Golf like any other game has its own set of rules. A well-defined and standard assembly of procedures and regulations exists which should be adhered to while playing golf. This assembly constitutes what is formally known as ‘Rules of Golf’. The set of regulations also defines the penalties that would be imposed in case of any discrepancies, which are discovered during the course of the game. The rule set for golf has been actually written down by the R&A . The R&A is also responsible for governing the game of golf globally except in the countries of Mexico and the USA. The responsibility for these two nations has been taken by the USGA.
In the initial days, the rules were laid down by different clubs. This resulted in the variation of the rules. This variation in the rules made it quite difficult for the players to follow. The first recorded rule-set was published in 1744 by the club then named as Gentlemen Golfer of Leith. This rule-set had 13 rules. By the latter half of the 19th century, almost all the golf clubs in the west aligned with either R&A or the Honorable Company of the Edinburgh Golfers, thereby following a defined rule-set.
In the current scenario, the rule-sets are published every four years by the names of ‘The Rules of Golf’ along with ‘The Rules of Amateur’, by the authorities that govern the game internationally. Both the bodies have been publishing the rule-set since 1952.However, the uniformity in the rules have been established only in 2000.