Rule 1 has always established the basis by which the game of golf is played.
Broken down into four parts (1-1 General, 1-2 Exerting Influence on Movement of Ball or Altering Physical Conditions,
1-3 Agreement to Waive Rules, 1-4 Points Not Covered by Rules), two of the most important parts served as bookends:
The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.
1-4. Points Not Covered by Rules
If any point in dispute is not covered by the Rules, the decision should be made in accordance with equity.
Fortunately, those principles remain in the Rules, along with a new section in 1.2 that codifies a Committee’s right to enact a Code of Conduct and penalize players for breaching it:
1.2a says that:
Penalties other than disqualification may be imposed for player misconduct only if those penalties are adopted as part of a Code of Conduct under Rule 1.2b.
Rule 1.2b is fairly plain:
The Committee may set its own standards of player conduct in a Code of Conduct adopted as a Local Rule.
- The Code may include penalties for breach of its standards, such as a one-stroke penalty or the general penalty.
- The Committee may also disqualify a player for serious misconduct in failing to meet the Code’s standards.
This is relatively straightforward, and as noted on Day 6 (or see below), this allows Committees to codify that a player who curses loudly, for example, may be subject to penalty.
Though Rule 1-2 may not come into play too often for adult competitions, I can see its use being key to conducting junior and high school/collegiate competitions in 2019 and beyond.