The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2017
86 THE CUT 86RULES AMENDMENTS AFTER YEARS OF BACK-ROOM DISCUSSIONS, THE R&A AND USGA HAVE PROPOSED SWEEPING CHANGES TO THE RULES OF GOLF. DES FRITH EXAMINES SOME OF THE AMENDMENTS DESIGNED TO MAKE THE RULES MORE INTUITIVE AND TO SPEED UP PLAY. MODERNISING OUR GAME A comprehensive review process began in 2012 with a working group of key R&A and USGA rules administrators, professional tour officials and other experts. While the Rules of Golf are revised every four years, this is the first fundamental review since 1984. The idea was to ensure the Rules fitted the needs of today’s game and the way it is played around the world. “Our aim is to make the Rules easier to understand and to apply for all golfers,” said David Rickman, executive director, governance at the R&A. “We have looked at every rule to try to find ways to make them more intuitive and straightforward and we believe we have identified many significant improvements. “It is important that the Rules continue to evolve and remain in tune with the way the modern game is played, but we have been careful not to change the game’s longstanding principles and character.” PROPOSED RULE CHANGES The proposed changes reduce the number of rules from the current 34 to 24. Here are some of the highlights: REDUCTION OR ELIMINATION OF ‘BALL MOVED’ PENALTIES Previously, if you accidentally knocked your ball or ball maker, you were slapped with a one-shot penalty. Now, if you accidentally move your ball on the green you will no longer be penalised. Instead, simply put it back to its original spot and resume play. This also applies to accidentally moving a ball while searching for it. RELAXED PUTTING GREEN RULES There will be no penalty if a ball played from the green accidentally hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; you can play while having the stick attended or removed. You may also repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes or animals on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt. RELAXED RULES FOR ‘PENALTY AREAS’ (currently called ‘water hazards’) The term ‘water hazards’ is being changed to ‘penalty areas’ Height is no longer a requirement when taking a drop, which should make it less of a lotter y.
The Cut - Summer 2017
The Cut - Winter 2017