Putting rule change from January 2017

09 January 2017
Putting rule change from January 2017

One of Golf’s unjust rules is set to change from January 1st 2017.

Tournament committees will now have the power to enact a local rule that states if you, your caddie, your partner or your Golfing equipment accidentally moves a ball or ball marker on the green, there is no penalty and the ball should be replaced.

The local rule was announced jointly by the USGA and R&A and has been prompted by the controversy at the US Open that cost Dustin Johnson a one stroke penalty.
Johnson who won the championship was penalised for accidentally moving his ball on the 5th green of the final round at Oakmont. Johnson was standing over the ball making 2 practice strokes as he prepared to address the ball it moved, the rules official and playing partner Lee Westwood were both in agreement that there was no infringement. A rules official then approached Johnson on the 12th tee saying they will need to review the footage after the round has been completed. The one stroke penalty was given with the USGA’s director of rules saying that Johnsons actions “could have caused the ball to move”.

The local rule has been warmly received by the professional tournament organisers. The major tours and the masters have already confirmed they will use the new rule in 2017.

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