Minnesota Golf Association

Rules of Golf / Education Programs

Together, The R&A, based in St Andrews, Scotland and the USGA, based in Liberty Corner, New Jersey govern the game worldwide, including writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. 

A new "Modernized" set of Rules went into effect on January 1, 2019.  
The changes result from the initiative that began seven years prior in an effort to bring the Rules up to date to fit the needs of today's global game.

The initiative had two guiding themes:

  • Even far-reaching Rule changes should be open for discussion, but golf's essential principles and character must be preserved.
  • Revisions should be assessed with all golfers in mind, so that the Rules are easier to understand and apply not only for professionals and elite amateurs, but also for beginners, high-handicappers and typical club and recreational golfers at all levels of play around the world.
Click HERE for more information on the changes and to see the modernized Rules that took effect on January 1, 2019.

The Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) is readily available to provide answers to any Rules of Golf questions or concerns. The MGA is an experienced liaison between the USGA - the governing authority on the Rules of Golf in the United States - and its Member Clubs.

The MGA also is available to assist Member Clubs with any rules questions, as well as assist with course marking questions and to provide rules programs tailored for its golfers.  For more information, please contact Doug Hoffmann, MGA Director of Rules and Competitions, at Doug@mngolf.org or (952) 345-3963.


USGA Resources

  • USGA Rules of Golf Homepage - The USGA's "one-stop shop" for anything and everything Rules of Golf
  • Rules of the Game Instructional Videos - A series of videos produced by the USGA to explain the rules in particular circumstances.
  • R&A Rules Homepage - The R&A's place for everything Rules.  While the Rules are the same, it provides some different resources that can help your learning experience.
  • Rules and Decisions - The Rules book in all three editions - Players' Edition, Rules of Golf and the Official Guide to the Rules - complete with all of the Interpretations, Committee Section and Rules for Golfers with Disabilities.
  • USGA Rules of Golf Quiz - Test your knowledge by taking the USGA rules quiz.
 

MGA Rules & Tournament Volunteer Education Programs

********The MGA will not be conducting any in-person Rules of Golf sessions in 2021 due to COVID-19."""""""""

Typically, the MGA conducts annual rules education programs for all individuals - beginners to tournament players, rules novices to experienced tournament officials.  Rarely will a person be able to say he knows the Rules well enough.  And, the Rules can help players be more confident when playing because they can be certain that the relief procedure they followed is correct.  If you play golf, you should plan on attending in the future!  However, 2021 doesn't appear to be any more "typical" than 2020; thus, the MGA will offer online-only sessions.


For 2021, the MGA will be conducting three different programs as listed below.  To listen to recordings of all shows, visit the MGA Rules of Golf Channel online.

The MGA "Rules on Tap" - The Live, Online Rules Discussions each Tuesday from 7:00-8:30 pm Central time from February 16 - April 20..  Below is the lineup of weekly topics and links to register.  Past episodes are available for viewing on the "MGA Rules of Golf Channel" at GoToStage.com or by clicking HERE.
  • Feb 16 - Welcome Back & Introduction
  • Feb 23 - Definitions
  • March 2 - Status of Ball (Rule 6.3) & Rule 14
  • March 9 - Ball at Rest (Rule 9) & Ball in Motion (Rule 11)
  • March 16 - Open Discussion & Questions
  • March 23 - Playing the Course as You Find It (Rule 8)
  • March 30 - Free Relief (Rules 15 & 16)
  • April 6 - Penalty Relief (Rules 17-19) & Provisional Ball (Rule 18.3)
  • April 13 - Open Discussion & Questions
  • April 20 - What's in Store for MGA 2021?
The MGA Tournament Volunteer Orientation is for anyone wanting to become a tournament volunteer for the MGA. Have you ever thought about helping out at an MGA event?  The program covers the steps necessary to become a volunteer, the different classifications of tournament volunteer, expectations (of you and the MGA) and the other details of volunteering for the MGA.  This is required for new Tournament Volunteer.  Cost is free. (1.5 hours)  (Registration is required and OPEN. Click on the desired session below to register.) Lastly, new for 2021 is the "For Your Eyes Only" - An MGA Rules Discussion for Players.  This quick, 90-minute session is designed to help players with the rules and most common situations they face on the course, such as embedded balls, penalty areas, GUR and unplayable balls. It also will cover other "need to know" items beneficial for anyone who competes at any level.  Click on either of the links here to register.
Here is a description of the other types of sessions that are typically offered in an in-person setting during normal years.           
  • MGA Rules Mini-Class  (Will not be offered in 2021)
    This three (3) hour class will focus solely on the major changes to the Rules from 2019.  Instruction will include a PowerPoint presentation and video segments as well as interactive discussion.  For the morning sessions, coffee, soda and water will be available at registration and lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the program.  Evening programs will have a light dinner available prior to the workshop.  Attendees receive the new Rules of Golf Player's Edition book and other material.  This workshop is open to anyone who wants a review of just the major changes.  Perfect for competitive players and recreational golfers.  Cost: $25 per person, $15 for Golf Industry professionals and $10 for current and active MGA Tournament Volunteers. (3 hours)
     
  • MGA One-Day Rules Clinic  (Will not be offered in 2021)
    This all day class focuses on the major changes and the more common Rules as well as a brief overview of the Rules in general.  This class will not give you a complete review of the Rules.  Instruction will include a PowerPoint presentation and video segments as well as interactive discussion.  A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided as well as beverages throughout the day.  Attendees will receive a Rules of Golf, Rules of Golf Player's Edition and Official Guide to the Rules of Golf as well as other materials.  This workshop is ideal for anyone who wants to learn or be refreshed on the basics as well as the changes from 2019.  It is a must for anyone who is responsible for overseeing the Rules on behalf of a league, group, course or is a rules official.  Cost: $75 per person, $50 for Golf Industry professionals and $30 for current and active MGA Tournament Volunteers. 
  • MGA Two-Day Rules & Officiating Workshop  (Will not be offered in 2021)
    Returning for 2020!  This workshop is the only session that will provide a comprehensive study of the Rules.  Instruction will include a PowerPoint presentation and video segments as well as interactive discussion.  Weather permitting, an outdoor session will be included on the afternoon of Day 1.  A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided both days as well as beverages throughout the days.  Attendees will receive a Rules of Golf, Rules of Golf Player's Edition and Official Guide to the Rules of Golf as well as other materials.  This workshop is for individuals who already have an understanding of the Rules and use them frequently while overseeing competitions at all levels or are interested in officiating at the higher levels.  Cost: $125 per person, $85 for Golf Industry professionals and $50 for current and active MGA Tournament Volunteers. 


USGA Rules of Golf Exam (Will not be offered in 2021)

The MGA is authorized to administer the USGA 80-Question Rules of Golf Exam.  A person does not have to attend one of the MGA or USGA Rules programs to take the exam.  However, a person may take the exam only once during the schedule (January-April).  This exam may be used to qualify a person for USGA Rules Certification as well as MGA Rules Official certification.  The fee to take the exam is $20.  Registration is through the MGA Online Registration website.


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Download the MGA Terms of Competition

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