This is an introduction to the New Golf Rules 2019

Covers the main playing Rules, which are useful for all golfers to know

Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the General Penalty (loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play).

 

1 You can learn more by obtaining the following:
• Player’s Edition (available readily at most golf clubs – pocket sized) . This presentation focuses on the Player’s Edition as it is the most useful
reference tool for you, the player • Rules of Golf (full version available online and in printed A5 size)
• Official Guide (replaces the old Decisions on the Rules – ideal for Committees)
• All available online at www.randa.org
• Or download the App!
2 So let’s now take a look at the KEY Rules.
There are five key areas of the golf course:
• General Area is all areas of the course other than those listed below which are the ‘defined areas’
• Teeing Area
• Bunkers
• Penalty Areas
• The Putting Green
3 This diagram illustrates the 5 Key areas
4 The General Area
• General Area – is the area of the course that covers all of the course, except the four other defined areas
• The general area includes all teeing locations on the course, other than the teeing area of the hole being played
• And, all wrong greens
• See Definition for further information
5 Abnormal Course Conditions
In the General Area, abnormal course conditions can interfere with the playing of the game, such as:
• Animal holes
• Temporary water
• Ground under repair
• Also includes Immovable obstructions (e.g. cart paths)
6 Immovable Obstructions
Equally, we can have interference from an immovable obstruction such as:
• Cart paths, roads, etc
• Sprinkler heads
• Benches
• Toilets
• Water fountains
7 Relief
The relief procedure is the same from all abnormalcourse conditions and immovable obstructions:
• Free relief
• Key is to establish the nearest point of complete relief
• Drop the ball within one club-length of this point in the relief area
• How do you establish the nearest point of complete relief? Next slide shows how to do this.
8 Talk through diagram:
• Nearest point of complete relief is established for B1 (ball on abnormal course condition such as a cart path2
• This is the point nearest to the ball’s original spot, but not nearer the hole than that spot = P1
• Remember it’s the nearest point and not the nicest point so it may take you into the rough (not always fairway side!)
• For B2, the player is standing on the abnormal condition so has interference
• P2 is the nearest point to where the ball lay that allows the player relief from the condition (other side would be further away)
9 Dropping – How
• Player must drop ball in the correct way • Player must let go of the ball from a location at knee height so the ball falls straight down
• Cannot throw, spin or roll the ball • Ball must not touch part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground
• Knee height means the height of the player’s knee when in a standing position
10 Dropping the ball
11 Example of taking relief from an abnormal course condition – talk through diagram
• Free relief from animal hole; abnormal course condition interferes – white ball
• Nearest point of complete relief established – black ball
• Drop anywhere within one club-length of this black ball.
• The ball must come to rest within the relief area
12 Movable Obstruction
• Object on or off course may be removed without penalty
• If ball moves when obstruction is removed, there is no penalty
• Ball must be replaced
• If original spot is not known, it must be estimated
• Advisable to mark position of ball before removing object – helps to know original spot if ball moves
13 Ball Against Movable Obstruction
• Good example – the rake is a movable obstruction
• Ball is against it
• Rake may be removed without penalty
• If ball moves when obstruction is removed, there is no penalty
• Ball must be replaced
14 Ball In or On Movable Obstruction
• Ball is lifted
• Advisable to first mark position of ball on ground underneath
• Obstruction is removed
• Ball is dropped one club-length from reference point
• Reference point is the point right under where the ball was at rest in or on the obstruction
• Same process for on the putting green but ball is placed at the point right under where ball was at rest in or on the obstruction
15 Talk through diagram
• Good example – ball is on towel
• Advisable to first mark position of ball on ground underneath
• Ball is lifted and the obstruction is removed
• Ball is dropped one club-length from reference point
• Reference point is the point right under where the ball was at rest in or on the obstruction
• Same process for on the putting green but ball is placed at the point right under where ball was at rest in or on the obstruction
16 Rule 16.3 – Embedded Ball
• Ball is only embedded when part of it is below the level of the ground
• Must be embedded in its own pitch-mark
• Diagram illustrates this
17 Relief procedure for Embedded Ball
• Reference point = spot right behind where ball is embedded
• Drop ball within one club-length
• Relief is permitted in the rough provided ball is embedded (can limit it to just fairway by Local Rule)
18 Diagram illustrates how to take relief
• Reference point = spot right behind where ball is embedded
• Drop ball within one club-length
• Relief now extends to the general area (previously only closely-mown areas)
19 Identifying Ball
• Often you find a ball but need to check if it is your ball
• Procedure required to do this
• May lift ball to identify it (including by rotating it)
• Must mark the ball first
• Cannot clean ball (but okay if necessary to see identifying marks)
• Replace ball on original spot
20 Unplayable Ball
Often we find our ball in an unplayable situation on the course. Relief is available but under penalty
• You are the only person who can declare the ball unplayable
• Does not apply if ball is in a penalty area
• Player has options to get out of the unplayable situation
Three Options for relief:
• Stroke and distance
• Back on the line relief
• Lateral relief
21 Diagram illustrates the options for relief:
• Stroke and distance – go back to where you last played from
• Back on the line relief – go back in a line keeping spot where ball lay in line with flagstick. Pick a reference point and drop the ball within a clublength of this point.
• Lateral relief – measure two club-lengths from the ball’s position and drop the ball within two club-lengths
22 When a player’s ball is in a bunker:
The player can take relief under any of the three options but
• If dropping back in line, ball must be dropped in bunker
• If lateral relief, ball must be dropped in bunker • BUT – as an extra relief option when ball is in bunker, can take the ball back on the line relief outside the bunker for a total penalty of TWO strokes
23 Diagram illustrating relief options when a player’s ball is in a bunker:
• The player can take relief under any of the thee options (1, 2 and 3)
• If dropping back in line, must be in bunker (2)
• If lateral relief, must be dropped in bunker (3)
• BUT – as an extra relief option when ball is in bunker, can take back on the line relief outside the bunker for a total penalty of TWO strokes (4)
24 Another area of the course – Teeing Area
25  Teeing Area
• One of the defined areas of the course
• The area the player must play from in starting the hole
• Rectangular area that is two club-lengths deep
• Front edge is defined by the line between the front points of two tee-markers
• Side edge is defined by the lines from the outside points of the tee-markers
26 Playing from Outside or From Wrong Teeing Area
• In match play, there is no penalty
• However, opponent may cancel stroke and request the player plays from inside, or from the correct teeing ground
• Must be done promptly and before either players another stroke
• Cancellation cannot be withdrawn once made
• If stroke cancelled, player must play another ball from the correct teeing area – still their turn to play
• If stroke not cancelled, the stroke counts and the ball is played as it lies
27 Playing from Outside or From Wrong Teeing Area
• In stroke play, the player incurs a two-stroke
penalty and must correct their mistake (play from correct place)
• Ball played outside or from wrong teeing area is not in play
• Strokes made prior to correcting the error – are not included in the player’s score
• Failure to correct the error results in disqualification
28 Next area of the course – Bunker
29 Bunker – before playing the ball:
• Before playing a ball, player can remove loose impediments – e.g. leaves, twigs, pine cones, bananas
• Can remove movable obstructions – e.g. rakes, score card
30 Bunker – Prohibited Actions:
• Must not touch sand with hand, club, rake or other object to test the condition of the sand
• Must not touch sand with a club immediately in front of or behind the ball
• Must not touch sand in making a practice stroke
• Must not touch sand in making the backswing for the stroke
31 Temporary Water in Bunker
• Common situation worth covering
• If player has interference from temporary water, may take either free relief or penalty relief
• Free relief playing from bunker – take relief under Rule 16.1b but the nearest point of complete relief must by in bunker
• If no such point, then can take maximum available relief (e.g. stance may still be in water but the ball is outside the water)
• Penalty relief playing from outside the bunker – back on the line relief
• Next diagram illustrates these relief options
• Must not touch sand with a club immediately in front of or behind the ball
• Must not touch sand in making a practice stroke
• Must not touch sand in making the backswing for the stroke
 32 Temporary Water in Bunker
• For free relief, must determine nearest point of complete relief in bunker and drop ball within relief area of this point
• For penalty relief, must pick a reference point outside the bunker, back on the line from the flagstick and drop the ball in the relief area for penalty of one stroke
 33 Next area of the course – Penalty Areas
• A penalty area can include examples from all of these pictures
• It’s a part of the course has been defined by the Committee as a penalty area
• It is not only water, but other examples may also include:
– Areas of desert
– Jungle
– Lava
 34 If you play the ball from a Penalty Area
• Can touch and move loose impediments
• Can ground club
• Basically, treated the same as playing a ball from the general area
 35 Relief for Ball in Penalty Area
• Only applies when ball is in penalty area
• Must be known or virtually certain that ball is in here
• Cannot assume that is what has happened to the ball – must be 95% certain it is not lost in long grass or trees outside the penalty area
 36 Relief from Penalty Areas – Options
• Play again – stroke and distance
• Drop behind the penalty area back on the line
• Drop within two club-lengths from where the ball last crossed the edge of the red penalty area
 37 Diagram showing Penalty Area Relief Options –
(When marked as yellow)
• Ball is played from 1 and crosses into water at X
• Player has option to go back to where he/she last played (stroke and distance – Rule 14.6) – point 1
• Back on a line relief – player must choose a reference point back on the line and drop the ball within a club-length of point 2
 38 Diagram showing Penalty Area Relief Options –
(When marked as red)
• Ball is played from 1 and crosses into water at X • Player has option to go back to where he/she last played (stroke and distance – Rule 14.6) – point 1
• Back on a line relief – player selects a reference point back on the line and drop the ball within a club-length of point 2
• Lateral relief – player must drop a ball within two club-lengths of point X – point 3
 39 Putting Green
• One of the five areas of the course
 40 Putting Green
• Ball can be marked, lifted and cleaned but must
be replaced on same spot
 41 Improvements Allowed on Putting Green
• Sand and loose soil can be removed from putting green (but not elsewhere on the course)
• Damage on the putting green can be repaired to restore the green to its original condition
• Can use hand or foot, normal ball-mark repair tool, tee, club or similar item to repair the green but not other things
• Must not delay play in repairing the damageDamage on the Putting Green
• Damage means any damage cause by a person or outside influence such as:
• Ball marks
• Spike marks made by shoes
• Scrapes and holes made by a player’s equipment or the flagstick
• Old hole plugs
• Turf plugs
• Seams of cut turf
• Indents from maintenance tools or vehicles
• Animal tracks or hooves
• Embedded objects such as stones, acorns or tees
 42 Not Damage on the Putting Green
Explain damaged does not include:
• Normal greenkeeping practises for maintenance – e.g. aeration holes, vertical cutting
• Irrigation or rain water
• Bare grass areas or uneven growth
• Diseased areas
• Artificial objects on the green
• Natural wear and tear of the hole
 43 Wrong green
• Relief must be taken when the ball lies on the green or it interferes with your swing or stance
• Reference point – nearest point of complete relief
• Drop within club-length of nearest point of complete relief
 44 Diagram showing relief from wrong green:
• Illustrates procedure for relief from wrong green
 45 Flagstick
• Rule 13.2 applies to a ball played from anywhere on the course, including the putting green
• Player can decide to leave flagstick in hole – if ball hits it, no penalty, play ball as it lies
• Can also take flagstick out of hole or have it attended
• Must decide before making stroke if flagstick is to be in, attended or removed
 46