New USGA Rules Go Into Effect January 1st

Starting next year golfers will no longer be penalized 2 shots for any incorrect scorecard mark — but only if the player was not aware of their rules violation when the card was signed. The R and A along with the USGA will also no longer have instant response teams online or on the phones to respond to TV viewers’ phone calls during a tournament. These changes are in response to the famous uproar over Lexi Thompson’s scorecard penalty during the LPGA Tour last April. It is also in response to the changing nature of the video/broadcast policy of the LPGA.

The United States Golf Association is heading a debate by top sports officials in an effort to modernize the standard rules for golfing in the United States. This ongoing project is slated to finish in 2019, with a host of recommendations that will touch on everything from dress standards for caddies to the size of cleats on golf shoes to the banning of instant replay on selected televised matches. All of the proposed new regulations will offered for review by the public during 2018.

The Association intends to instigate rules that will exclude smartphone videos from fans when a hearing is held concerning any rules violation by players. The USGA will only allow network telecast video as evidence when a hearing is being held for any player. And television viewers can save their breath if they think they see a violation on their big screen — the Association will no longer accept any phone calls about violations viewers claim to catch.