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Lucan Golf Club – New Rules of Golf

The R&A and the USGA are introducing new Rules of Golf for 2019, effective Jan 1st. The purpose of this memo is to make golfers aware of the key changes and to provide direction on where more detailed information can be accessed. It is the responsibility of each golfer to know the rules of golf as they apply from Jan 2019.

20 Must Know Rules of Golf for 2019:

  1. Drop from knee height (NOT shoulder height)
  2. Measure the area to drop in with the longest club in your bag (except a putter)
  3. Drop in and play from the relief area
  4. When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole than your chosen reference point
  5. Time to search – 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes)
  6. If you accidently move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty
  7. No penalty for a double hit – it only counts as one stroke
  8. No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidently after a stroke
  9. No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole when putting from the green
  10. Spike marks and other shoe damage on the putting green can be repaired
  11. Ball accidentally moved on the putting green – no penalty and replace
  12. Ball marked, lifted and replaced on the putting green is moved by wind to another position – replace ball on the original spot – no penalty
  13. Penalty areas replace water hazards, and you can move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in penalty area without penalty, just as you can on the fairway or in the rough
  14. You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area
  15. In bunkers you can move loose impediments, including stones
  16. In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking practice swings
  17. Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded in the fairway or in the rough (but “embedded” means that part of your ball is below the level of the ground)
  18. Unplayable ball in bunker – extra option to drop outside the bunker for 2 penalty strokes
  19. You cannot have your caddie or your partner standing behind you once you begin taking your stance
  20. Pace of Play – it is recommended that you take no longer 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged

NOTE: Based on GUI / CONGU direction (to all clubs), Lucan GC will NOT be introducing a local rule to allow two shot penalty for Out of Bounds / Lost Ball situation. Current rule of ‘shot and distance’ will continue as is for Out of Bounds and Lost Ball situations

Additional Information


Terminology changes:

As part of the introduction of the New Rules of Golf, there are several terminology changes that are now part of the rules of golf. Some of the key changes are list below:

  • Penalty Area: Previously know as ‘water hazards’, penalty areas will encompass bodies of water or other areas defined by the Committee where a ball is often lost or unable to be played
  • Playing Area: Previously known as the dropping area. When taking relief, the ball must be played from the Playing Area
  • Reference Point: Previously known as ‘nearest point of relief’. Note the playing area is measured from the reference point
  • No Play Zone: previously known as GUR

Local Rules Update:

Our Local Rules have been updated to reflect the New Rules of Golf changes and are listed below. New local rules will be effective from Jan 1st, 2019

  1. Out of Bounds
    1. Beyond the boundaries of the course
    2. Beyond the line of white stakes between the 1st & 7th holes when playing the 7th      hole
    3. Beyond any other line of white stakes within the boundary of the course
    4. Clubhouse enclosure, car park, and practice putting green
    5.  Buggy Parking Area                                                                                                        
  2. Immovable Obstruction - Rule 16.1

Manhole covers, artificial turf & mats adjoining bridges, steps onto tees, distance markers, seats, ball washers, drainage gratings, artificial hole plugs, lampposts at driveway, driveway and pathways (except pathway to the left of the 7th hole which is an integral part of the course when playing the 7th hole)

      3. Wrong Putting Green - Rule 13.1

For the purpose of Rule 13.1, all putting greens include the apron/fringe surrounding the green

      4.       Integral Parts of the Course

Tee boxes, Artificial liner in base of bunkers, Winter Greens when NOT marked GUR, now called a ‘no play zone’, Fences & stakes defining Out of Bounds, staked trees including the stakes, Shrub beds

     5.       Overhead Cables/Poles

Where a ball strikes overhead cables or poles at the 1st & 7th holes, the stroke must be cancelled and replayed without penalty in accordance with Rule 14.6


PENALTY FOR BREACH OF LOCAL RULES: Match Play - Loss of Hole, Stroke Play - Two Strokes



Additional Course Information:

It is planned to introduce ‘temporary indices’ for the ‘Back 9’ to incorporate the recent course changes (14th hole). It is planned to introduce these temporary indices changes from Feb 1st, 2019.


When new 14th holes is open (Mar / Apr) computer data will be used to finalise calculated indices later in the year.

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