These new golf rules will come into effect on the 1st January 2019.
Over the next few weeks I will highlight a few, incase you missed them when they were released earlier in the year:
1. Ball in Motion accidentally deflected
A ball in motion accidently hits you, your caddie or your equipment.
New Rule: There will be NO penalty (An example of this is hitting the ball in a bunker and the ball coming back and hitting either you or your bag)
In the past this has been deemed as a 2 shot penalty however the R and A have come to the conclusion that if it does happen it will more than likely be an accident and therefore a player will just have to accept the good or bad fortune they received.
2. Ball at rest accidentally moved.
Accidently moving your ball when looking for it
New Rule: There will be NO penalty
The reason behind this one is that the R and A belive that players should not be discouraged to look for the ball and that everyone should help them look. If it is accidentally moved then just replace it and play the next shot under no penalty.
3. Taking Relief
Dropping the ball in a defined relief area
New Rule: There is a much more relaxed dropping procedure as of 2019 – The only requirement is that a player holds the ball above the the ground or above any growing thing providing they do NOT touch it. It is the recommendations that the ball be dropped from at least 1 inch above the ground.
The reason is that more emphasis is placed on honesty and that players dont have to get a specific height they can drop it from as high or as low as they wish. With the current rule dropping at shoulder height caused the ball to bounce away from the marked area and thus results in Re-Drops. The Re-drop rule has 9 elements to it and therefore this new rule will ultimately speed up play.