New Golf rules starting 2019
Golf Rules for long have been too many and too confusing for the general public, you see players debating about rules with fellow players or officials because they are just so many to remember. Seeing this USGA & R&A have come up with major upgrades to the ruling list and reducing 34 rules to just 26 for better.
These new rules will officially start on Jan.1, 2019, and are most “comprehensive changes” to the rules of golf since they were created in 1744.
“We are pleased to be introducing the new Rules of Golf after a collaborative and wide-ranging review process which has embraced the views of golfers, rules experts, and administrators worldwide,” said David Rickman, executive director of governance at The R&A in a statement. “We believe that the new rules are more in tune with what golfers would like and are easier to understand and apply to everyone who enjoys playing this great game.”
Updated rules in brief:
1. Regarding out of bounds ball
If your tee shot goes into woods, you no longer have to go back to the tee and play your third shot instead you can play your fourth from the fairway. This is done to help the pace of play.
This rule will not be in play at the professional level.
2. Height of drop
Earlier you were allowed to take a drop from any length above two inches from the ground, the new rule wants you to take a drop from knee height.
3. No penalty on double-chip
4. Club lengths will be the measurement for relief
March 2017 saw proposals called for either a 20-inch or 80-inch standard, but golfers needed to know how can it be measured? So now, club lengths will be your savior.
5. Putt it when flagstick is in
Earlier casual losing golfers waited for their partners to do this mistake so that they can add a 2-stroke penalty to feel superior to the rule they learned from somebody they knew or internet. But USGA & R&A have done away with this.
You can now putt, even if the flagstick is still in.
6. No penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the green
Now, this becomes more of a judgemental rule where you are still penalized if you moved it on purpose or by mistake.
7. Time reduced to look for a lost ball
The updated rule allows you to find your lost ball only for three minutes, compared to five minutes earlier.
8. Time to play a stroke
The new rule wants you to take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke, although implementing this at a local level will be tough but it ensures to help the pace of play.
9. Unplayable ball in a bunker
You can play the ball to be outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty. A nice thing for golfers who struggle in the sand, but then where’s the fun, bro?
10. No penalty for touching the putt line
There will be no penalty for touching the line of the putt, however, caddies are still not allowed to stand behind or serve as an extension of the line.
11. Repair spike marks or shoe prints
Players now can repair spike marks or shoe prints on the putting green. Few had questioned what if players spent too much time grooming the putting surface.
Pagel said pace-of-play policies would keep that from happening, and it was a rule change that was needed for competition. No one wants to see a tournament decided by a spike mark in the line of a putt.
“It’s the skill we’re testing,” Pagel said. “We’re not testing whether you can navigate around a shoe print. Really it allows for great equity across the field.”