The new golf rules will come into effect on the 1st January 2019.
Over the next few weeks I will highlight a few of them incase you missed them when they were released earlier in the year:
Removal of special restrictions on moving loose impediments
New Rule: There will be NO penalty for touching or moving a loose impediment in a bunker.
The reason is that the whole point of a bunker is the challenge of playing a good enough shot out of the sand as you would anywhere else. Players should not have the added challenge of having to hit the ball with a stone or branches around the ball. Therefore, as many golfers find getting out of a bunker hard enough, the R and A decided there was no negative effect of changing this rule.
9. Distance Measuring Devices
New Rule: You may use a DMD whenever and wherever except where there are local rules to prevent it.
This is a fairly new rules due to the popularity of DMDs since the rules were introduced. Most golfers use them and therefore there should be rules to accommodate them. There has been a shift and now having a DMD is the norm and not the minority.
10. Making a Stroke
Extended restrictions in caddie help with alignment
New Rule: Your caddy is no longer allowed to stand behind you and line you up, in order to get you aiming correctly, from the moment you start your stance until the end of your stroke.
The reason is that this game is an individual sport and having someone line you up exactly increases their involvement in the game. Therefore, the R and A have said that this takes away some of the skill and judgement of the players, to avoid this caddies will have to take a back seat.