This country makes golfers take a rules and etiquette exam. Can you pass it?

handicap test

Know your rules and etiquette? Some countries take those subjects seriously.

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There are many ways to test yourself in golf.

On the course. On the range. In a simulator.

Or you could take a written exam.

In some countries, it’s required if you want to carry an official handicap.

Take the Netherlands, where the Netherlands Golf Federation administers the Volledig Golfregelexamen, or Full Golf Rules Exam.

golfer on tee
Rules Guy: How far behind the tee marker can you tee up the ball?
By: Rules Guy

As interrogations go, it’s not a torturous grilling. But it takes a bit of time and involves more mental effort than a tap-in. The test consists of 30 multiple-choice questions, 19 about the Rules of Golf and one about the Stableford format (a popular scoring system overseas). The other 10 deal with etiquette. Answer eight or more of the 30 questions incorrectly, and, sorry, you fail — with the option of a Mulligan at a late date.

How would you fare on the Volledig Golfregelexamen?

Below, you’ll find 13 questions from a sample test, translated from Dutch by our friend Google and edited for clarity.

1. Your stroke has created a pitch mark on the green. How many pitch marks do you repair?

A. Only your own pitch mark
B. Your own and one more
C. As many pitch marks as possible

2. Where do you record the score for a hole?

A. On the green of that hole
B. At the next turning point or on the way there

3. Are you allowed to move or talk when your fellow player hits?

A. Yes
B. No

golfer on tee
Rules Guy: Can you still post your score if you play a hole from a different set of tees?
By: Rules Guy

4. Are you allowed to walk with your pushcart between the bunker and the green?

A. Yes
B. No

5. Your ball is in the bunker and you are going to hit it out of it. From which side do you enter the bunker?

A. From the low side
B. From the high side
C. Doesn’t matter

6. Your ball threatens to hit a player. What should you yell to warn her?

A. “Watch out!”
B. “Fore!”
C. “Come on!”

7. You don’t have to wait to hit when the greenkeeper is mowing. He’ll see you anyway.

A. True
B. False

8. After a bunker shot, you have to rake the bunker.

A. Yes
B. No

ball against collar
Rules Guy: Are you allowed to take free relief from the green’s collar?
By: Rules Guy

9. You are expected to wait until all playing partners have holed out before walking to the next hole.

A. Yes
B. No

10. Your fellow player has hit a ball in the bushes. It’s good etiquette to help him find it.

A. Yes
B. No

11. You knock a divot out of the fairway. Who should put the sod back?

A. Nobody
B. You
C. Your marker
D. The greenkeeper

12. Your group is looking for your ball. You have not hit a provisional and there is space in front of your group. The next group is waiting at the tee box. When will you let this waiting group through?

A. Immediately
B. After 1 minute of searching
C. After 3 minutes of searching

13. What should you do if you notice that the group behind you is playing faster than yours?

A. Just keep playing
B. Let the trailing group pass
C. Ask the trailing group to keep more distance


  1. C
  2. B
  3. B
  4. B
  5. A
  6. B
  7. B
  8. A
  9. A
  10. A
  11. B
  12. A
  13. B

Josh Sens Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.