We’ll have to wait until later this month for the revamped rules to be revealed, what’s expected is nothing short of the biggest restructuring of the rules in decades.
Mike Davis, USGA executive director/CEO said “what it does is fundamentally change the understanding of the rules, why they are the way they are, and how they’ll be communicated.” That includes a reorganisation of the current 34-rule structure. “Every aspect of the rules, from the content to how they’re delivered, to how they’re written, to what they look like in writing, is all going to be different,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of rules, competitions and equipment standards. A six-month comment period will follow the initial roll out. From there, the governing bodies will finalise language that will be revealed in late 2017 or early 2018, with the new code going into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Among changes discussed were changing how players dropped a ball when taking relief, eliminating club length as a measurement for taking relief, decreasing the time players can search for a lost ball from five to three minutes, allowing players to repair marks left by shoe spikes on greens and altering the emphasis on yellow and red stakes for water hazards. “Nothing was sacred. Everything was on the table,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director rules, competitions and equipment standards. “Every aspect of the rules, from the content to how they’re delivered, to how they’re written, to what they look like in writing, is all going to be different.”