Golf’s New Rules: Major changes effective January 1, 2019. Below are expected to have the most impact on the game.
-Search time reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
– Ball moves during search, Replace with no penalty
– Embedded ball-free relief anywhere through the general area ( not bunkers, or penalty area)
-Measuring a drop- use longest club ( except putter)
-Dropping -must drop from knee height
-Ball unintentionally hits player or equipment -No penalty
-Double hit- No penalty if a player accidentally hits the ball twice in one stroke, the ball must be played as it lies
-Touching sand in the bunker incidentally – No penalty
-Loose impediments can be removed anywhere including penalty areas
-Unplayable lie in a bunker- can drop outside of the bunker ( using straight line procedure, 2 stroke penalty)
-Grounding a club in a penalty area-no penalty. Practice swings ARE allowed.
-Ball moves on a green after being marked-Replace without penalty
-Ball accidentally moved on putting green-Replace without penalty
-All damage to the green can now be repaired ( including spike marks)
-Positioning a club for alignment is not permitted
-Caddy/Partner assisting with alignment is not permitted
-Putting with the flagstick in the hole is permitted
-Ball wedges against the flagstick and side of the hole is now deemed as holed.
General Area- The area of the golf course that covers all of the course except for the other four defined areas
- The teeing area the player must play from in starting the hole he or she is playing.
- All penalty areas,
- All bunkers, and
- The putting green of the hole the player is playing.
General area includes- all teeing locations on the course other than the teeing area and all wrong greens.
Penalty Areas-an area from which relief with a one stroke penalty is allowed if the players ball comes to rest there.
Any body of water on the course including a sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch or other open water course ( even if not containing water) and
Any other part of the course the Committee defines as a penalty area.
Formally defined as Red and Yellow Hazards NOW types of penalty areas.
Yellow penalty areas (marked with yellow lines or stakes) give the player two relief options ( Rules 17.1d (1), and (2).
Red penalty areas (marked with red lines or stakes give the player an extra lateral relief option ( Rule 17.1d (3), in addition to the two relief options available for yellow penalty areas.