Order of play

‘Honour’ is a term that refers to the right to hit first in a group and, for the 1 st tee, is determined by the order of the draw or, failing that, by lot. Thereafter, honour on the tee is earned simply by taking a lower score on the previous hole than your playing partners. If you are in a matchplay event, the net score wins the honour, In strokeplay, you always base the decision on the gross score. Honour anywhere else other than on the tee is determined by whoever is furthest from the hole.

If you do play out of turn, the Rules vary depending on the format of the match you are involved in. In a matchplay event, your opponent has the right to cancel your stroke and ask you to play it again, although you incur no penalty if requested to do so. In strokeplay, there is again no penalty, However, the shot stands, although you don’t want to make a habit of doing it.

Here’s an interesting example of the intricacies of the Rules of Golf. In strokeplay you are perfectly entitled to putt out, even if your bail is not furthest from the hole, since it is felt that this helps speed up play. If your fellow competitor objects to you doing this, you can still go ahead and putt out – that’s your prerogative. But the fact that he has objected means you cannot mark and lift the ball before doing so.