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Rulebook: Accidents Can Happen… Exploring the Softer Side of Golf’s New Rules
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August 5, 2018
2:06 am
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by Rich McLean, Golf Canada Rules Official 

So far, we’ve looked at some of the rules changes, and some of the new terms that we’ll use starting in 2019. Now, let’s look at some of the “softer edges” on the rules for next year. Keep in mind though, the rules will still look harshly on purposeful acts that violate the rules.

Under current circumstances (Rule 18-2) a player must be very careful when searching for their ball. There are very limited instances in the rule that allow a ball to be accidentally moved by a player, their equipment or their caddie without penalty. Starting next year, Rule 7.4 will increase the “fudge factor” to allow for accidental movement of a ball during a search anywhere on the golf course. This is a change meant to more actively involve as many resources as possible in looking for a ball, including the player who’s ball it actually is. Players and caddies these days are more hesitant to search for fear that they accidentally move their ball and still get penalized. More eyes = less time = faster play.

This next one dovetails into the recent decision regarding accidental movement of a ball on…

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