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New changes in golf rules come into effect, will help golfers with disabilities

New changes in golf rules come into effect, will help golfers with disabilities

The two organisations said the new set of rules were an extension of 2019 amendments and aimed at modernising golf besides making it more inclusive and sustainable

The two organisations said the new set of rules were an extension of 2019 amendments and aimed at modernising golf besides making it more inclusive and sustainable The two organisations said the new set of rules were an extension of 2019 amendments and aimed at modernising golf besides making it more inclusive and sustainable

After the last significant set of rule changes designed to make the game more broad-based and quicker, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient have come up with a set of updates to help make the changes easier to comprehend and put in place,

These have now been put in place with effect from January 1 this year and continue efforts by the two bodies that are charged with keeping golf contemporary and broadening its appeal across the board.

The previous amendments were made and implemented in January 2019

In a post on usga.org, the two organisations said the new set of rules were an extension of 2019 amendments and aimed at modernising golf besides making it more inclusive and sustainable. The new changes have been fully included in the Rules of Golf and will do away with the need to adopt or adapt local rules.

“The governing bodies … will also promote digital and mobile app access to the Rules while significantly reducing the production and distribution of more than four million printed books,” the USGA said in a statement.

“Several penalties have been relaxed and language has been clarified to help golfers at all levels of play.

Key changes include:

Modifications for Players with Disabilities: The modifications to the Rules for players with disabilities have been made part of the Rules and are in effect for all players who are classified in the categories covered in Rule 25.

Handicap Usage in Stroke Play: With the continued growth of score-posting technology following the adoption of the World Handicap System™, players are no longer penalised for failing to put their handicap on their scorecard in stroke play. The committee will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of each player’s handicap.

Club Damaged During Round: The Rule has been amended to allow a player to replace a club that is damaged during a round, provided the player did not damage it through abuse.

Ball Moved by Natural Forces: A new exception provides that a ball at rest must be replaced if it moves to another area of the course or comes to rest out of bounds after being dropped, placed or replaced.

Back-on-the-Line Relief Procedure: The back-on-the-line relief procedure, often used for penalty area and unplayable ball relief, has been simplified so that the player now drops their ball on the line, and the ball must come to rest within one club-length of where it is dropped.

“The growing popularity of golf continues to guide our decision-making, and modernizing the Rules to promote inclusivity and accessibility is clearly a great step in the right direction,” Thomas Pagel, USGA Chief Governance Officer was quoted as saying in the statement.

“This latest evolution is especially important to the community of golfers with disabilities, and we hope it will encourage more people to play and enjoy the game.”

Added Grant Moir, Director of Rules at The R&A, “We are continuing to improve and adapt the Rules of Golf to ensure they are in line with the way the modern game is played. That means making the Rules easier to understand and access for all golfers and making the sport more inclusive and welcoming for golfers with disabilities.

“We are also working to ensure golf has a sustainable long-term future and making more resources available digitally is key to achieving that goal.”

The last set of changes dealt with simplifying the rules and increasing pace of play, which is an issue with golf clubs and courses worldwide They included news relief and ball drop procedures, removing the penalty for a “double hit” and eliminating the ball moved penalty, eased bunker and putting area rules, and those dealing with ball lost or out of bounds amongst others.

Published on: Jan 06, 2023, 10:39 AM IST
Posted by: Priya Raghuvanshi, Jan 06, 2023, 10:29 AM IST
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