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Effective January 1st, 2019, the Rules of Golf received a major overhaul and modernization, with the aim to have a set of rules that are easier to learn, understand and encourage more people to take up the game.
 
Key changes in the new rules include several terminology changes, new procedures for dropping the ball, the elimination or reduction of several penalties, relaxed rules on the putting green, in penalty areas and bunkers, and encourage improved pace of play.
 
Both the USGA and R&A have free mobile rules of golf apps, available on both the Apple and Android platforms . Here are the links:
 
USGA  (Apple Store)
USGA  (Google Play)
R&A  (Apple Store)
R&A  (Google Play)
 
For the first time, a new Player's Edition of the Rules of Golf is introduced providing a more user-friendly version of the Rules. This version features:
  • A more intuitive organization with ten, simplified, topical groupings.
  • A "Purpose of the Rule" description at the beginning of each Rule, to better define why the Rule exists.
  • Easy-to-follow, full-colour diagrams and charts to aid in understanding.
  • A simpler, more direct writing style.
GTA AM Tour players are encouraged to learn these new rules, as these will be in effect for all events on the 2019 schedule.
 
As always, the GTA AM Tour will employ at least 2 referees at every event in 2019. All referees are fully certified (Level 3) with the current rules. While on course during these events, if you are unsure of how to proceed under a rule, you have 3 options:
  • Consult your 2019 Rules of Golf book or mobile app.
  • Seek out a Referee.
  • Play 2 balls under Rule 20.1c(3) (Formerly rule 3-3).
It is very important to know that these rules have been created by the governing bodies of golf (R&A, USGA, Golf Canada), and these are the avenues players should take in learning the new rules.
 
Players can educate themselves through the websites of the governing bodies by reviewing videos, attempting interactive quizzes and reading - the links are:
The most important thing to understand is that, with such a large-scale change, there is most certainly going to be a learning curve. The 2019 rules are in their infancy and, as such, we need to be prepared for some struggles in implementation. The more we educate ourselves on the new rules, the better prepared we will be.
 
If you wish clarification for any situation, please consult those trained and certified in the rules of golf. All sources listed above, including the GTA AM Tour, have an "ask the expert" feature, where you can receive professional, intuitive responses to any situation that comes up whether you are out playing or at home watching golf.

If you have any questions regarding the 2019 rules of golf, please contact me at jason@gtaamtour.com.

Yours Truly,
Jason Gendron

ABOUT THE GTA AM TOUR:   The GTA AM Tour is owned and operated by Canadian Golf Tours Inc. and is sponsored by: Air CanadaTaylorMade Golf Canada, Mazda Canada, Mill Street BreweryP.J. Dermody Insurance Brokers, HuaweiProdigy Headwear, Cellworks, Sundog Eyewear, Golf Away ToursAndrew Mitchell - Investors Group, Honsberger Physio+ and Biomechanics ClinicWPUP, GOLFTECM+M ContractingWronski Cann Group,  Yurko Photography, Boulderz Climbing Centre, Papa's Pizzaland  and 7Camicie. Tournament rules officials are organized through Golf Canada .

 
  
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