The rules of golf will be changing as of 1st January 2019, please make sure you are aware of the new rules. The most important changes are displayed in the clubhouse, new players edition rule books are available in either the Pro Shop or clubhouse.
20 most important rules changes to the Rules of Golf 2019
1. 3 minute search time, no longer 5 minutes
2. No penalty for accidentally moving ball while searching. Ball must be replaced.
3. Embedded (plugged) ball rule in effect everywhere in general area, including rough, at all times.
4. A club length is defined as the player’s longest club except for their putter.
5. Drop ball from knee height.
6. Ball on wrong green, player is not allowed to take stance on a green to make a stroke.
7. Accidental hitting equipment is not a penalty, unless player is purposely trying to use as a backstop.
8. Double hits are no longer a penalty i.e. counted as 1 stroke not 2
9. In a bunker, you can smooth marks if not on the line. Also - able to lean on club in sand.
10. Can remove loose impediments anywhere, including a hazard/penalty areas. Ball cannot move or 1 stroke if it does.
11. Unplayable lie in a bunker, 4 options
a. 2 club lengths from the unplayable lie (remaining in bunker) - 1 penalty stroke.
b. 1 club length along the line of flight (remaining in bunker) - 1 penalty stroke.
c. Stroke and distance within 1 club length of original spot (remaining in bunker) – 1 penalty stroke
d. Drop behind outside of bunker along the line of flight - 2 penalty strokes.
12. Water hazards are now called penalty areas, and will be predominantly red. Players will no longer be able to drop on the far side of the red hazard (penalty area) i.e. 10th hole. The golf course can now mark any areas as penalty, with or without water.
13. Touching ground in a penalty area is allowed.
14. If ball moves on the green through act of nature (wind, slope, etc), player must replace on the original spot.
15. Accidental touching of ball on green is not a penalty, player must replace on original spot.
16. Repairing damage on a green can be performed at anytime (spike marks, pitch marks, old hole plugs) and anywhere. Natural imperfections are a part of the game so no smoothing entire line.
17. No positioning of a club to help line up a shot - Rule number 10
18. No help from a caddie to help line up a shot - Rule number 10
19. Hitting the flag in the hole is allowed even on putting green – Rule number 11
20. Ball wedged on flag stick, ball is considered holed if partly below the lip.