Golf Rule Changes for 2006

Dear Golf Nut, I know that there were a number of golf rule changes this year. Can you summarize some of the key ones that might affect amateur golfers?

The U.S. Golf Association made 111 changes to the Decisions on the Rules of Golf for 2006. See my article on this dated 12/19/05 and titled “Are the Rules of Golf getting too complex?” Most of the changes are minor, but some, such as the new local rule allowing yardage range finders ( see article dated 9/4/05 titled “Have you seen the new golf rule changes?”) could affect you in a tournament. But here are some of the other changes and clarifications that might prove helpful to be familiar with.
A broken golf club in your golf bag, for example if you broke it two weeks ago and left it in there, does not count against the 14-club limit. (Decision 4-4a/14)
Refusing to tell your opponent your score is considered the same as giving him incorrect information and is a violation of Rule 9-2a. (Decision 9-2/3.5)
When you have to replay a golf shot from the previous spot — such as after hitting the golf ball out-of-bounds — you have to play from the same lie or situation where the ball originally lay. So if you hit a ball out-of-bounds from a bunker, you drop has to be in the bunker. (Decision 20-5/2)
Golf balls may be artificially warmed before a round begins. Why would you want to do this? Have you ever hit a golf shot on a really freezing day? Feels like you hit a cannon ball. Don’t know if it’s worth the trouble, but it sounds nice. (Decision 14-3/13.5)
If you break a golf club while leaning on it, as if it were a walking stick, that club is allowed to be replaced. The ruling of “damaged during the normal course of play” has been expanded to include this, as well as using the club to search for a golf ball and removing or replacing a club in the bag. These are in addition to breaking a golf club while making a stroke, practice swing or practice stroke. (Decision 4-3/7)
A caddie holding the flagstick realizes that the spot where he is standing is the line where your putt needs to go. He can tell you to hit your golf ball at his foot, but he must remove the foot from that position before you make the stroke. This is not a breach of Rule 8-2b, which deals with touching the putting green to indicate the line, because the caddie’s foot wasn’t on that spot to indicate the line. He was simply attending the flag for the golfer. (Decision 8-2b/2)
The USGA lists some stretching devices that can be used during a round without penalty because they are not used in the swing: a bar that is placed across the shoulders, rubber tubing and pipes. (Decision 14-3/10.5)

There Are 3 Responses So Far. »

  1. Great post – good to have the updated rules to help modify our game early as possible.

  2. Nice! Golf always was interesting!

  3. Great reading, keep up the great posts.
    Peace, JiggaDigga

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