The U.S. Golf Association has released a new set of rules they want golfers to adopt in the coming year.
Since 2012, the USGA has slowly modernizing golf’s ruleset to make the game more popular and accessible to newcomers. This set of rule changes won’t formally take place in 2019, so you’ve got some time to adjust, but you should begin familiarizing yourself with these new golf rules now.
Below, we’ll break down what these rule changes are.
New Dropping Procedures
This year, the USGA has implemented a rule that hopes to standardize the dropping process when taking relief from an aberrant course condition or penalty area. Now, when taking relief, the USGA insists that the ball must be dropped from knee height. No more or less.
By doing this, the USGA hopes to simplify the dropping process and make it consistent.
Protocols When Measuring Relief Areas
In 2017, the USGA implemented a rule that standardized the size of the relief area with a 20 or 80-inch measurement. But this year, they’ve walked it back (probably because a tape measure isn’t something often found in a golf bag).
Now, to measure relief, a golfer must measure out one or two club lengths. We get to use the tools we’ve already got.
No Penalties for Double Hits
This is yet another rule that they’ve changed from 2017. It used to be that if you hit the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, you got slammed with a one-stroke penalty.
Now, however, to make the game more friendly to beginners, there is no penalty for striking the ball more than once at all (not that you had to worry, of course. You have a perfect golf swing). You’re only supposed to count the stroke that actually made significant contact with the ball.
New Lost Ball Protocol
This rule won’t apply to professional competitions, but it’s a boon to more recreational players. Now, if you hit a ball out of bounds, you can now move the ball to the nearest space on the green and only suffer a two-stroke penalty.
With this rule, we’ll hopefully no longer have to wait in agony as we wait for our fellow golfer to successfully hit the ball out of the rough.
No More “Ball Moved” Penalties
Lastly, there will no longer be any penalties for accidentally moving a ball on the green or out of bounds. A golfer will only be penalized for this action if it’s made absolutely certain that it was an intentional action.
Now That You’ve Seen the New Golf Rules…
It’s time to hit the green and start playing! These new golf rules shouldn’t be too hard to implement into your daily play.
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