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So, 1st January 2019 has arrived and you may have forgotten that the new rules of golf take effect from today. As a reminder here are 8 of the most significant changes:

  • 3 minutes to search for your ball;
  • no penalty for grounding your club in a hazard, removing lose impediments, or testing the ground;
  • dropping the ball from knee height;
  • no penalty for accidentally moving your ball whilst searching for it, simply replace the ball in it’s original position;
  • no penalty for double hitting your ball in a stroke;
  • no penalty for accidentally moving your ball on the green, replace it in it’s original spot;
  • putting is permitted with the flagstick in the hole;
  • free relief for an embedded all except in penalty areas or a bunker, unless there is a local rule.

The R&A hoped that these rules would help to simplify a technically difficult game and, by doing so, they will perhaps achieve their most important ambition to speed up golf, and encourage more people to try out or participate in such a wonderful game!