Rules of Golf


As part of your Golf Manitoba membership, we would be happy to set up a rules session at any Golf Mantioba member club.  For further details, please call Director of Competitions, Lisa Andersen at 204-291-8030.


Would you like to learn about the Rules of Golf? The Golf Manitoba Rules Committee offers Winter Rules Sessions each season. No prior knowledge is required, just come and learn in a relaxed setting with those of a similar interest.

For further information please read our seminar section on our website.


This is a beginner program that introduces the basic concepts and language of the Rules of Golf.  Examples, videos, animations and exercises are used to introduce the student to the principles of the Rules and how to use the Rules book.  The program is ideal for juniors, beginners and golfers who have had no previous experience with the Rules.

Register online at Golf Canada Rules Education


Level 2 of the program builds on the experience of Level 1 and introduces the key reference manual for officials: the Decisions on the Rules of Golf.  This publication is the key to understanding how the Rules of Golf are applied on the course.  In addition to introducing some of the fundamental rules through examples, videos and exercises, Level 2 teaches the student how to use the Decisions book effectively when the Rules book alone does not provide the answer.

Register online at Golf Canada Rules Education


Level 3 of the program is comprised of a three day seminar conducted by Golf Mantioba.  The seminar covers the most common Rules of Golf and includes practical sessions that demonstrate how the Rules apply on the golf course.  To be certified at Level 3 an official must successfully pass the exam and meet the minimum practical requirements. The Level 3 program leads to provincial certification as a tournament official.  Once Level 3 certified, an official is qualified to attend the Level 4 national certification seminar.


  • Level 2 Certification
  • Complete Level 3 Rules of Golf Seminar
  • Achieve 85% on Level 3 Exam
  • 10 hours accompanying a Certified Rules Official as an observer at a regional or provincial event
  • Minimum of 50 hours of satisfactory on-course experience as a Rules Official at regional or provincial event

For further informaiton on the current year’s session, please visit the seminar section of our website


Level 4 of the program leads to national rules certification.  This is a necessary, but not sufficient qualification to work as a rules official at a Golf Canada national championship.  The Level 4 program is intended for experienced rules officials who wish to improve both their technical and practical knowledge as a rules official.  Considerable time is spent on the golf course discussing complex issues of the Rules of Golf.  The optional 3 hour exam is a rigorous test of the Rules of Golf intended to identify those candidates with the highest level of knowledge.


  • Level 3 Certification
  • Complete Level 4 Rules of Golf Seminar
  • Achieve 85% on the Rules of Golf exam
  • 100 hours of satisfactory on-course experience as a Level 3 Rules Official at regional or provincial events.
  • have achieved 70% or better on the Level 4 Rules Exam or 80% or better on the USGA Rules Exam within the last four years; or
  • have achieved 92% or better on the USGA Rules Exam after January 1, 2004; or
  • are currently or have been previously certified at Level 4 or equivalent by Golf Canada.

For further information please current year’s session, please see Golf Canada’s website

Standard Local Rules




– Effective January 2017 –

Play is governed by the 2016 Golf Canada Rules of Golf, the 2016 – 2017 Golf Canada Decisions on the Rules of Golf and where applicable, by the following Local Rules and Conditions of Competition, subject to changes, additions or deletions for particular Championships by the Rules of Golf Committee of Golf Manitoba.  The player’s attention is drawn to Conditions of the Competition on the Golf Manitoba website – www.golfmanitoba.mb.ca.

Unless otherwise noted, penalty for breach of a Local Rule or Condition is:

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes


1.  Specification of the Ball – The ball the player plays must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls recognized by Golf Canada (see Note to Rule 5 – 1).  The current List of Conforming Golf Balls is available on the Golf Manitoba website.  Penalty for Breach of Condition: Disqualification.

2.  Specification of Driver Head – Any driver the player carries must have a club head, identified by model and loft that is named on the current List of Conforming Driver Heads recognized by Golf Canada (see Note to Rule  4- 1).  The current List of Conforming Driver Heads is available on the Golf Manitoba website. Penalty for Breach of Condition: See Penalty Statement for Rules 4 – 1 and 4 – 2.


3. Time of Starting – Rule 6 – 3a is in effect.

4.  Caddies – In stroke play competition where a caddie is permitted, a player is prohibited from having another competitor serve as his caddie during the stipulated round (see Note to Rule 6 – 4)..  See Penalty Statement for Appendix 1, Part B, Section 2.

5. Pace of Play – See the competition’s Notice to Competitors for the 2017 Golf Manitoba Pace of Play Policy.  Note that Rule 6 – 7 (undue delay) is still applicable.

6.  Discontinuance of Play Note to Rule 6 – 8b is in effect

The course and all practice areas are closed when play is suspended for a dangerous situation until the Golf Manitoba Officials Committee has declared them open.  A player practicing in these areas will be subject to disqualification.

Note: A suspension for a dangerous situation will be signalled by one prolonged air horn note.  All other types of suspension will be signalled by three consecutive air horn notes.  Resumption of play will be signalled by two short air horn notes.

7.  Practice Note to Rule 7 – 2 is in effect

Prior to and after their round in stroke play, a player may practice on the designated practice areas.  A player may not practice on or near the putting green of the hole last played or roll a ball on the putting green of the hole last played.

8.  Motorized Transportation – is permitted in all events except the Junior Bantam, Junior Interclub and the Junior Championship.

Players or their caddies are not permitted to travel with their motorized cart beyond the point on the course where their ball lies to gauge yardage or to seek the position of the hole.  Breach of this rule is a 2 stroke penalty.

Please refer to the complete Motorized Transportation Policy on our website.

9.  Distance Measuring Devices – a player may obtain distance information by using a device that measures distance only.  However, 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 functions are actually used.

10.Close of Competition – The competition is deemed to have closed when the trophy has been presented to the winner or, in the absence of a prize ceremony, when all scores have been approved by the Committee.


1.   Out of Bounds – Defined by inside points, at ground level, of white stakes and fence posts. – Rule 27 – 1b.

2.   Abnormal Ground Conditions – Rule 25

Ground Under Repair includes:

a.   Areas defined by white lines.

b.   French drains filled with stones.

c.   For lie of ball or area of intended swing ONLY – Except in a hazard, sod seams (not the sod itself) are deemed to be ground under repair.  If the ball lies in or touches the seam or the seam interferes with the area of intended swing, relief is available under Rule 25 – 1.  All seams within the newly sodded area are considered the same seam.

3.   Embedded Ball Through the Green – Local Rule as prescribed in Appendix I, Part A, Section 3a is in effect.

  1. A player may not take relief under this local Rule if the ball is embedded in sand in an area that is not closely mown.
  2. A player may not take relief under this local Rule if interference by anything other than the condition covered by this local Rule makes the stroke clearly impracticable.

4.   Obstructions – Rule 24

a.   White lined areas tying into artificially surfaced roads, paths or obstructions are deemed to have the same status as the road, path or obstruction and are not ground under repair.

b.   Landscaped garden areas completely encircled by an obstruction are part of the obstruction.

5.   Wood Chips and Mulch – Wood chips and mulch are loose impediments.

6.   Integral Parts of the Course

a.   Wrappings, wires, cables and other objects when closely attached to trees.

b.   Artificial walls and/or pilings when located within water hazards or when used to define the margin of bunkers.  Such walls and/or pilings are through the green.


7.   Permanent Elevated Power Lines or Cables – If a ball strikes a permanent elevated power line or cable, the stroke MUST be cancelled and the player must play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played in accordance with Rule 20 – 5.

8.   Temporary Obstructions – Local Rule as prescribed in Appendix I, Part A, Section 4b is in effect.

9. Turf Plugs on Putting Greens – On any putting green, turf plugs of any size have the same status as old hole plugs and may be repaired under Rule 16 – 1c.

10. Water and Lateral Hazards – When a water hazard or lateral water hazard is defined on only one side, it is deemed to extend to infinity. When a water hazard or lateral water hazard is bounded by out of bounds, the hazard margin extends to and coincides with the out of bounds line.

Note: Dropping Zones for water and lateral water hazards:

Where there are dropping zones for water or lateral water hazards a ball may be played under Rule 26 or may be dropped in the dropping zone nearest to where the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, under penalty of one stroke.  For provisions relating to dropping or re-dropping a ball in a dropping zone, see the Local Rule in Appendix 1, Part A, Section 6.

11.  Accidental Movement of a Ball on a Putting Green – 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, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.


Equipment Standards