In 2019, the governing bodies of golf changed the wording and definition for hazards. They adjusted the rules to allow for grounding your club and a few other aspects of the new penalty area. Basically, the rule changes made it easier to navigate the penalty area and in my opinion, it was a positive change to the rules. In case you are still curious about what the penalty area still means, I found a video that should make things a bit easier.
I hope this video helps clarify what the penalty area consists of and how to play fairly from it. It is important the understand this basic rule change because it might save you strokes during your round.
Of all the sports I have played, I think that golf is one where its players do not adjust to change very well. Whether it is the rules or to their swing, change is not something golfers embrace with open arms. I often wonder why and I think that I found a solution that provides an answer to both dilemmas. I am sure there will be a plethora of other answers, but I for the beginners taking up the game, these answers might be helpful.
The rules of golf do not allow for relief from a divot in the fairway. It is the most annoying non-rule in golf! I rarely hit my ball into a divot, but when it happens I find it very disturbing, frustrating, and downright unfair! As a matter of fact, I think all golfers should band together and lobby golf’s governing bodies to change the rules to include relief from a divot.
In 2019, one of the major rule changes dealt with an embedded ball. Many players still do not understand this rule, but it is important to navigate what a player can and cannot do when their ball is embedded. I came across a great video involving Patrick Cantlay which goes through the steps required to take relief from an embedded ball. This rule is very important in my location because of the wet conditions in the spring and fall. I might be of help to you.
For many amateurs, like myself, who pay for their golf balls, I try to play my them for as many holes as possible. It is not that I am really cheap, but $5.50 Cdn a golf ball can get expensive if I willy-nilly change my golf all. This propensity to use my golf ball as long as possible leads to a less that favourable playing condition for my white gold. Hence, I pay attention to when I can replace my ball and when I cannot. Not surprisingly, there is a rule that covers this topic and one that if you are in competition is very important.