The most important changes to the rules of golf for 2019

From the 1st January 2019, new rules apply that affect amateurs and professionals on the course. The purpose of the modernization of the rules is so they’re easier to understand and the game more entertaining. From the Roda Golf & Beach Resort blog, we wanted to make a list that summarizes the most important changes which should be considered from now on when you start your golf game on any of the courses in the Región de Murcia.

The pace of play on the course

  • We promote the practice of Ready Golf. It’s a methodology that helps improve the pace of play. Basically it is about the player who is ready to play his ball can go straight away instead of adhering to the principle that the one furthest from the hole plays first. Ready Golf should always be practiced in a responsible and safe manner, trying not to disturb the pace of play of the other players.
  • The searching time for a lost ball is reduced from 5 to 3 minutes.

Reduction of penalties

  • Water obstacles are now considered penalty areas. Also with the new rules it is permitted to place the club on the ground and execute practice shots without being penalized.
  • From now on it is allowed to putt and hole a ball with the flag set without penalty. In the event that the ball is stuck between the high and the hole, it will be considered a holed ball.
  • In bunkers and penalty areas, loose impediments can be removed. Some restrictions are maintained such as not placing the club right next to the ball.
  • The additional option of relief for a ball impossible to play in a bunker is also added, allowing it to be played outside of it with a penalty of two strokes.
  • Penalties for moving ball are eliminated or reduced. In this way, the ball moved accidentally or during the searching process will not entail any penalty.
  • Relief is allowed without penalty if the ball is embedded in fairway and rough.
  • If the ball hits the golfer or a player of his team, there is no penalty.
  • There is also no penalty for a double unintentional shots.
  • The dropping procedure is modified: drop from the height of your knee instead of from the shoulder.
  • To measure a drop you must use the longest club in the bag, except the putter.
  • A marked ball, raised and replaced on the green that is moved by the wind, can be replaced without penalty.
  • Likewise the ball accidentally moved on the green is replaced without penalty.
  • All damage to the green, such as those produced by the studs, can be repaired.

All these changes are the result of the process of modernization of the regulations that began in 2012. The purpose with which it started was double: 

*Make all rules easier to apply for all golfers.

*To make the game more attractive and accessible for beginners.

If you have any questions about the regulations you can contact our staff or the professional of our Golf Academy in Murcia.