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What Is Internal Out Of Bounds?

What Is Internal Out Of Bounds?

Most, if not all, golf courses will feature out of bounds (OOB) around the perimeters of the property, although sometimes you may not see or encounter it very much if the perimeter holes have a band of woodland, for example, between the rough and the boundary.

Those perimeter boundaries will usually be obvious, designated by things like walls, fences, hedgerows, roads, white stakes or white lines. Sometimes you have to be a little bit careful though, as at some seaside courses, the beach can actually be in bounds, as it is to the left of the 1st on Machrihanish’s Championship course and the right of the opening stretch along the Moray Firth on Nairn’s Championship course.

But some courses also have what is called internal out of bounds (IOOB) for various reasons, indicated via an appropriate Local Rule. For example, a certain hole or fairway may be out of bounds when you are playing an adjacent hole. This will typically be designated by white stakes, white lines or perhaps a shallow rut etched into the ground. Sometimes the IOOB will only apply to one or the other of the adjacent holes, usually for reasons of safety to discourage golfers from taking a line on a dogleg, for example, that might endanger other golfers.

Royal Liverpool 1st internal out of bounds

When The Open visits Royal Liverpool, the area on the left as you look at the photo becomes an internal out of bounds on the club’s 1st hole, which plays as the 3rd during The Open

(Image credit: David Cannon, Getty Images)

The R&A (and some golfers) would probably prefer there to be no IOOB on our golf courses, but it does recognise that sometimes it is a wise option. This is from The R&A’s ‘course marking for general play’ advice:


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