Rule of the Week #1 – Ball at rest moves

Hi All

Everybody by now should know that there have been over 30 rule changes that went into effect January 1 of this year.  I will be sending you one or 2  new rules weekly so as not to overwhelm you………she said optimistically!! Greta Kohlhagen, our new web Master, has replaced the old with the updated USGA Rule book as well as providing a document that highlights the 2019 Rules of Golf Changes. You can find these 2 items, in addition to other helpful rules information, on our GWGA website under the “Rules” tab. I’m currently working on updating the video’s, bag tag and the leagues hole-by-hole rules and helpful hints. I will let you know when these are completed.

The new rules are more forgiving, will help in the pace of play and are to your advantage. I would suggest beginning the process by reading the definitions on page 135 in the USGA Rule book. The 2 biggest changes to the new terms are “Through the green” is now “General area” and the red and yellow “hazards” are now “Penalty areas”. Your next piece of homework would be to read the “Highlights” document.

So, the first rule addresses a ball that is at rest that accidentally moves. If  you accidentally move your ball during the search for it or you  accidentally move your ball or ball-marker on the green,  you are no longer penalized.  Just replace (place) the ball where you think it was before it was moved. Another new rule is that you will be treated as the cause of your ball moving ONLY if it is known or virtually certain (meaning at least 95%) to be the case. The old rule stated that more than likely you were the cause and you would get a one-stroke penalty.

As always, please don’t hesitate to ask me any question. We are in this together!!!!!

Sue Spatcher

Rules Chair

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