R&A and USGA Rules Changes Summary in 2016
The R&A and USGA made the publication of the 2016 edition to the Rules of Golf. The new Rules book is the culmination of the normal four-year review cycle and is a collaborative work by The R&A and the USGA that applies worldwide to all golfers. Among the most significant of the changes in the 2016 edition of the Rules are the following:
- Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address - Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving after Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.
- Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card - A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
- Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment - The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.
- Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke - As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
About the Rules of Golf
Rules of Golf Explained
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The PRGA and its Rules Committee works together to teach others about the rules of golf, to make sure the rules are properly enforced in PRGA events, and to train people on how to become a Rules Official. The Rules Committee is a group of volunteers who dedicate time to preserving the game of golf the way it was meant to be played, and that the Rules are enforced. They give Rules Seminars, work as Rules Officials, meet to discuss and continue learning about the rules, and participate in Rules Seminars outside of Puerto Rico.
Leading the Rules Committee we have several individuals who have been certified by the United States Golf Association in the Rules of Golf. They have great experience in the field and are proud to share their knowledge with all of you. Please contact the PRGA office at 787.793.3444 if you are interested in learning more about the Rules of Golf.
More people are needed to participate as Rules Officials to help during the many events that Puerto Rico will be hosting in the next two years. We encourage all of you golf fans to move a step forward and learn about the Rules of Golf. You never know when a rule can help you on the course!
- Play the course as you find it and the ball as it lies.
- Gimmies and Mulligans are NOT words in the Rules of Golf. Play by the Rules and DO NOT give yourself gimmies or mulligans.
- Help preserve the value of the game.
Each year, the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland receive thousands of phone calls and letters regarding clarification of the Rules of Golf.
In order to help millions of golfers around the world better understand how these detailed Rules are applied and interpreted, follow the links below to visit USGA's web site Rules Section.
- USGA Rules & Decision of Golf
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Proposed Rule Change by USGA & R&ASt Andrews, Scotland and Far Hills, N.J., USA (November 28, 2012) – The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA), golf’s governing bodies, today announced proposed changes to the Rules of Golf that would prohibit anchoring the club in making a stroke.
The proposed Rule 14-1b, which follows an extensive review by The R&A and the USGA, would prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player’s body, or with a forearm held against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly anchors the club.
The proposed new Rule would not alter current equipment rules and would allow the continued use of all conforming golf clubs, including belly-length and long putters, provided such clubs are not anchored during a stroke. The proposed Rule narrowly targets only a few types of strokes, while preserving a golfer’s ability to play a wide variety of strokes in his or her individual style.
Prior to taking a final decision on the proposed Rule, The R&A and the USGA will consider any further comments and suggestions from throughout the golf community.
“We believe we have considered this issue from every angle but given the wide ranging interest in this subject we would like to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to put forward any new matters for consideration,” said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A.
The proposed Rule change would take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf. This timetable would also provide an extended period in which golfers may, if necessary, adapt their method of stroke to the requirements of the Rule.
Puertorican Rules Official at The Open
When the Open Championship, the oldest and most important golf tournament in the world, kicks off this week, there will be a strong Puerto Rican presence on the course, even if it's not among the players. PRGA Board Director Christine Beauchamp will be in Muirfield, Scotland for the 142nd edition of the British Open, where she will become the first Puerto Rican in history to work as a rules official in this legendary event.
“Just saying it is exciting, and a source of great pride and satisfaction,” said Beauchamp about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “To be a rules official at a Major championship, and particularly at this most historic one, was one of my goals, and on July 18-21 it will finally happen.”
Beauchamp's road to the British Open began last year at the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey. “I'm always looking for ways to show the whole world that Puerto Rico has, not just great golfers, but talented professionals in all aspects of the sport,” said Sidney Wolf, president of the Puerto Rico Golf Association.
“In Turkey I had a conversation with R&A Chairman Allan Gormly and told him that, even though we didn't have a player that could participate, maybe a rules official could represent Puerto Rico at the Open".
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