R&A and USGA announce rules changes

The R&A and the USGA have unveiled a preview of the proposed new Rules of Golf, as part of a joint initiative to modernise the Rules and make them easier to understand and apply.

The online release of this preview begins a six-month feedback and evaluation period during which all golfers worldwide can learn about the proposed changes and provide input before they are finalised in 2018 and take effect on 1 January 2019.

The announcement follows a comprehensive review process that began in 2012 with a working group of key R&A and USGA Rules administrators, professional tour officials and other Rules experts. While the Rules are revised every four years, this is the first fundamental review since 1984, and was established to ensure the Rules fit the needs of today’s game and the way it is played around the world.

The proposed 24 new Rules, reduced from the current 34, have been written in a user-friendly style with shorter sentences, commonly used phrases, bulleted lists and explanatory headings. The initiative also focuses on assessing the overall consistency, simplicity and fairness of the Rules for play.

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