It’s time to familiarize yourself with the New Rules of Golf. USGA and The R&A have simplified the rules to speed up the game. One rule that they forgot to include is at the start of every round, players should agree to play ready golf. If you reach your ball anywhere off the green and you are ready to take your shot, just take it, as long as others are out of the way.
This is an abbreviated version of the 15 rule changes. Why not print them out and keep them in your bag in the event of any disputes. [The official rules are about 20 pages long but this summary will cover 95% of your concerns.]
Note: Points #5, #6 and #8 have been expanded for clarification.
1/ To speed up play, you have the option to leave the flagstick in the hole.
2/ Fix any imperfection or loose impediment on the green (including spike marks).
3/ Accidental movement of the ball is no longer a penalty. Just put it back.
4/ Bunker: You can remove loose impediments but if you move the ball it’s 1 stroke penalty.
5/ Imbedded Ball in a Bunker: You can move the ball back and drop it in the bunker for a 1 stroke penalty or out of the trap on a line to the green for a 2 stroke penalty.
6/ Yellow Penalty Area (stream or canyon): drop ball back on a line to the green from the point of entry (1 stroke). Red Penalty Area (woods and water): If the ball is lost, estimate the point where the ball was lost, return to the fairway an equal distance to the hole and drop within 2 club lengths of the edge of the fairway as far back as you want to go. (2 stroke penalty). Ideally you want to have hit a provisional ball whenever you think your ball could be lost in a Red Stacked Penalty Area (Your provisional ball, if needed, is lying 3 off the tee.)
7/ Search a maximum of 3 minutes for a ball. If ball is stepped on or picked up, just replace it.
8/ Out of Bounds or Lost Ball: Stroke and distance penalty or 2 stroke penalty at any point no closer to the hole from the point of loss to 2 club lengths inside the edge of the fairway.
9/ Putting a ball back in play: Use your longest club (excludes putter) & drop from knee height.
10/ Using a scope to measure distance is allowed.
11/ A bent or broken club CAN be used but it CAN’T BE REPLACED.
12/ You are allowed to replace a cut or broken ball if it is damaged during play.
13/ You can replace your ball with a new ball at the start of every hole.
14/ During a continuous swing you are allowed to hit the ball twice and count only 1 stroke.
15/ You can accidentally hit yourself or others with a ball. No penalty. [But you can’t intentionally ricochet a ball off an object and then hit yourself (1 stroke penalty).]
A Golf Training Aids like GOLFSTR+ gives you an unfair advantage when playing a round of golf. Don’t use it for any round used to enter your handicap. It’s a wonderful product to use for practice rounds or in the practice area for 6 swing fixes. Wishing you All the Best in Life and Golf. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com