The Rules of Golf Today

One of the key functions of the Mark Rivkin Golf Review is to ensure that other athletes have access to the most reliable resources in regards to the sport of golf, and in this Rivkin Golf edition we wanted to review the rules of the game as they are applied today. This post will cover the governing bodies that write the regulations and how they are determined, as well as point you in the right direction as far as the most modern rules of golf.

The United States Golf Association

The United States Golf Association (USGA) was founded in December of 1894 with the intention of formally organizing American golf, establishing a governing body for rule determination, conducting national championships and establishing a national system of handicapping. Today the USGA coordinates the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, in addition to ten national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. In conjunction with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the regulating golf publications, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The R&A

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is one of the world’s most prestigious, and the club has been around for over 250 years. Until 2004 it was one of the governing authorities of golf, but is now part of a collaboration known as The R&A, which is the governing body of golf in Europe and surrounding countries. The R&A is based in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland and organizes The Open Championship, golf’s oldest Major, as well as a number of other amateur and junior events. The R&A also assumes responsibility for the administration of the rules of golf with the consent of 143 organizations from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in dozens of nations throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

The Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status are published every four years to define how the game is to be played, as determined by these governing bodies of golf. The rules have been jointly determined since 1952, although the code was not completely uniform until the beginning of the twenty-first century. Before 2012 the USGA and R&A presented the same content differently in separate editions, but the same content is now published in a uniform fashion with similar formatting and covers, with spelling and logos being the only differences. Find the newest edition of the Rules of Golf HERE, where also are highlighted the most significant changes that will be implemented until 2015.

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