The Importance of 2019 Golf Rule Changes


Golf is a game with strong traditions. The origins of the game date back centuries, and many golfers are proud to help uphold and maintain some of the traditions that date back almost as far. It is hard to enact change in golf, if only because the players themselves are so attached to the way things have always been. It’s a great game, so many don’t think it should be changed in any meaningful way.

However, despite such a strong tie to history, the USGA and R&A have worked together to propose some changes to the rules which would be enacted in 2019. This is not, of course, the first time the rules of golf have been set to change. There have been various changes over the years as the game has moved into modern times, and there are sure to be plenty more changes down the line. With that said, this is a significant revision, and it is one which all golfers should note.

While these rule changes will not be made official until the first day of 2019, and they may be altered before that date arrives, we are going to discuss them in this article. Of course, you shouldn’t try to invoke any of these rules until 2019 rolls around, and even then, you’ll want to consult a current rule book to make sure the proposed changes actually went into effect.

Before you start understanding the new rule changes, we want to make a quick point about the importance of playing by the rules. Some golfers, especially those who don’t aspire to play in any tournaments, don’t think they need to worry much about following the rules. After all, this is just supposed to be a fun game, so why get all bogged down in the technical aspects of the rule book? There is something to be said for this fun-loving attitude, but there is also something to be said for following the rules as closely as possible.

When you play by the rules, your scores become legitimate – and you can feel good about sharing them with other players. It doesn’t mean much to say that you shot a certain score when you didn’t actually follow the rules to arrive at that number. Likewise, your own personal accomplishments will be more meaningful when you stick to the rule book. For instance, you can look back on that first time you broke 90, or 80, with pride, knowing you did it without cheating along the way. Also, you are likely to be a more desirable playing partner when you obey the rules, as other golfers tend to appreciate this characteristic. You certainly don’t have to follow every letter of the rule book to have fun on the course, but we believe sticking with the established rules will only add to your golf experience overall.