Santa Barbara Chapter
Education

New Rules of Golf

20 Most Important Changes to Rules of Golf - Effective January 1, 2019

This is an expanded list of the 20 most important changes to the rules of golf that you need to know.  For more information about these rule changes, please go to www.usga.org.     

  1. Search time - reduced from 5 to 3 minutes
  2. Ball moving during search - replace (no penalty) 
  3. Embedded ball - free relief from anywhere
  4. Measuring a drop - use longest club (except a putter)
  5. Dropping - knee height rather than shoulder
  6. Taking stance on wrong green not permitted
  7. Ball hits player or equipment - no penalty
  8. Double hit - counts as one stroke
  9. Touching sand in bunker incidentally is permitted
  10. Loose impediments can be removed anywhere
  11. Drop a ball out of a bunker - 2 penalty strokes
  12. Water hazards now penalty areas
  13. Touching ground in water / penalty areas acceptable
  14. Ball moves on green after being marked - put back without penalty
  15. Ball accidentally moved on putting green - replace (no penalty)
  16. Can repair all damage on green
  17. Positioning a club for alignment not permitted
  18. Caddie assisting with alignment not permitted
  19. Ball hitting a flagstick on putting green allowed
  20. Ball wedged against side of hole and flagstick deemed as holed 
Click here to download an easy to read and nicely illustrated PDF.