New Year — New Rules of Golf

The Rules of Golf are often a hot-button issue, especially when you can call in an infraction while sitting on your couch. But now it’s time to get out your paper and pencils, because changes are here.

For the first time in three years, and the most drastic in more than 60 years, officials from the United States Golf Association have reorganized the rules of golf to make them easier to understand and apply. Many of the changes are a long time coming and most will be welcomed with open arms by golfers world-wide.

In the interest of saving you time reading this blog, we’ve included only a few changes we believe will save you time on the golf course.

Parent-Child Golf TournamentYou can leave the flagstick in when you putt

  • This is more of a common sense rule change than anything else. If a player feels it’s more beneficial to keep the flagstick in, they now have the option to do so.

Out-of-bounds options

  • If your ball is hit out-of-bounds, you now have the option to drop your ball in the fairway, no closer to the hole than where it went out-of-bounds, with a two-stroke penalty. This will help expedite things greatly, especially when players are no longer forced to go back to the tee after unsuccessfully searching for their golf ball.

Three minutes is the maximum time allowance to search for a lost ball

  • This change relates directly to the previous one, as an attempt to speed things along. It was previously five minutes, but the extra two minutes probably didn’t help much anyway.

You can find the rest of the rule changes that take effect January 1, 2019 by visiting the USGA’s website here.