2012 rules changes (Hilary)

Hi Ladies:

Just when we thought we had it right the USGA has made over 70 amendments to the Rules of golf and Decisions on the Rules of golf. They come into effect January 1st 2012.

If I texted I would certainly write OMG!

No worries ladies I’ll help you through and you won’t need to read all 73.

During the next few weeks I’ll go over the main ones that will effect your game and I’ll cover the rest during the year.

Let’s start on just three of them.

The USGA has tried to make the Rules more player friendly and have more equality between rulings. Here’s the first one.

Rule 13-4 Ball in Hazard.

Previously you were not allowed to rake the bunker before you made your first shot from it as it was considered that you’d be “testing the conditions”.

Effective January there will be no penalty for raking before your shot in a bunker. However you may not rake in the area of your intended swing as this would help your play.

This change is a positive one as it was always hard to argue that a player could gain more useful information by raking than by digging in with his feet. So when you go into the bunker if you have to walk over and get the rake you may smooth out your footprints on the way to where your ball is, and if you rake loose impediments as you do it that’s ok too.

While we’re in the bunker let’s do where the USGA has made a change to have more equality in the rules.

Rule 12-1 Seeing ball, searching for ball.

Previously there had been NO penalty for moving a ball while searching for it in a hazard when it is covered by loose impediments, leaves and twigs etc BUT there was a one stroke penalty if you moved your ball covered in loose impediments through the green while searching . Now with the change a ball moved in a search under loose impediments will be treated the same both in hazards and through the green with a one stroke penalty.

Let’s do one more.

Rule 15. This again is where the USGA again is trying to get more equality between Rules penalties. As I,Joanne Smith, and Donna Johnson well know it was always hard to understand why if you hit a wrong ball, realized your mistake, went back and hit another ball you found that you thought was yours and then AGAIN realized that you’d hit a SECOND WRONG BALL that you could only incur a TWO stroke penalty,even though you’d done it twice.

Now they have corrected this penalty and if you hit two wrong balls it will be a FOUR STROKE penalty (maximum). Wow and we though we were the crazy ones!!!

That’s all for today. Hope I made it clear, any questions please ask, and it will be continued………….

I hope this helps you.

Hilary

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