Two New Golf Rule Changes for 2018

New rule changes affecting your score!

The governing bodies of golf have finally made two good rule decisions I can get behind. Some pundits feel that the changes will empower the players to cheat, but I say that it forces professionals to play to the level of integrity we expect  as viewers. These two rule changes will make pundits take sides and I choose the side of good riddance. 

The two rule changes deal with, viewer call in and assessing extra penalties for an incorrectly signed score card. From the R&A Website:

  • Discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the Rules decision process
  • The R&A and the USGA have approved the adoption of a Local Rule, available from 1 January, to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the score card when the player was unaware of the penalty.

“All of the organisations represented on the working group will introduce the Local Rule for 2018 and this score card penalty will be permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect on 1 January 2019.”

All I can say is it is about time. I have never liked either rule and I think by having them in place removes the responsibility of all players to be engaged in their competition. Now, each player is responsible for knowing and following the rules. Additionally, as intended, your competitor must call any breach of rules to protect the field.

Golf is a game of integrity and I think that these two rules place more emphasis on players to step up and meet the viewers expectations. Finally two rule changes I can support. How about you?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

9 thoughts on “Two New Golf Rule Changes for 2018

  1. Jim, no other sport permitted the score of the competition to be changed once the competitors left the playing field. The change also ensures each competitor is refereed under the same rules. No special scrutiny of players getting enhanced air time. These changes are no-brainers and were way overdue.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really only have a problem with one of the changes they have decided on. The change that allows us to leave the flag in the hole is a questionable decision to me. It’s fine for us amateurs to do it while we play a round for fun. It will likely save some time for us, but I do think it makes sinking a putt just a little easier if only in your mind, so I have to question it for tournament play.

    As to these two rules I’m fine with them both, and as I understand it, as part of removing viewer call-ins they plan to have officials watching all the video feeds in real time which I am all for. Since there is always video being taken that we don’t see, that review process should actually catch more questionable acts and allow them to be dealt with quickly.

    It might be questionable what effect that video “surveillance” will have on the honor system golf has at it’s heart, but at least it will hold more than just the top groups to higher standards so I call it a win-win. Even pros make mistakes. Sometimes that mistake might be not calling a penalty on yourself. They are after all, “in the moment” and human. I’m sure it’s not often, but I see no reason not to make use of technology for video review with millions at stake. Things happen fast and no one is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      We are on the same page for most of the rules. I think the pin should be removed when playing on the green. I can see the next step of maki g the hole just a bit larger and never removing the pin. We shall see.



  3. Jim, I certainly agree with you that these are positive changes. There will still be controversy: an instance like Lexi Thompson’s replacing her ball not entirely accurately will provoke a Twitter storm, for example. But, as you say, it should sharpen the pros’ awareness of what the rules expect of them. Cheers, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

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