Clarifications of the 2019 Rules of Golf

Clarifications of the 2019 Rules of Golf

Updated October 2022

When the fully updated and rewritten Rules of Golf went into effect in January 2019, there was a recognition that they would not be perfect, and that the intent of certain Rules might need to be clarified. This led to the creation of a living document called the Clarifications of the 2019 Rules of Golf. This document is updated quarterly and allows golf’s governing bodies (the USGA and the R&A) to be more responsive and nimbler in governing the game and applying the Rules.

When a Rule needs further clarification for it to apply the way it was intended to, the mechanism of Clarifications allows for quick implementation outside of any changes to the Rules. Information included in the Clarifications document generally will foreshadow likely revisions to the Rules themselves at the time of the next revision, which is currently scheduled for January 2023.

While a few dozen items have been added to the full Clarifications document to support the new Rules that went into effect in 2019, some have been particularly beneficial to the game, including caddie alignment, limitations to green-reading materials and additional messaging from the governing bodies on backstopping.

You may download a copy of the R&A and USGA most recent update to the Clarifications of the Rules of Golf 2019, by clicking on the download button below:

Clarifications will normally be updated on a quarterly basis each January, April, July, and October and the next quarterly update is likely to be in January 2023. The next revision to Rules of Golf will be January2023.