Is there a “most important” Rule in the 2019 Rules of Golf?

Depends, of course. But Rule 14 (last year’s Rule 20) is pretty important. Every time you touch your ball in play, Rule 14 is somehow involved.

The Rule covers when and how the player may mark the spot of a ball at rest and lift and clean the ball and how to put a ball back into play so that the ball is played from the right place. A mistake in using these procedures may be corrected without penalty before the ball is played, but the player gets a penalty if he or she plays the ball from the wrong place.

The Rule has seven parts, they are:

  1. 14.1 Marking, Lifting and Cleaning Ball
  2. 14.2 Replacing Ball on Spot
  3. 14.3 Dropping Ball in Relief Area
  4. 14.4 When Player’s Ball is Back in Play after Original Ball Was Out of Play
  5. 14.5 Correcting Mistake Made in Substituting, Replacing, Dropping or Placing Ball
  6. 14.6 Making Next Stroke from Where Previous Stroke Made
  7. 14.7 Playing from Wrong Place

If you play competitive golf at any level, time spent looking at Rule 14 will be to your benefit.