R&A and USGA release proposed changes to the Rules of Golf

Modernizing, simplifying and speeding up play are the reasons behind the proposed new Rules of Golf.

In an effort to simplify and speed up the game, golf’s governing bodies the R&A and USGA have released a big set of proposed changes to the Rules of Golf.

After five years of discussion, the R&A and USGA are looking for feedback on the proposed changes with an expected implementation date of January 1, 2019.

There is a lot of changes that have already created a lot of talk. Some of the changes are subtle and won’t have a huge impact on the pace of play or the overall experience. But others should simplify things dramatically such as being able to ground your club in a hazard (penalty area) and being able to drop your ball from any height while taking a penalty drop.

Some of the proposed major changes to the rules of golf are:

  • Time taken to look for a lost ball reduced from five to three minutes.
  • Golfers can now play with damaged golf clubs, even if they’ve damaged them in anger.
  • No longer will golfers need to take relief by dropping from shoulder height. Any height now permissible.
  • Golfers can leave the pin in the hole while putting.
  • You can now repair spike marks or any damage in green, not just plug marks.
  • Golf balls can be dropped out of bunkers under penalty of 2-strokes.

As you can see from this small list this is going to create some discussion.

Click here for a pdf of an overview of the proposed rule changes. We’ll make sure to take a closer look at many of them in the coming week.

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