USGA Announces Revisions to Rules of Golf for 2023
The USGA and R&A have announced a number of changes to the rules of golf for the 2023 season.
“The growing popularity of golf continues to guide our decision-making, and modernizing the Rules to promote inclusivity and accessibility is clearly a great step in the right direction. This latest evolution is especially important to the community of golfers with disabilities, and we hope it will encourage more people to play and enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA Chief Governance Officer.
The rule changes will go into effect on January 1, 203.
Here are the key ones:
- Modifications for Players with Disabilities: The modifications to the Rules for players with disabilities have been made part of the Rules and are in effect for all players who are classified in the categories covered in Rule 25.
- Handicap Usage in Stroke Play: With the continued growth of score-posting technology following the adoption of the World Handicap System™, players are no longer penalized for failing to put their handicap on their scorecard in stroke play. The committee will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of each player’s handicap.
- Club Damaged During Round: The Rule has been amended to allow a player to replace a club that is damaged during a round, provided the player did not damage it through abuse.
- Ball Moved by Natural Forces: A new exception provides that a ball at rest must be replaced if it moves to another area of the course or comes to rest out of bounds after being dropped, placed or replaced.
- Back-on-the-Line Relief Procedure: The back-on-the-line relief procedure, often used for penalty area and unplayable ball relief, has been simplified so that the player now drops their ball on the line, and the ball must come to rest within one club-length of where it is dropped.