The last Rules for this year (Hilary)

Well ladies here I am for the last time in 2011, do I hear yippee??!!

I just wanted to go over three more of the Rules/Decisions amendments that may effect your game in 2012.

Jill will be happy about this one. Rule 6-3a time of Starting. This will not effect many of us except in tournaments but it will eliminate confusion.

This Rule is amended to provide that the penalty for starting late, but within five minutes of the starting time, is reduced from disqualification to loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Previously this penalty reduction could only be introduced as a “Condition of Competition” by the Committee.

The big change connected to Rule 6-3 is that you can now be penalized two strokes for STARTING EARLIER, but within five minutes of your starting time.

So ladies synchronize your watches on Tournament days.

Rule 18-2b Ball moved after address. To date the Rules have said that the player has caused their ball to move if it moves after he has addressed it, as in taken his stance and grounded his club. There have been a number of instances where it was certain that the player had not caused his ball to move but as they had addressed it they were given a penalty. This will see an end to situations like the one witnessed during the final round of this year’s Open Championship when Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was penalized when his ball was moved on the seventh green by the wind after he had addressed it.

A new exception is added which exonerates the player from penalty if their ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that they did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is seen that a gust of wind moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.

The wording for this exception for 2012 is “If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move THERE IS NO PENALTY”

The 2012 version of the Rules removes the issue of the player’s STANCE and the ball is only addressed when the player has grounded their club immediately in front, or behind his ball.

Lastly………….

Decision 26-1/1.3 Water Hazards They have tried to eliminate inconsistencies and make it clearer when it is necessary to go forward to establish “Virtual Certainty” that your ball has gone in a water hazard. As soon as I receive my Decisions book from the USGA I’ll let you know the exact wording.

That’s all she wrote.

Have a great Holiday season and great golf in 2012.

I hope this helps you.

Hilary

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