Golf Rules and Definitions

More definitions of Golf – M thru O


Some one who is appointed by the Committee to record a competitor’s score in stroke play. He may be a fellow competitor, however he is not a referee.

Match play

In “match play” the game is played by holes. A hole is won by the side which holes its balls in the fewer strokes. The reckoning of the holes is kept by the terms: so many “holes up” or “all square”, and so many “to play”. A match is won by the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played.

Move or Moved

A ball is deemed to have “moved’’ if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.


An “observer’’ is one who is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule. An observer should not attend the flag stick, stand at or mark the position of the hole, or lift the ball or mark its position.


An “obstruction’’ is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice, except:

  • a) Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes and railings;
  • b) Any part of an immovable artificial object which is out of bounds;
  • c) Any construction declared by the Committee to be an integral part of the course.
  • An obstruction is a movable obstruction if it may be moved without unreasonable effort,
    without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. Otherwise it is an immovable obstruction.

Out of Bounds

“Out of bounds’’ is beyond the boundaries of the course or any part of the course so marked by the Committee. When out of bounds is defined by reference to stakes or a fence or as being beyond stakes or a fence, the out of bounds line is determined by the nearest inside points of the stakes or fence posts at ground level excluding angled supports. Objects defining out of bounds such as walls, fences, stakes and railings, are not obstructions and are deemed to be fixed.

When out of bounds is defined by a line on the ground, the line itself is out of bounds. The out of bounds line extends vertically upwards and downwards. A ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds. A player may stand out of bounds to play a ball lying within bounds.

Outside Agency

An “outside agency’’ is any agency not part of the match or, in stroke play, not part of the competitor’s side, and includes a referee, a marker, an observer and a forecaddie. Neither wind nor water is an outside agency.

Golf Definitions A thru E

Golf Definitions F thru L

More Golf Definitions


More About golf

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