The official rules of golf are regularly updated by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) to ensure that the game is fair, enjoyable, and in line with the latest technological advancements. Some recent changes to the rules include allowing players to repair spike marks on the green, clarifying when a ball is considered “lost,” and simplifying the procedure for taking relief from an unplayable lie. And from January 1, 2023, we have some new golf rules to welcome. In the following article, our golf experts at Meridian CondoResorts will review these golf rule changes.

Accessibility Adjustments

All players, including those with special needs, are afforded several modifications under the present Rules of Golf. For instance, a blind player can request assistance with marking and alignment. These are, nevertheless, viewed as house rules that individual committees are free to implement. The alterations are included in the Rules as of January 1, making them permanent and applicable to all players with disabilities as described in the guidelines. They can be used immediately without the necessity for adoption by a local committee.

No Penalty for Not Writing Handicap on Scorecard

The days of keeping score solely on paper have long since passed. Apps and other forms of modern technology now make manual scorekeeping obsolete. Players won’t be penalized in stroke play anymore if they omit their handicap information from their scorecards. The committee in charge of the game will be responsible for checking the handicaps and applying them correctly.

Replace the Broken Club Right Away

Male Golf Players on Professional Golf Course

As of the first day of the year, the new rules of golf state that you can get a new club if you happen to damage one during play. There is, however, a catch. The damage must have been unintentional. Whatever the case may be, you’re out of luck if you break your driver or smash your putter over your knee in a fit of rage.

More Leeway Provided to a Gravity-Affected Ball 

A ball Rickie Fowler dropped on a bank by the green drifted back into the water as he walked up to inspect his next shot, leading to a weird triple bogey at the 2019 Waste Management Open. According to the rules, a ball that rolls because of gravity is played in its natural state (except on the green, where it is replaced), so long as it doesn’t fall in the ocean or somewhere else off-limits. Only stroke-and-distance relief is available to the player. 

For the first time ever, new golf rules say that if a ball rolls off the course and stops out of bounds, it will be returned to its original location on the course. 

Back-on-Line Relief Is to Get Simpler

Back-on-line relief refers to the drop that is taken after a ball is knocked into a penalty or other unplayable area. It’s also possible for the procedure to become tedious and lengthy. The ball must be dropped again if it is dropped as it approaches the hole. As of January 1, the golf rule changes make the whole process more lenient. As long as your ball lands within one club length of where you dropped it, even if that’s one club length further from the hole, it counts as a successful drop.

We at Meridian will handle the details so that you can concentrate on what really matters—improving your golf swing with the new rules of golf. From the condo to the golf course, we guarantee perfection. Pair the most efficient golf club rentals in Scottsdale with our Unlimited Golf Stay and Play packages and enjoy the all-inclusive golf getaway in Arizona.