To clear inconsistencies and questions that inevitably arise every year in the game of golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) implements and changes rules annually. In order to keep up with the game we all love, fans and golfers of all ages and skill sets should study the new rules every year. Below, you will find a continuation of the updates to the 2019 Rules of Golf. For an in-depth analysis of the new rules and the reasoning behind them, visit this article on the USGA’s site.
Areas Of The Course
● Replacing a Ball That Moves on The Green
With this new rule, if the ball is lifted and replaced on the original spot, the replacement must be as close to the original spot as possible.
● Damage Repair on the Green
This new rule declares that all damage on the green has to be repaired no matter if it was damaged from a stroke, players’ spikes, animals, fans, or something else.
● Line of Play on the Green
In 2019’s changes, there is no longer a penalty for touching the line of play when on the green. However, the penalty is still enforced if the player attempts to improve their line of play.
● No Penalty When Ball Hits Flagpole on Green
With the new rules, there is no longer a penalty if a ball hit on the green hits the flagpole in the hole while it is unattended. The player can also choose to have the flag removed if they so choose.
● Penalty Areas
The term “hazards” is no longer used in the rule book or by the committee during an event. All areas, such as the water or desert, will be called “penalty areas.” The committee for each individual competition has the power to decide which areas are penalty areas.
● Touching Impediments or the Ground in a Penalty Area
In a penalty area, the players are now allowed to touch the ground or area around the ball without risk of penalty. However, the player cannot touch the ground or area around it if it improves their stroke.
● Expanded Penalty Areas
This rule expands the previous rule about what areas are now considered penalty areas. In these areas, which are defined by the committee before each event, relief options are available to players if they land there.
● Eliminating Opposite Side Relief
When a player goes into the red penalty area, there are now only three options for relief, instead of the previous mark of four. If it is applicable on certain courses, the rules committee can adopt a local rule allowing opposite side relief if there are no other options.
● Moving/Touching Impediments or Sand in the Bunker
The players can now touch the sand or other impediments in the bunker, but they cannot use it to judge the conditions they are playing in to gain new information about their upcoming stroke. They also cannot make a practice swing, backswing, ground the club, or touch the sand with a club of any kind.
● Unplayable Ball in the Bunker
If a ball that lands in the bunker is unplayable, the player can choose a relief option. In this relief option, the ball can be taken out of the bunker, but it costs them two extra
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