If you are yet to think of a suitable new year's resolution, we have an idea that could help you out: learn the changes to the rules of golf for 2023.
A number of key changes were made to the rulebook in 2019, such as removing penalties for accidentally moving your ball on the green and reducing the search time for a ball from five minutes to three minutes.
Also, players were asked to drop the ball from their knee as opposed to the shoulder and four years ago, it was also ruled that players could ground their club and move loose impediments in penalty areas.
The latest alterations, initially announced in November by the R&A and the USGA, don't represent wholesale changes, but significant modifications that aim to promote sustainability and the general development of the modern game.
One of the most important changes that you should write down concerns equipment. Players are now allowed to replace clubs during a round if they are damaged, unless you have just snapped your club in half after a three-putt (or if any abuse damages your club).
The 2023 Rules of Golf come into effect today ⛳— The R&A (@RandA) January 1, 2023
This year's edition has an emphasis on both inclusion and sustainability
Find out more about the new Rules here https://t.co/KU6gpq1Tdb
Download our new Rules of Golf app here https://t.co/CN0UKpkZwl pic.twitter.com/uBperfIjHA
If you accidentally dent the face of your driver or bend the shaft of your wedge, you can now fix or replace this club. Another significant rule change concerns taking a drop near penalty areas.
If a player has taken relief from a penalty area and the ball moves back in after a drop or rolls to another part of the course, they can replace the ball to the spot without adding an additional penalty.
Players will also be allowed to take back-on-the-line relief after finding a penalty area or an unplayable lie. This marks a return to the rule that was active before 2019.
Golfers will no longer be penalised for forgetting to write their handicaps on their scorecards in stroke-play competitions or writing the incorrect handicap too. The new rules aim to promote the use of the digital app and online score input.
Also, Model Local Rule L-1 saves players from disqualification if they haven't signed their scorecard after a round. This will now incur a two-shot penalty and perhaps a reduction of severity and harshness in the rules.
In a lot of instances now, penalties have been reduced from two shots to just one to make the game fairer. Along with the changes made to writing your handicap and signing your scorecard, the R&A and USGA have certainly added a degree of leniency and forgiveness with these new changes.
The addition of rule 25 represents a progression in inclusivity in the sport. The modified rules for players with disabilities have become part of the playing rules for the first time.
The R&A states: Rule 25 applies to all competitions, including all forms of play. It is a player’s category of disability and eligibility that determine whether they can use the specific modified Rules in Rule 25. Rule 25 modifies certain rules for players in the following categories of disability:
- Players who are blind (which includes certain levels of vision impairment),
- Players who are amputees (which means both those with limb deficiencies and those who have lost a limb)
- Players who use assistive mobility devices, and
- Players with intellectual disabilities.