Location of 2018 Decisions in 2019 Rules of Golf

Location of 2018 Decisions on the Rules of Golf in 2019 Rules of Golf

In order to help golfers around the world better understand how the detailed Rules of Golf are applied and interpreted, the Decisions on the Rules of Golf were introduced. The purpose of the Decisions was to clarify matters that may not be entirely clear from the Rules of Golf.

The Decisions on the Rules of Golf was a collection of over 1,200 interpretations of the Rules of Golf. They were a collaboration by the USGA and the R&A. A new book was published every two years, after a thorough review of new questions that were not specifically addressed in the current version. The new publication contained some new and some revised Decisions and some Decisions would be withdrawn altogether.

The Decisions book was arranged by Rule number. Each section corresponding to one of the thirty-four sections of the Rule Book. At the beginning of each section, the entire contents of the Rule itself are displayed.

The layout of most of the Decisions is in a question and answer format; some are just a statement. For example, Decision 13-2/22 was stated as:

Q. A player’s ball lies near a tree or bush. The player takes a practice swing near his ball and knocks down leaves in the area of his intended swing. Is this a breach of Rule 13-2?

A. The answer depends on whether the area of the intended swing is improved. In some cases, the knocking down of a number of leaves would not improve the area of the intended swing as the player still has to swing through a number of remaining leaves when making his stroke. In such circumstances, there would be no breach of the Rules. In other cases, the knocking down of one leaf might improve the area of the intended swing, in which case there would be a breach of Rule 13-2.

If a player has improved the area of his intended swing by knocking down a leaf or a number of leaves, he cannot avoid penalty under Rule 13-2 by subsequently changing the area of his swing when he actually makes the stroke.

The Decisions on the Rules of Golf was designed to be used as a reference guide but with over 1,200 Decisions, it was sometimes difficult to find the applicable Decision.

The R&A and USGA in their modernisation of the Rules of Golf have replaced the Decisions on the Rules of Golf with ‘An Official Guide to the Rules of Golf’, incorporating many of the old decisions as new Rules or within the Rules definition encasing them in general terms rather than specific ones as before. Where further clarification of some situations may be required these are included as ‘Interpretations’.

As an example of Decisions that have changed over the years, I will use the same decision as previously.

So Decision 13-2/22 stated:

Q. A player’s ball lies near a tree or bush. The player takes a practice swing near his ball and knocks down leaves in the area of his intended swing. Is this a breach of Rule 13-2?

A. The answer depends on whether the area of the intended swing is improved. In some cases, the knocking down of a number of leaves would not improve the area of the intended swing as the player still has to swing through a number of remaining leaves when making his stroke. In such circumstances, there would be no breach of the Rules. In other cases, the knocking down of one leaf might improve the area of the intended swing, in which case there would be a breach of Rule 13-2.

If a player has improved the area of his intended swing by knocking down a leaf or a number of leaves, he cannot avoid penalty under Rule 13-2 by subsequently changing the area of his swing when he actually makes the stroke.

In the 2012-13 Edition of the Decisions of the Rules of Golf, this decision was withdrawn and included in Decision 13-2/0.5 which stated:

In the 2019 Rules of Golf this is located in the Definition of Improve and Interpretations 8.1a/1 and 8.1a/2.

For those of you who are used to using the Old Decisions on the Rules of Golf Book, I have included a link to a document produced by the R&A and USGA which provides the locations of Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2018 within the Rules of Golf 2019.

You may download a copy of the full chart of the locations of all the 2018 Decisions on the Rules of Golf within the 2019 Rules of Golf by clicking on the Download Button below:

Note: if you are thinking of printing it off – THE DOCUMENT IS 47 PAGES LONG.

Download “Location of 2018 Decisions in Rules of Golf 2019” Mapping-Summary-Chart-FINAL.pdf – Downloaded 9 times – 818 KB