November - 2016
I was asked the other day "Can I practice between holes?"
Rule 7-1 covers practice before or between rounds, and Rule 7-2 covers practice during the round.
OK, so what does that mean?
7-1. Before or Between Rounds
a. Match Play
On any day of a match-play competition, a player may practice on
the competition course before a round.
b. Stroke Play
Before a round or play-off on any day of a stroke-play
competition, a competitor must not practice on the competition
course or test the surface of any putting green on the course by
rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.
When two or more rounds of a stroke-play competition are to be
played over consecutive days, a competitor must not practice
between those rounds on any competition course remaining to be
played, or test the surface of any putting green on such course
by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.
Exception: Practice putting or chipping on or near the first teeing
ground or any practice area before starting a round or play-off is
7-2. During Round
A player must not make a practice stroke during play of a hole.
Between the play of two holes a player must not make a practice
stroke, except that he may practice putting or chipping on or
a. the putting green of the hole last played,
b. any practice putting green, or
c. the teeing ground of the next hole to be played in the round, provided a practice stroke is not made from a hazard and does not unduly delay play (Rule 6-7).
Strokes made in continuing the play of a hole, the result of which has been decided, are not practice strokes.
Exception: When play has been suspended by the Committee, a player may, prior to resumption of play, practice
(a) as provided in this Rule,
(b) anywhere other than on the competition course and
(c) as otherwise permitted by the Committee.
Decision 7-2/1 lists exactly when you are allowed to practice without penalty-
PRACTICE DURING ROUND
7-2/1 When Practice Between Holes Permitted
Q. When is play of a hole completed by a player so that he may practice as permitted in Rule 7-2?
When he has holed out, his next stroke has been conceded, or the hole has been conceded by either player.
When both he and his partner have holed out, their next strokes have been conceded, or either side has conceded the hole.
When he has holed out.
When both he and his partner have holed out or picked up.
Bogey, Par and Stableford
When he has holed out or picked up.
Pretty simple really-you can't practice during the play of the hole.