There are basically two forms of play, one which is decided by holes won and lost (match play) and the other which is decided by the total number of strokes taken to complete the round (stroke play).
There are three important principles to remember when playing golf:
Play the course as you find it. Play the Ball as it lies.
And if you can't do either, do what's fair.
To do what's fair you need to know the Rules. The following is a list of links to help you further understand the Rules of Golf:
Rules Of Golf