What Is the 10-Shot Rule in Pro Golf Tournaments?

The 10-shot rule, also called the 10-stroke rule, is a condition in place at some pro golf tournaments as part of the cut rule. The cut rule describes the criteria golfers in the field must meet in order to make the cut and continue playing. When the 10-shot rule is in effect, it means that golfers who are within 10 strokes of the lead at the time the cut is made do make the cut and continue playing.

Actually, very few pro golf tournaments still use the 10-shot rule as part of their cut. Not all golf tournaments even have a cut — the WGC tournaments on the PGA Tour, for example, are no-cut events. If there is no cut, then the 10-stroke rule is irrelevant.

The Masters used to be the biggest-profile tournament that used the 10-shot rule. Prior to 2020, The Masters cut rule was Top 50 including ties, plus all golfers within 10 strokes of the lead, make the cut. But beginning with the 2020 tournament, The Masters dropped the 10-stroke rule.

All the other majors had already dropped the 10-shot rule. The U.S. Open cut rule, for example, is Top 60 plus ties make the cut, and that's it. There is no 10-shot rule at the U.S. Open. Standard PGA Tour tournaments also do not use the 10-stroke rule.

So it's safe to say that most professional tour events do not use the 10-shot rule. But some did in the past, including majors, and The Masters did until 2020, so many golfers are familiar with the term.

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