Dorset County Golf Union


As you will know earlier this year the R&A and the USGA unveiled the new Rules of Golf which will come into force on 1 January 2019.

As that time draws nearer there are a number of ways in which you can get up to speed on all the changes.

The R&A website contains a wealth of information from the background to the initiative, full details of all the changes and extensive resource materials, including videos and diagrams, all of which are designed to assist understanding and subsequent implementation.

The R&A website can be accessed here

Clubs should by now have received - free of charge - the new Players Edition of the 2019 Rules of Golf. In addition to this the R&A provide further publications on the new rules and these can be obtained through the R&A. The R&A also offer apps for iOS and Android - a useful quick reference tool on the course.

20 Most Important Changes Video worth a watch from Expert Golf

In addition England Golf is issuing information currently on a weekly basis under the title 'Become a Rules Guru'.

Penalty Areas.

Dropping the Ball.


Putting Green

Ball Moving on the Putting Green

Pace of Play

Ball Moved During Search

Replacing Ball 

Substitution of Ball

Role of your Caddie

Known or Virtually Certain

Maximum score form of Strokeplay

These articles not only provide details of the new processes but also background to them as well as a rules quiz - all designed to assist understanding and implementation.

If you would like to receive the Rules Guru articles direct to your inbox then contact England Golf via and they will gladly add you to the circulations.

CONGU have just issued some additional advice to committees on the impact of the 2019 Rules of Golf changes. This can be found here

With the change to the Rules of Golf for 2019, the wording for Preferred Lies has changed.

The long form, should be used by clubs on their noticeboards and signage. The short form is suitable for use on the scorecard.

Long Form

When a player's ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

• Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.

• Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: 6 inches from the reference point, but with these limits:

• Limits on Location of Relief Area:

• Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and

• Must be in the general area.

In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.

Short Form

When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the player may prefer the lie within 6 inches. See Model Local Rule E-3 for details of how this must be done.

For the full text of any Model Local Rules referenced, please refer to the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf. Unless otherwise noted, the penalty for breach of a Local Rule is the General Penalty

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