When an organisation decides to make major changes in the Rules Book, it may confuse many competitor not knowing if those changes are in effect now or at a later date.
New rule for 2017
The only new rule in effect this year is for a ball accidently moved on the green. If we move the ball by stepping on it, hitting the ball in a practice stroke, dropping the ball on a marker or dropping the marker on the ball and it moves the ball, there is no penalty and the player must replace the ball. If the ball is not replaced, the player will be subject to a 2-stroke penalty.
Situation: I make my stroke and the ball stops very short from the hole. I arrive to the hole and in order to complete the hole I make a swing but I don’t touch the ball. Or worst, I am very angry and I make a swing that sends the ball into the water
Question: Can I use the new rule and not have a penalty for moving my ball on the green?
Answer: NO because the word ACCIDENTAL is very important in the rule.
In my example we have a few elements to consider:
The missed shot is considered a stroke because the purpose was to hit the ball to put is in the hole
When in anger I send the ball in the water, it is not considered a stroke
I must replace the ball and I must add a 1-stroke penalty.
NOTE: To make the matter worst, if the ball in the water is not recoverable, the penalty is 2 strokes.
New Rules for 2019
We may not apply the changes that will probably be in effect in 2019. Some other changes will probably be made before being put in effect.
The only flexibility we have on a golf course is concerning the marking of hazards but before doing anything special you should consult with me. email@example.com .
In a future article I will explain how to properly mark a golf course.