2012 USGA Rules of Golf Principal Changes
from www.golf.com and www.usga.com
2012 is a revision year for the USGA Rules of Golf. You might consider buying a new rules book for your bag. This year’s edition is good for three years rather than the usual two. As with every edition, there are changes/modifications to the rules. The USGA is tasked with keeping the basic foundation of golf intact while remaining relevant to today’s game. For the first time, the USGA and R&A are joint authors will publish one book on the rules of gofl.
1. Rule 12-1 – Seeing Ball; Searching for Ball. This rule has been amended to apply a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a if a player moves his ball in a hazard when searching for it when it is believed to be covered by loose impediments.
2. Rule 18-2b – Ball Moving After Address. A new Exception is added that exonerates the player from penalty if his ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that he did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.
Padraig Harrington, three-time Major winner and R&A-Working for Golf Ambassador, said: “I am delighted with the changes, in particular the ball moving after address. Every time the wind blows I am worried that my ball is going to move and I am worried about grounding my putter, distracting me from trying to hole my putt. This change will speed up play, there won’t be as many suspensions and players won’t be getting penalized or disqualified unfairly. It is definitely giving us players a little bit of a break.