Golf Rule Changes 2019

new rules

So, how are you getting along with the new rules? Are they making the game any easier? Do you know what they are? The new Rules of Golf came into effect on New Years Day and players edition Rule Books are available for everyone, free, at reception.

Let’s go over a few of the changes.

The term water hazards has been removed they are now called penalty areas. However they are still designated as Yellow or Red.

  • You can now move loose impediments and ground your club in a penalty area.
  • You can now also move loose impediments from bunkers. You can now, under a penalty of 2 shots drop outside the bunker but this must be within 2 club lengths on a line of point of entry and the hole.
  • You may now lift and clean your ball if it is plugged in the general area of the course. It or another ball must be dropped in a relief area. This within one club length no nearer the hole.
  • The ball must now be dropped from knee height and no you may not kneel down. When dropped the ball must stay in the relief area. It is not now allowed to roll out.
  • There will no longer be a penalty for double-hitting a shot.
  • You may repair damage on the putting green.
  • There is no penalty for occidentally moving the ball on the putting green.
  • You may now putt with the flagstick in the hole but you must decide if you want this before making his stroke.
  • If any part of the ball in the hole below the surface of the putting green the ball is treated as holed even if the entire ball is not below the surface.
  • You are now only allowed 3 minutes to search for a lost ball.
  • It is recommended that you take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged.
  • If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty.
  • No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke.

This is a brief summary of the changes but get your copy of the rules for more detail. The new book is a lot easier to understand than the previous version too.

Remember playing to the rules makes it fair to everyone. Enjoy your game but play fair.

Guy Seddon
Mens Handicap Secretary