Out of Bounds Golf Rules

By Kevin D. Boehler

In golf, you must hit the ball onto the fairways and onto the greens. That can be difficult, and when a golfer hits his ball too far left or right, it could end up out of bounds. Out of bounds on a golf course is the area in which a ball is no longer in the playing field. It is marked by white stakes. The penalty for going out of bounds is one stroke added to the score for that hole. Under no circumstances can you hit a ball that is out of bounds.

Off the Tee

If a player hits a ball out of bounds from the tee box, that player must hit another golf ball from the tee. The player must also take a one stroke penalty, so he will be hitting his third shot from the tee box.

From the Fairway or Rough

If a player hits a ball out of bounds from the fairway or rough, that player must drop another ball from shoulder height as close as possible to where the first ball was played. The player must also take a one stroke penalty.

Hitting a Provisional Ball

Sometimes, a golfer will hit a ball and is unsure if it has gone out of bounds. To speed up play, they can elect to hit a provisional ball from the same spot. The player must announce to the rest of the group that he is hitting a provisional ball. If the player finds out later his first ball is in bounds, then he can pick up the provisional ball and play the first ball without incurring any penalty strokes. If the first ball was found to be out of bounds, then the player will incur a penalty stroke and play the provisional ball until it is holed.

About The Author

Kevin Boehler attended the University of Nebraska, where he attained a degree in professional golf management. Boehler enjoys teaching golf to others, helping them not only play better, but love the game as well. He has a vast knowledge of the golf swing and a variety of other golf-related information.


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