The R&A - Working for Golf

Rules of Golf – Effective 2019

2019 Rules of Golf

Golf’s new Rules have been published by The R&A and the USGA ahead of coming into effect on 1 January 2019.

 

For the first time, a new Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf is being introduced to provide a shorter, more user-friendly version of the Rules for golfers at all levels of the sport.  Printed copies of The Player’s Edition should be available from your local golf club and the Player’s Edition , the Rules of Golf and Official Guide are all available now on The R&A’s website and on The R&A’s new 2019 Rules of Golf App (iOS and Android). Print versions of the Official Guide will be available from November.

 

Various other resources, including a Visual Search and an updated Rules quiz, are also available to help golfers, Committees and Referees to familiarise themselves with the new Rules of Golf, both on The R&A’s website and on the App. Additional resources, including an updated Rules Academy and a Committee Toolkit, will be added in the coming months.

For more information on the new Rules of Golf and the resources that are available, follow the link below.

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New Local Rule Introduced for 2018

The R&A and the USGA have approved the adoption of a Local Rule, available from 1 January 2018, to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the score card when the player was unaware of the penalty.

It will be adopted by The R&A and the USGA in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.

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New Local Rule Introduced for 2017

The R&A and USGA have announced the introduction of a new Local Rule to the Rules of Golf that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green.

The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a golf competition to use from 1 January 2017. It will be adopted by The R&A and the USGA in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.

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Significant Changes to the 2019 Rules of Golf

Golf’s new Rules have been published by The R&A and the USGA ahead of coming into effect on 1 January 2019.

Some of the key changes in the new Rules include:

  • New procedures for dropping the ball when taking relief,
  • The elimination or reduction of several penalties,
  • Relaxed putting green rules, including no penalty for striking an unattended flagstick when playing a ball on the putting green,
  • Relaxed bunker and penalty area rules, and
  • Rules that encourage improved pace of play.

A summary of all of the major changes is available here, while full details of these major changes along with the rationale for each change are detailed in Explanation for Each Major Change in the Rules of Golf for 2019.

Rule 14-1b – Anchoring the Club


From 1 January 2016 all golfers will be prohibited from anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. 

For guidance on this Rule and to read about the background to the adoption of this Rule follow the link to the right.

Rules of Amateur Status

The Rules of Amateur Status continue to evolve but remain committed to preserving the amateur Code. In the latest Code, the Rule relating to prize money has been revised to make it easier for amateur golfers to support worthwhile charitable causes and the recommended guidelines on periods awaiting reinstatement are amended. Full details of the Rules of Amateur Status and the related Decisions are available in the Rules Explorer.

For specific details of the 2016 changes click here.