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Rules of Golf - Rule 33: The Committee


The Official Rules of Golf appear on the About.com Golf site courtesy of the USGA, are used with permission, and may not be reprinted without the permission of the USGA.

33-1. Conditions; Waiving Rule
The Committee must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played.

The Committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf.

Certain specific Rules governing stroke play are so substantially different from those governing match play that combining the two forms of play is not practicable and is not permitted. The result of a match played in these circumstances is null and void and, in the stroke play competition, the competitors are disqualified.

In stroke play, the Committee may limit a referee's duties.

33-2. The Course
• a. Defining Bounds and Margins
The Committee must define accurately:

(i) the course and out of bounds,
(ii) the margins of water hazards and lateral water hazards,
(iii) ground under repair, and
(iv) obstructions and integral parts of the course.

• b. New Holes
New holes should be made on the day on which a stroke-play competition begins and at such other times as the Committee considers necessary, provided all competitors in a single round play with each hole cut in the same position.

Exception: When it is impossible for a damaged hole to be repaired so that it conforms with the Definition, the Committee may make a new hole in a nearby similar position.

Note: Where a single round is to be played on more than one day, the Committee may provide, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), that the holes and teeing grounds may be differently situated on each day of the competition, provided that, on any one day, all competitors play with each hole and each teeing ground in the same position.

• c. Practice Ground
Where there is no practice ground available outside the area of a competition course, the Committee should establish the area on which players may practice on any day of a competition, if it is practicable to do so. On any day of a stroke-play competition, the Committee should not normally permit practice on or to a putting green or from a hazard of the competition course.

• d. Course Unplayable
If the Committee or its authorized representative considers that for any reason the course is not in a playable condition or that there are circumstances that render the proper playing of the game impossible, it may, in match play or stroke play, order a temporary suspension of play or, in stroke play, declare play null and void and cancel all scores for the round in question. When a round is canceled, all penalties incurred in that round are canceled.

(Procedure in discontinuing and resuming play – see Rule 6-8)

33-3. Times of Starting and Groups
The Committee must establish the times of starting and, in stroke play, arrange the groups in which competitors must play.

When a match play competition is played over an extended period, the Committee establishes the limit of time within which each round must be completed. When players are allowed to arrange the date of their match within these limits, the Committee should announce that the match must be played at a stated time on the last day of the period, unless the players agree to a prior date.

33-4. Handicap Stroke Table
The Committee must publish a table indicating the order of holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received.

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