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Rule Changes 2019

Small Changes Big News for Corporate Golf in 2019. 

At NGL Golf we welcome the new rule changes and the positive impact we believe they will have on pace of play and in turn managing our corporate golf days.

The main theme in these changes for 2019 is the emphasis on pace of play and small changes that can have a significant difference in how long it takes to complete a round of golf. This is something we think golfers of all abilities will welcome, especially given the ever busy life in the 21st century. This is highlighted by the R&A's own research which states that 60% of golfers would enjoy the sport more if it took less time. In order for golf to survive and flourish in today's environment we need to make the game quicker and much more conducive of the modern digital age we live in.  As corporate golf organisers, pace of play has been an issue we have encountered for many years and slow play is often a barrier to guest satisfaction. We believe golfers who embrace the new rule changes and adopt "Ready Golf" can comfortably achieve an 18 hole round within 4 hours. We have a responsibility to our clients to achieve the best possible results and offer the biggest return on investment for their golf day. We believe these rule changes in essence to be a positive step forward for corporate golf in 2019 and look forward to making our events even more enjoyable for our guests.


If you would like to download NGL's own booklet on "Ready Golf" please click on the link below. 


Our resident PGA rules official Graham's top tips in navigating the new rules changes.

Graham Collins, NGL Golf

Always have the players edition of the rule book in your golf bag or download the app!


Play Ready Golf in a safe and responsible way, it really can make the difference!


Give it time. The changes will sink in and become second nature!


20 Must Know Rules of Golf Changes for 2019

  1. Drop from knee height (NOT shoulder height)

  2. Measure the area to drop in with the longest club in your bag (except a putter)

  3. Drop in and play from the relief area

  4. When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole than your chosen reference point

  5. Time to search – 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes)

  6. If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty

  7. No penalty for a double hit – it only counts as one stroke

  8. No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke

  9. No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole

  10. Spike mark and other shoe damage on the putting green can be repaired

  11. Ball accidentally moved on putting green – no penalty and replace

  12. Ball marked, lifted and replaced on putting green is moved by wind to another position –replace ball on the original spot

  13. Penalty areas replace water hazards, and you can move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in penalty areas without penalty, just as you can on the fairway or in the rough

  14. You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area

  15. In bunkers you can move loose impediments

  16. In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking practice swings

  17. Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded on the fairway or in the rough (but “embedded” means that part of your ball is below the level of the ground)

  18. Unplayable ball in bunker – extra option to drop outside the bunker for 2 penalty strokes

  19. You cannot have your caddie or your partner standing behind you once you begin taking your stance

  20. Pace of Play - it is recommended that you take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged

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