Click the link below to view a video of the 2019 golf rule changes 09/11/new-golf-rules-2019-the- 20-most-important-changes

New USGA and R&A Rule


As of January 1, 2019, all regular and lateral water hazards will be termed as Penalty Areas (PAs).


New Local Rule


In addition, any area of the course where a ball is likely to be lost or unplayable, if found, can be deemed a Penalty Area (PA), if approved by the local Golf Committee. These areas will include forests, deserts, canyons, arroyos, and rocky areas. PAs may also include areas previously marked as out-of-bounds (OB).


A player may take relief, at the point they entered the Penalty Area, of two club lengths and dropping the ball from knee high. This will be a one-stroke penalty. For example, if your tee shot enters the Penalty Area, you will drop the ball and play your third shot, as compared to your third shot from the tee box, under the current rules. “All Penalty Areas” will be marked with red stakes or lines. Most out-of-bounds, such as the left side of #1 or #2, and both sides of #10, will still be OB and played the same as previously, with loss of stroke and distance. If a ball goes OB, you must play from the same spot (tee box, fairway, rough) with a one-stroke penalty.



Changes for Local Rule Adoption


Front 9


#3 Left side – Continue the line of the existing (lateral water hazard – now termed as Penalty Area) down the fenced line (approximately 40 yds). This would make the entire left side of #3 a continuous PA and played consistently throughout. Drop two club lengths from point of entry at knee high, and one-shot penalty.


 Back 9


Right side, starting on #13 through the green on #16, would be designated as Penalty Areas. Drop two club lengths from point of entry at knee high, and one-stroke penalty.


Left side, starting at #13 tee box through #15 green, will be designated as Penalty Areas. Drop ball two club lengths from point of entry at knee high, and one-stroke penalty.


New Penalty Areas  (These were previously out-of-bounds)

Two club lengths from where you entered the penalty area – one stroke penalty


#3 – short fence area on left side

#13 through #16 – right side

#13 through #15 – left side


All other Out-of-Bounds still in effect

Must return to original spot and hit again – one stroke penalty


#1 and #2 – left sides

#4 – road beyond green

#10 – left side, roads

#11 and #12 – left sides

#16 – left side

#17 – left and right sides, roads

#18 – left side