A Look Back At Some Of The New Golf Rules

In 2019, the governing bodies of golf introduced a few new rule modifications and streamlined the exceptions related to the rules of golf. At first many of golfers were skeptical, but after four years of use, I wonder if the changes have helped or hindered the amateur player’s game. I know that in my case, the rule changes made very little difference because I do not play by the rules anyway…..wait, that is not right. ūüėČ The new rule changes have helped in many ways to speed up the game by removing the fog of confusion many amateurs face when playing golf.

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Rule 15.1a – Removal of Loose Impediment

This particular rule has changed play since it was refined in the 2019 new golf rules release. Basically, any player can remove a loose impediment through the green; so this includes hazards. This is a break from the previous rules and for the most part, I think this is a good change and will help many players improve their game. Specifically, I want to talk about what constitutes a loose impediment. Because history shows that this definition can be applied in very loose contexts.

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Following The Rules of Golf

Do you follow the rules of golf?  In past blogs, I have talked about specific rules on gopher holes, replacing your golf ball, some of my unwritten rules, new rules for 2014, and many more.  However, it never really occurred to me if everyone actually follows the rules.

Rules of golf

There are many places on the web to find the latest rules and my favorite is the Golf Canada.  I always read the rules several times before hitting the links to refresh my memory on the nuances of play in competition.

However, do you really follow all the rules of golf? I believe that most players follow most of the rules most of the time when just playing for fun.  I believe that most of the players follow all the rules most of the time in competition.  However, here is the hook, I also believe that most players follow all the rules they know all the time all the time in competition.

Well, unfortunately, my last statement is more the norm than most think.  If you do not believe me, ask your playing partners about the Rule 17-1 Tending the Flagstick or Rule 23 РLoose Impediments or Rule 28 РUnplayable Ball.  Chances are they do not know the rule or only part of it.  This lack of knowledge can cost strokes in a tournament or match play event.

Most players honestly want to follow the rules.  Unfortunately, many have not actually read them.  They listen to their playing partners Рwho likely have not read all the rules either Рand blindly play.  This approach is okay except if you have any aspirations of playing in competition.  At that point, you are playing with competitors who likely know the rules and will enforce them without hesitation.

If answered yes to the first question РI will follow that up with, Do you know all the rules? Golf season is quickly approaching and as part of my pre-season routine, reading the golf rules is important to my preparation for an outstanding golf season!  On a side note, even though I read the rules several times, I always care an up to date version of the golf rules just in case I need it during a match.

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