Explore Every Rules of Golf Book Ever Published

Jan 24, 2009

By David Normoyle, USGA

As the winter weather keeps many golfers off the course - and thousands of golfers across the country participate in PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops - now is a perfect time to review the USGA Museum's collection of historic Rules books. Every USGA Rules of Golf book, from 1895 to the present, is available for viewing and download on the Museum's Seagle Electronic Golf Library (SEGL). Access through SEGL allows visitors to download a specific year’s Rules book, as well as search across the entire collection of Rules books.

“We are excited to make this collection available to those with an interest in the history of the Rules of Golf,” said Jim Bunch, Chairman of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee. “Each year we see an increased interest in the Rules and we believe that this resource will be a benefit to the rules enthusiasts and to anyone doing research on the history of the game.”

Since the publication of the 1952 Rules of Golf, the Rules have been written jointly by the USGA and R&A Rules Limited.  Currently, the Rules of Golf are revised on a four-year cycle.  The USGA is the governing body of golf in the United States, its possessions, and Mexico, while The R&A is the governing body in all other parts of the world.

The USGA Museum, since its founding in 1936, has developed and maintained the world’s most comprehensive collection of artifacts and material culture to document the history of golf and the USGA’s role in ensuring the game’s future. In the more than 70 years that have passed, the Museum’s collections have grown to encompass more than 70,000 artifacts, a library of more than 40,000 volumes, some half a million photographic images, and more than 10,000 hours of historic film and video. In their depth, breadth, and quality, these collections reflect the Association’s commitment to preserving and promoting the traditions and history of the game.

The Seagle Electronic Golf Library was established in 2004 to honor the memory of the USGA Museum’s first full-time curator, Janet Seagle, and to allow greater access to the USGA’s rare and fragile Library collections. With more than 70 rare books dating back to 1743, early golf periodicals from 1898-1934, and every Rules of Golf book published by the USGA, SEGL is the largest digital golf library in the world.

For more information about the USGA Museum and SEGL, visit www.usgamuseum.com/researchers/usga_segl/. For information about the Rules of Golf, visit www.usga.org/rules.

The Rules of Golf, as they appeared in 1922. Available for download in the USGA Museum's Seagle Electronic Golf Library (SEGL)