Home' Australian Golf Digest : July 2017 Contents Mixed dozen
june 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 123
relief area where it was dropped or it must
be dropped again. Currently: the ball must
be dropped again if it rolls to any of the nine
specified areas in Rule 20-2c. An example:
if it rolled more than two club-lengths from
where the ball first struck the ground.
The relief area will be 80 inches from the
reference point (for drops next to a penalty
area or for an unplayable lie) or 20 inches
(all other drops). The recommendation
is to mark the shaft of a club to assist in
measuring. Currently: drop areas are
measured in club-lengths, and you can
choose any club to measure.
Your ball is lost if not found within three
minutes of searching. Currently: your ball is
lost if not found within five minutes.
You can substitute a ball when taking
relief. Currently: with a few exceptions, you
have to continue with your original ball
when taking free relief, though you can
substitute a ball when taking a penalty relief.
You can take free relief for an embedded
ball any where in the general area (formerly
“through the green”) of the course except
sand (unless a Local Rule is enacted to make
free relief available only for embedded
balls in areas cut to fairway height or less).
Currently: free relief is given only for balls
embedded in closely mowed areas (fairway
height or less) unless a Local Rule is enacted.
When estimating or measuring a spot,
point, line, area or distance under a rule,
you won’t be second-guessed later using
evidence such as video review. This applies
as long as you use reasonable judgment
and do all you can to make an accurate
measurement. Currently: your judgment is
given no particular weight or deference, and
the committee decides any issue about the
accuracy of estimation based on a review of
You may use distance-measuring devices
such as laser range finders and GPS watches
during a round unless a Local Rule is adopted
prohibiting their use. Currently: a Local Rule
has to be adopted allowing their use.
You can use a club damaged during a
round. Currently: you may use a damaged
club during a round only if the impairment
happened during the normal course of play.
If it were damaged in anger or for another
reason, it can’t be used for the remainder of
You can’t replace a damaged club during a
round unless you were not responsible for its
condition. Currently: you can replace a club
if its damage occurred during the normal
course of play.
If you have a good reason for lifting a
ball, such as to identify it, check for damage
or determine if it lies in a condition where
relief is permitted (such as checking to
see if it’s embedded), you don’t have to
announce your intention to another player
or the marker. You also don’t have to give
that person an opportunity to observe the
process. Currently: before lifting, you must
announce your intention to another player
or the marker and allow that person to
observe the process.
A ball cannot be substituted during play of
a hole because it’s misshapen. Currently: you
can replace a mis-shapen ball.
Your caddie can’t stand on a line behind you
from the time you take your stance until
the stroke is made. Currently: a caddie can’t
stand on a line behind you while you’re
making a stroke but can line you up while
you address the ball.
Your caddie can lift and replace your
ball on the putting green without specific
authorisation from you. Currently: it’s a
one-stroke penalty for your caddie to lift
your ball without permission.
PACE OF PLAY
A new form of strokeplay is recognised
where your ma ximum score for a hole
is capped (such as double par or triple-
bogey). The committee sets that max score.
Currently: you must hole out in strokeplay
unless playing Stableford, Par or Bogey
Players in strokeplay are encouraged to
play “ready golf” when it can be done in a safe
and responsible way, and opponents in match-
play can agree to go out of turn to save time.
Currently: there is no penalty for playing out
of turn, but in matchplay an opponent can
make you replay a shot if you do so.
The recommended time to make a stroke
is no more than 40 seconds, and The Rules
of Golf recognises you should normally
play more quickly than that. Currently: no
recommendation is given.
Committees can adopt codes of player
conduct and set penalties for breach
of standards in that code. Currently:
committees can disqualify you for serious
breaches of etiquette but cannot impose
OTHER RULES OF NOTE
You have to declare you’re playing a
provisional ball before making a stroke with
it. But you can begin a search and still have
the option of playing a provisional as long as
you do so within three minutes. Currently:
the moment you go forward to search for
your original ball, you can no longer play a
You’re allowed to listen to or watch
sporting events, news broadcasts or music
as “entertainment” during a round if it
doesn’t give you an advantage when playing.
It would be a penalty, for example, if you
were listening because it improves your
rhythm or relaxes you, but not if you wanted
to share a new song you love with other
members of your group. Currently: with
some exceptions, you cannot listen to music
or watch/listen to sporting events and news
during a round.
All holes created by animals will be
treated as abnormal course conditions.
Currently: free relief is given only from a
burrowing animal hole.
Every one of God’s creatures has the rest
of this winter to object.
▶ If you would like to give us feedback on the
proposed rule changes, send an e-mail to
you would no longer be required
to hold the ball at shoulder
height when taking a drop.
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