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Thursday, November 21, 2013

More Decisions On the Rules of Golf

You've probably heard about the USGA (and R&A) decision regarding video evidence of ball movement, but it's worth noting that they ruling bodies announced 86 other changes to the 2012-2013 edition of “Decisions on the Rules of Golf.” The changes, part of a customary two-year Decisions review cycle, become effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

“The Rules of Golf are constantly evolving,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf. “The Decisions review process is an opportunity for The R&A and the USGA to continue to help make the game more understandable and accessible for players, officials and others who participate in the game.”

To that end, Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 uses pictures to help clarify when a golf ball is considered to be embedded in the ground.

Illustration courtesy of the USGA
Two other changes are particularly noteworthy:

New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.

Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or her right to go back and play a provisional ball.

If you need some fascinating bedtime reading, printed copies of “The Rules of Golf” and “Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015” are available from the USGA and The R&A.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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