Sept. 13, 2018
Golf’s Modernized Rules and New Player’s Edition Published
Publications Feature Most Significant Changes to Rules of Golf in More Than 60 Years
Golf’s new Rules have been published by the USGA and The R&A ahead of their effective date on Jan. 1, 2019.
For the first time, a new Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf is being introduced to provide a shorter, more user-friendly version of the Rules for golfers at all levels of the game. This version, which will serve as the primary publication for all golfers, features:
- A more intuitive organization with 10 simplified topical groupings
- A “Purpose of the Rule” description at the top of each Rule, to better define why the Rule exists
- Easy-to-follow, full-color diagrams and charts to aid in understanding
- A simpler, more direct writing style
Two million copies of the Player’s Edition will be distributed in the United States and its territories and Mexico by the USGA and a similar number by The R&A in its respective governance jurisdiction, all with the support of Rolex. The new book will be translated into more than 30 languages.
The Player’s Edition is being launched alongside the modernized full Rules of Golf book, which includes some of the most significant changes made to the Rules in more than 60 years.
Thomas Pagel, senior managing director, Governance for the USGA, said, “From the project’s inception, our one goal was to make the Rules easier to understand and apply for all golfers. It sets a new standard in the way we write and interpret the Rules and is central to our efforts to ensure a healthy future for golf. We look forward to continuing that process in the years to come.”
David Rickman, executive director – Governance at The R&A, said, “We are delighted to be rolling out the modernized Rules of Golf today. This is the biggest set of changes to the Rules in a generation and a major step forward in our efforts to make the Rules, and the sport itself, more accessible and more in tune with the way the modern sport is played.”
Another key feature is the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. This document is released alongside the Rules of Golf and enables players with disabilities to play fairly with other players with the same or different types of disability and, importantly, with those without disabilities. The Modified Rules were developed in close consultation with the community of players with disabilities and disability organizations.
Players can receive a free copy of the new Rules book by visiting .usgapublications.com All of the new books are available in digital formats online at usga.org/rules and the official USGA Rules of Golf app, and through The R&A outside of the United States, Mexico and its territories. A range of explanatory videos and resources is available on both websites to enable all golfers to learn about the 2019 Rules.
The process to modernize the Rules began in 2012 with the aim of making the Rules easier to understand and apply for all golfers and to help make golf more appealing and accessible for newcomers.
Some of the key changes in the new Rules include new procedures for dropping the ball when taking relief, the elimination or reduction of several penalties, relaxed putting green and bunker rules, and rules that encourage improved pace of play.
Golfers are reminded that the current Rules of Golf remain in effect for the remainder of 2018. The Rules of Amateur Status and the Rules of Equipment Standards were not part of the review process.