2019 RULE CHANGES – A SIMPLE GUIDE

The 2019 Rule Book (A Simple Golfer’s Simple Guide)

Introduction: 1st January 2019 sees the introduction of the new rules. The game is intended to be played in the same way and to the same ideals (Honesty, Integrity, & Principle), but there are some changes. The new Rule Book contains many diagrams to help you understand the rules but you should have a good read of your copy a couple of times before venturing out on to the course! This list is not extensive but covers the situations that are most common for your information.

Terminology: The following changes apply:

a) THROUGH THE GREEN is General Area b) WATER HAZARDS are Penalty Areas c) HOLES MADE BY BURROWING ANIMALS are Holes DUG by Animals d) CASUAL WATER is Temporary Water which now exists off the course* e) GROUND UNDER REPAIR, IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS*, HOLE MADE BY BURROWING ANIMAL (See c above), and CASUAL WATER (See d above) are all now Abnormal Course Conditions f) CLUB LENGTH is Longest Club in the bag excluding the putter and must be used in measuring

Actions that previously attracted penalties: These are now allowed without penalty:

a) PENALTY AREAS (Water Hazards): Allowed to play exactly as if in the general area, grounding club, practice swings and removal of loose impediments b) BUNKERS: Removal of loose impediments c) THROUGHOUT THE COURSE: Accidentally hitting the ball more than once during a stroke d) PUTTING GREEN: Hitting unattended flagstick, accidently moving ball but must be replaced, repairing any damage, touching the line of putt in repairing but must not improve line

Actions that have changed: Procedural changes which must be used:

a) DROPPING A BALL: Must be from knee height, ball must come to rest in relief area (no additional two club length roll) b) SEARCHING FOR BALL: Time allowed has been reduced to three minutes c) PENALTY AREAS: Ball may only be dropped on side of entry at “red staked” areas d) PACE OF PLAY: Play “Ready Golf” whenever safe except in Match Play and take no more than forty seconds per shot e) EMBEDDED BALL: Free relief in general area except in sand where grass not cut to fairway height f) DAMAGED CLUB: Damaged club cannot be replaced but may be used unless playing characteristics deliberately changed g) REPLACING BALL WHEN ORIGINAL SPOT UNKNOWN: Place at estimated spot h) BALL MOVED: Player 95% innocent unless proved guilty i) DAMAGED/OUT OF SHAPE BALL: Cut or cracked ball may be replaced. Out of shape ball may not be replaced until next hole j) BALL HOLED: A ball is holed when all of it is below the surface of the green EXCEPT if the flagstick is in the hole then the ball is holed if any part of it is below the surface of the green

Additional Relief Options: a) BUNKER: A ball deemed unplayable in a bunker may be dropped outside the bunker:- ? Back on the line to the flag outside the bunker. Penalty two strokes. Same option available for an abnormal course condition (penalty one stroke) Note *Immovable obstructions & temporary water can now exist off the course. No relief available for parts of conditions or objects existing off the course.

To see the full changes with explanations and tutorials click the link below;

https://www.rules.golf