Are you aware of the major golf rule changes 2019 summary?
Do you have the knowledge about the modernization initiative of USGA and R&A?
If you are not yet aware of these all, this article is a must read for you.
In this post, we have explained all the major USGA golf rule changes in 2019 precisely. For the confirmation, you will also find these rules open in the website of USGA. The USGA has started a process of modernization in Golf in 2012.
Following this development, they have unveiled the new changes in Golf recently. Now it is open for revision and anonymous feedback. The main motto of this process is to make things easier to understand in Golf and increase the attraction and accessibility for newly introduced Golfers.
The Major Golf Rule Changes 2019 Summary
We have organized all the changes based on the category following the official changes mentioned in the website of USGA. Some changes might fall into different categories. But if one is already described in one category based on the most reflective scope of change, we will prefer to avoid in other categories to make the article concise.
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The List of Categories of New Golf Rules for 2019
- Ball in play
- Taking Relief
- Specific areas
- Make a stroke
- Promoting Faster Pace of Play
- Code of Conduct and Player Integrity
New Golf Rules 2019
Now let’s dive deep in the details.
#Ball in play
Ball in play means the situation or things while the ball in play. When anything happens to your ball in play you will find these rules available.
Ball at rest:
- If ball moves accidentally when the ball at rest in ball marker or while the ball is on the putting green there is no longer a penalty. The current rule is a 1-stroke But in this new rule, the golfer will get over it.
- No longer has a penalty if accidentally moved the ball while searching for it.
- A new standard has set for the deciding if you are the cause your ball to move. It will be applied if that is known or virtually certain. (probability applied 95% likely)
Replacing the Ball or Lifted Ball
- Replacing a moved or lifted ball: New rules applied if you do not know where exactly the ball was at rest. You have to replace the ball on its exact spot rather than drop the ball. If the estimated spot of the ball was growing on or against such circumstances, fixed or attached objects which mean you need to replace the ball in terms of the situation. The current rule of this procedure is dropping the ball as near as possible to the estimated spot.
Ball in Motion
- The new rule applies the accidental deflection when the ball in motion. If the ball accidentally hits the golfer, caddie or the person attending or removing the flagstick, no penalty allowed. In the current rule 1-stroke penalty was the punishment. It would have been 2-stroke if the ball hits the flagstick attendant.
- If you hit the ball more than once accidentally during a stroke, the new rule is no penalty. The current rule allows a 1-stroke
It happens when you need to drop the ball closest to the golfer’s ball but not close to the hole. Golfers can freely drop the ball freely without penalty in one specific condition under the rule 24 and 25.
Rules about dropping a ball in a specific relief area
- If you are allowed to drop the ball freely under such circumstances mentioned in rule 24 and rule 25, you must drop the ball from knee height.
The current rule is to stand erect, drop the ball from the shoulder height.
- The defined relief area and the dropped area must be the same and single required relief area.
The current rule explains that the ball can roll outside and can be played from outside the area.
- In order to measure the area, you must use the longest club in your bag or a putter.
The current rule allows any club selected by the player.
Lost or embedded Ball
- A ball is considered lost if it is unavailable for more than three minutes.
The current rule was five minutes after you begin searching for the ball.
- In terms of the embedded ball, the golfer may take relief without penalty in the general area (except in sand) if any local rule restricts the relief to the fairway or same kind of areas. In this general area means through the green.
The current rule allows at a limit of nearer height or less.
- Under the new rule, you may continue to play with the original ball or another new ball, whenever you take free relief or penalty relief.
Players have to use the original ball for free relief. The new ball is only allowed for penalty relief.
- Ball at rest in dropping procedure is explained as the ball should have been there where it is dropped. If the ball rolls outside the relief area the player must drop it for the second time. If it happens again the player has to place the ball where it was touched the ground on the second drop.
Under the current rule, the ball must be dropped if it moves to any specified areas mentioned in rule 20-2c.
#Rules for specific areas
The rules under this category are allowed in different circumstances of specific areas.
- The ball must be replaced in its original spot if it was blown away because of wind or moved for another reason or no clear reason. The player has to replace the ball in an original spot under these circumstances.
The current rule allows replacement of the ball if a player outside agency resulted to roll. Other than that the play will be continued from its new location.
- The new rule explains that the player can repair almost all scratches, marks and damages on the putting green.
The current rule allows only the ball-marks or old hole-plugs on the putting green can be repaired.
- If your ball hits the unattended flagstick or anywhere else from the putting start, no penalty was given.
Under the current rule, you will have a 2-stroke penalty.
- Under the new rule changes in 2019, you are allowed to touch your line of putt or touch the putting green in terms of pointing out the target. There is no longer any penalty if your caddie does that so without any authorization.
Following the current rule 1-stroke penalty is given in this situation.
- The committee can mark the penalty areas red and yellow which covers the areas or desert, jungle, lava rock in addition to the only areas of water.
Based on the current rule it was only allowed in terms of water hazards.
- If the player moves loose impediments or makes some connection with hands or club when you would find the ball present in the penalty area, no penalty is the new rule.
Under the current rule loss of hole/ 2-stroke penalty (with exceptions).
- The discretion marks are given by the committees to all penalty areas red so that the lateral relief is acceptable while they still can mark the penalty areas as yellow as per the consideration.
As par the current rule all the water hazard has to mark yellow except where the location of the course makes it impossible or unreasonable. In this case, the water hazards may mark as red.
- Under the new golf rule changes in 2019, no player is allowed to take the relief from a red penalty area from the other side from where the ball entered unless the committee allows the local rule.
Under the current rule, a player is allowed to take relief from the other side of water hazard that is red-marked.
- There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments in a bunker.
The current rule is a loss of hole or 2-stroke penalty (with exceptions)
- No penalty with exception when a player is in contact to the sand of bunker using hands in order to test the conditions of the bunker, in making a practice swing, using the club in the area around the ball.
The current rule is any touching of sand using hand or club causes loss of hole or 2-stroke penalty (with exceptions).
- In unplayable conditions, a player is allowed to take a relief on the line of the bunker from the hole through for 2 penalty strokes.
No relief allowed outside the bunker as par the new rule.
These rules will be applied during a damage of clubs or other equipment.
The damaged clubs
- A player is allowed to keep using his or her damaged club in any kind of damage or any kind of cause of the damage, even if the player damages it in anger.
As par the current rule the damaged club can be used if you have damaged it by the normal cause on the game.
- A player is not allowed the replace the club unless he or she is not responsible for the damage.
The current rule allows the replacement if it is not suitable to continue.
- A distance measuring device is allowed if the local rule does not prohibit their use.
Under the current rule, DMD’s are prohibited unless any local rule permits to use.
#Make a stroke or playing a ball
Advice and help during the stroke
- As par, the new rules the caddie cannot deliberately stand on the line or close to the extended line of play just behind the player when player taking a stance for a stroke.
The current rule allows it while the player takes stance, but prohibited while playing a stroke.
- Under the new rule, the caddie is now allowed to lift and replace the ball without the player’s authorization to do so.
The current rule does permit it with a 1-stroke penalty.
#Promoting the faster pace of play
The USGA rules 2019 also promote the faster pace of play. There is no penalty for being slower. But the faster pace will save time and investment as well as increase the attraction of the game.
The pace of play
- The new rule recommends 40 seconds making a stroke, and usually less than that.
No recommendations in the current rule.
- There is no penalty if you are out of turn in play and ready golf is recommended while it can be done in a safer way.
The current rule is just specified it wrong or allowed.
In Golf player behavior is also equally important with playing. Sometimes it comes first in play. You will not see anyone in the Golf Course with jeans or casual shoes. In most cases, even a boy will come tucked in and capped at Golf Course.
Standards of Conduct
- To protect the spirit, new rule expect better behavior which is a go with the Golf from the players. Any misconduct gives the committee the discretion to disqualify players.
The current rule has no written rule for standards of conduct except indirect disqualification of players if he breaks any rules which can be considered as destructive for games ethics.
The Final Touch…
The Golf Rule Changes 2019 summary is the evolution of the process which was set out 2012. They call it the modernization process of Golf to ensure the more accessibility in Golf. It is made for easier understanding for newcomers and more attraction in the Golf game. In 2019 the USGA rules of Golf has changed a lot which requires feedback from the people like you which will be found in the official website of USGA.
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