The rules of golf had some major ammendments done this year! This year's changes were made with the intenton of promoting good speed of play and more enjoyment for golfers--something we can all agree on!
Here is a round up of the six most notable changes to golf rules for 2019:
Golfers may leave the flagstick in the cup when putting! While some golfers may choose to go with tradition and remove the flagstick, keeping it in the cup can help in the following ways:
- The flag helps with alignment
- Statistically, more putts will go in the cup if they catch a piece of the flagstick
- It makes it easier to tap in those two footers after a nice chip!
- It helps speed of play when around the greens
Try keeping the flag in during your next round and see how it can improve your game!
2. Out of Bounds - local rule
When you lose a ball, you may drop a new ball anywhere between where the original ball was believed to come to rest, or where it went out of bounds, and the edge of the nearest side of the fairway. Just make sure that the dropped ball is no closer to the hole!
If you take this option, you must add 2 strokes to your score but you can play on instead of going back to the tee to hit a provisional that you could potentially lose as well!
3. Double Hits
Do you ever accidentally hit the ball TWICE in one motion?! Whoops! In the past golfers had to take a penalty stroke whenever the ball was struck for a second time while in the air. But with the new rules, no additional strokes will be added to your score--you simply play the ball from wherever it ended up after that dreaded double hit!
4. Accidental Ball Movements
Have you ever taken a few practice putts on the green and accidentally moved your ball? Well, you are in luck because golfers are no longer penalized when they unintentionally move their ball on the greens. Instead of taking a penalty stroke, golfers simply move their ball back to it's original position, and take a little extra care when lining up for their next practice putts!
5. Sand Shots
There are two new rules when it comes to sand:
- Instead of trying to slash out of a really difficult bunker, the golfer may choose to play the ball from outside the bunker instead. This will cost a two-stroke penalty however it might be worth it!
- There is no penalty for accidentally touching the sand before doing your bunker shot--however you still cannot test the condition of the sand before your shot
6. Pace of Play
There are two new rules that directly impact pace of play:
- Golfers are allowed 3 minutes to search for a lost ball (not 5 minutes as it was in previous years) This one is particularly important when playing our tight, tree-lined fairways!
- Players cannot take longer that 40 seconds to play a stroke
There you have it, 6 (but kind of 8) new rules for golf in 2019! We hope that these not only help improve your score, but regulate the course's pace of play, and enhance your overall golfing experience! See you on the course soon!