The USGA is bringing some major changes to the course in 2019. It appears that they are trying to enhance the experience on the course while making golf easier to play, more fun and cut down on time. While the list of new rules is rather expansive and tedious to read through, we thought we’d share with you the rule changes that really matter! Below you’ll find the 20 most important new rules of golf for 2019. Here we go…

1.) Search time—Reduced from five minutes to three minutes.

2.) Ball moved during search—Replace with no penalty.

3.) Embedded ball—Free relief anywhere through the green.

4.) Measuring a drop—Use longest club (except putter).

5.) Dropping—Drop from knee height rather than from shoulder height.

6.) Taking stance on the wrong green is no longer allowed.

7.) Ball unintentionally hits player or equipment—No penalty.

8.) Double hit—No penalty; now counts as only one shot.

9.) Touching sand in bunker incidentally is permitted.

10.) Loose impediments can be removed anywhere including hazards.

11.) Dropping a ball outside of a bunker—two penalty strokes.

12.) Water hazards—Now called “Penalty Areas.”

13.) Touching ground in penalty area—No penalty.

14.) Ball moves on green after being marked—Replace without penalty.

15.) Ball accidentally moved on putting green—Replace without penalty.

16.) All damage to green can now be repaired.

17.) Positioning a club for alignment is not permitted.

18.) Caddie assisting with alignment is now not permitted.

19.) Putting with flag stick in the hole is now permitted.

20.) Ball wedged against the flag stick and the side of the hole is deemed as holed.

There you have it. Share our list with your golf buddies and be prepared when you step on the course for your next round. If you’re interested in all the new rules, head over to the USGA website and sift through everything. Or if you have five minutes to kill, check out this terribly over produced video featuring the Bachelorette’s Chris Harrison stumbling around the golf course while two lovely ladies teach him the new rules like he’s dumber than a fifth grader.

About The Author


Busted Wallet’s resident testing and review specialist, Josh has a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports-related. After working closely with brands such as Nike, The North Face, EA Sports, Burton, HP, Oakley, Sony, Cannondale, Taylormade Golf and many others over the past decade he’s grown to become one of the most reliable reviewers in the business.

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