Thursday, November 29, 2018

2019 Rules - New Terminology

Below are old golf terms that are no longer in use or newly-defined, 
 (in gray) followed by the new term (in red).
Rules Tidbit: The 2019 Rules are written in International English, 
which is the language used by the United Nations. Hence you will see 
honour (with the "u"), practise (with the "s"), get a penalty (instead 
of "incur"), etc. Apparently using International English facilitates 
translating the Rules into other languages.
In alphabetical order by "Old Term."
See the second list below for alphabetical order by "New Term."
Old TermNew Term
Abnormal Ground ConditionAbnormal Course Condition
Addressing the Ballno new term
All SquareTied hole (match play)
As soon as practicableAs soon as reasonably possible
Ball cut, cracked, or out of shapeBall cut or cracked
Burrowing AnimalAnimal
Casual WaterTemporary Water
Closely mownCut to fairway height or less
Conditions of the CompetitionTerms of the Competition
Deem ball unplayableDecide ball is unplayable
Environmentally Sensitive AreaNo Play Zone
Fellow CompetitorAnother player in the same group
File a claim (match play)Request a ruling
Forecaddieno new term
GUR–Mandatory ReliefNo Play Zone
Halved (hole in match play)Tied
HazardPenalty Area
HeHe or she
HisHis or her
Incur (a penalty)Get (a penalty)
Lateral Water HazardPenalty Area
Line of PuttLine of Play
Loss-of-Hole Penalty (match play)General Penalty
Nearest Point of ReliefNearest Point of Complete Relief
newly definedRelief Area
newly definedAnimal Hole
newly definedBall-Marker
newly definedBoundary Object
newly definedBunker
newly definedDrop
newly definedIntegral Object
newly definedKnown or Virtually Certain
newly definedMark
newly definedPoint of Maximum Available Relief
newly definedReplace
newly definedSubstitute
newly definedClub-Length (length of longest 
club, putter excluded)
no old termNatural Forces
no old termConditions Affecting the Stroke
no old termMaximum Score
Observerno new term
Outside AgencyOutside Influence
Recall a stroke (match play)Cancel a stroke (match play)
Rub of the Greenno new term
Score cardScorecard
Serious Breach of EtiquetteSerious Misconduct
Spoon (the ball)Scoop (the ball)
Stipulated RoundRound
Teeing GroundTeeing Area
Through the GreenGeneral Area
Two-Stroke Penalty (stroke play)General Penalty
Undue DelayUnreasonable Delay
Verify (score)Certify (score)
Water HazardPenalty Area
New TermOld Term
Abnormal Course ConditionAbnormal Ground Condition
AnimalBurrowing Animal
Animal Holenewly defined
Another player in the same groupFellow Competitor
As soon as reasonably possibleAs soon as practicable
Ball cut or crackedBall cut, cracked, or out of shape
Ball-Markernewly defined
Boundary Objectnewly defined
Bunkernewly defined
Cancel a stroke (match play)Recall a stroke (match play)
Certify (score)Verify (score)
Club-Length (length of longest newly defined
club, putter excluded)
Conditions Affecting the Strokeno old term
Cut to fairway height or lessClosely mown
Decide ball is playableDeem ball unplayable
Dropnewly defined
General AreaThrough the Green
General PenaltyLoss-of-Hole Penalty (match play)
General PenaltyTwo-Stroke Penalty (stroke play)
Get (a penalty)Incur (a penalty)
He or sheHe
His or herHis
Integral Objectnewly defined
Known or Virtually Certainnewly defined
Line of PlayLine of Putt 
Marknewly defined
Maximum Scoreno old term
Natural Forcesno old term
Nearest Point of Complete ReliefNearest Point of Relief
no new termAddressing the Ball
no new termForecaddie
no new termObserver
no new termRub of the Green
No Play ZoneEnvironmentally Sensitive Area;
GUR–Mandatory Relief
Outside InfluenceOutside Agency
Penalty AreaHazard
Penalty AreaLateral Water Hazard
Penalty AreaWater Hazard
Point of Maximum Available Reliefnewly defined
Relief Areanewly defined
Replacenewly defined
Request a ruling (match play)File a claim
RoundStipulated Round
Scoop (the ball)Spoon (the ball)
ScorecardScore card
Serious MisconductSerious Breach of Etiquette
Substitutenewly defined
Teeing AreaTeeing Ground
Temporary WaterCasual Water
Tied hole (match play)Halved
Tied match (match play)All Square
Terms of the CompetitionConditions of the Competition
Unreasonable DelayUndue delay
Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

2019 Definitions, Part III (last of three)

• Known or Virtually Certain (new Definition)
There must be conclusive evidence that the event happened (e.g., a player saw what happened to the ball). If there is a small degree of doubt, it must be 95% likely that the event happened.

• Loose Impediment (expanded Definition)
Added to the traditional examples of loose impediments are clumps of compacted soil (including aeration plugs) provided they do not stick to the ball, and spider webs.

• Lost
Your ball is “lost” if you have not found it within three minutes of beginning search. Note that if you start back to play another ball, and another player finds it before three minutes have elapsed and before you have put another ball in playthe time it takes you to hustle back to identify it does not count against you. In other words, if your ball is found in two and a half minutes, and it takes you one minute to get back, the ball is not lost and you must play it.

• Maximum Score (new Definition)
This is a new form of stroke play in which the Committee sets a maximum score for each hole (e.g., double par, triple bogey). Players may (and are encouraged to) pick up when their score on a hole reaches the “maximum;” there is no penalty for not holing out. Consider using Maximum Score for league play – it should help with pace of play.

• Movable Obstruction
You are reminded that if part of an immovable obstruction (such as a gate) can be easily moved without damaging the course, you may move it. 

• Moved (Definition expanded)
If a ball wobbles (or oscillates), remaining in its original spot, it has not moved.

• Natural Forces (new Definition)
The effects of nature, such as wind or water. Also, when something happens for no apparent reason due to the effects of gravity.

• Nearest Point of Complete Relief (formerly “Nearest Point of Relief”)
When you estimate this point, you must identify the club, stance, swing, and line of play you would have used had there been no interference. It is recommended that you simulate that stroke with the chosen club. Please remember that relief from the original condition may be in an unplayable area.

• Point of Maximum Available Relief (new Definition)
When you take relief from an abnormal course condition in a bunker or on a putting green, and there is no complete relief available, you may seek “maximum” relief (the least interference from the ACC). Please read the Definition to learn how to find this point.

• Outside Influence (formerly “Outside Agency”)
The following are all outside influences: Any person or player (except the player whose ball or equipment is involved, his partner, his opponent in match play, and their caddies); any animal; any natural object (excluding natural forces); and any artificial object (including another ball in motion) that affects your ball or equipment or the course.

• Replace (new Definition)
You have placed a ball when you have set it down and let it go, intending for it to be in play.

• Round (takes the place of “Stipulated Round”)
Quite simply, a round is “18 or fewer holes played in the order set by the Committee.”

• Scorecard (new Definition)
The scorecard may now be in paper or electronic form. You are not required to keep a scorecard in match play, although you might find it helpful.

• Serious Breach (new Definition)
This applies to stroke play only, and means playing from a wrong place that could give you a significant advantage. It no longer refers to serious misconduct (formerly “serious breach of etiquette”). The Committee now has the authority to address serious misconduct by writing its own Code of Conduct.

• Stroke (expanded Definition)
A player who is unable to stop his downswing but is able to alter the path to deliberately miss the ball has not made a stroke.
A player who accidentally hits the ball while making a practice swing or setting up to hit the ball has not made a stroke. However, he has moved his ball in play; he incurs one penalty stroke and must replace the ball. (This last sentence is not part of the Definition, but I thought it was a good place for a reminder.)

• Substitute (new Definition)
Please read the Definition. There is a new Rule related to this Definition: You will be allowed to substitute a different ball whenever you take relief under any Rule (i.e., whenever you are required or permitted to play your next stroke from someplace other than where your original ball came to rest).

• Wrong Ball (expanded Definition)
The Definition includes the following examples of a wrong ball: another player’s ball in play; a stray ball; and your own ball that is lost, out of bounds, or lifted.

• Wrong Place (new Definition)
If you play from any place other than where you are required or allowed under the Rules, you have played from a wrong place. Read the Definition for helpful examples. Here are two:
1. Replace a ball on the wrong spot and then play it.
2. Your dropped ball rolls out of the relief area, and you play it.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2019 Definitions, Part II (second of three)

• Ball-Marker (new Definition)
No surprises here – it’s an artificial object, such as a tee, coin, an object made to be a ball-marker, or other small piece of equipment to mark the spot of your ball when you lift it.

• Mark (new Definition)
You may mark your ball by placing your ball-marker right behind or to the side of your ball. You may also mark the ball by holding a club right behind or to the side of it.

• Marker (expanded Definition)
Your partner may not serve as your marker (the person responsible for recording your score). The Committee either appoints your marker or tells you how to choose one.

• Conditions Affecting the Stroke (new Definition)
The lie of the ball, the area of intended stance and swing, the line of play, and the relief area where a player will drop or place a ball are all conditions affecting the stroke, and they all have their own Definition:
1. Lie– the spot where your ball is at rest, including various objects that touch the ball or are right next to it
2. Stance– the position of your feet and body when you prepare for and make a stroke
3. Line of Play– the line (whether straight or curved) where you intend to hit your ball, including your putt, plus a reasonable distance above that line and to either side. The term “line of putt” is no longer in use.
4. Relief Area– The area where you must drop the ball when taking relief under a Rule. There is a specific reference point, a measured size, and limits on the location that I will explain in a future column.
5. Drop– You must drop the ball in from knee height (the height of your knee when it is perpendicular to the ground, meaning you cannot bend your ankle to shorten the distance). The ball must fall straight down and must hit and come to rest in the relief area. The ball must not touch your body or equipment before it hits the ground. 
If the ball touches the player (or anyone else) or anyone’s equipment after it hits the ground, but comes to rest in the relief area, there is no penalty to anyone and the ball will be played as it lies. This last sentence does not appear in the Definition. It is a Rule [14.3] I will discuss at a later date, but I thought you might want to know about this now.

• Equipment
Objects, such as rakes, that are used to care for the course, are equipment when they are being held or carried by you or your caddie; otherwise, they are movable obstructions.

• Four-Ball
The official term for what is more commonly called “better ball.”

• Foursomes
The official term for what is more commonly called “alternate shot.” (Please, please, please remember to refer to a player in your group, as “one of the players in my group” and not “one of my foursome.”)

• General Penalty (new Definition)
The general penalty  is loss of hole in match play; two strokes in stroke play. In future columns, when I let you know the penalty, it will be either “one stroke” or the “general penalty.”

• Holed
The following change is not included in this Definition, but I feel this is a good time to present the new Rule 13.2c to you:
If your ball rests against the flagstick, and part of the ball is below the surface of the green, it is holed (no need to jiggle the flagstick to try to get the ball to drop into the hole). However, if no part of the ball is below the surface, the ball is not holedYou must play the ball as it lies. If it falls into the hole when you remove the flagstick, you will have to replace the ball on the lip of the hole and hit it into the hole.

• Integral Object (new Definition)
When the Committee defines any artificial object as “integral,” you are not entitled to free relief from that object. An integral object is not an obstruction, and is immovable. However, if it has a movable part (such as a gate), you may move that part.

• Boundary Objects (new Definition)
It is important to remember that there is no free relief from boundary objects (walls, fences, stakes, etc.); they are not obstructions.  Boundary objects are treated as immovable, even though you might physically be able to move them (e.g., stakes). 

• Obstruction
Players are reminded that neither integral objects nor boundary objects are obstructions, meaning there is no free relief available for interference by either.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 26, 2018

2019 Definitions, Part I (first of three)

Dear readers,
Below is Part I in a series of three columns I have written about the new Definitions for 2019. This is not a review of every Definition; nor is it an explanation of every detail. I’m not trying to rewrite the rulebook, but rather to point out new terminology, old terminology with altered definitions, and whatever new information strikes me as essential.

• Player, Side, Opponent
The term “player” is not defined, but everyone who plays is a player. If a player has a partner (or two or three partners), together they make a side (not a “team,” which is a group of individuals or sides playing against another group of individuals or sides – think Ryder Cup teams).

In match play only, the player (or side) plays against an opponent (or opponents). The term opponent does not exist for stroke play.

In stroke play, the other players in your group (not in your “foursome” – foursomes is the official term for alternate shot) are simply “the other players.” The term “fellow competitor” has been dropped from the golf lexicon. 

The term “playing partner” does not exist in the Rules (and never has, to my knowledge). It is a term used mistakenly by TV announcers, who are not known for their thorough knowledge of golf rules and vocabulary. In the future, if you send me a question that refers to your “playing partner,” you will receive a response asking whether this person is another player, your partner, or your opponent (match play). 

• Club-Length; Teeing Area
club-length is now officially the length of the longest club in your bag (other than your putter – players may no longer use a long putter to measure a relief area). If your longest club is your driver, for example, the length of your driver will define the limits of any one- or two-club-length relief area. It will also measure the two-club-length depth of the teeing area (no longer referred to as the “teeing ground”).

• Abnormal Course Condition (ACC)
The old term – “abnormal ground conditions” – is gone. The new term –abnormal course condition,  or ACC – refers to an animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction, and temporary water (formerly “casual water”). There is a bit to unpack here, as each of these terms is defined. 
1. Animal Hole: Any hole dug by any animal (except a human being and animals defined as loose impediments, such as worms or insects). You are now entitled to free relief from a hole dug by a dog. The old restriction to holes dug by burrowing animals only is gone, as is the term “burrowing animal.”
2. Ground Under Repair: This is a lengthy, detailed, and very informative Definition; it is a must read for every golfer. You will learn what is included in GUR, the status of a tree whose branches and roots extend beyond the boundary, what is meant by a hole made by the Committee, how to treat material piled for later removal (or not), how the edge is defined, etc. Read it now.
3. Immovable Obstruction: Basically the same it always was, but it is now labeled an ACC.
4. Temporary Water  (formerly “casual water”): The Definition has been expanded to let you know that wet, muddy, or soft ground is not considered temporary water unless water is present and visible before or after the player takes his stance. It is not temporary water if a player has to press down excessively with his feet in order to see it. A few reminders: dew and frost are not temporary water; snow and natural ice are either loose impediments (the player may brush them aside) or temporary water (free relief) – player’s choice; manufactured ice (e.g., ice cubes) is an obstruction (presumably movable).

• Areas of the Course
There are five of them, and they are all defined:
1. General Area (formerly “through the green”) – all areas of the course except the other four listed below. The general areaincludes all teeing locations other than the teeing area of the hole being played, and all wrong greens (greens other than the putting green of the hole being played, including practice greens).
2. Teeing Area (formerly “teeing ground”) – where the player starts the hole (a rectangle two club-lengths deep, measured from the outside of the tee markers)
3. Penalty Areas – all bodies of water (formerly “water hazards”) and any other areas of the course the Committee chooses to define as a penalty area (e.g., deserts, jungles, lava rock fields, dense woods, etc.). Note that if a penalty area has not been marked as red or yellow, it is treated by default as a red penalty area. Also, if the edge of a body of water is not marked, it is defined by its natural boundary. And finally, open watercourses that are dry except in the rainy season (e.g., drainage ditches, run-off areas) may be defined by the Committee as part of the general area (meaning it is not penalty area).
4. Bunkers – read the Definition to learn what is not considered part of the bunker
5. Putting Green (of the hole being played) – In the case of a double green (one used for two different holes), the entire area is the green of the hole being played unless the Committee defines an edge to divide the two greens; in that case, the green used for the other hole is a wrong green.

• No Play Zone (new Definition)
The Committee may prohibit play from certain areas to protect wildlife, environmentally sensitive areas, young trees, flowerbeds, etc. The no play zone must be defined as either an abnormal course condition (free relief) or a penalty area (one-stroke penalty); either way, relief is compulsory if the ball or your stance is in the no play zone.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.