The Teeing Ground
According to the USGA the definition of the teeing ground is: “The starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club-lengths in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee-markers. A ball is outside the tee box when all of it lies outside. When a player is putting a ball into play from the tee box, it must be played from within the tee box and from the surface of the ground or from a conforming tee in or on the surface of the ground.”
Although the ball has to be inside the tee box, you may stand outside the tee box while striking the ball that is inside. If you play a ball from outside the teeing ground, you incur a penalty of two strokes and must re-tee a ball from within it. So next time you are ready to tee off, make sure your ball is inside the tee box!
Here is another interesting rule specific to the tee box. A “stroke’’ is the forward movement of the club made with the intention of striking at and moving the ball, but if a player checks his downswing voluntarily before the clubhead reaches the ball he has not made a stroke. Also, if you are doing a practice swing on the teeing ground and you accidently hit the ball, there is no penalty. Remember, there was no intention to hit the ball.