Golf’s governing bodies change of accidentally moving your ball during a search is a spot on. Their approach takes the “fluke” or “inadvertent” interference out of the game and I for one agree with this rule change. I believe golf penalty strokes should be awarded for intent as much as a poor stroke and removing the penalty for accidentally touching or moving your golf ball just makes sense
The old rule (18.2) penalized a player 1 stroke for accidentally contacting their ball during a search. I cannot remember this penalty every being award during my years of play. For sure not in a tournament and never during a friendly. Maybe our course make up does not facilitate the chances of a player conducting this infraction. So, the rule chance make common sense to me.
The new rule (7.4) has removed the penalty. The player is to replace their ball in its original position, or as close as possible, and play on. It would be unintentional for a player to step on or kick their ball (in my opinion) so I say no harm, no foul.
I like this rule change and support the governing bodies common sense approach. How about you? Have you ever assessed a penalty stroke on yourself or opponent for accidentally moving the ball during a search?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!