The New Format for the Rules of Golf 2019



The R&A and the USGA will launch their new format of the Rules of Golf in January 2019.

 The Rules are being condensed down from 34 to 24 rules and will focus on what the typical player needs to know. The new style includes more explanatory headings and easier to read formatting.

The Quick Guide, the Rule Book and the Decision Book will be no longer in use.

They are being replaced by a Players Edition which will be an actual Rule Book, not merely a summary or a “Quick Guide”. It will look like the full Rules and, although the text of the Player’s Edition will be condensed, it will give the reader the same answer that is found in the full Rules.

The Rule Book will focus on what the typical player needs to know. The contents of more than 100 key Decisions will be moved  into the body of the Rules. This approach makes the Rule book itself longer, but reducing the word count in the book is much less important than allowing the reader to find all Rule answers in a single document.  Information that is only relevant to Committees who organise competitions etc, adopting Local Rules and their recommended wording have been taken out of the Rule Book and are moved to a separate “Committee Procedures” document.

The Guidance Handbook will replace the Decision Book. The Handbook will give organised explanatory guidance on each Rule where needed rather than using “Decisions” as the sole method of providing interpretations of the Rules.

It is anticipated that all documents will be published in mid to late 2018, in the meantime draft documents are available on the R&A website (

                                                                                                             Anne de Lacy










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