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