A Fundamental Revision to the Rules of Golf for 2019
Introduction to Rules Modernisation
The R&A and the USGA have announced a major set of proposed changes to the Rules of Golf. These changes result from our Rules Modernisation initiative that began five years ago in an effort to bring the Rules up to date to fit the needs of the game today globally.
The background to the initiative and the major proposals are provided on this website, along with extensive resource materials. There is also the opportunity for you to tell us what you think of these proposals by providing your feedback via an on-line survey.
Introducing the Proposed Changes to the Rules of Golf
The videos below highlight some of the proposed changes to the Rules of Golf for 2019. If you are running a test event using the proposed Rules, there is also a “Test Rules Explanatory Video” that we recommend you ask your players to watch in advance of participating in a test event.
Rules Modernisation: The Background
This section provides background on how the Rules have been revised since the earliest codes and why now is the time to pursue a major revision to the Rules. There is an outline of the overall goals and objectives of the proposals and an explanation of the anticipated process and schedule leading to the implementation of the new Rules.
The Major Proposed Changes for 2019
We have looked at the Rules in their entirety, not just the larger issues or particular topics, but the pages below focus on the major proposed changes for 2019. Videos and infographics are used to explain these.
Further information on the full set of changes and additional resources are available in the Resource Library.
When Things Happen to Your Ball in Play:
• Ball at Rest Accidentally Moves
• Replacing a Moved or Lifted Ball
• Ball in Motion Accidentally Deflected
• Dropping a Ball in a Defined Relief Area
• Lost Ball
• Embedded Ball
• Ball to Use in Taking Relief
Special Rules for Specific Areas of the Course:
• Putting Green
• Penalty Areas (currently Water Hazards)
Equipment You are Allowed to Use:
• Damaged Clubs
• Damaged Ball
• Distance-Measuring Devices
How You Prepare for and Make a Stroke:
• Expanded restriction on caddie help with alignment
Promoting Faster Pace of Play:
• Encouraging you to play promptly
• Playing out of turn in stroke play ("ready golf")
• New alternative form of stroke play
Insisting on High Standards of Conduct and Trusting Player Integrity:
• Playing in the spirit of the game
• Code of player conduct
• Elimination of need to announce intent to lift ball
• Reasonable judgement standard
All the relevant documentation in relation to the proposed Rule changes for 2019 is available to download below.