New Rules of Golf: 15 things you need to know for 2019

New Rules of Golf: 15 things you need to know for 2019

Amateur

New Rules of Golf: 15 things you need to know for 2019

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Justin Thomas takes a drop at the 2018 Ryder Cup. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Take a knee

Speaking of all these drops, players should drop the ball from knee height instead of shoulder height whenever a drop is specified for relief.

There is another important factor when taking a drop for relief: The ball must remain within the designated relief area, either one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the type of relief.

For example: If a player is allowed two club-lengths relief from a penalty area, no nearer the hole, the ball must remain within that two-club-length area. If a ball bounces or rolls and comes to rest outside that original relief area, the player must re-drop within the designated area. If it again comes to rest outside that area, the player must place it on the spot where it struck the ground in the relief area on the second drop.

For comparison, in some scenarios under the old rules a player could take a drop within two club-lengths of a point of relief, and if the ball rolled another two club-lengths no nearer the hole, it was in play. That could result in a total of almost four club-lengths before the ball came to rest in play.

The simple takeaway: The ball must be played from within the original drop area, and if it rolls outside that area after two drops, it must be placed by hand. This eliminates nine re-dropping scenarios in the old rules, and by dropping from knee-height, it’s more likely the ball will stay within the prescribed area.

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