Update to the Rules of Golf

Every once in a while (every four years to be exact) the R&A along with the USGA and Golf Canada, via the Joint Rules Committee, review and update the rules of golf. The review has been completed and the updates announced. The “new” rules will come into effect January 1st, 2016.

Golf Canada provides a good overview of the updates here.

I will leave it to you to follow the link, but in a nutshell the following rules have been updated

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment
  • Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke

It is interesting that two of the updates (Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card and Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment) are directly aimed at alleviating the punishment for breaking the rules, which should help players in those specific instances. Both are also rules that only impact those in competition and not the rare weekend warrior who actually plays by the rules.

I like the change to the ball moving at address rule. Why penalize a player if they didn’t do anything, right?

Overall the changes are pretty unexciting, especially given the fact we all knew the anchor ban was coming down the pipe, so that debate ran its course well before this announcement.

I am more interested in more discussion about moving away from the unified rules concept and setting up rules for pros, rules for competitors and rules for juniors. Other sports have it (little kids, college players and the NHL all play be a different set of rules), why not golf?

See you at the turn,

Brewcee

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Josh says:

    Aaron,

    I also like the rule change regarding the ball moving at address. It is pretty absurd for a player to get penalized for something beyond their control, when there was no intent to gain any sort of advantage.

    Cheers
    Josh

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