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.

Not all pro golf tournaments 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 is an example of a tournament that uses the 10-shot rule. The Masters cut rule is Top 50 including ties, plus all golfers within 10 strokes of the lead, make the cut. If the golfer in 50th place is 11 strokes off the lead, then the 10-shot rule doesn't come into play. If the golfer in 50th place is only nine strokes off the lead, then the 10-shot rule might allow more golfers to make the cut (assuming that at least the golfer in 51st place meets the 10-strokes requirement).

The U.S. Open cut rule, on the other hand, 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. Nor does the PGA Championship or British Open.

So it's safe to say that most professional tour events do not use the 10-shot rule. But The Masters does, so many golfers are familiar with the term.

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