Here at GolfCompendium.com, we don't write the rules of golf, we just follow them. Most of the time. OK, some of the time. But while we might not be rules sticklers ourselves, we do know the rules - as every golfer should.
The Official Rules (Plus Decisions!)
The keepers of the rules, the "governing bodies" of golf, are the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A). The USGA governs golf in the U.S., Mexico and a handful of nearby locales; the R&A, in the rest of the world. But they collaborate on the Official Rules of Golf, so that golfers all around the world play under the same set of rules.
Official Rules on USGA.org
Official Rules on RandA.org
Explaining the Anchoring Rule
The ban on anchoring a putter against one's body is one of the more controversial rules changes in decades by the USGA and R&A. This page includes videos from both organizations explaining the rule and what it means for golfers, along with additional info.
Putting strokes allowed under new rule
Putting strokes not allowed under new rule
We'll be adding many pages over time examining some of the more confusing concepts in the Rules of Golf. But we start off with:
Explaining 'nearest point of relief'
The unplayable lie rule, penalty and procedure
Ask a Rules Expert
There are a couple great forums/message boards on the Web where rules experts respond to questions. If you have a question about the rules of golf, try one of these places:
Leith Society message board
About.com Rules Discussion forum
You can also go straight to the source(s) by emailing (be prepared to wait a while for a response) the USGA Rules Department at firstname.lastname@example.org; or the R&A Rules Department at email@example.com.