Rules of Golf

As promised, more exciting Rules changes!

Hilary

New! Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2014 – 2015
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 06:44 AM PST
13 11 R&A Decisions 2014-2015
The front cover of The R&A’s Decisions book 2014-2015

Today, 19th November 2013, the USGA and the R&A jointly announced the publication of the revised ‘Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2014-2015’, which contains 3 new, 59 revised, 1 renumbered, and 24 withdrawn Decisions. Most readers will know that whilst the Rules of Golf are reviewed every four years, amendments to the 1,200+ Decisions are made on a two-yearly cycle. Let me clarify that there will be no changes to the Rules for another two years; the Decisions are published to help golfers better understand how the Rules are to be applied and interpreted. They are particularly useful to those of you who like to provide accurate answers to questions on the Rules from those that you play with, or fellow Club or Society members, and I strongly recommend that you purchase this new edition. You can purchase the R&A publication (all countries other than US and Mexico) by clicking on this link and then on the ‘Buy Now’ button underneath the 2014-2015 Decisions book image (price £10.30). It will cost you exactly the same as on the main Amazon site and, if you use this link, I will make a small commission on anything that you purchase there, which helps me to defray my costs. Surprisingly, the US version of the Decisions book does not yet appear to be available, but I will upload a link on the same page as soon as it is.

This statement is taken directly from the R&A web site;

“Among the changes for 2014-2015, four decisions are particularly noteworthy:

  • New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.
  • New Decision 18/4 provides that, where enhanced technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or online visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time. The R&A and the USGA have issued a Joint Statement on the Use of Video and other Visual Evidence* to further explain the governing bodies’ position on the use of this technology.
  • Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 helps to clarify when a golf ball is considered to be embedded in the ground through the use of illustrations.
  • Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or her right to go back and play a provisional ball.”

*Click here for the statement on ‘Use of Video and Visual Evidence’.

I have not yet had a chance to study the amendments but the one that stands out is the new Decision 18/4, as a result of which players will not be penalized for causing their ball to move if it was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye. Certainly, this Decision goes some way to appeasing those that complain vociferously about retrospective penalties being applied to players following calls from those watching the action on high definition television monitors.

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