Golf Canada Handicap Changes for 2016-2017

Golf Canada put out is annual changes to how it plans to govern in 2016 – 2017. If you have not read the details, let me save you some time.

Blah, Blah, Blah, we change our mind on solo rounds – Blah, Blah, Blah!

Okay, that was a little harsh, but like many other amateurs, Golf Canada’s decision in November of 2015 not to follow the USGA’s crazy idea of disallowing solo rounds for a handicap was applauded by the Canadian golfing masses! So what changed?

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New Golf Rules for 2016

2012 CN Future Links Western - Golf CanadaThe rules of golf continue to evolve. The R&A, USGA and RCGA are constantly trying to improve golf by modifying, changing and adding rules in a 4 year cycle. As 2016 approaches, 4 major rule changes will add some common sense to golf and I think will reduce some of the frustration experienced by all golfers, at every level.

Thanks to Golf Canada for the below information. It was copied word for word from their website because trying to paraphrase the information would not be advantageous to anyone. Additionally, if you check the above link, there is video explaining each rule below.

Among the most significant of the changes in the 2016 edition of the Rules are the following:

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address – Rule 18-2b (Ball at Rest Moved by Player, Partner, Caddie or Equipment) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card – A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment – The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.
  • Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke – As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

There are many more rule changes that I will address in the upcoming months, but for now, these 4 rules make the top of my list. I am grateful for Golf Canada’s efforts to explain the rules of golf in terms everyone can understand.

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