Golf now has a modern set of rules, an extensive overhaul that took six years and is aimed at making the rules easier to understand. The R&A and USGA announced the final version of modernized rules today that take effect in 2019.
Among the changes will be how to take penalty drops – from knee-high length starting next year, instead of from shoulder height. There no longer will be penalties if a golf ball accidentally moves on the green, if a club touches the ground in a hazard or if the ball hits a flag stick that is not being tended on the green. Another notable rule change is that players will have only three minutes to search for a lost ball instead of five minutes.