2016 Rules – Four Primary Changes
2016 EDITION OF THE RULES OF GOLF:
What You Need to Know
Visit randa.org/rules or usga.org/rules for more information.
The new Rules take effect Jan. 1, 2016. Here are the four primary changes:
Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card
In this new exception, a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke
This Rule prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. THIS IS NOT AN EQUIPMENT RULE.
Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment
The penalty for a player’s first breach during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.
Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address
This Rule assessed a one-stroke penalty if a ball at rest moved after it was addressed. Now a one-stroke penalty will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.