2019 Rules of Golf

2019 Rules of Golf

Each week, we will introduce and cover a section of the Rules of Golf that will be changing beginning January 1, 2019.  Check back here for updates each week, find resources and learn more about the new RULES OF GOLF.
Monday, December 17th
Ball Moved During Search

Under the 2019 Rules of Golf, the penalty for accidently moving a ball while searching for it is:
  1. 1-Stroke
  2. 2-Strokes
  3. No Penalty  (correct answer)
Answer:  Ball Moved During Search Resource Link

Reason for Change:  A fundamental principle of golf is to play the ball as it lies; so the Rules should help the player to find his or her ball and play it from the spot where it was at rest.

Players often need to probe in grass, bushes, leaves and other conditions to look for a hidden ball, and such reasonable acts create an inherent risk of moving the ball.

The current Rules allow both an opponent in mathc, and other players in stroke play, to help search for the player's ball without risk of penalty if they accidentally move the player's ball;  outside persons such as spectators are allowed to help search as well.

It is inconsistent to encourage everyone but the player or his or her caiddie (or partner) to look for the ball, and this creates an odd incentive for the player to hold back and let others search.
Monday, December 10th
Penalty Areas

Question:  Which of the following will still not be permitted for a ball in a penalty area (hazard) for 2019?
  1. Take an Unplayable (correct answer)
  2. Take a Practice Swing - grounding club
  3. Move leaves, sticks, and other loose impediments
Answer:  Penalty Areas Resource Link
Monday, December 3rd
New Procedure for Dropping a Ball

:  Starting in 2019, when taking relief a ball will be dropped from:
  1. Anywhere above the ground                                                                     
  2. Knee Height  (correct answer)
  3. Shoulder Height
Answer:  Dropping a Ball Resource Link

Reasons for Change:  The new procedure lowers the height from which the ball is dropped to increase the chance that it stays within the relief area.

Requiring the player to drop a ball (as opposed to placing it) will retain a desired randomness about where the ball will end up:

  • The player has no guarantee that the ball will come to rest on a desired spot or in a good lie.
  • This is especially the case when a ball is dropped in more difficult conditions such as thick rough or longer grass.

Allowing the player to drop a ball from knee height will help to limit the extent to which a ball will embed in sand in a bunker.