Carolinas Golf Magazine

Winter 2018

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current chair of the Rules of Golf Committee, it was a good time for the game's guidelines to be refreshed. "Performing a complete review of the Rules of Golf was last done in 1984 and, before that, in 1952. It was time," says Reinemann, a Pinehurst resident, retired banking executive and former Wisconsin pub- lic links champion. "In addition, there was a feeling within the USGA and The R&A that the Rules had become too complicated and somewhat off-putting to new players. There were many hidden Rules buried in the Decisions Book, and we did not feel it was right that you needed the intricacies of the Decisions book – instead of just that little Rules book in your golf bag – to get a correct ruling." PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops on the new Rules of Golf are being held to get club professionals and tournament officials up to speed on the new Rules. But there are also serious implications to every golfer who tees it up and keeps a handicap. With that in mind, we asked Reinemann to share the biggest Rules changes golfers should be aware of when they hit the links in the new year. Here's his list of the most important changes golfers should have in mind that will most direcly impact their games: Publications There are now three versions of the Rules of Golf. In addition to the standard "full-length" Rules book, there's also an "Official Guide to the Rules of Golf" for Rules officials and committee members. But there's also a new slim volume you should have in your golf bag. "The Rule book I expect most golfers to carry with them is the 'Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf,'" Reinemann says. "It is an abridged rule book contain- ing the situations golfers are most likely to encounter on the course, and it is written in the second person. We've never written such a book before." Relaxed Rules There are several common situations that used to result in penalties that have been relaxed. For exam- ple, there are no longer penalties for accidental move- ment of the ball on the putting green, for accidental deflections, or for accidentally moving a ball while searching for it. 16 | | W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 Golfers will now make drops from knee height instead of from the shoulder (above), and bunker Rules have been changed to help improve pace of play (right). "We did all this to streamline the Rules, but we were careful to keep the core principles of the game – that you play the course as you find it and play the ball as it lies." —Mark Reinemann, USGA Rules of Golf Committee Chair

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