Golf Rule 10, Order Of Play

    Golf Rule 10, Order of Play – Simplified Version



    10-1. In match play, golfers play in this order:

    On the tee – On the first hole, the player listed first on the scorecard (as determined by the committee) tees off first; otherwise, the order is decided by lot or other fair means (e.g., a coin flip). Afterward, the player or team that wins a hole has honors (plays first) on the next tee. If a hole is halved, the honor stays with the side which held it on the previous hole.

    While playing the hole – The player whose ball is farthest from the hole (away) goes first; if the sides are the same distance from the hole, or it can’t be determined who is away, the order is determined by coin flip or similar method. There is no penalty for playing out of turn, but the opponent whose turn was skipped can require the player to cancel the stroke, then play again after the opponent has hit.

    Players may agree to play out of turn in the interest of saving time.

    10-2. In stroke play, the order on the first tee, later tees and during play of a hole is the same as in match play. There is no penalty for playing out of turn, and (unlike match play) a player can’t require a competitor to re-play a shot if the competitor hits out of turn.

    Exception: If the committee finds that competitors agreed to play out of turn to give one an advantage, both are disqualified.

    10-3. A player hitting a provisional ball (rule 27-2) from the tee must wait until everyone else in the group has teed off before hitting.

    10-1. Match Play
    a. When Starting Play of Hole
    The side that has the honor at the first teeing ground is determined by the order of the draw. In the absence of a draw, the honor should be decided by lot.

    The side that wins a hole takes the honor at the next teeing ground. If a hole has been halved, the side that had the honor at the previous teeing ground retains it.

    b. During Play of Hole
    After both players have started play of the hole, the ball farther from the hole is played first. If the balls are equidistant from the hole or their positions relative to the hole are not determinable, the ball to be played first should be decided by lot.

    Exception:Rule 30-3b (best-ball and four-ball match play).


    Note:When it becomes known that the original ball is not to be played as it lies and the player is required to play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5), the order of play is determined by the spot from which the previous stroke was made. When a ball may be played from a spot other than where the previous stroke was made, the order of play is determined by the position where the original ball came to rest.

    c. Playing Out of Turn
    If a player plays when his opponent should have played, there is no penalty, but the opponent may immediately require the player to cancel the stroke so made and, in correct order, play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5).

    10-2. Stroke Play
    a. When Starting Play of Hole
    The competitor who has the honor at the first teeing ground is determined by the order of the draw. In the absence of a draw, the honor should be decided by lot.

    The competitor with the lowest score at a hole takes the honor at the next teeing ground. The competitor with the second lowest score plays next and so on. If two or more competitors have the same score at a hole, they play from the next teeing ground in the same order as at the previous teeing ground.

    Exception:Rule 32-1 (handicap bogey, par and Stableford competitions).

    b. During Play of Hole
    After the competitors have started play of the hole, the ball farthest from the hole is played first. If two or more balls are equidistant from the hole or their positions relative to the hole are not determinable, the ball to be played first should be decided by lot.

    Exceptions:Rules 22 (ball assisting or interfering with play) and 31-4 (four-ball stroke play).


    Note:When it becomes known that the original ball is not to be played as it lies and the competitor is required to play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5), the order of play is determined by the spot from which the previous stroke was made. When a ball may be played from a spot other than where the previous stroke was made, the order of play is determined by the position where the original ball came to rest.

    c. Playing Out of Turn
    If a competitor plays out of turn, there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies. If, however, the Committee determines that competitors have agreed to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage, they are disqualified.

    (Making stroke while another ball in motion after stroke from putting green – see Rule 16-1f)

    (Incorrect order of play in foursome stroke play – see Rule 29-3)

    10-3. Provisional Ball Or Another Ball From Teeing Ground
    If a player plays a provisional ball or another ball from the teeing ground, he must do so after his opponent or fellow-competitor has made his first stroke. If more than one player elects to play a provisional ball or is required to play another ball from the teeing ground, the original order of play must be retained. If a player plays a provisional ball or another ball out of turn, Rule 10-1c or 10-2c applies.