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New Local Rule Introduced


The R&A and the USGA have announced the introduction of a new Local Rule that when a player accidentally moves their ball on the green, as Dustin Johnson did at the US Open back in June and was subsequently penalised a shot, there will be no penalty.  The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a golf competition to use starting 1 January 2017 - players are advised to check whether the Local Rule has been adopted at any venue for any competition in which they play.

New Local Rule introduced by R&A and USGA


The R&A and the USGA announced the introduction of a new Local Rule to the Rules of Golf that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green.

•  New Local Rule eliminates penalty for a golfer who accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green.

•  Rule available for committees to use in golf competitions from 1 January 2017.

•  R&A and USGA will adopt new Local Rule in all golf championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.

The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a golf competition to use starting 1 January 2017. It will be adopted by The R&A and the USGA in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.


If a Committee wishes to introduce this Local Rule, the following wording is recommended:

Rules 18-218-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:

When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced."

For an illustration how the new Local Rule should be used:-  Click Here