In our 30 Days of 2019 Rules Changes series, we highlighted 30 major rules changes. There are, of course, several other smaller rules changes that didn’t quite make the cut. Below, I’ll discuss a chunk of those, and in parentheses, cite the applicable Rule(s). Some of these will be duplicates, which will serve as a reminder, and others will be new as they weren’t included in our 30 Days project.

– From knee height. (14.3b)
– Must land in and stay in the drop area/relief area. (14.3c)
– Can hit you or your equipment if it hits the ground first. (14.3c)

The Lip, Wall, and Face of the bunker is considered outside of the bunker now. (Definitions)

Repairing the Putting Green
Players can repair almost any damage to the putting green now. (13.1c(2))

Ball Moves on Putting Green
If the ball moves after being marked, you replace it. (13.1d(2))

3:00 to search. (18.2a)
– No penalty for accidentally moving your ball while searching. (7.4)

Teeing Area
The teeing area rules (such as teeing your ball, improving certain conditions, etc.) remain even if you’ve already played a stroke from the teeing area. For example, if you take a swing, your ball is knocked barely off your tee, and your ball remains in the teeing area… you can re-tee for your second shot without penalty. (6.2a and 6.2b)

Areas of the Course
– There are five areas of the course now: the teeing area, the putting green, penalty areas, bunkers, and the general area. (Definitions, 2.2a, 2.2b)
– A ball only ever lies in one area of the course. If part of the ball is in both a specific area and the general area, it is deemed to lie in the specific area. If it is in two specific areas, it’s deemed to be in the first thing in this list: penalty area, bunker, putting green. (2.2c)

Damaged Clubs
– You can’t replace clubs that you damage during the course of play, but you can continue to play with them. (4.1a(2))

Practice Swings
– No from bunkers. (12.2b)
– Yes from penalty areas. (17)

OB Stakes
If you move or remove an OB stake, you can correct this mistake before your stroke without penalty. (8.1a, 8.1c)

Lining Up
– Caddies can no longer help a player line up their shot. (10.2b(4))
– Standing behind the player can’t be undone anywhere except on the putting green, and only then when the player starts over. (10.2b(4))

Substituting a Ball
Almost any time you have the ball in your hand to take free or penalty relief, when replacing on a marked or estimated spot, you can substitute a different ball. (14)

Loose Impediments
You can move them in bunkers and penalty areas. Just don’t let your ball move when doing so – that’s still a penalty. (15.1a, 15.1b)

Putting with the Flagstick In
No penalty, and an advantage over putting with the flagstick out. (13.2a)

Ball Holed
The ball is now deemed to be holed if any part of the ball is below the flagstick when it is resting against the flagstick. (13.2c)

Failure to Include an Unknown Penalty
No further penalty, unfortunately. (3.3b(3))

OB/Lost Ball
A Local Rule can provide relief off the tee at a cost of two strokes (E-5 in Committee Procedures, Section 3. Local Rules for General Play)