The new Rules of Golf will kick in at 0000 hours 1st January 2019


The new Rules of Golf will kick in at 0000 hours 1st January 2019.

This is a product of the process that began in 2012 and announced in March 2018, in which Chairman of the IGU’s Technical, Rules and Amateur Status Committee, Ishwar Achanta was involved with, as a member of the R&A’s Rules of Golf Committee, representing the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, till December 2016.

The ethos of these changes is to modernise, simplify and speed up play.

Some of the major changes made are:

Time to search for a lost ball is down to 3 minutes from 5.
Loose impediments in a hazard can be moved as can a club be grounded.
No penalty for accidental movement of ball or marker on the green, just replace and play AND repair any damage, including spike marks on the green.
Drop a ball from knee height, no more shoulder height (penalty if you do!!)
Striking the ball more than once, accidently, is no more a penalty.
Put with the flagstick in, if you must, no penalty for ball striking it!
No penalty if you accidently move the ball while searching for it.
No penalty if your ball accidently hits you or your equipment after a stroke
You cannot have your partner or caddie standing (read line you up) once you take your stance.
If you cant play bunker shots, drop out by offering 2 penalty strokes.

There are also many local rules that have been authorised such as drop where you think you lost it ( a large swathe of area between where you lost it to the edge of the fairway, no nearer the hole) with a penalty of 2 strokes.

To know more about the Rules, please visit this link:

In addition, the R&A and USGA have released the attached chart, detailing Major Rules changes, which is a useful read.

Clubs would have received a couple of copies of the Rule books by now. If you haven’t, please get in touch with Tusshar Malhotra, General Manager - Golf Operations and he will reach them to you.

The IGU does understand that adapting to these changes will be difficult and time consuming. If you need the help of our experts, do write in and we will send a team, at a small fee ,to explain and demonstrate the Rules.

If you wish to seek a clarification over the phone, please call and we will be happy to clarify.

Until then, happy New Year and great golfing in 2019.

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