As of today, January 1, 2019, the new Golf Rules come into force. Deep changes are proposed, but without altering the essential principles of golf, with the essential objective that everything is easier to understand and apply to all golfers.
The essential objectives of these New Golf Rules affect all golfers, in such a way that they are easier to understand and apply not only for professionals and elite amateurs, but also for beginners, low handicap players and club players or those who do it for fun, at all levels of play and around the world. Based on this, the Rules are intended to use concepts, procedures and results that are simpler and fairer; to treat similar situations in the same way; avoid unnecessary concepts and exceptions that may create confusion for the player.
Below, we detail some of the changes, since there can always be small changes at the last minute, which refer to the situations most commonly posed by golfers:
1. Dropping from the height of the knee.
2. Measure the dropping area with the longest stick in your bag (except with the putter).
3. Dropping in the relief area and play from the relief area.
4. When dropping is in the previous line, you cannot play the ball closer to the hole than the reference point you have chosen.
5. Search time - 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes).
6. If you accidentally move your ball when you are searching, replace without penalty.
7. There is no penalty for a double hit: it only counts as one hit.
8. There is no penalty if your ball accidentally hits you or your team after a hit.
9. There is no penalty if your ball hits the flagpole when you have chosen to leave it in the hole.
10. Nail marks and other damage caused by shoes on the green can be repaired.
11. The ball accidentally moved on the green, there is no penalty and it is replaced.
12. The ball marked, lifted and replaced on the green is moved by the wind in another position: the ball is replaced at the original point of relief.
13. The penalty areas are replaced with water elements, and you can move the obstacles, the penalty systems and practice punches in the penalty areas without penalty, just like you can in the fairway or rough.
14. You can not take relief in a penalty area, unless you are 95% sure that your ball is in the penalty area.
15. In bunkers you can move loose impediments.
16. In bunkers you can not touch the sand with your stick in the directly opposite area or just behind your ball, during your backswing (stick) or when you practice swing.
17. Relief is allowed without penalty if your ball is embedded in the fairway or rough ("embedded" means that part of your ball is below ground level).
18. Ball not playable in bunker: 2 penalty strokes.
19. You can not have a caddy or a partner behind you once you begin to adopt your position.
20. Rhythm of the game: it is recommended not to take more than 40 seconds to make a hit (and generally should play faster than that) and is recommended "Ready to play" in Stroke Play.
These are just some of the proposed changes, in which a report will be published in accordance with the Strategic Training Plan for the Rules Committee of the RFEG.