Rules of Golf 2019 – Changes to Current Definitions

The R&A and USGA are changing some current definitions in order to remove any confusion over terms and make them more clearly understood.

These are listed below:

List of Definitions  Changed from the Previous Definitions in the New Rules of Golf 2019



Current Definition New Definition Reason for Elimination
Abnormal Ground Conditions Abnormal Course Conditions (will include immovable obstructions) Including immovable obstructions in the term ’abnormal ground conditions’ will allow current Rules 24-2, 24-3 and 25-1 to be combined into a single Rule with the same relief procedures
Burrowing Animal Hole Animal Hole Revised to include all holes dug by animals (except those that are loose impediments, such as worms or insects) not just those animals that dig a hole for habitation or shelter. For example this new term will include holes made by a dog.
Casual Water Temporary Water Revised to indicate more cearly the nature of the condition and to help in translation
Forms of Match Play Match Play Revised so that ‘Match Play’ is added as a formal definition which then identifies the different forms of Match Play
Forms of Stroke Play Stroke Play Revised so that ‘Stroke Play’ is added as a formal definition which then identifies the different forms of Stroke` Play
Move or Moved Move Single Term ‘Move’ is sufficient
Nearest Point of Relief Nearest Point of Complete Relief The word ‘Complete’ added to emphasise that when taking relief from interference by certain conditions or situations the player must take complete relief.
Outside Agency Outside Influence Revised to indicate more clearly that it is relevant when these people or objects influence play
Stipulated Round Round ‘Stipulated’ seen as unnecessary and rarely used by golfers or committees
Teeing Ground Teeing Area Revised to correspond with the word ‘area’ to describe certain defined areas of a course such as ‘general area’ and ‘penalty area’
Through the Green General Area Revised to eliminate any confusion about what ‘through’ and ‘the green’ mean in this term, many golfers still misubderstand the term to apply to a ball that has carried over and through the putting green. The term ‘General Area’ is now intended to convey that it covers the entire area of the golf course with the exception of four specific areas, teeing area, pnalty area, bunker and putting green.
Water Hazard Penalty Area Revised term to reflect the expanded authority to be given to Committees to mark additional types of areas, not containing water, to have the same status as the current red- or yellow-marked water hazards. Examples may include jungles, lava rock, deserts or areas not marked by a committee but that fall within the definition of penalty area