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NEW RULES

NEW RULE: From time to time I will highlight one of the major new rules.  The full set of new rules are available on www.usga.org




NEW OPTION FOR PLAYING OUT OF BUNKER:

BUNKER: INSTEAD OF PLAYING A BALL FROM A BUNKER -- A PLAYER MAY TAKE THE BALL OUT OF THE BUNKER WITH A TWO STROKE PENALTY. FOLLOWING IS OFFICIAL RULE. SEE NANCY'S NOTES IN CAPS

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2019 Rule: The player will have an extra option allowing relief outside the bunker using the back-on-the-line procedure, but for a total of two penalty strokes (Rule 19.3b).

Reasons for Change:

It is not uncommon for a player to need to take unplayable ball relief in a bunker, such as when the ball is very close to the bunker wall or lip.

Playing from a bunker can be very difficult for some players, especially when the bunker has steep walls.

This can present particular problems in stroke play because the player must finish the hole and so cannot simply pick up and move to the next hole after multiple tries to play the ball from the bunker.
Giving those players an option for taking relief outside the bunker will allow them to keep playing rather than be disqualified.

This extra option will result in a total of two penalty strokes, to make sure that:

_2019 Rule: The player will have an extra option allowing relief outside the bunker using the back-on-the-line procedure, but for a total of two penalty strokes (Rule 19.3b). MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THE USGA SITE -- THE BALL MUST BE DROPPED OUTSIDE THE BUNKER IN A CERTAIN WAY.

Reasons for Change:

It is not uncommon for a player to need to take unplayable ball relief in a bunker, such as when the ball is very close to the bunker wall or lip.

Playing from a bunker can be very difficult for some players, especially when the bunker has steep walls.

This can present particular problems in stroke play because the player must finish the hole and so cannot simply pick up and move to the next hole after multiple tries to play the ball from the bunker.
Giving those players an option for taking relief outside the bunker will allow them to keep playing rather than be disqualified.

This extra option will result in a total of two penalty strokes, to make sure that:

The penalty is consistent with the significant amount of relief being allowed, and
This option does not become commonly used by players who are able to play from a bunker.

NOTE FROM NANCY: IT WOULD APPEAR THAT IF YOU "TRY" TO HIT FROM A BUNKER AND MISS THEN YOU HAVE ADDED YET ANOTHER STROKE IF YOU WERE GOING TO USE THE NEW RULE "TWO-STROKE" PENALTY.. LAST SENTENCE OF RULE RAISES SOME QUESTIONS.