IN 2019, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO
REMOVE LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS
IN A BUNKER WITHOUT
BY KELSEY SOLAN Rules of Golf Associate, Rules & Amateur Status
Changes You Need to Know
There are plenty of changes coming to the Rules for 2019.
But there are still many instances under the new Rules that
if you use the current Rules, you’ll be just fine.
• If you forget you can move loose impediments in a penalty area or bunker in 2019
and you leave them as they lay, there is
certainly no penalty to you.
• If you don’t remember that you can repair
spike marks on the green, your ball may just
have a bumpier ride to the hole.
However, there are some changes you need
to know about, because if you use the
procedure from the current Rules, you’ll get
a penalty under the Rules in 2019. Here are
a few changes that you must change the
procedure you currently use to avoid getting
any penalties next year.
Dropping and Relief Procedures
The current Rules of Golf require you to drop
from shoulder height. In 2019, you MUST drop
from knee height (no higher or no lower).
If you drop from shoulder height (and get
the ball in a right place), you would get one
penalty stroke for dropping in a wrong way. In
addition to dropping from knee height, relief
procedures in the new Rules require you to
drop within a relief area. The relief area will
vary depending upon the Rule, but the pro-
cedure requires that a ball must be dropped
in and come to rest in the relief area. Under
the Rules today, there are a series of re-drop
scenarios outlined in Rule 20-2c. In 2019, you
must only drop the ball in a right way in the
specified relief area and have it come to rest in
that relief area.
Time to Search for Lost Ball
In 2019, the time to search for your ball is
reduced from five minutes to three minutes.
Therefore, you will have to remember to only
search for three minutes. If you find your ball
after that three minutes has expired, you will
be penalized if you play that ball.
Red Penalty Area Opposite
Under the current Rules, you may take relief
from a lateral water hazard on the opposite
side of the hazard within two club-lengths
of where your ball last crossed the margin at
a point equidistant to the hole. This option
is not carried through in the Rules for red
penalty areas in 2019. Therefore, without a
Local Rule in place, you may not take relief
from a red penalty area by dropping in a relief
area on the opposite side of where the ball
last crossed the edge of the penalty area. If
you were to do so, you would be playing from
a wrong place and would get the general
Caddie Standing Behind
Line of Play
The Rules for 2019 provide that when you
begin taking a stance for the stroke and until
the stroke is made, your caddie must not
deliberately stand in a location on or close
to an extension of the line of play behind
the ball for any reason. Currently, a caddie is
prohibited from standing on such a line while
you make the stroke, but the Rule for 2019
adds the prohibition of your caddie standing
on that line prior to the stroke as you begin to
take your stance.
Replacing Ball on Putting Green
Under new Rule 13.1d, if your ball on the putting green has been lifted and replaced, and
is then moved by natural forces, the ball must
be replaced on its original spot. Alternatively,
today, a ball that has been moved by natural
forces must always be played from where it
comes to rest. For next year, a ball that has
been lifted and replaced on the putting green
owns that spot and must be replaced there if
moved, even if by natural forces.
With all the new changes for 2019, it is
important to know what’s to come so that
you can play your favorite game within the
new Rules. m