2019 Rules Changes

 EFFECTIVE 01-JAN-2019 

Download a full copy of the revised Rules of Golf www.rules.golf

Some highlights;

1) Dropping Procedure

When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height

2) Measuring in taking relief

The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in his/her bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation,

3) Double Hit

The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball

4) Balls Lost or Out of Bounds (Not intended for Professionals)

Alternative to Stroke and Distance:  A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty

5) Ball Moved Penalties

There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player is not responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so

6) Putting

There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed.

7) Repairing Putting Green and Line of Putt

Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt

8) Hazard Areas

There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area (Red and/or Yellow areas)

9) Bunkers

There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.

10) Player’s Judgment and Identification of Ball

A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.

11) Pace of Play and Searching for Lost Balls

Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play

2 Replies to “2019 Rules Changes”

    1. Mr Sims,
      This specific rule change still has limitations such as taking a practice swing or using your hand/rake or club to ‘test’ the sand in the bunker or grounding the club in front of or behind the ball to improve the lie.

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