The new Rules of Golf 2019 take effect on 1st January 2019. The key changes include:
1. SEARCH TIME – REDUCED FROM 5 MINUTES TO 3 MINUTES
2. BALL MOVED DURING SEARCH – REPLACE NO PENALTY
3. EMBEDDED BALL – FREE RELIEF ANYWHERE THROUGH THE COURSE
4. MEASURING A DROP – USE LONGEST CLUB (EXCEPT PUTTER)
5. DROPPING – DROP FROM KNEE HEIGHT RATHER THAN SHOULDER
6. TAKING STANCE ON WRONG GREEN IS NOT PERMITTED
7. BALL UNINTENTIONALLY HITS PLAYER OR EQUIPMENT – NO PENALTY
8. DOUBLE HIT – NO PENALTY. NOW ONLY COUNTS AS THE 1 STROKE
9. TOUCHING SAND IN BUNKER ACCIDENTALLY IS PERMITTED
10. WATER HAZARDS – NOW CALLED “PENALTY AREAS”
11. LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS - CAN BE REMOVED ANYWHERE INCLUDING PENALTY AREAS
12. DROPPING A BALL OUT OF BUNKER – 2 PENALTY SHOT OPTION
13. TOUCHING GROUND IN PENALTY AREA – NO PENALTY
14. BALL MOVES ON GREEN AFTER BEING MARKED – REPLACE WITHOUT PENALTY
15. BALL ACCIDENTALLY MOVED ON PUTTING GREEN – REPLACE NO PENALTY
16. ALL DAMAGE TO GREEN CAN NOW BE REPAIRED
17. POSITIONING A CLUB FOR ALIGNMENT IS NOT PERMITTED
18. CADDIE ASSISTING WITH ALIGNMENT IS NOW NOT PERMITTED
19. PUTTING WITH FLAG STICK IN HOLE IS NOW PERMITTED
20. BALL WEDGED AGAINST FLAG STICK AND SIDE OF HOLE IS DEEMED AS HOLED
R&A RULES OF GOLF WEBSITE
Click to go to the Official Rules of Golf website, which is made up of 6 parts, including:
The Rules of Golf (full version) which is intended for those who administer the game and who need to answer the variety of questions that can arise in relation to golf competitions.
The Rules of Golf (Player’s Edition) which is intended for you, the golfer. It contains the Rules situations that occur most commonly on the course and is an abridged version of the full Rules. Although its text is edited, it gives the same answer that is in the full Rules of Golf and so it is a functioning Rule book.
Definitions - over 70 defined terms that form the foundation around which the Rules are written.
Interpretations - provided only for aspects of the Rules that are considered to require additional clarification (replaces the old 'Decisions' book).
Committee Procedures - practical guidance for those involved in running day to day play at golf courses, including defining Penalty Areas and defining Local Rules.
R&A RULES MODERNISATION WEBSITE
The Rules of Golf Modernisation website contains detailed descriptions, documents and videos about the new rules, as well as a link to download a 2019 Rules app for iOS and Android.