Latest ‘Rules of Golf’ book the best yet, and now allows for gusty conditions

2012-01-27 00:00

A NEW Rules of Golf book became available from January 1 this year.

It is free of charge to members of golf clubs around the world.

Every four years the rules of golf are revised and published as a new edition. The new rules will be valid until 2015. The rules are jointly approved by the Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews, Scotland and the United States Golf Association which means that there is a uniform code governing the rules of the game.

It’s highly unlikely that any golfer who has a copy of the Rules of Golf will read the book from cover to cover.

Most golfers only consult the rule book when there is a rules issue on the course that needs to be resolved.

It is however, recommended that golfers read the short section of “A quick guide to the rules of golf”.

It is also advisable to read the principal changes that were introduced in 2012. Both of these sections can be found in the front of the book.

The book improves each year as it grows in size. In the year 1980 there were 90 pages, in 1992 there were 128 pages and in the year 2000 there were 176 pages.

It now contains 208 pages, but over the years it has become far easier to understand. Another improvement is the red text indicating a breach of rule and resulting penalties.

The most significant change is rule 18-2b — ball moving after address. A new exception has been added which exonerates the player from penalty if the ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause the ball to move.

For example, if a gust of wind moves the ball after address, there is no penalty and the ball is played from the new position. Remember Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy being penalised in the Open Championship last year at Royal St Georges when the wind moved the ball after he has addressed it?

There was a similar incident with Padraig Harrington, but he was disqualified because he didn’t replace the ball under the old rule.

Golfers who play on the windy coast will welcome these changes. The book represents over 30 million golfers both amateurs and professionals in 128 countries worldwide.


From the 19th hole:

The current plight of the Costa Concordia reminds one of a comment apparently made by Winston Churchill.

After his retirement he was cruising in the Mediterranean on an Italian cruise liner and some Italian journalists asked him why an ex-British Prime Minister should choose an Italian ship.

“There are three things I like about being on an Italian cruise ship,” said Churchill.

“First their cuisine is unsurpassed.

“Second their service is superb.

“And then, in time of emergency, there is none of this nonsense about women and children first.”

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