RA USPGA

 Category Sub-category Topic  Description of Change
 Playing a ball   Advice and help   Caddie standing behind a player to help with that player’s alignment

 New rule: A caddie is not allowed to deliberately stand on or close to the extended line of play behind a player while the player is taking his or her stance until the stroke is made.

 Current rule: A caddie is allowed to stand on a line behind a player while the player is taking a stance and preparing to play, but must not stand there while the player makes the stroke.

 Caddie lifts and replaces the player’s ball on the putting green

 New rule: A caddie may lift and replace the player’s ball on the putting green without the player’s specific authorization to do so.

 Current rule: 1-stroke penalty if done without the player’s specific authorization.

 When to play during a round    Pace of play     Recommendations on how to play promptly

 New rule: Recommends that players make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds, and usually in less time.

 Current rule: No recommendations are given.

 Playing out of turn in stroke play

 New rule: No penalty (as today), and “ready golf” is encouraged when it can be done in a safe and responsible way.

 Current rule: No penalty, but the current Rule is written in a way that may imply that playing out of turn is wrong or is not allowed.

 Other changes to help pace of play   Other new rules: Reduced time for search, allowing more areas to be marked as penalty areas, expanded use of red penalty areas, the simplified dropping procedure and allowing a player to putt with the flagstick in the hole.
 New alternative form of stroke play

 New rule: A new “Maximum Score” form of stroke play is recognized, where a player’s score for a hole is capped at a maximum score (such as two times par, a fixed number or net double bogey) that is set by the Committee.

 Current rule: In standard individual stroke play, players must hole out at every hole; the only recognized alternative forms of stroke play where holing out is not required are Stableford, Par and Bogey.

Player behaviour     Standards of conduct   Playing in the spirit of the game

 New rule: Explains and reinforces the high standards of conduct expected from players and gives Committees the discretion to disqualify players for serious misconduct.

 Current rule: The Rules set out no standards of conduct, except indirectly in giving Committees discretion to disqualify players for a serious breach of etiquette.

 Code of player conduct

 New rule: Committees are given authority to adopt their own code of player conduct and to set penalties for the breach of the standards in that code.

 Current rule: Committees may disqualify players for a serious breach of etiquette, but are not allowed to impose lesser penalties such as a 1-stroke penalty or a loss of hole/2-stroke penalty.

Integrity   Eliminating announcement requirements before lifting a ball under certain Rules

 New rule: When a player has good reason to mark and lift a ball to identify it, check for damage or see if it lies in a condition where relief is allowed (such as to see whether it is embedded), the player is no longer required first to announce to another player or his or her marker the intent to do so or to give that person an opportunity to observe the process.

 Current rule: Before lifting in these cases, the player must announce to another player or the marker that he or she is doing so and allow that person to observe the process.

 Player’s reasonable judgment in estimating and measuring under a Rule

 New rule: When determining a spot, point, line, area or other location under a Rule, a player’s reasonable judgment will not be second-guessed based on later evidence (such as video review) if the player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make an accurate estimation or measurement.

 Current rule: A player’s judgment is given no particular weight or deference; the Committee decides any issue about the accuracy of the estimation or measurement based on a review of all facts.