new rules of golf for 2019
There are some fairly important changes to the rules of golf taking place in 2019. Full information on the changes can be found at the R&A website and we encourage everyone to spend a little time visiting the site. Follow this link for the 2019 rules and follow this link for a summary of the changes and a useful video.
We've also written our own brief summary below.
the most IMportant Changes
- SEARCH TIME - This is reduced from five minutes to three minutes. Of course we still encourage players to call following groups through if they're looking for a ball.
- BALL MOVED DURING SEARCH - This used to incur a penalty, but not under the new rules. Simply replace the ball and play the stroke.
- EMBEDDED BALL - Previously a ball had to be on the fairway for free relief to be obtained. Now relief can be claimed anywhere through the course.
- MEASURING A DROP - You should use the longest club in your bag with the exception of your putter.
- DROPPING THE BALL - Instead of from shoulder height, the ball should now be dropped from knee height.
- TAKING STANCE ON THE WRONG GREEN - This is now not permitted. If your ball is not on the wrong green, but your stance would require you to take stance on a wrong green, you must now take relief without penalty.
- BALL UNINTENTIONALLY HITS EQUIPMENT OR OTHER PLAYER - This used to incur a penalty but now it doesn't.
- DOUBLE HIT - No longer incurs a penalty.
- CLUB TOUCHING THE SAND IN A BUNKER - This is now permitted, though not directly behind or in front of the ball. You can't touch the sand when taking a practice stroke.
- LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS IN BUNKERS - These can now be moved.
- DROPPING UNPLAYABLE BALL OUT OF A BUNKER - This is now an option, though doing so it incurs two penalty strokes. Drop on the line of the shot, withing one club length, no nearer the hole.
- WATER HAZARDS - These are now called "Penalty Areas". Other areas can also be penalty areas defined under local rules. The word "Hazard" no longers features in the Rules of Golf.
- TOUCHING THE GROUND IN A PENALTY AREA - This is permitted. (Previously grounding a club in a hazard incurred a penalty).
- BALL MOVES ON GREEN AFTER BEING MARKED - If you makr your ball, and then it moves after you replace it, you must replace your ball. (A simplification of the previous rule).
- BALL ACCIDENTLY MOVED ON PUTTING GREEN - The new rule states that it should be replaced without penalty,.
- DAMAGE TO GREENS - All damage can now be repaired, not just pitch marks.
- POSITIONING A CLUB FOR ALIGNMENT - This is no longer permitted.
- CADDIE ASSISTING WITH ALIGNMENT - This is no longer permitted.
- PUTTING WITH THE FLAG IN PLACE - You may now putt with the flag stick in place and there is no penalty for striking the flag stick with the ball.
- BALL WEDGED AGAINST FLAG STICK - This now counts as being holed out.