The general goals and objectives  of this modernization are the Rules of Golf:

  • Be more understandable and applicable by all golfers
  • Be more coherent, simple and just; and
  • Reinforce the principles and long-standing intrinsic character of the game.
  • Use concepts, procedures and consequences that are more intuitive and easier to learn;
  • Use a consistent approach for similar situations;
  • Avoid unnecessary concepts, inappropriate penalties, and exceptions that may create “penalty traps” for the player; and
  • Encourage broader goals for the game, such as promoting a faster pace of play and better environmental management.

Rules of Golf

Summary of some major changes to the Rules 

When things happen to your ball in Game

1 Ball at rest accidentally moved

  • You accidentally move your ball by searching for it:  there is no  more penalty
  • You accidentally move your ball or your ball-marker when they are on the green: there is no  longer a penalty

2 Replace a moved or raised ball

  • New procedure when you do not know the exact place where your ball rested  : You must put the ball back  to its original estimated location  (rather than drop the ball at that location); and if that esteemed spot were on, under, or against elements that grow or fix (like grass), you must  put the ball back on, under, or against those elements.

3 Ball in motion accidentally deflected

  • Your moving ball accidentally hits you, your equipment, your caddy, someone who took the flag in charge for you, or a flag removed or taken care of: there is no  longer a penalty  (as when your ball bounces on the face of a bunker and hits you)



Take a Clearance

 Drop a Ball into a Defined Area of ​​Clearance 

  • Different Drop Procedure: Instead of dropping the ball at shoulder height, the ball will now have to be dropped at knee height (ie the height of a player’s knee when standing)
  •  Clearance zone: the ball must always be dropped in a clear zone and it must always be played from this zone,  whereas currently, it must drop either in an area, or as close as possible to a specific point, or on a line. The different cases where a bullet had to be dropped are considerably simplified.
  • Fixed dimensions define the clearance zone: Depending on the case the zone will be one or two club lengths: a club length being defined as the length of the longest club in your bag, except for the putter.

2 Lost ball 

  • Reduced Time for Ball Search: A ball is lost if it is not found within three minutes  (instead of the current five minutes) after you have started searching for it.

3 Ball depressed

  • Clearance for a Ball Depressed into the General Area  :  You can clear if your ball is pushed all over (except in the sand) into the general area (which is the new term for the “course”),  unless a Local Rule restricts the ball clearance to fairway or similar areas (which is the reverse of the default procedure that is in the current Rules).

4 Ball to use when taking a clearance

  • Substitute another ball: You may continue to use the original ball or change the ball each time you take a Clearance under a Rule, whether it is with or without penalty.

Special rules for specific parts of the course

 1 The Green

  • Putter with the flag left in the hole: There is more penalty if you play a ball from the green and it hits the flag left in the hole.
  • Repairing damage to the green: You can repair a lot of damage (including nail marks and animal damage)  on the green (rather than being limited to repairing only bullet holes and old caps) holes).
  • Touch your line of putt or touch the green indicating the target: There is more penalty if you or your caddy do any of these things, as long as it does not improve the conditions affecting your shot.
  • Replace your ball if it moves after having already marked, lifted and replaced: Whenever it happens on the putting green, you return your ball to its original location –  even if it was pushed by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
  • Your cadet marks and raises your ball on the green: There is no penalty if your cadet does this without your explicit permission to do so.

2 penalty areas

  • Generalized penalty zones in addition to water obstacles: The “Penalty Zones” marked by red and yellow stakes can now cover areas that the Committee decides to mark for this purpose (such as deserts, ravines, volcanic rock fields, or potentially hazardous areas),  in addition to areas with water.
  • Removal of Clearance Option on Opposite Edge: You can no longer clear a red penalty area on the edge opposite the one last entered in the penalty zone  (unless the Committee adopts a Local Rule authorizing it).
  • Lifting all specific restrictions on the movement or touch of things in a penalty zone: There is no longer a penalty if you remove or move rubbish (such as leaves, stones, and pieces of wood) or touch the ground with your hand or club in a penalty zone. Even if your ball lies in this penalty area.

3 Bunkers

  • Authorization to remove trash: There is no penalty if you touch or move trash in a bunker even if your ball lies in the bunker.
  • Relaxed restrictions on touching sand with your hand or club when your ball is in a bunker  : You are now only allowed to touch the sand (1) with your hand or club to  test the condition of the bunker or (2) with your club in  the area just behind or in front of your ball, doing a trial move or in the backward motion of your shot .
  • New release option for an unplayable ball: With two penalty strokes, you can get out of the bunker by dropping a ball back on the line joining the hole and where your ball was resting in the bunker.

Equipment that you are allowed to use

 1 damaged clubs

  • Using damaged clubs: You can continue to use a club that has been damaged during the turn, regardless of how it happened (for example even if you damaged it in a gesture of anger).
  • Replacement of damaged clubs: You can not replace a damaged club unless you are not responsible for the damage.

2 Distance measuring devices

  • Permitted distance measuring devices: You can use distance measuring devices unless it is prohibited by a Local Rule (the opposite of what exists in the current Rules).


How to prepare and make a shot

  • Enhanced restrictions on alignment assistance: Your cadet is not allowed to stand on a line behind you from the moment you start taking your stance until you have completed your stroke. No more opportunities for the cadet to align his player before the shot.

Promote a faster pace of play

  • You are encouraged to play faster: It is recommended that you make each move in no more than 40 seconds  –  and usually faster than that  – once it’s your turn to play.
  • Playing out-turn in stroke play (Golf “Ready to play”): This has always been allowed without penalty, but now you are strongly urged to do so to save time but in a responsible and safe manner.
  • New form of stroke play  : The Rules recognize a new form of stroke play “Maximum Score”, where your score for a hole is capped at a maximum (such as double or triple bogey) set by the Committee, so that you can raise your ball and move to the next hole when your score will have reached or exceeded that maximum.

Promote high standards of player behavior and trust player integrity

There is no longer a separate section for the label, but the major principles that it puts forward are now integrated into the Rules: acting with integrity, having consideration for others and taking care of the course.

  • Playing in the spirit of the game: New provisions are added to reinforce the high standards of behavior expected of all players on the field and it is at the discretion of the Committees to disqualify players for bad behavior that does not respect this code.
  • Code of the behavior of the player: the Committees have authority to be able to adopt their own code of behavior of the player and to impose penalties in case of infringement with the norms of this code.
  • Eliminating the need to announce the intention to lift the ball  : When you have a good reason to lift your ball to identify it, to see if it is cut or split or to see if you are allowed to clear (such as to see if your ball is depressed), you are no  longer required to pre-announce  to another player or marker that you intend to do so or to give that person the opportunity to observe the process .
  • Interpreting Reasonable Judgment: When you need to estimate or measure a place, point, line, area or distance under a Rule,  your reasonable judgment will not be reconsidered because of later information ( such as video)  if you did everything you could reasonably expect in these circumstances to accurately estimate or measure.


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