The new rules of golf starting in January 2019 are finally released. There are over 35 different rule changes and most of those will have a direct impact on your game. It is important to know these new rules before they come to fruition because if you are playing with someone who knows them, it might save or worse cost you strokes.
Golf Canada put out 5 of these major rule changes that I thought I would share. I am going to discuss a few more below.
The out of bounds or a lost ball is causing a stir. What follows would be a local rule. Basically, drop a ball in the vicinity of where the original was lost or out-of-bounds, including the nearest fairway area, pretend your dropped ball as your provisional (three off the tee) and hit four on your next shot. This ruling helps with speed of play. Lets face it, in the morning or with friends we do this anyway; so not it is legal!
There’s also no longer a penalty for a double hit. Personally, I like this rule change. Periodically, I double hit and it frustrates me to no end. It usually happens when I am trying a very delicate shot around the green. Now, I will not be penalized for a silly mistake. This rule is for amateurs and not intended for professional or elite amateurs. Not sure exactly what elite amateurs means, but I would surmise that this means state, provincial, or national level events.
It is about time that we can fix animal damage such as deer walking on the green, crows digging for grubs, or ant hills. Additionally, we can fix spike marks! I think this is a very smart rule and I like it!
A player can take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke. Now this is one of the most interesting of all decisions. I can honestly say that rarely does a player take more than 40 seconds to make a shot, but on the green. That is a different situation entirely. I have played at military national events, local events, and fun tournaments where they take minutes to line up and make a putt. They do not start lining up or looking at their putt until it is their turn. It makes for a very long day. On a side note, I could not find the penalty for slow play of making a shot in over 40 seconds, this will have an impact on if this is a rule or guideline.
There are many other changes and I will talk about them in the future. But for now, these rules have caught my attention. What do you think about the new rules coming in 2019?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links (very soon)!