Golf Rules Golf Rule 7 Practice Video
Rule 7 in the rule book contains the rules relating to practice. That's quite important there because just having a practice putt or a practice chip at the wrong time could get you disqualified. But basically in matchplay you are allowed to go and practice before your round. So you could play 18 holes in the morning and then play match play competition in the afternoon, that would be okay. But in strokeplay you're not allowed to practice. So if you went and you said well I'm just going to play the seventeenth, the eighteenth holes as practice and then tee off on the first in a stroke play competition you've been disqualified before you've already teed off.
You're not allowed to practice on the golf course before a stroke play round. The driving range, the putting green and potentially the chipping green are separate. They're not classed as being on the golf course. So you are allowed to practice there, but you're not actually allowed to practice on the golf course before you tee off. Now during the play of a hole, you're not allowed to practice on that hole either. So you can't drop a ball down and say, this is my practice ball and chip it on. This is my real one and then chip it on. That wouldn't be allowed either. However, once you finish that hole, you are allowed to take a practice putt, a practice chip around the green or even a practice chip around the side of the next tee if you're waiting.
Just be careful of slow play regulations there that you are not going to hold anybody up. But you're not allowed to practice on the forthcoming hold if you like. So it's on the green that you've just played, around the green you’ve just played, or to the side of the tee of the hole you're about to play. But be careful about these regulations. Some people misinterpret them and say that you're practicing on the golf course. But as long as you say, well I've not played that. I've played the hole, I'm allowed to practice on it. But make sure you understand those rules and regulations.
Any breach of that rule in stroke play is going to be a two shot penalty. Any breach of that rule in match play is going to be immediate loss of hole. So you're not allowed to practice during a hole or on a hole that you're about to play. Make sure you get those rules right and you won't get any penalties for practicing incorrectly.