Changes for the 2018-19 School Year
A) As it has been well publicized the USGA and R&A are "modernizing" their rules for golf. There are two rules that will be changed in January 2019 that we are going to go ahead and use as at the start of the school year (2018) that the Kansas Golf Coaches Association feels are positively impacting the high school golf fall's season.
- Under Rule 18.2, the time for a ball search (before the ball becomes lost) will be three minutes. The change is going to three minutes from five minutes.
- Under the new Rules, "Water hazards" will be superseded by the expanded concept of "penalty areas", and Rule 17 will provide the same basic options for relief that exist under the current Rules:
- A penalty area will include both (1) all areas currently defined in the Rules as a water hazard or lateral water hazard and (2) any other areas the Committee chooses to define as penalty areas (with recommended guidelines to be provided in the guidebook).
- Penalty areas may therefore include areas such as deserts, jungles, lava rock fields, etc.
The term "hazard" will no longer be used in the Rules. http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/areas-the-committee-may-mark-as-penalty-areas.html
B) The use of carts for players may only be used if there is a disability present.
C) Coaches may "offer advice" to their golfers during competition per the following:
Coaches may not be on the green at any time.
Coaches may not be on the tee box once the first player of the group addresses the ball.
No player may tee off until all golfer in the group are present on the teeing ground.
Coaches may coach/communicate with their golfer until all golf balls have arrived on the green.
D) Smartwatches will not be allowed unless they only measure distance via GPS. If they perform any other functions they will not be permitted.
2019 USGA Rule: Under Rule 13.2a(2): There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.
This new rule coming in 2019 allows for players to leave the flagstick in the hole and still hole out without penalty. HOWEVER in tournament golf high school golfers will be required to still pull the flag out of the hole before striking the ball on the green. The purpose of the new USGA rule is to speed up play when playing by yourself. In tournament golf this is not necessary.