THE R&A AND THE USGA ANNOUNCE CHANGES TO “DECISIONS ON THE RULES OF GOLF”
November 2013, St Andrews, Scotland: As part
of a continuing commitment to provide greater clarity to the Rules
of Golf, The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA),
golf's governing bodies, today announced revisions to the 2012-2013
edition of "Decisions on the Rules
of Golf." The changes, part of a customary two-year Decisions
review cycle, become effective on January 1, 2014.
"Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2014-2015" contains more than
1,200 entries addressing specific situations under the Rules of
Golf. A total
of 87 changes have been made to the 2012-2013 Decisions book:
three new Decisions, 59 revised Decisions, one re-numbered Decision
and 24 Decisions withdrawn.
"The Rules of Golf are constantly evolving," said Thomas Pagel,
USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf. "The Decisions review
process is an
opportunity for The R&A and the USGA to continue to help make
the game more understandable and accessible for players, officials
and others who participate in the game."
David Rickman, The R&A's Executive Director - Rules and
Equipment Standards, said, "It is important to consider carefully
new developments in the game and that is reflected in the new
Decisions on the Rules which give greater clarity on the use of
smart phones and advanced video
Among the changes for 2014-2015, four decisions are particularly
- New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports
on weather conditions on a smartphone during a
round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision
also clarifies that players are permitted to access
information on the threat of an impending storm in order to
protect their own safety.
- New Decision 18/4 provides that, where enhanced
technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or
visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position
and come to rest in another location, the ball will not
deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably
discernible to the naked eye at the time. The R&A
and the USGA have issued a Joint Statement on the Use of Video and
other Visual Evidence to further explain the
governing bodies' position on the use of this technology.
- Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 helps to clarify when a golf ball is
considered to be embedded in the ground through
the use of illustrations.
- Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to
approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or
her right to go back and play a provisional ball.
The full text of the revisions to "
Decisions on the Rules of Golf" and of the
Joint Statement can be found at www.RandA.org and www.usga.org.
Printed copies of "The Rules of Golf" and "Decisions on the
Rules of Golf, 2014-2015" are also available from The R&A
and the USGA.
(In the context of this news release, The R&A refers to
R&A Rules Ltd)
R&A Rules Ltd is the rules-making company of The R&A.
Based in St Andrews, The R&A organises The Open Championship,
events and international matches. Together with the United States
Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly
administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment
Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A's working
jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the
growth of the game internationally and the development and
sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent
of 149 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on
behalf of over
thirty million golfers in 135 countries.
For more information about The R&A visit www.RandA.org.
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S.
Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two
championships and international matches. Together with The
R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering
the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and
World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA's working jurisdiction
comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of
sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a
for the game's history and funds an ongoing "For the Good of the
Game" charitable giving programme. Additionally, the USGA's Course
Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50
For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.