2016 Rules Of Golf Changes

2016 Rules Changes for both USGA and R&A

I want to share what I learned.  We went to a 2016 Rules Of Golf seminar (check out the link) and learned that the latest edition of Rules Of Golf has a few changes compared to the previous edition.

Here are four major new rules changes and how they may impact your game.  (Links are to the USGA website.)

Rule 6-6d Wrong Score For Hole (Exception Added)

Exception: If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his score card, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified. In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for each hole at which the competitor has committed a breach of Rule 6-6d. This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.

How this Impacts your game

What this means is if you didn’t know there was supposed to be a penalty, then you are not disqualified.  You add the penalty then an additional 2 stroke penalty.

USGA Link: Rule 6-6d Video

Rule 14-1b Anchoring the Club (New Rule)

In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point.”

Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.

Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.

How this Impacts your game

You will have to keep the club and your hands/forearms free from touching your body.  Long putters are still legal.

USGA Link: Rule 14-1b Video

Rule 14-3 Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment; Abnormal Use of Equipment (Change in Penalty)

Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.

For subsequent offense – Disqualification.

In the event of a breach between the play of two holes, the penalty applies to the next hole.

How this Impacts your game

Again, this reduces the harsh penalty of immediate disqualification.  You may now use devices that have other information as long as that information isn’t accessed.

USGA Link: Rule 14-3 Video

Rule 18-2b Ball Moving After Address (This Rule has been removed)

If a player’s ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.

The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.

Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply.

How this impacts your game

Even after addressing the ball if it moves there is no penalty and must be played from new location.  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.

USGA Link: Rule 18-2b Video

Other Changes/Clarifications to the Rules for 2016

USGA Link: Clarification Video

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