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New Rules of Golf: 12 major things you should not miss!

Posted by Admin 15 Mar 2018

In an effort to enrich the fan experience and make Golf more appealing, The USGA and R&A have collaborated to revamp and simply the Rules of Golf. Effective from January 1, 2019, the new modernized Rules of Golf will be implemented and interestingly, the number of rules have been lessened from 34 to 24.



new rules of golf


Here’s a closer look at new Rules of Golf you should not miss.



One change specifically for the recreational Golfer


Regarding out of bounds or a lost ball. Instead of stroke and distance, a new local rule allows the option of dropping a ball in the vicinity of where the original was lost or out of bounds, including the nearest fairway area, with a two-stroke penalty. Basically, if you blow your first drive into the woods, you no longer have to hit your third from the tee box. Instead, you can play your fourth from the fairway—basically, the best case scenario (save for a hole-in-three) with your third shot. This was done to help pace of pace.

This rule will not be in play at the professional level, or other elite competitions.




Drop to be taken from knee height



Tiger Woods rules of golf


Although the initial proposal had a player taking a drop from any length above two inches from the ground, the new rule stipulates drop be taken from knee height, still a significant change from the current shoulder level.



There's also no longer a penalty for a double-chip


Now, this is an interesting one. Golfers will now just count the hit as one stroke.



Club-length, not inches, will be the measurement for relief


One of the March 2017 proposals called for either a 20-inch or 80-inch standard, but golfers responded by saying "How are we going to actually measure that?" The governing bodies agreed, going back to club lengths instead.



No more penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the green



new golf rules


You are still penalized, however, if it is "virtually certain" you caused it to move on purpose.


You can putt with the flagstick in


Not only has the penalty for putting to an unattended flag been eliminated, you can go at it without having it removed at all.


Another penalty removed: touching the line of the putt


However, caddies are not allowed to stand behind or serve as an extension of the line.



You can now move impediments in bunkers and water hazards


There's also no penalty for touching the ground or water in a penalty area. In the sand, however, you cannot ground the club right next to the ball. However, if you're "generally" touching the sand with the club, that's OK.


An extra relief option has been added for an unplayable ball in a bunker


Yep, more good news for those that struggle in the sand. You can play the ball to be outside the sand with a two-stroke penalty.


The Rules also give your integrity some latitude


A player is given "reasonable judgement" when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance. Your placement will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it wasn't in the exact right spot.


You're only allowed three minutes to look for a lost ball



looking for lost golf balls


Your search party now has three minutes. Let's be honest, you weren't going to find it in five, anyway.



And a player can take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke


A change made to help speed of pace of play, although admittedly this one could be a tad hard to enforce at the amateur ranks.



It’s interesting to note that the governing bodies sought feedback from Golfers to the proposed changes to the Rules of Golf they rolled out last February. Come 2019, it would be interesting to see how the new rules are enhancing the game and enriching the fan experience.


(Source: USGA )



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