior, Madrid. Grupo 1, Sección 1, número nacional 593286Type your paragraph here.Type your paragraph here.