NEW GOLF RULES 2019 | The 20 Most Important CHANGES


Hello and welcome, my name is Yves Ton-That from Expert Golf and today I’ll give you an overview of the rules changes for 2019. You may have heard that new rules apply from 2019. In this video, I’ll be giving you a summary of the twenty most important changes. If you think they are hard to remember, please check out my “Golf Rules Quick Reference” which contains a summary of these changes as well as all other applicable rules. That way you always have them with you on the course for easy reference. And now let’s take a look at the changes. From 2019, you only have 3 minutes to search for a ball. Previously, it was 5 minutes. Please take a quick look at your watch before you start the search as this will speed up the game considerably. When you’re looking for your ball in high grass you might accidentally tread on it and move it. You used to get a penalty for doing so, now there is no longer a penalty for this. The ball must be put back. If the ground is wet the ball may become embedded in the ground when it lands. Until now, you only got relief from embedded balls in closely-mown areas, like the fairway and the fringe. Now, you can take a free drop from all embedded balls in the general area, including in the semi-rough and rough. Until now, the player could use any of his clubs to measure out club-lengths. Now a club-length is defined as the player’s longest club, except for his putter. Until 1984, you had to drop backwards over your shoulder. Then from shoulder height. Now you have to drop from knee height. If you drop from shoulder height out of habit, don’t worry, just pick the ball up and drop it again correctly, without penalty. If the ball lands on the wrong green you are not allowed to play it from there as this would most likely damage the green. Previously, the player was allowed to take his stance on the wrong green and the nearest point of relief was always on the fringe. Now, you’re also not allowed to stand on the wrong green, meaning that the spot for dropping is usually a bit further away from the green. If the player hits himself or his own equipment this used to result in a one stroke penalty. Now there’s no penalty. However, it must have happened accidentally. You’re not allowed to use your equipment or a foot as a ball stopper. If your club gets stuck when you play a shot and you hit the ball more than once you used to incur one penalty stroke. Now there is no penalty and the double hit just counts as one stroke. In a bunker, the condition of the sand must not be tested before the stroke is played, the club must not be grounded behind the ball and you’re not permitted to touch the sand during practice swings. This is still the case from 2019. But the rules are more relaxed when it comes to touching the sand incidentally. For instance, marks can be smoothed out as long as they’re not on the line of play and you’re now also permitted to lean on a club, for example. Previously, you were not allowed to touch twigs, leaves, stones, branches and other loose impediments in hazards. Now, they can be removed anywhere, including in bunkers and penalty areas, which is what water hazards are called from 2019. Please bear in mind that the ball is still not supposed to move when removing loose impediments. Otherwise it must be put back and one penalty stroke is incurred. If you declare your ball unplayable in a bunker, you used to have three dropping options, each incurring one penalty stroke. The ball usually had to be dropped in the bunker, unless you returned to the spot where you played your last stroke, whereby you lost the entire distance of that stroke. Now, there’s a fourth option available. You can drop the ball directly behind the bunker but this will then cost you two penalty strokes instead of just one. Water hazards are now called penalty areas and no longer have to contain water. This means that golf clubs are free to mark other zones as penalty areas to enable players to take a sideways drop and thus speed up the game. If you decide to play the ball from a penalty area this is now significantly simpler, because you are allowed to ground the club. You can even set it down behind the ball in the water. Well, let’s see if it really makes playing out of water easier. If you mark your ball on the green and then put it back – and it moves either by itself or by wind, it no longer has to be played from the new spot. It has to be put back again. Previously, accidentally moving the ball on the green was already without penalty in lots of cases. Now this type of mishap is without penalty all the time. It doesn’t matter whether the club slips out of your hand or you make a practice swing too close to the ball and the ball moves as a result – just put the ball back without penalty. Until now, you weren’t allowed to repair the line of putt, apart from a few exceptions such as pitch marks and old hole plugs. Now, nearly all damage on the green can be repaired, including spike marks. But this isn’t free licence to smooth out the entire line of putt, as natural imperfections are part of the game. Some players have the habit of laying the club down on the ground to line up their shot. The new rules state that this is no longer allowed. This rule change mainly affects professionals. On TV you have no doubt seen caddies kneeling behind their player to help them line up the putt. This is no longer allowed and will hopefully speed up the game. The most major rule change in my opinion concerns the flag. Hitting the flagstick is now without penalty, which means you can always leave the flag in the hole. Previously, the flag had to be removed in this case to let the ball fall into the hole. Now, the ball is classed as having been holed if part of the ball is below the lip. This ball is therefore already holed and I can pick it up. This was a summary of the twenty most important rules changes that are valid from January 1st, 2019. If you have the “Golf Rules Quick Reference” with you during the round, you don’t have to remember anything of that because you will be able to answer all rules questions in a matter of seconds. Just open the index tab that corresponds to the location of your ball, use the headings and illustrations to find your rules situation and the solution is right there. By the way, this is also available as an iPhone app called iGolfrules. If you find this video helpful please register with expertgolf.com. You will then automatically be notified if a new video goes online and we will keep you up-to-date about all future rules changes free of charge. Thanks for watching, enjoy your golf and see you soon.

100 comments

  • When he said of the ball is embedded you are permitted to move it from all areas does that also apply to bunkers ?

  • 3 minutes to search for a ball? Seems unfair to the amateur who only has maybe a couple of mates to help him look – the pro's have their playing partners, their caddies and maybe dozens of spectators to help search for a ball, so they are less likely to rack up lost balls than the amateurs.

  • Thank you for sharing new golf rules.  Easy to understand and good looking pro..

  • Try Thinking For a change

    Stop the irritating music so we can hear the speaker.

  • Best way to save time out on the course is to improve.

  • Very clear explanation, thanks

  • Damn, I shouldn't have gone out with friends and tried playing golf, now it's 4AM and I'm watching this rules eventhough I can't even hit the ball most of the time. Don't dare try it guys, you won't stop.

  • New rules are made to make the millenniums happy. Sure wouldn’t want to make them wait for anything, or have there feelings hurt. Give them a participation trophy and get them off the course. The penalty area , the flagstick staying in, hitting ob and not going back to the tee box being able to drop anywhere.. Cap on strokes per hole. Being able to touch sand in the bunker. If you’re in that much of a hurry , please go play putt putt where you belong.

  • I like Rule #21 No intentional spearing your opponents – this will cut down on injuries and speed of play

  • Caddies are no longer permitted to assist players align putts.

    LPGA: Uh-oh.

  • Outstanding New Golf Rules 2019!

  • Excellent summary. Thank you!

  • Going to train to flop my shot then kick it wearing my Mercurial vapour shoes into the hole.

  • Great informative video.

  • Baltimore GCAMTOUR

    very informative and I will soon be passing this information on to all of my AmTour Players.. Thank you very much

  • Well done and thank you. I will show this at my first team meeting.

  • You recorded the video in my course

  • Help me! No 17 can i alignt my club to the hole …on the 'fairways'and removed them before hit… (Not green that is what i mean)

  • Great video

  • So, basically, hazards are no longer hazards. Ground the club, take a practice swing, remove loose impediments… smh. Kicked your ball? Just replace it. I'm sure EVERYONE will do their very best to recreate their terrible lies. I'm not a fan of these changes. Apart from the ability to repair spike marks. That was the worst rule in golf. Glad they got that right.

    *edit: And the new drop at knee height looks absolutely ridiculous. It's awkward. There was nothing wrong with shoulder height.

  • Wow definitely making the game easier not sure I like all of these rules changes. The flag in thing is like putt putt rules wtfrench

  • I'm confused with the new penalty area rule.  Does this mean you can ground your club anywhere marked with red stakes?

  • does rule #17 mean you cannot hold the putter up behind the ball to "plumb" the line?

  • A rule change should apply to landing in a divet on the fairway, you should be allowed to drop no charge.

  • Thanks for your video. Could you please confirm that there is another important rule change which allows you not to hit a provisional ball? if your first shot can’t be found, you just take a two shots penalty and drop a ball. Leaving the flag in is the best rule change, in my view and the “no provision shot “ is the second best rule change, which really speeds up the play.

  • Great job. Thanks

  • what about double greens and not playing from them?

  • Soon after reading these golf swing secrets “mowosam press” (Google it) and rehearsing the drills as I study, I went out and also shot a seventy three. Another accomplishment I have done is reaching 13 of 18 greens in regulation. On the other five holes, I got close to striking five to ten yards with the green. 73s is not a natural thing for me since I have a handicap of 9. When I think about it, I haven’t had a superb round for a long period..

  • On the green, can the edge of the hole/ cup be repaired?

  • Awesome guy making the video!

  • You can kick your ball accidentally in the rough? and receive no penalty, you can accidentally kick your ball on the green fairway rough without penalty, yet when you move loose twigs/litter around your ball and your ball moves, you receive a penalty?

  • The saying is – if it's not burst, then don't fix it! These new rules is going to lead to a lot of arguments out on the golf course, resulting in slow play, I look forward in witnessing how the pro's deal with these new rule, bet they still don't do a three hour round, and that's just a 3 ball LOL!

  • FabuLes!

  • If my ball stops in a divot, is it consider embedded and I can get relief? Technically part of the ball is in the ground

  • Very good visual presentation of some of the new rules of golf. Hopefully additional changes will be made in the very near future, particularly having to play from a divot that the previous player did not have to. That is one of the worst rules in golf, totally unfair.

  • Finally with the new rules 90% of my cheating is now legal.

  • I put the putter in front of the ball on the green as part of my pre putt routine. It helps my alignment and has become habit. My intent was to never improve the lie in front of the ball. This has always been legal in the past, though many have tried to call me out on it. Is this still legal?

  • Wouldn't these results vary depending on (i) the width of the flagstick, (ii) the material of the flagstick (wood, metal, plastic, etc), and (iii) whether the ball strikes directly at the flagstick, versus slightly off?

  • Why don't they just call it a curtsy drop.

  • Can I still give my girlfriend a good pounding in the out of bounds and how far from the fairway or green do I have to be to take a shite !

  • yes but like dropping a ball from knee high is not IN MY OPINION MY OPINION . this is not sporting , OK ITS THE NEW RULES.

  • Great video. Cheers!

  • Nice shot from the water.

  • the thing about club length basically didnt change. It was ORIGINALLY (like way back) that you shoudl use the club you were going to play, but people would say "i wanna use the driver" then "change" their minds when about to play. That was changed to whichever club you want, but in practice, its the same rule.
    Also: i love how common sense things are now especially for newer players. plus may save the rest of us a stroke or two as well

  • Very clean explanation. I will follow him

  • I dont think so many changes are good"

  • The rules-makers must be mad leftists, as these changes are all pointless and detrimental. Next it'll be 'if you play a shot and you don't like the result, you may have another attempt from the same spot without penalty'. Terrible.

  • I have questions? Does R&A rules allow for player to have 2 putters in bag. My theory is this….. If you average put ball 30-36 times during round, the putter is then most used "club" in bag. So almost 50% of your shots you allowed 1 club, and 13 clubs for the other 50%. A bit absurd wouldn't you think?

  • Why is touching sand still not allowed, but grounding club in water and hazards is? Doesn't seem terribly different.

  • Many of these rules😎 several are no Bueno!!!

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  • Love the comment about free drop out of a divot hole.Why should anybody be penalized with ground under repair.

  • Have you had a look at DJ chip from Greenside/hole 10? He tucked his wedge in tight behind ball and ball is actually moving. What does the rules say. When is ball "moving", by how much millimeters? My whole life I'm so conscious of this. Never even allow club to touch ball at all.
    Have a look European Tour highlights.
    https://youtu.be/VtXMKcgxz8Q

  • https://youtu.be/VtXMKcgxz8Q

  • The Expert Golf Quick Reference he mentions at the beginning is a great book for the golf bag. It is tabbed by situation and references the appropriate rule in the usga rules guide so you can find rules you need to check very quickly.

  • PGA, R and A, USGA or whoever makes these stupid rules: stop making the game WORSE! Drop rule should be knee height or above. Don’t be sooo dumb!

  • Rule 22a… beer-thirty can now be started on the driving range and putting green prior to playing.
    Rule 22b… no peeing on the first green

  • The 3 minute rule should stand and if you can't find your ball you should be allowed to drop where all players agreed it most likely ended up. Penalty one stroke. Walking back to where you played it may be been a good idea in the 1800's but today it's not practicle

  • recently got a interesting situation. My approach shot came to rest in the bank of greenside bundle covered in a heap of leaves. Can I mark the ball, pick up, removes the leaves and then place back the ball in the same position and play from there?.

  • #expertgolf

  • What if you pitch the ball to a green-side rough but can't find it but you are 100% that's where it landed (most likely plugged). Is that a free drop?

  • If a ball is already ruled as holed, as partly under the lip, then a gust of wind causes the flag to pop the ball back out, what is the ruling?

  • Excellent advise and tips – thanks so much ♥.

  • Reducing the time from 5 mins to 3 will actually slow the game down because it'll mean more people running back to the tee box. stupid

  • What if the ball is not below the lip against the flag? You smash it into the hole and call it a stroke?

  • Knee height drops look so awkward. They should have made it hip height 😛 Ergonomics!

  • Whyd ricky fowler get a 1 stroke penalty for dropping the old way in his first match of the match play if its not a penalty ??

  • I am taking a course to easy my swing stress. If anyone is interested here's a link to it http://tinyurl.com/y53ljlcw

  • why is a halfed whole now called a tie?
    why is a hazard called a penalty area?
    why isn't water called water?
    why is dormie not a term used anymore?
    what is the point of these cjhanges in terminology???????

  • Frances Robinson

    Enjoyed this video!

  • 3:15 damn, how many tries did it take to get that shot?

  • I love that JL belt.

  • That was a great shot out of the water, except that I didn't at any time see a ball come out of the water. I think it's still in there.

  • excellent

  • Average Golfers with Ugly Swings

    Awesome video to show the rules with helping us better understand them. Great job.

  • realgolfexperts.com

  • Excellent summary. Well done.

  • this is the most helpful explanation I've yet seen!

  • Regarding being able to re-place a previously marked ball on the green, I believe that the ruling bodies should have put more emphasis on the fact that the ball must have been marked in order to allow it to be re-placed. Further, they should have emphasized that a ball which had not been previously marked before the next stroke must be played from the new position. Perhaps these points are implied and don't require emphasis. However, in 30+ years of playing, many rules which are spelled out fairly clearly are very often misunderstood and/or mis-applied.

  • Joseph MIkolajczyk

    I don’t know why I’m watching this. I don’t play buy the rules anyways

  • What a great video! Funny and informative! Thank you!

  • How is dis video gonna improve meh golf swing I can’t even swing my golf good

  • james klinski

    Do these rules apply in America too?

  • Rule change #137: If your putt is knocked out of bounds by the windmill blade, you can replay it without penalty.

  • Best summary I have seen – thanks! Glad you survived deflection at 2:54!

  • The double hit rule change really makes sense because the person actually only swung once ,,,one stroke!
    They did not swing twice!

  • Cooltown Cardinal

    I really like the new rules this year because they're in favor of the player. Also to speed up play.

  • Thank you!!!

  • Pam Loves Sharers

    I have a tournament tomorrow, thank you!!

  • keeps it simple well done

  • Anyone notice when he was hitting out of the water, his club barely made contact with the ball and it trickles into the bushes, but then magically it hops up on the green? 5:40 😂

  • John McDonnell

    Excellent summary with visuals for the new rule changes.

  • An excellent and clear summary. However should also include the changes in taking relief for an unplayable lie.

  • cool stuffs. This is great learning material.

  • Who is come here to know the rules even don't know how to play golf?

  • I'm extremely impressed that he was able to double hit the ball. I don't care how many times he tried!

  • I play by Trump rules so none of this applies to me

  • Thanks!

  • Downloading it now thanks

  • When you move the ball from the wrong green, is there a penalty?

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