HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES:
SIMPLIFIED WAY OF TAKING RELIEF: A new procedure for taking relief by dropping a ball in and playing it from a specific relief area; relaxed procedures for dropping a ball, allowing the ball to be dropped from just above the ground or any growing thing or other object on the ground.
RELAXED PUTTING GREEN RULES: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.
RELAXED RULES FOR “PENALTY AREAS” (CURRENTLY CALLED “WATER HAZARDS”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.
PACE-OF-PLAY SUPPORT: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of“ready golf”in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play