Important Changes in Golf Rules
In March 2018, the R&A and USGA released a complete text of the New Rules of Golf 2019 available for .pdf download. We at the Springfield Golf Club have put together a two-part blog explaining some of the important changes in the rules of golf that you’ll need to know for 2019.
Ball at Rest
Rule 7.4 – Ball Moved During Search
- No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
Rule 13.1d – No Penalty for Moving Ball on the Putting Green
- No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green.
Rule 9.2 – Standard for Deciding Why a Ball Moved
- New standard to determine if you caused your ball to move.
Rule 14.2c – Replacing Ball When Original Spot is Not Known
- When the original location of your ball is not known, replace it on its estimated spot.
Ball in Motion
Rule 11.1 – Ball in Motion Accidentally Deflected
- No penalty if your ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you, your equipment, or your caddie.
Rule 4.1 – Use of Clubs Damaged During Round
- A club damaged during a round can continue to be used, even if you damaged it in anger.
Rule 4.3 – Use of Distance-Measuring Devices
- You will not be allowed to replace a damaged club during a round if you were responsible for the damage.
- The use of DMDs will be allowed unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting their use.
Rule 14.3 – New Procedure for Dropping a Ball
- Your relief area for dropping a ball will be a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
- Your ball must be let go from knee height and fall through the air without touching any part of your body or equipment.
- Your ball must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped, or else it must be re-dropped.
- You may always substitute a ball when taking relief.
Procedure for Taking Lateral Relief
- In taking lateral relief, you will drop within two club-lengths of where your ball entered the penalty area. The size of a club-length will always be measured using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
Procedure for Taking Back-on-the-Line Relief
- One of your options for relief from either a red or yellow penalty area will be called back-on-the-line relief.
Rule 18.2 – Time For Search Before Ball is Lost
- The time for a ball search (before the ball becomes lost) will be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
Rule 16.3 – Relief For an Embedded Ball
- Relief allowed without penalty for an embedded ball anywhere (except in sand) in the “general area” (a new term for “through the green”).
Playing a Ball
Rule 10.2b(4) – Caddie Standing Behind a Player to Help Line the Player Up
- A caddie is not allowed to stand on a line behind you while you are taking your stance and until your stroke is made.
Rule 14.1b – Caddie Lifting Ball on the Putting Green
- Your caddie may lift and replace your ball on the putting green without your specific authorization to do so.
Rule 10.1a – Ball Accidentally Struck More Than Once During a Stroke
- If your club accidentally strikes your ball more than once during a stroke, there will be no penalty and your ball will be played as it lies.
Stay tuned for next month as we will release the New Golf Rules in 2019: Part Two. For more information about the new rules, see The Full Text of Rules. For any other questions regarding the Springfield Golf Club, contact us online or give us a call at 541-747-2517.