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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Jason Day’s ball is plugged in a bunker at the 2017 BMW Championship. (Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour)

Bunker relief

Players will have more options for taking relief with penalty. For example, we’ll use a scenario in which a player’s ball has buried under the lip of a bunker.

The player can still declare the ball unplayable and drop the ball in the bunker, either within two club-lengths of the original spot or on a line with the flagstick, no nearer the hole. Or the player could take stroke-and-distance relief, playing outside the bunker from the spot where they had played their previous shot. Those scenarios result in a one-stroke penalty, same as with the old rules.

But under the new rules, a player also can accept a two-stroke penalty and drop the ball outside the bunker on a line with the flagstick, no nearer the hole. For players who find themselves in especially soft sand in which a dropped ball is likely to bury, or for players who just hate playing from the sand, this could be an appealing if costly option to escape the sand altogether without going all the way back to where the previous shot had been played.

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