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

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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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