to take ef­fect Jan­uary 1, 2016 THe r&a and the united States Golf as­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced the pub­li­ca­tion of the 2016 edi­tion of the rules of Golf, ef­fec­tive Jan­uary 1, 2016.

Ladies GOLF - - State News - More:­to­ber/ The-RandA-and-USGA-re­lease-2016-edi­tion-of-Rules-of-Golf.aspx

The new Rule book is the cul­mi­na­tion of the nor­mal fouryear re­view cy­cle and is a col­lab­o­ra­tive work by The R&A and the USGA that ap­plies world­wide to all golfers. Among the most sig­nif­i­cant of the changes in the 2016 edi­tion of the Rules are the fol­low­ing:

• With­drawal of Rule on Ball mov­ing af­ter ad­dress- Rule 18-2b (Ball Mov­ing Af­ter Ad­dress) has been with­drawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves af­ter the player ad­dresses it, the player is no longer au­to­mat­i­cally deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty un­der Rule 18-2 will be ap­plied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.

• Lim­ited Ex­cep­tion to Dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion Penalty for Sub­mis­sion of In­cor­rect Score Card- A new ex­cep­tion has been in­tro­duced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to pro­vide that a player is not dis­qual­i­fied for re­turn­ing a lower score for a hole than ac­tu­ally taken as a re­sult of fail­ing to in­clude penalty strokes that the player did not know were in­curred be­fore re­turn­ing the score card. In­stead, the player in­curs the penalty un­der the Rule that was breached and must add an ad­di­tional penalty of two strokes for the score card er­ror. In all other cases in which a player re­turns a score for any hole lower than ac­tu­ally taken, the penalty will con­tinue to be dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

• Mod­i­fi­ca­tion of Penalty for a Sin­gle Im­per­mis­si­ble Use of Ar­ti­fi­cial De­vices or Equip­ment- The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Ar­ti­fi­cial De­vices, Un­usual Equip­ment and Ab­nor­mal Use of Equip­ment) dur­ing the round has been re­duced from dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any sub­se­quent breach of Rule 14-3 will con­tinue to be dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

• Pro­hi­bi­tion on an­chor­ing the Club While mak­ing a Stroke- As an­nounced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (An­chor­ing the Club) pro­hibits an­chor­ing the club ei­ther “di­rectly” or by use of an “an­chor point” in mak­ing a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

David Rick­man, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor – Rules and Equip­ment Stan­dards at The R&A said, “We con­tin­u­ally look at ways we can im­prove and clar­ify the Rules of Golf. The R&A and the USGA col­lab­o­rate closely and we con­sult with our re­spec­tive na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ad­vi­sory mem­bers to pro­duce a code of Rules that is rel­e­vant to all golfers around the world.” Thomas Pagel, Se­nior Di­rec­tor of Rules of Golf at the USGA, said, “The ob­jec­tive with each four year cy­cle of the Rules is to mon­i­tor de­vel­op­ments in the game and, when ap­pro­pri­ate, to re­spond with changes that keep the best in­ter­ests of the game in mind. The amend­ments for 2016 pre­serve and en­hance the es­sen­tial prin­ci­ples of the Rules, while at the same time en­sur­ing that they re­flect the evo­lu­tion of the game.”

Ad­di­tional Com­ments on the Prin­ci­pal Changes

Un­der Rule 18-2b, a player whose ball moved af­ter ad­dress was au­to­mat­i­cally pre­sumed to have caused the ball to move. In 2012, an Ex­cep­tion to Rule 18-2b was in­tro­duced to cover sit­u­a­tions where it was known or vir­tu­ally cer­tain that the player had not caused the ball to move, but the ap­pli­ca­tion of that stan­dard was not al­ways clear. The with­drawal of Rule 18-2b means that there no longer will be any pre­sump­tion and that the same over­all test in Rule 18-2 will ap­ply to all ac­tions by the player: if the facts show that the player’s ad­dress­ing of the ball or other ac­tions caused the ball to move, the player will in­cur a one-stroke penalty.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the new Ex­cep­tion un­der Rule 6-6d will main­tain the im­por­tance of re­turn­ing an ac­cu­rate score card by pe­nal­is­ing the player two strokes for the score card er­ror in ad­di­tion to the penalty for the orig­i­nal un­der­ly­ing breach of the Rules. In all other cases where a player re­turns a score card with a score lower than ac­tu­ally taken on a hole, the player will con­tinue to be dis­qual­i­fied.

In ad­di­tion to the re­vised penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 dur­ing a round, a state­ment has been in­tro­duced at the be­gin­ning of Rule 14-3 to ex­plain that the gov­ern­ing bod­ies are guided by the prin­ci­ple “suc­cess should de­pend on the judg­ment, skills and abil­i­ties of the player” in de­ter­min­ing whether use of any ar­ti­fi­cial de­vice or item of equip­ment is in breach of the Rule.

The R&A and the USGA an­nounced in 2013 that new Rule 14-1b pro­hibit­ing an­chor­ing the club in mak­ing a stroke would take ef­fect in the 2016 edi­tion of the Rules. The Rule was adopted fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive re­view by both or­ga­ni­za­tions. For an ex­pla­na­tion of the rea­sons for adopt­ing Rule 14-1b and for guid­ance on ap­ply­ing the Rule, see­chor­ing.

Printed copies of the Rules of Golf, which are sup­ported by Rolex, are now avail­able from The R&A and USGA.

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