There are a handful of basic rules that one must follow in order to play an honest game of golf. The first rule is that you always have to play a ball where it lies even if it is not in a good position, unless the rules state otherwise. There are times when you can move the ball without taking a penalty. If there is a certain type of interference then this can be done. For instance, if there is an obstruction like a man-made object that is in the way or some unusual ground condition such as casual water or the ground being under repair.
At other times you can move the ball but will have to take a penalty to do so. For instance if there is a water hazard, you have to take a 1 stroke penalty. You have a few choices here, for example you can take a shot from where the ball was last played. You can also place the ball at some distance behind the water hazard but you have to maintain a straight line between the hole and the edge where the ball crossed the water. If the ball goes into a lateral hazard then these same rules apply but you can also drop the ball within two club-lengths of the edge where the ball entered the water and on the opposite side of the hazard but at an equal distance from the hole that the ball last crossed the edge.
Some other rules to know include: if your ball falls off the tee you can retee without having to take any sort of penalty; if you happen to hit your ball into a bunker then you can’t move any obstructions out of the way. Another infraction that people sometimes make is to do what is called tapping down your putts. If you see spike marks in the grass on the green, you cannot flatten them. If you do you will earn a two stroke penalty.
If your ball is buried in the rough then you are permitted to lift it and identify it. However, you need to let the other players know first before doing this.When your ball is in play you will have to take a penalty if you move it by accident. If the ball is accidentally moved while it is at rest then it can be repositioned without penalty.
If your ball is stopped or deflected because it hits your caddie, your golf partner or your equipment then you will end up with a penalty of one stroke. In addition to this you will have to play the ball as it then lies. You can lift your ball if it is interfering with another person’s play. Similarly you can have another player lift their ball if it is interfering with your play.Knowing these basic rules to follow when you play golf is important and means that you could play in tournaments if you wanted to.