Rules Corner

(A collection of rules players may not be aware of) 

  1. You cannot declare your ball lost; however, you are not obliged to search for your ball after hitting a provisional ball. This does not prevent your opponent to search for your ball.  If found within the three minutes search time, you have no choice but to procced with original ball, even if you end up playing more shots. You may not be impressed with your opponent!!!

  2. You cannot play a provisional ball if your ball can only be lost in a penalty area. If you do so that ball becomes the ball in play even if you have called it a provisional ball. The reason for this is due the fact that there are other relief options other than stroke and distance. A provisional ball may only be played if your ball is likely to be lost i.e. out of bounds or in dense vegetation. If there is doubt whether ball is lost in penalty area or other areas mentioned a provisional may then be played. 

  3. What happens if you hit your ball by accident with a practice swing other than on the green? As it was not your intention to hit the ball you have moved the ball. The ball must be replaced on the original spot adding one penalty stroke. If you regard the practice swing hitting the ball as a stroke and then play the ball from where it came to rest you have played from the wrong place and you will need to add two penalty strokes.

20 Must Know Rules of Golf Changes for 2019

  1. Drop from knee height (NOT shoulder height)

  2. Measure the area to drop in with the longest club in your bag (except a putter)

  3. Drop in and play from the relief area

  4. When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole than your chosen reference point

  5. Time to search – 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes)

  6. If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty

  7. No penalty for a double hit – it only counts as one stroke

  8. No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke

  9. No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole

  10. Spike mark and other shoe damage on the putting green can be repaired

  11. Ball accidentally moved on putting green – no penalty and replace

  12. Ball marked, lifted and replaced on putting green is moved by wind to another position –replace ball on the original spot

  13. Penalty areas replace water hazards, and you can move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in penalty areas without penalty, just as you can on the fairway or in the rough

  14. You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area

  15. In bunkers you can move loose impediments

  16. In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking practice swings

  17. Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded on the fairway or in the rough (but “embedded” means that part of your ball is below the level of the ground)

  18. Unplayable ball in bunker – extra option to drop outside the bunker for 2 penalty strokes

  19. You cannot have your caddie or your partner standing behind you once you begin taking your stance

  20. Pace of Play - it is recommended that you take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged

 

Additional links for further information

https://www.randa.org/RulesEquipment/Rules/20RulesMustKnows

http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/major-changes.html