We had a lot of change within the new USGA rules book this 2019, so lets talk about it. We have picked a few of the new USGA Rules to talk about to help better explain them.
Through the green has changed to “general area”
-The term General Area is all the area of the golf course, except the teeing area the green, of the hole being played and any penalty area.
Penalty areas– includes all lateral hazards, all water hazards and out of bounds.
-These areas you will incur a penalty stroke to bring you ball back into the general area (back into play)
-A ball can be played from a penalty area except out of bounds or local course prohibited areas.
-You are now able to ground our club except bunker “Touching ground in penalty area- now permitted”
**Water hazards are now called a penalty area
Dropping from your knee height rather than shoulder height
You are now able to drop from your knee height; meaning when you take your drop you do not need to put your arm straight out shoulder height. You have to remember though when dropping from knee height, not bend your knees. We suggest bending from your waist to delimitate the chance of bending your knees. Bending to the side or squatting could cause and illegal drop because you are naturally bending your knees; resulting in not actually dropping from your knee height.
Ball moving during search – Replace no penalty
When you are searching for your potentially lost golf ball and accidentally touch and or move the ball, you will now not receive a 1 stoke penalty. You will need to replace the ball to its previously place before the movement but there will be no penalty.
Search time reduction
When searching for your lost golf ball you used to have a 5-minute limit to find it once reaching the area you believe your ball is lost. This time has now been reduced to 3 minutes. If the ball is found after the 3-minute search it is still a lost ball, which results in a penalty situation.
Putting with the flagstick in is now permitted
You are now able to putt with the flagstick in at all times. IN our option it is something we are still getting the hang of. By keeping the flagstick in you are actually giving yourself a higher change of the ball going in. Let me ask you a question to think about; have you ever been chipping and your ball hits the flagstick and not goes in? By keeping the flag stick in minus perhaps the putts inside of 5 feet will help your chances of the ball to drop.
If there are any of the new USGA rules that we did not mention that you would like more of an explanation, on please comment below.