Ew rules set to modernize the game

Modernised Rules of Golf Unveiled for 2019

New Golf Rules 2019: All You Need To Know

Last year's proposal suggested that players be allowed to drop from as low as two inches off the ground, down from shoulder-height. This has been changed to knee height.

A local rule introduced by the game's governing bodies will give players the option of taking a drop in the vicinity of where the ball was lost or went out of bounds under a two-stroke penalty.

After the proposal a year ago for golfers to measure relief by 20 inches or 80 inches, the standard one or two club lengths will remain.

The measurements for dropping zones have also been changed, with players being permitted to use any club in their bag apart from the putter, so those still using a "broom-handled" putter would not gain an advantage over the rest of the field.

Also, caddies can no longer line up their players while they are setting up over a shot.

The penalty for a double-hit - known to some fans as a "T.C. Chen", in honour of the golfer whose chances at the 1985 US Open came undone when he struck his ball twice with a single swing - has been eliminated, which was not the case under last year's proposed revisions.

The Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf: An abridged, user-friendly set of the Rules with shorter sentences, commonly used phrases, and diagrams.

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One of the underlying principles of the new rules is that golfers should not be penalised for unintentional acts that result in no benefit to them.

Many radical revisions will take place if The...

Other changes include the elimination of the penalty for the ball accidentally moving on a green, as long as a player is "virtually certain" that he did not cause it to move.

Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole, and players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed.

Golfers will be allowed to fix spike marks as well as other damage on the putting green. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty. You still can not ground your club when playing a bunker shot.

Relying on player integrity: A player's "reasonable judgment" when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong, and there is an elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.

Golf is known as an old and storied sport that has carried its tradition throughout the test of time. From 1 Jan 2019, golfers will be allowed only 3 minutes to search for a strayed golf ball.

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The latter includes a reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of "ready golf" in stroke play and recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke.

'We are pleased to be introducing the new Rules of Golf after a collaborative and wide-ranging review process which has embraced the views of golfers, rules experts and administrators worldwide, ' said David Rickman, executive director - governance at the R&A.

This rule won't apply to professional tournaments or other elite-level competitions.

But the majority of the suggested changes, aimed at making golf easier to understand and faster to play, remain.

For more information on the new rules, visit the USGA website and R&A wesbite.

The above dropping procedure will be done away with when the new rules are implemented on January 1, 2019.

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