USGA publishes changes to Rules of Golf for 2019

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USGA publishes changes to Rules of Golf for 2019

The USGA and R&A have this week published golf’s new rule book, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The modernized Rules of Golf features over 30 changes in all, and it is said to be the most significant change to the rules in more than 60 years.

The changes to the rules will see the reduction of several penalties, looser putting green and bunker rules, and regulations that encourage improved pace of play.

According to Thomas Pagel, senior managing director, Governance for the USGA, the aim is to make the rules easier to comprehend and to improve the future of the game

“From the project’s inception, our one goal was to make the Rules easier to understand and apply for all golfers. It sets a new standard in the way we write and interpret the Rules and is central to our efforts to ensure a healthy future for golf.”

Among the significant changes that will come into effect in the new year

  • Penalty drops will now be made from knee height, rather than shoulder height
  • No penalty for an accidental double hit
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green
  • No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
  • Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the current 5 minutes)

David Rickman, the executive director, Governance at The R&A, spoke today about his excitement to the modernized rules change that could see the sport become far more accessible

“We are delighted to be rolling out the modernized Rules of Golf today. This is the biggest set of changes to the Rules in a generation and a major step forward in our efforts to make the Rules, and the sport itself, more accessible and more in tune with the way the modern sport is played.” 

Both Dustin Johnson and Lexi Thompson suffered high profile penalties in the final round of major championships recently. Under the new rules change, neither incident that they sustained penalties for will be deemed a breach after the new rules go into effect.

The entire list of changes to the rules that will take effect Jan. 1, 2019, is available .

USGA publishes changes to Rules of Golf for 2019

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