As most golfers are aware, the USGA has implemented sweeping rules changes for 2019. Overall, the changes are designed to make the game more enjoyable and easier to understand. Some of the changes include allowing repair of spike marks on greens, leaving the flagstick in when holing a putt, changing what were previously known as “hazards” to be called “penalty areas” and reducing the amount of time allowed in searching for a lost ball.
The USGA also allows golf courses to employ a “local rule” alternative to the stroke and distance penalty for lost balls or balls out of bounds, which allows players to drop in the fairway of the hole being played and taking a 2-stroke penalty. The BMC Golf Committee has approved this local rule for use during general play, and committees of specific events have the power to suspend the local rule during certain competitions. While those of us who have spent our golfing lifetimes using the old rules will need to change our thought patterns to make use of the new rules, it shouldn’t take long to make the adjustments and hopefully we will all find that our golfing experience has been enhanced by these updates.
For more information or to see all the new rules changes, please visit the PGA’s website.
See you on the tee!
PGA Head Professional