Ball At Rest
- No penalty for accidentally moving your ball during search.
- No penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker on the putting green.
- New standard to determine if you caused your ball to move.
- When the original location of your ball is not known, replace it on its estimated spot.
Ball in Motion
- No penalty if your ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you, your equipment, or your caddie.
- Your relief area for dropping a ball is a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
- Your ball must be let go from knee height and fall through the air without touching any part of your body or equipment.
- Your ball must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped, or else it must be redropped.
- A fixed distance of the longest club in your bag, other than your putter, is used for measuring.
- Your ball is lost if not found in three minutes (rather than the previous five minutes).
- You may always substitute a ball when taking relief.
- Relief allowed without penalty for an embedded ball anywhere (except in sand) in the “general area” (a new term for “through the green”).
- In taking lateral relief, drop within two club-lengths of where your ball entered the penalty area. The size of a club-length is always measured using the longest club in your bag, other than your putter.
- One of your options for relief from either a red or yellow penalty area is called back-on-the-line relief.
Areas of the Course
- After your ball has been lifted and replaced, if it then moves, always replace it on its original spot even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
- Repair of almost any damage is allowed on the putting green (including spike marks and animal damage).
- No penalty for touching your line of play on the putting green so long as doing so does not improve the conditions for your stroke.
- No penalty if your ball played from the putting green (or anywhere else) hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.
- Areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc. (in addition to areas of water) may now be marked as red or yellow “penalty areas.”
- No penalty for moving loose impediments, touching the ground, or grounding your club in a penalty area.
- Committees have the discretion to mark any penalty area as red so that lateral relief is always allowed.
- Relief from a red penalty area no longer allowed on the opposite side from where the ball last entered the penalty area.
- Relaxed Rules relating to loose impediments and touching the ground in a bunker.
- Relief allowed outside a bunker for an unplayable ball for two penalty strokes.
- A club damaged during a round can continue to be used, even if you damaged it in anger.
- You are not allowed to replace a damaged club during a round if you were responsible for the damage.
- The use of DMDs is allowed unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting their use.
Playing A Ball
- A caddie is not allowed to stand on a line behind you while you are taking your stance and until your stroke is made.
- Your caddie may lift and replace your ball on the putting green without your specific authorization to do so.