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Rule changes for 2012

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

http://www.usga.org/news/2011/October/USGA,-R-A-Announce-2012-Rules-Changes/

 

Far Hills, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A today announced the publication of the new Rules of Golf for 2012-15.

Changes in the Rules – which for the first time have been designed, published and presented jointly by golf’s governing bodies – include exonerating a player from penalty if it is known their ball was moved by the wind after address.

 

 

Following an exhaustive, four-year review of golf’s 34 playing Rules, nine principal Rules have been amended to improve clarity and ensure penalties are proportionate.  Significant changes include:  

  • Ball Moving After Address (Rule 18-2b). A new exception is added which exonerates the player from penalty if their ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that they did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.
  • Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions (Rule 13-4). Exception 2 to this Rule is amended to permit a player to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard, provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 (improving lie, area of intended stance or swing or line of play) is not breached.
  • Time of Starting (Rule 6-3a). The rule is amended to provide that the penalty for starting late, but within five minutes of the starting time, is reduced from disqualification to loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Previously this penalty reduction could be introduced as a condition of competition.
post #2 of 70
Thread Starter 

Full changes:

 

http://www.usga.org/uploadedFiles/USGAHome/rules/rules_pg5-7_rules.pdf

 

Principal Changes Introduced in the 2012 Code

Rules of Golf

Definitions

Addressing the Ball

The Definition is amended so that a player has addressed the ball simply by

grounding his club immediately in front of or behind the ball, regardless of whether

or not he has taken his stance. Therefore, the Rules generally no longer provide

for a player addressing the ball in a hazard. (See also related change to Rule 18-2b)

Rules

Rule 1-2. Exerting Influence on Movement of Ball or Altering

Physical Conditions

The Rule is amended to establish more clearly that, if a player intentionally

takes an action to influence the movement of a ball or to alter physical

conditions affecting the playing of a hole in a way that is not permitted by

the Rules, Rule 1-2 applies only when the action is not already covered

in another Rule. For example, a player improving the lie of his ball is in

breach of Rule 13-2 and therefore that Rule would apply, whereas a player

intentionally improving the lie of a fellow-competitor’s ball is not a situation

covered by Rule 13-2 and, therefore, is governed by Rule 1-2.

Rule 6-3a. Time of Starting

Rule 6-3a is amended to provide that the penalty for starting late, but within five

minutes of the starting time, is reduced from disqualification to loss of the first

hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Previously this

penalty reduction could be introduced as a condition of competition.

Rule 12-1. Seeing Ball; Searching for Ball

Rule 12-1 is reformatted for clarity. In addition, it is amended to (i) permit a

player to search for his ball anywhere on the course when it may be

covered by sand and to clarify that there is no penalty if the ball is moved

in these circumstances, and (ii) apply a penalty of one stroke under Rule

18-2a if a player moves his ball in a hazard when searching for it when it is

believed to be covered by loose impediments.

Rule 13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 is amended to permit a player to smooth sand

or soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard,

provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 is

not breached.

Rule 18-2b. Ball Moving After Address

A new Exception is added that exonerates the player from penalty if his ball

moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that he

did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves

the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played

from its new position.

Rule 19-1. Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped; By Outside Agency

The note is expanded to prescribe the various outcomes when a ball in

motion has been deliberately deflected or stopped by an outside agency.

Rule 20-7c. Playing from Wrong Place; Stroke Play

Note 3 is amended so that if a player is to be penalized for playing from a

wrong place, in most cases the penalty will be limited to two strokes, even if

another Rule has been breached prior to his making the stroke.

Appendix IV

A new Appendix is added to prescribe general regulations for the design

of devices and other equipment, such as tees, gloves and distance

measuring devices.

post #3 of 70
Thread Starter 

Link to all the changes including decisions and amateur status.

 

http://www.usga.org/rules/2012-Rules-of-Golf/

post #4 of 70

One of the interesting changes is this:

 

Rule 12-1. Seeing Ball; Searching for Ball

Rule 12-1 is reformatted for clarity. In addition, it is amended to (i) permit a player to search for his ball anywhere on the course when it may be covered by sand and to clarify that there is no penalty if the ball is moved in these circumstances, and (ii) apply a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a if a player moves his ball in a hazard when searching for it when it is believed to be covered by loose impediments.

 

This was changed in 2008 when playing of wrong ball from a hazard was changed to be free of penalty. Any idea why this new change has taken place?

post #5 of 70

Love the change to no penalty if your ball moves after address and you did nothing to cause it. The old/current rule was a stupid rule because the definition of address was modify to mean grounding the club/putter. So, if you never ground your club you never address the ball?  With faster greens, even on the courses we all play, balls move from wind and this makes it so much more fair between players.

post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

Love the change to no penalty if your ball moves after address and you did nothing to cause it. The old/current rule was a stupid rule because the definition of address was modify to mean grounding the club/putter. So, if you never ground your club you never address the ball?  With faster greens, even on the courses we all play, balls move from wind and this makes it so much more fair between players.



Interesting.  The ball is played from its new position?  What about a downhill lie and the ball ends up a foot from the cup instead of 10 feet away?  Or if you are unlucky it rolls right off the green?

 

 

post #7 of 70

or in the cup?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post



Interesting.  The ball is played from its new position?  What about a downhill lie and the ball ends up a foot from the cup instead of 10 feet away?  Or if you are unlucky it rolls right off the green?

 

 



 

post #8 of 70

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post

Interesting.  The ball is played from its new position?  What about a downhill lie and the ball ends up a foot from the cup instead of 10 feet away?  Or if you are unlucky it rolls right off the green?

 


If you didn't cause it to move, then it's nature being kind or cruel to you.  Under the previous rules, a gust of wind could have blown it at any time until you addressed the ball and it'd be your good luck.  Now the rules just recognize that in some cases it's clear that the player did not cause the movement even after address.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

or in the cup?
 


Again, I'd guess that it's just your good fortune. 

 

post #9 of 70

Do you add a penalty stroke as specified in the case where a ball overhanging the cup falls in after it's deemed to be at rest or approx 10 seconds? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

 


If you didn't cause it to move, then it's nature being kind or cruel to you.  Under the previous rules, a gust of wind could have blown it at any time until you addressed the ball and it'd be your good luck.  Now the rules just recognize that in some cases it's clear that the player did not cause the movement even after address.



Again, I'd guess that it's just your good fortune. 

 



 

post #10 of 70

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Do you add a penalty stroke as specified in the case where a ball overhanging the cup falls in after it's deemed to be at rest or approx 10 seconds?

 



I actually almost said that, but it didn't seem quite right so I looked it up.  That rule (18-2 IIRC, but I'm not actually checking so I apologize if it's the wrong one) only applies if it's overhanging the cup.  In the case here (which should probably go to its own thread if we discuss it any further) that doesn't apply.  The logic of that rule wouldn't even make sense: I don't think anyone would stand around hoping for a gust to blow their ball 10 feet down a hill into the cup.

post #11 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

 



I actually almost said that, but it didn't seem quite right so I looked it up.  That rule (18-2 IIRC, but I'm not actually checking so I apologize if it's the wrong one) only applies if it's overhanging the cup.  In the case here (which should probably go to its own thread if we discuss it any further) that doesn't apply.  The logic of that rule wouldn't even make sense: I don't think anyone would stand around hoping for a gust to blow their ball 10 feet down a hill into the cup.



But what if it's a gusty day and you mark the ball on the lip instead of putting out,  hoping when you put it back that the wind would blow it in.  I can see all kinds of problems with this rule.

post #12 of 70

The smoothing the sand/soil in a hazard at any time is a strange rule to me that could be taken advantage at in local club competitions by the uninformed.

post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by deasy55 View Post

The smoothing the sand/soil in a hazard at any time is a strange rule to me that could be taken advantage at in local club competitions by the uninformed.

So long as folks realize they cannot improve their lie.  If I'm in a competition and I see a guy take a rake into the bunker and start raking anywhere near his ball before he takes his shot, I would certainly be suspicious, and would call him on it.  The intent, as I understand it, is to allow someone who didn't get out of a bunker on his first shot to rake his first area, then proceed to his new position in the bunker without penalty. Or perhaps to rake his footprints in walking to his ball, then exiting from the bunker in another place after his shot.
 

 

post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post





But what if it's a gusty day and you mark the ball on the lip instead of putting out,  hoping when you put it back that the wind would blow it in.  I can see all kinds of problems with this rule.

You have a very vivid imagination.

 

I think this rule change is long overdue and can't imagine any problems at all. Not in my wildest dreams.

 

The rule change solves a problem.  It doesn't create problems.

post #15 of 70

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post

But what if it's a gusty day and you mark the ball on the lip instead of putting out,  hoping when you put it back that the wind would blow it in.  I can see all kinds of problems with this rule.


That situation really has no relationship to the new rule.

 

post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by camper6 View Post



But what if it's a gusty day and you mark the ball on the lip instead of putting out,  hoping when you put it back that the wind would blow it in.  I can see all kinds of problems with this rule.

 

As zeg pointed out this has nothing to do with new rules. Here are (unchanged) decisions from (new) decisions book:

 

 

Quote:
20-3d/1
Placed Ball Rolls into hole
Q. A replaces his ball on the putting green three feet from the hole. As he is about to address the ball, it rolls into the hole. Should the ball be replaced or is A deemed to have holed out with his previous stroke?
A. the answer depends on whether the ball, when replaced, came to rest on the spot on which it was placed before it started rolling. if it did, A is deemed to have holed out with his previous stroke. if not, A is required to replace the ball (Rule 20-3d). however, if the ball had been overhanging the hole when it was lifted, the provisions of Rule 16-2 would override those of Rule 20-3d.

 

 

 

Quote:
16-2/0.5
Ball overhanging hole is lifted, cleaned and Replaced; Ball then falls into hole
Q. After an approach shot, a player’s ball is overhanging the hole. the player walks up to the hole without unreasonable delay and notices that there is mud on the ball. the player marks the position of the ball and lifts it. he then cleans the ball and replaces it. the ball remains on the lip of the hole for about five seconds and then, as the player is preparing to tap it into the hole, the ball falls into the hole. What is the ruling?
A. Under Rule 16-2, if a ball falls into the hole after it is deemed to be at rest, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke and he shall add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole. in this case, when the player marked the position of the ball it must have been at rest. the ball must be considered to have been at rest when it was replaced; otherwise, it would 
have to be replaced again (Rule 20-3d). Accordingly, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke 
and must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole.

 

 

post #17 of 70

I wonder who decides that the player didn't cause the ball to move?  In case of dispute I guess the referee, who probably didn't see the the event, will decide.  I think this rule change is going to be a problem.

post #18 of 70

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghalfaire View Post

I wonder who decides that the player didn't cause the ball to move?  In case of dispute I guess the referee, who probably didn't see the the event, will decide.  I think this rule change is going to be a problem.


I don't see how this particular rule is any more open to abuse than the myriad other situations where the integrity and honesty of the player is relied upon.  A rules official would presumably gather all the available evidence, interview the player and any witnesses, etc, and make a ruling.  The same thing would happen if there were a dispute over whether a player kicked his ball prior to address.

 

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