The R&A - Working for Golf

Committee Preparations for 2019 Rules of Golf

With Golf’s new Rules coming into effect on January 1, there are many changes that will have an impact on how Committee’s, Club Managers and Referees will have to prepare for and run competitions in 2019.

The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf and in particular the Committee Procedures section of that publication will be the main reference manual that will guide Committees in that role. 

The R&A has created a number of resources to help Committees get to grips with the key actions that they need to take to ensure a smooth transition into 2019.

Committee Checklist

The Committee Checklist document provides an overview of the main considerations that each Committee needs to consider before running competitions in 2019. This includes full details of each of the following:

Course Marking changes

  • From 2019, water hazards will be known as penalty areas with the default marking as red as the opposite margin option is no longer available under the Rule.The Committee should be considering whether any existing yellow water hazards should be marked as red penalty areas.The Committee will also be able mark other areas not containing water as penalty areas.

Entry Forms Changes (Terms of the Competition)

  • Generally, compiling an entry form will not change and will involve establishing eligibility criteria, entry requirements and dates, format, how ties will be decided, etc.But it is worth noting that what were known as “conditions of competition” before will now be “terms of the competition”, but anything that carries a penalty will be a Local Rule.

Local Rules Changes

  • It will be necessary to ensure that the wording of any Local Rules is consistent with the wording provided in the Section 8 of the Committee Procedures.See the ‘Local Rules Creator’ section below.

Local Rules Creator 

Given the extent of the changes to Rule numbers, terminology and wording, it will be important for each Committee to update their Local Rules to ensure that the wording is consistent with the Model Local Rules provided in the Committee Procedures. In addition, Committees will need to remove any Local Rules that are either no longer applicable or necessary and to consider if any additional Local Rules are required.

The Local Rules Creator  has therefore been designed to help you, the Committees with this process.

Simply select the Local Rules that you want to apply from the list and edit as required for your needs.  When assessing the Local Rules required, you should review the purpose of each Local Rule to ensure it is appropriate for the circumstances.  The purpose of each Model Local Rule is detailed in Section 8 of the Committee Procedures.

Another useful feature is the ability to select suggested shorter forms of Local Rules which can help when trying to fit Local Rules onto the likes of a scorecard.

Education for Golfers and Committees

The Resource Centre within the Committee Toolkit, includes a range of resources to help Committees educate players and Committees learn the new Rules before they come into effect on 1 January 2019. These include a summary of the main changes, video clips showing the key changes, advice on changes to course marking, or ready to go Rules presentations to be delivered to members.  Additional resources will be added as and when they are finalised.