Major rules revisions to debut in early 2019

This might not change things in your weekend four-ball all that much and that’s because half of the amateurs out there don’t have that much idea about the rules anyway.

So some of the massive changes that will be introduced to the game of golf from January 1 next year might not make all that difference to their golf score.

Major rule revisions to debut in 2019 Major rule revisions to debut in 2019

But it will certainly speed up play – which is one thing that certainly needed addressing.

The Royal and Ancient and the USGA received a rather incredible 30,000 pieces of feedback during the review period and this has led to some of the key changes that will be made to the game from the start of next year.

Amazingly, the six-year process of discussion and year-long period of review has actually resulted in the number of overall rules being reduced from 34 to 24 with much simpler explanations of those rules as well.

These is the most dramatic change to the rules of golf since 1744 and most golfers would probably be best advised to check out what they can and can’t do from the start of the new year.

That’s because the changes have been to such important issues, among others, as:

Dropping Procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height;

Measuring In Taking Relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in his/her bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, providing a consistent process for golfers to establish his/her relief area;

Removing The Penalty For A Double Hit: The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball.

Balls Lost Or Out Of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance: A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty.

It would take a lost of space to explain all the new rules but subjects you may be interested in reading up on include:

Ball at Rest, Ball in Motion, Taking Relief, Areas of the Course, Equipment, Playing a Ball, When to Play During a Round, Player Behaviour.

Bring on 2019!