2018 PGA Annual Meeting
Proposed 2019 Rules Changes: Simplification of the Rules
- Player accidently moves his ball during search = No Penalty (Must replace ball)
- Player Accidently moves his ball on the putting green = No Penalty (Must replace ball)
- After ball on the putting green has been lifted and replaced, the ball moves for no clear reason (including wind or gravity), it must be replaced = No Penalty
- When ball that is lying off the putting green is moved, and the player does not know the exact spot where the ball originally lie, now estimate that spot and replace it.
- Ball is accidently deflected by anyone, including the player = No Penalty.
- Dropped ball must now come to rest in the same area of the course.
- Relief area in now within 20 inches (not one club-length) or 80 inches (not two club-lengths)
- Dropped ball is now from any height, but it must have air under it.
- Ball must now be found within 3 minutes, not 5 minutes.
- You may now substitute a ball any time you are taking relief.
- Embedded ball is now anywhere, except for sand, on the course “thought the green”.
- You can repair damage on the putting green, including spike marks or animal damage, but not natural imperfections.
- You can putt with the flagstick in the hole. If a ball strikes the flagstick, No Penalty.
- You can move loose impediments and touch the ground or sand with your hand or club when the ball lies in the bunker or water hazard (now a “penalty area”)
- You can take a unplayable ball out of a bunker = 2-Stroke Penalty.
- You can finish a round using a damaged club.
- You can only replace a damaged club when you are not responsible for the damage.
- Caddie can no longer stand behind a player prior to or while the player hits his shot.
- No longer have to announce that you are going to mark and lift your ball when identifying, checking if a ball is embedded or unfit to play.