The New Rules of Golf

Last updated: February 17, 2023

Maybe you have heard about the proposal for a huge shift in the rules of golf. Check out the possible changes that could improve your playing experience! (Sorry, gimmes are still not recognized).

Shift of Play

  • A new form of stroke play will be recognized where a maximum score can be selected by the committee (double par, or triple bogey as examples).
  • Players are encouraged to play ‘Ready Golf’ as long as it is safe to do so.
  • You are allowed to listen to music or watch a sporting event during your round, as long as it doesn't give you an advantage when playing. (For example, just to relax you on the golf course, or to give you better rhythm in your swing/stoke).
  • You can look for your ball for only 3 minutes. After this time the ball must be deemed lost.

Simplified Rules to Simplify the Game:

  • If you move the ball by accident, you just have to put it back with no penalty.
  • You can take a two-stroke penalty to drop the ball outside of the sand trap.
  • If the ball accidentally strikes you, your bag, your playing partner, or anything else (as long as it is not deliberate) there is no penalty, and you will play the ball as it lies.
  • You can drop the ball from any height, as long as the ball passes through the air.
  • You can repair any natural imperfections on the green.
  • You can touch the line of your putt.
  • You can leave the flagstick where you are on the putting green.  
  • Free relief is given to any embedded ball except for ones that are in the sand.
  • You may touch the ground, and move loose impediments, and ground your club without penalty in penalty areas.
  • You can touch and move loose impediments in the bunker.

Naturally, we thought about how these rules were going to affect the everyday golfer. We have noticed that most golfers seem to play with a loose interpretation of the rules anyway. These new proposed rules should help everyone play by the same general rules in both recreational and tournament play (unfortunately, with the acceptation of the gimme). The new rules look to be a shift to a more common sense approach to playing golf.