Rules of Golf 2019
20 most Important rules changes
1. 3 min search time, no longer 5 mins.
2. No penalty for accidentally moving ball while searching. Ball must be replaced.
3. Embedded 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.
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, 1 penalty stroke.
b. 1 club length along the line of flight remaining in bunker, 1 penalty stroke.
c. Stroke and distance w/in 1 club length of original spot.
d. Drop behind bunker along the line of flight outside the bunker, 2 penalty strokes.
12. Water hazards are now called penalty areas, red and yellow. 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 thru 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 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 10
18. No help from a caddie to help line up a shot. Rule 10
19. Hitting the flag in the hole is allowed. Rule 11
20. Ball wedged on flag stick, ball is considered holed if partly below the lip.