Updated: Jul 31
Hi friends and golfers! My name is coach Erik, as most of my students call me. I teach out of beautiful Scottsdale, AZ at McCormick Ranch G.C. I am not one that usually writes on the rules of golf, that doesn't mean I don't think they are super important. I find that they are misunderstood and thought of as penalizing only. When you fully understand the rules of golf you put yourself in a position to be in control of your score, not an outside source. I mean by that, make the rules of golf work for you the best that they can. Sure some are just penalizing but that is not always the case.
Until the 2023 rules of golf are in place, there are still a number of rules that have been in place for the past two decades. These rules have helped to maintain the integrity of golf, and have made it easier for players to enjoy the sport. But in the coming years, more changes will take place. The 5 New Rules of Golf for 2023 are meant to make golf more fair my being less penalizing for mistakes, natural forces are taken into account and these new rules are easy to understand and implement.
Model Local Rule L-1 reduces penalty for failing to sign a scorecard at the end of a round
Currently, a player who fails to sign a scorecard at the end of the round is penalized by four strokes. Under the new Model Local Rule L-1, this penalty is reduced to two strokes on the last hole of a player's round. This only seems fair as it is usually just a lapse in memory and doesn't affect the outcome of the game b/c it is caught by the scorer or other players.
The new rule is based on input from the PGA Tour and LPGA. The rule is designed to make it easier for players to remember what is required and will reduce the number of times players are penalized for failing to sign their scorecards.
The new rule also includes the possibility of taking relief for a provisional ball. If the ball is in an out-of-bounds area, the player can take relief and replace the ball to the original spot. However, the ball must stay within two club lengths of the drop spot.
The new rule will be available to tournament committees beginning January 1, 2023. The governing bodies will then decide whether to adopt the rule permanently. As of now, the rule will only apply to the professional tours.
The Model Local Rule L-1 was developed to address situations that occur often and should not be ignored. The governing bodies also want to use the next four years to evaluate the rule's impact on tournament play. As with any other rule, Committees must ensure that the rule is in accordance with the Rules of Golf.
The governing bodies have also modified the rules for disabled golfers. Under the new rule, players who have been injured or have other physical limitations are no longer required to take relief for their ball. In addition, if a player has been injured or has a physical disability, the committee may replace the club with another that is approved by the R&A.
The new rule is a significant change to the Rules of Golf. However, some committees have opted to ignore previous requirements. They have also disqualified players for missing details on their scorecards. In addition, some committees have used the rule to disqualify golfers for not signing their scorecards.
If you are planning on using this new rule, be sure to make the rule available to the public. The full text of the rule should be available, as well as a shorthand version.
Rethinking penalties for rules breaches in Stablefords
Among the many changes afoot in the game of golf in 2023, the rethinking of penalties for Rules of Golf players is the most notable. For starters, one unclear rule of thumb is that a player's scorecard will be in good standing only to the extent that they are able to play a round without penalty. While this may have been true in the past, the modern era has allowed for much more flexible etiquette. The new changes may have been a boon for many players, but they have also caused many a bumble or two. For example, a player who was unable to play a hole was unable to play the following hole in one - but this is not a problem for the umpteenth member of the aforementioned triumvirate.
One thing is for sure - stableford has its perks. One of the greatest advantages of the game is the speed of play. With a few exceptions, players are able to play much faster than they would in a traditional round. Having a player's scorecard in hand is one less thing to worry about during the requisite post-round debriefing. Moreover, a player's mind is more apt to be on the golf course than at the office. For all their faults, stablefords are a fun and affable way to spend the afternoon.
New exception to the Rickie Rule
Several changes to the Rules of Golf in 2023 are aimed at making them easier to understand. The main development is a rule that will prevent players from being penalized for having an incorrect handicap on their scorecard. The new Rule 25 will be in effect from January 1, 2023, and will apply to all competitions.
The governing bodies decided to make the rules more accessible to the general public. In particular, the R&A, the USGA, and the PGA of America are all adopting the World Handicap System, which will be more digital. The system will allow the tournament committee to verify a player's handicap. It also allows the committee to verify a players handicap in a tournament by checking a player's handicaps on a tournament scorecard. This is the logical supposition if a player is playing in a tournament where the player has an incorrect handicap.
A few weeks ago, the governing bodies announced five changes to the rules that would make golf easier to learn. The most significant change is a new exception to the Rickie Rule, which will apply to all competitions starting in 2023. The rule will also change the way a player replaces a club. Rather than having to drive all the way to the clubhouse, the player can simply replace their club in their vehicle and drive straight to the pro shop.
The governing bodies also announced five other changes that will simplify the rules for players. This includes the first rule to be changed, which is to change the name of Rule 25 to Rule 25, or "The Amended Rules for Players with Disabilities," which is the same rule as "The Amended Rules for Golfers with Disabilities," a rule that is already in place.
The R&A has even announced its own wacky-but-true rule - you can replace your golf ball in a water hazard, but you can't play a chip shot that falls in a water hazard. This rule is a clever solution to a very real problem, and it will be very interesting to see how the governing bodies handle this new rule.
Modified Rules for players with disabilities
During the 150th Open, golfers with disabilities attended the Golf for Disabled Tour's Celebration of Champions at St Andrews. At the event, USGA and R&A announced the introduction of five new rules to help disabled players in the game.
The five rules focus on handicaps in competition, damaged clubs, balls at rest, penalty relief, and players with disabilities. Golfers with disabilities include amputees, those who are blind, those who have limb deficiencies, and those who use assistive mobility devices. Several penalties have been relaxed, including the requirement to write a handicap.
The new rules will make the game more inclusive. For instance, blind players will be allowed to have an aide to help them with their stance and alignment. The new rule also allows players with disabilities to replace damaged clubs. However, this does not apply to damage caused by abuse.
This change was needed for sure. As a coach that likes to give back by working with Disable American Veterans through PGA Hope, anything to make golf more accessible the better. It is nice to know that they have moved beyond the ridiculous and have said that they want to make this game easier!
Earlier this year, the USGA held its first Adaptive Open tournament. It also announced the introduction of a new rule for players with disabilities, known as Rule 25. The rule is part of the 2023 edition of the Rules of Golf. This new rule will apply to all forms of play and will eliminate the need for local rules for disabled golfers.
The new rule will also allow players to replace damaged clubs during a round. It will also allow players to replace damaged clubs when they replace a ball, and will make it possible for players with disabilities to anchor their club if they are unable to swing it.
Throughout this year, the USGA and R&A have continued to make the Rules of Golf more accessible. They have updated and simplified the language in several rules, and they have printed 4 million fewer copies of the Rules of Golf. They have also introduced a new mobile app for players to learn more about the rules. These changes are intended to make the Rules of Golf easier to understand and more sustainable. The governing bodies are committed to making golf more inclusive and sustainable. The new rules are expected to be in effect at the start of the new year.
Watch this USGA video to further understand the changes for 2023