New USGA Rules for 2019
The USGA will be releasing the new Rules of Golf on January 1st. There will be major
changes to the rule book and will help modernize the game and help speed up play.
With thirty one different changes it would be difficult to explain everyone in this article.
I have decided to help familiarize you with the major changes that might affect your round
each time you play.
- Ball accidently struck more than once. There will no longer be a penalty for
double hitting the ball. Golfers will simply count the single stroke they took to strike the ball, rather than counting two shots for hitting the ball twice.
- How a ball may be dropped is simplified; the only requirement will be the ball be let go from knee height so that it falls through the air and does not does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground.
- You are now able to putt with the flag stick in.
- You are able to fix spike marks when putting.
- Elimination of opposite side relief option for red penalty areas. A player is no longer allowed to take relief from a red penalty area on the opposite side from where the ball last entered that penalty area
- Players are able to remove all loose impediments in the bunker.
- A ball is lost if not found in three minutes. The previous search time was 5 minutes.
- Player moves loose impediments, touches the ground with hand or club or grounds the club in a penalty area when the ball is in the penalty area. This will no longer be a penalty.
- Ball out of bounds. You can still take stroke and distance relief, but you will now have the option that comes with a 2 stroke penalty: Determine spot where your ball went out of bounds or is likely to be lost. You will then find the nearest fairway edge no closer to the hole and drop your ball.
For a complete list of the new rules check out www.usga.org