New Rules of Golf
Reference Materials
Members Only
Diary Event

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Golf’s new ‘modernised’ Rules came into effect on 1st January 2019 and should now be applied by all players. The two ‘Rules’ presentations held at the club on January 8th covered the main changes but, if in doubt, there is a wealth of reference material available to help you determine the appropriate course of action. Remember that the principles of the game are to play the course as you find it and play the ball as it lies - you are responsible for applying your own penalties if you breach a rule.

As a reminder, the most significant changes are:

• Dropping procedure: When taking relief (e.g. from an abnormal course condition or penalty area), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop.
• Elimination or reduction of “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.
• Relaxed putting green rules: 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. 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.
• Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.
• Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for 'incidentally' 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.
• Relying on player integrity: 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.
• Pace-of-play support: 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.
• 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. This provides a consistent process for a golfer to establish his/her relief area.
• Removing the penalty for a 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.

Reference Materials:

In addition to the 'Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf' (available in the locker rooms, outside the Club Office and in the Pro Shop) there is a wide range of help available on-line. Just click on the bulleted points below to open the relevant link:

Video summary of the 20 most important changes (as shown at the Rules presentations)
Printed summary of the 20 most important changes (handout at the Rules presentations)
R&A / USGA Summary of major changes
R&A - The Official Rules of Golf
The R&A 2019 Rules of Golf App - available for Android and Apple devices


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23.01.2019 11:15
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COURSE EXTREMELY WET IN PLACES. 5th & 6th HOLES CLOSED TODAY DUE TO WORK BING CARRIED OUT ON PATH. ALL TEMPORARY GREENS IN PLAY (2ND) ROCKET LAUNCHERS / MATS WINTER RULES ARE NOW IN PLAY. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ATTENDING THE FLAG!! RIDE ON BUGGIES ARE NOT PERMITTED TODAY DUE TO WET / SOFT CONDITIONS. ANY FILLED OR UNFILLED DRAINAGE TRENCHES ON THE COURSE ARE GUR. SMALL GUR PATCHES DUE TO RE TURFING LIFT AND DROP NEAREST POINT OF RELIEF ON APPROACHES.
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