By now you have heard the exciting news that the USGA has unveiled the plan for a simplified set of rules going into effect in 2019. While NCCGA rules will remain in accordance with the current USGA Rules of Golf in 2017, I thought it'd be fun to look ahead at some of the key changes that will affect NCCGA players nationwide when they go into effect in 2019.
1) Maximum Scores
For the first time the USGA will be allowing an alternative form of stroke play – an option to set a maximum score per hole. You may have noticed that the NCCGA has been implementing a double par rule since 2009; finally this will be “legal”.
2) Fewer Penalties
Many of the new rules adjustments result in fewer penalties. Accidental movement of your ball or or accidently hitting yourself or your equipment with a shot will no longer result in a penalty.
3) Simplified Relief Options
In addition to re-defining “penalty areas” to more clearly classify which relief options are available, fixed distances of 20 or 80 inches will be used instead of club lengths to identify the “relief area”. Drops no longer need to be dropped from shoulder height, making the dropping process a bit more interesting in the future.
4) Everything Else!
The USGA put together a great page which highlights the other major changes that will be taking place in 2019. Check out the USGA Rules page and share your feedback with us by tweeting @nextgolfer using the hashtag #GolfRules2019.