Putting greens are set to receive a makeover and players will see a range of new Rules effective from 1st January 2019 when it comes to getting the ball in the hole.
- Any damage on the green caused by a person or outside influence can now be repaired without penalty.
- There will no longer be any penalty for merely touching the line of play on the putting green.
- Players will no longer face a penalty if the ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
Reasons for change
Because putting greens are specially prepared for playing the ball along the ground, the Rules allow the player to do things on the green that are not allowed anywhere else.
The change that will allow a player to repair almost all damage on the putting green is a further reason why the prohibition on merely touching the line of putt is no longer needed.
Allowing a player to putt with the flagstick in the hole without fear of penalty should generally help speed up play.