Date: August 14, 2014
Author: Golf NT

New Rules for 2012
View a Summary HERE of the key changes to the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status commencing on 1 January 2012.

View changes HERE to the decisions on the Rules of Golf as announced November 2013.

The R&A St Andrews is the governing body for the rules of golf. Authority for administration of the Rules was accepted by The R&A in 1897 and, since 1952, it has jointly issued the Rules with the United States Golf Association. The underlying principle of rules in golf is fairness.

There are three basic principles to remember:
1. Play the ball as it lies.
2. Play the course as you find it.
3. And if you cannot do either, do what is fair.
To do what is fair you need to know the Rules.

To obtain a copy of the latest edition of the Rules of Golf Booklet please contact your Club.

View the Rules of Golf section on the Golf Australia website HERE.
View the R & A St Andrews website HERE.
View the R&A's online Decisions on The Rules of Golf HERE.

The R&A Interactive Quiz provides all levels of golfer with a great tool to improve their knowledge of The Rules. It has 3 levels of difficulty and provides immediate feedback on your progress.

Begin the R&A Interactive Quiz

Golf NT has decided to follow both the R&A and Golf Australia’s and introduce the new Local Rule for all of it's events that came into effect as at 1 January 2017. That is as follows;
Accidental Movement of a Ball in the Putting Green (Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1). Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:
When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, her partner, her opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules above. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Rules & Other Resources
Golf NT has the following resources available to Clubs and individual golfers:

• R&A Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status (Free)
• R&A A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf (Free)
• R&A Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2016 – 2017 ($40)
• R&A Golf Rules Illustrated 2016 Edition ($30)
• R&A Golf Rules in Action DVD ($35) (sold out)

Rules Officials
Club Level and State Level
Rules accreditation in Australia has changed. Rather than accreditation the governing bodies decided to implement an education program. More information on Level 1, 2 and 3 programs will be made available in the near future.

To read copies of the Golf Australia Rules Newsletter please click HERE.

The Previous Club Level Rules Accreditation Program
Club Level rules seminars are regularly conducted by members of the Golf NT Rules Committee. The seminar takes about three hours with the use of a PowerPoint presentation. For those wishing to gain a Club Level Accreditation, an online exam will follow at a later date.

Things covered by the seminar include the following:
1. Rules Resources.
2. How to use the Rules Book.
3. Illustrations of the Rules.

At all stages, participants are encouraged to ask whatever Rules questions they have. Whilst the seminars are an important learning forum for those persons who wish to undertake the Club Level Examination, there is no obligation to sit for the examination after attending the seminar.

The Club Level Examination involves a 50 multiple-choice question exam on the Rules of Golf. To pass, a minimum of 35 correct answers must be given. A minimum of 45 corrrect answers must be given for a distinction. There is a time limit of three hours and Rules of Golf booklets may be used during the examination.

Successful candidates will receive a Club Level Rules Accreditation Certificate of Achievement and an official Club Level Referee cap. Club Level Rules Accreditation remains valid by attending future rules seminars at least every three years.

Clubs are encouraged to utilise Club Level Accredited persons as rules officials for major club events.

Golf NT Accredited Rules Officials
National Accreditation
Jason De Araujo
John Humphreys

Level 2 (State) Accreditation
Tricia Clarke (Darwin Golf Club)
Mark Hearnden (Humpty Doo Golf Club)
Peter Wright (Palmerston Golf Club)

Level 1 (Club) Accreditation
David Annesley (RAAF Darwin Golf Club)
Rosemary Campbell (RAAF Darwin Golf Club)
Margaret Fairless (Darwin Golf Club)
David Flanagan (Humpty Doo and Rural Area Golf Club)
Alf Goody (Alice Springs Golf Club)
Mal Guerin (Alice Springs Golf Club)
Kerryn Heaver (Alice Springs Golf Club)
Ron Hosking (RAAF Darwin Golf Club)
Dianne Howard (Darwin Golf Club)
Andrew Hullick (Darwin Golf Club)
Matthew Humphreys (RAAF Darwin Golf Club)
Julie Lynch (Darwin Golf Club)
Joe McGuirk (Alice Springs Golf Club)
Merv McMaster (Palmerston Golf Club)
Shane O'Gallagher (Alice Springs Golf Club)
Glenn Schipp (Darwin Golf Club)
Chantelle Shaw (Darwin Golf Club)
Vicki Stokes (Darwin Golf Club)

Competition and Course Management
The Golf Australia website is the best place to find information on Course Management, Marking the Course & Course Set-up Procedures, including information on stroke play and match play indexes, distance markers, course records, defining out of bounds, water hazards, GUR, obstructions, and advice regarding teeing grounds and hole positions.

View the Competition and Course Management section on the Golf Australia website HERE.

Distance Measuring Devices
The R&A changed its stance on Distance Measuring Devices (DMD) from January 2006, permitting a club committee to allow the use of Distance Measuring Devices through the introduction of a Local Rule. The following is the recommended Local Rule for allowing the use of a DMD for either all play on your course or for a specific competition: Also see Page 136 of the R&A Rule Book.

Golf NT has implemented this Local Rule for all of its events (NT Amateurs, Country Championships, Men’s and Women’s Pennant, Chief Minister’s Cup and Sport Minister’s Cup).

"For all play at this course, a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only. If, during a stipulated round, a player uses a distance-measuring device that is designed to gauge or measure other conditions that might affect his play (e.g. gradient, wind speed, temperature, etc.), the player is in breach of Rule 14-3, for which the penalty is disqualification, regardless of whether any such additional function is actually used."

Note – Distance Measuring Devices are not permitted in GA National Championships.

For news and information on Equipment including Drivers, Clubs and Balls click HERE

Etiquette is the manner in which the game should be played. If the correct etiquette is followed, all players will gain maximum enjoyment from the game. The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times. It refers to a set of rules and practices designed to make the game of golf safer and more enjoyable for golfers and to minimize possible damage to golf equipment and courses. Although many of these practices are not part of the formal rules of golf, golfers are customarily expected to observe them.

There are four main areas of etiquette, which are:
Course Care.
Consideration for Others.
Pace of Play.

More details on etiquette.

More details on Pace of Play.
View Pace of Play Poster.

Slow Play
Slow play can be a problem with the game of golf, and cannot be attributed to any one factor. It should not be correlated with skill level, age, gender, or experience. However, it does represent a significant issue for many golfers, often stemming from a single or twosome playing into a group with higher numbers. Regardless, slow players should yield the field of play if there is substantive room in front of them. To do otherwise is remiss, and represents a deviation from golf etiquette. From the first drive to the last hole, each player should be ready to play when it is their turn. Normally, the player furthest from the hole (being "away") plays first, and continues until another player becomes "away." While this is a good tradition to follow, golfers may play out of turn if their playing partners agree that it will speed up the pace of play. A golfer should avoid taking unreasonable time over their swing, which might well produce a bad shot. Golfers should try to follow closely the group ahead of them, and not to be "pushed" by the group behind them. One rule of thumb is that golfers should have to wait on the group in front of them to hole out as they are teeing up. Otherwise, their pace of play may be too slow.

Amateur Status
The Amateur Status Committee of The R&A defines an amateur as someone who plays the game as a non-remunerative and non-profit-making sport and who does not receive remuneration for teaching golf or for other activities because of golf skill or reputation.

Prizes in amateur events is limited to a value of $1200. Cash prizes of any amount cannot be given to amateur golfers. The Rules of Amateur Status can be found in the Rules of Golf Book, on pages 163-179.

For more information on Amateur Status and a Reinstatement Form please click HERE.

Policies and Regulatory Codes
More information on all Golf Australia Policies and Regulatory Codes here.

For further information on any of the above please contact Golf NT's Rules, Handicapping and Course Rating representative Tricia Clarke at