Whether you’re talking about Justin Thomas whining about the Rules, people siding with Adam Schenk or Haotong Li, or Rickie Fowler’s ridiculous “drop,” those offering “hot takes” and commentary on the Rules of Golf are often uninformed. Read our general guide to refuting this line of commentary.
A player sees a pine cone fall on his ball at rest in a bunker, pushing it slightly downwards into the sand. 9.6 tells us if we have KVC (known or virtually certain) the ball must be replaced. 9.6 Ball Lifted or Moved by Outside Influence If it is known or virtually...
In 2018, players looking to take relief for an unplayable ball in a bunker under Rule 28 had only two options: Drop and play a ball in the bunker itself, either on a line back from the hole or within two club lengths, or Taking stroke-and-distance relief, and...read more
30 Days of 2019 Rules Changes: Day 26 – Touching or Moving Loose Impediments or Ground in a Penalty Area
The rule(s) concerning Water Hazards and Lateral Water Hazards have often been charged with being too complicated. A strict prohibition on certain actions has never been really practical, so a series of exceptions had to be made. You can find these in Rule 13-4, Rule...read more
The putting green used to be a pretty special place. And, while it still is in 2019, some of the old Rules and restrictions no longer apply. In 2018, the Line of Play (or "Line of Putt") on the putting green was fairly well protected, too. The line could be touched...read more
What are the odds that the golf ball manufacturers were in on this? 🙂 In my experience as a referee, many players are inclined to give up before my stopwatch hits five minutes, the 2018 limit. 2019 Rule: Under Rule 18.2, the time for a ball search (before the ball...read more
Under the 2018 Rules, players are only allowed to substitute a ball when taking relief under a few specific Rules. Substitution is allowed when taking penalty relief, such as when a ball is lost in a water hazard, unplayable, or lost or OB. Substitution is not allowed...read more
Historically, a player may change a damaged ball if it was "out of shape." The USGA and R&A say there is no longer a good reason to allow substitution for a ball in play in that condition because: The construction and composition of modern golf balls has made it...read more
When a ball moves anywhere on the course (prior to 2019, or without the Local Rule under 18-2, both of which account for accidental movement on the putting green), the Rules of Golf have historically cared about what caused it to move. Was it the ball settling down in...read more
Hey, my ball moved! I don't know how or from whence it moved. What do I do now? Well, we know that 1) you must make your best estimate for its original location and then 2) get it back there. In the past sometimes we dropped it and sometimes we placed it . . . the...read more
In 2018 and earlier years, Rule 16-1c allowed players only the ability to repair old hole plugs and ball marks, but forbid the repair of other damage including spike marks, hoof prints from deer, and other imperfections. In 2019, these rules have been relaxed. In...read more
In 2018, Rule 25 allows relief for a ball embedded in its own pitch mark when the ball is embedded in grass cut to fairway height or lower through the green. However a Committee may adopt a Local Rule that extends this relief to a ball embedded anywhere outside a...read more
Before 2017, when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance under a Rule, sometimes a player might end up playing from a wrong place based on a wrong estimate or measurement. Even if only by a small amount, players may incur a penalty. In 2017,...read more
30 Days of 2019 Rules Changes: Day 16 – Procedure for Dropping a Ball in Playing it From a Relief Area
In my opinion, this is one of the best Rules changes made for 2019, and it will eliminate a lot of confusion over how and where to drop and, more importantly, when a re-drop is required, and when placing becomes mandatory. In 2018 and before, a player when taking...read more