Rule 6. The Player
6-1. Conditions of Competition
The player is responsible for knowing the conditions under which
the competition is to be played (Rule 33-1).
a. Match Play - Before starting a match in a handicap competition,
the players should determine from one another their respective handicaps.
If a player begins the match having declared a higher handicap which
would affect the number of strokes given or received,
he shall be disqualified; otherwise, the player shall play
off the declared handicap.
b. Stroke - Play In any round of a handicap competition, the competitor
shall ensure that his handicap is recorded on his score card before
it is returned to the Committee. If no handicap is recorded on his
score card before it is returned, or if the recorded handicap is higher
than that to which he is entitled and this affects the number of strokes
received, he shall be disqualified from
that round of the handicap competition; otherwise, the score shall
Note: It is the player's responsibility to know the holes at which
handicap strokes are to be given or received.
6-3. Time of Starting and Groups
a. Time of Starting - The player shall start at the time laid down
by the Committee.
b. Groups In stroke play, the competitor shall remain throughout
the round in the group arranged by the Committee unless the Committee
authorizes or ratifies a change.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-3: Disqualification.
(Best-ball and four-ball play-see Rules 30-3a and 31-2.)
Note: The Committee may provide in the conditions of a competition
(Rule 33-1) that, if the player arrives at his starting point, ready
to play, within five minutes after his starting time, in the absence
of circumstances which warrant waiving the penalty of disqualification
as provided in Rule 33-7, the penalty for failure to start on time
is loss of the first hole in match play or
two strokes at the first hole in stroke play instead of disqualification.
Penalty for breach of rule 6-3: Disqualification.
The player may have only one caddie at any one time, under
penalty of disqualification.
For any breach of a Rule by his caddie, the player incurs
the applicable penalty.
The responsibility for playing the proper ball rests with the player.
Each player should put an identification mark on his ball.
6-6. Scoring in Stroke Play
a. Recording Scores - After each hole the marker should check the
score with the competitor and record it. On completion of the round
the marker shall sign the card and hand it to the competitor. If more
than one marker records the scores, each shall sign for the part for
which he is responsible.
b. Signing and Returning Card - After completion of the round, the
competitor should check his score for each hole and settle any doubtful
points with the Committee. He shall ensure that the marker has signed
the card, countersign the card himself and return it to the Committee
as soon as possible.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-6b:
c. Alteration of Card - No alteration may be made on a card after
the competitor has returned it to the Committee.
d. Wrong Score for Hole - The competitor is responsible for the correctness
of the score recorded for each hole on his card. If he returns a score
for any hole lower than actually taken, he
shall be disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher
than actually taken, the score as returned shall stand.
Note 1: The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores
and application of the handicap recorded on the card-see Rule 33-5.
Note 2: In four-ball stroke play, see also Rule 31-4 and -7a.
6-7. Undue Delay; Slow Play
The player shall play without undue delay and in accordance with
any pace of play guidelines which may be laid down by the Committee.
Between completion of a hole and playing from the next teeing ground,
the player shall not unduly delay play.
Penalty for Breach of Rule
6-7: Match play-Loss of hole; Stroke play-Two strokes. For subsequent
Note 1: If the player unduly delays play between holes,
he is delaying the play of the next hole and the penalty applies to
Note 2: For the purpose of preventing slow play, the
Committee may, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), lay
down pace of play guidelines including maximum periods of time allowed
to complete a stipulated round, a hole or a stroke. In stroke play
only, the Committee may, in such a condition, modify the penalty for
a breach of this Rule as follows:
First offense-One stroke;
Second offense-Two strokes.
For subsequent offense-Disqualification.
6-8. Discontinuance of Play
a. When Permitted - The player shall not discontinue play unless:
(i) the Committee has suspended play;
(ii) he believes there is danger from lightning;
(iii) he is seeking a decision from the Committee on a doubtful or
disputed point (see Rules 2-5 and 34-3); or
(iv) there is some other good reason such as sudden illness.
Bad weather is not of itself a good reason for discontinuing play.
If the player discontinues play without specific permission from
the Committee, he shall report to the Committee as soon as practicable.
If he does so and the Committee considers his reason satisfactory,
the player incurs no penalty. Otherwise, the
player shall be disqualified.
Exception in match play: Players discontinuing match play by agreement
are not subject to disqualification unless by so doing the competition
Note: Leaving the course does not of itself constitute discontinuance
b. Procedure when Play Suspended by Committee - When play is suspended
by the Committee, if the players in a match or group are between the
play of two holes, they shall not resume play until the Committee
has ordered a resumption of play. If they are in the process of playing
a hole, they may continue provided they do so without delay. If they
choose to continue, they shall discontinue either before or immediately
after completing the hole, and shall not thereafter resume play until
the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. When play has been
suspended by the Committee, the player shall resume play when the
Committee has ordered a resumption of play.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-8b:
Note: The Committee may provide in the conditions of a competition
(Rule 33-1) that, in potentially dangerous situations, play shall
be discontinued immediately following a suspension of play by the
Committee. If a player fails to discontinue play immediately, he
shall be disqualified unless circumstances warrant waiving
such penalty as provided in Rule 33-7.
c. Lifting Ball When Play Discontinued - When during the play of
a hole a player discontinues play under Rule 6-8a, he may lift his
ball. A ball may be cleaned when so lifted. If a ball has been so
lifted, the player shall, when play is resumed, place a ball on the
spot from which the original ball was lifted.
d. (Resumption of play-see Rule 33-2d.)
Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-8c:
Match play-Loss of hole;
Stroke play-Two strokes.