Stumped by something you’ve seen out on the course? Our Rules of Golf expert is here to help

Despite the simplification of the rules at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. And as our club man Steve Carroll has passed his R&A’s level 2 rules exam with distinction, he is more than happy to help. And so Rules of Golf explained was born.

How to submit a question

If you would like to get in touch with Steve regarding the Rules of Golf or submit a question to feature in this series, the best way to do so is to email him or send him a tweet.

Rules of Golf explained archive

My putt has hit another ball on the green – is there a penalty?

I found my ball but lost it again – what happens now?

My ball hit another person – what happens now?

Is my ball out of bounds?

Can I practise putting or chipping during a round?

My ball is lost in GUR – what do I do?

Can I hold an umbrella while putting?

Do I need to mark my ball when taking relief?

My ball has hit another player’s ball – what do we do?

My ball hit a marker on the green and went in – does it count?

Can I line up my ball without marking it?

I picked up my ball on the green without marking it – is there a penalty?

I ‘lost’ my ball then found it in the hole – does it count?

This bunker is full of water – can I have a free drop?

Someone has picked up my ball – what happens now?

Can I measure the relief area for a drop with a headcover on?

Can I play my ball from Ground Under Repair?

The Rule nearly every one of us has broken

I’ve whiffed – can I put the ball back on a tee?

My ball is hanging over the hole – what do I do?

Can you listen to music on the golf course?

My ball is under a pile of grass and leaves – do I get a free drop?

What are your options in a bunker where there are no rakes?

Do I need to tell my partners I’m lifting my ball?

Can I clean my ball?

Can I putt with my ball-marker still in place?

I accidentally kicked my ball on the green – is it a penalty?

Help! I thought my opponent conceded my putt

An animal has moved my ball – what happens now?

My ball landed in someone’s lunch – what do I do?

Does my hole-in-one count?

Our balls have landed side by side – what do we do?

I’ve lost my phone – am I allowed to search for it?

My ball’s embedded in the face of a bunker – can I get free relief?

A bird hit my club while I was taking a shot – does it count?

Can I switch hands to get free relief?

How should I announce playing a provisional ball?

Can I get relief from a sprinkler head on the line of my putt?

Can my caddie place and line up my ball on the green?

Can I play a provisional after I’ve started searching?

Can I stop my opponent looking for my ball?

I’ve hit the ball with a practice swing – does it count?

The tee markers are missing – what do I do?

My ball struck a buggy and landed in a bunker – can I play it again?

What do I do if my ball moves at address?

The foam insert is floating and the ball won’t hole – what do I do?

If I play out of turn, should I play another shot?

Can you stand behind an opponent to watch their putt?

Where do I drop if a bunker is GUR?

Is there a penalty if I hit another player with my ball?

I’m looking for two balls – do I have three minutes for each?

My golf ball hit the foam insert and bounced out – does it count?

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