USGA, R&A Release 2016 Edition of the Rules of Golf

OCTOBER 26, 2015 |


The R&A and the United States Golf Association today announced the publication of the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The new Rules book is the culmination of the normal four-year review cycle and is a collaborative work by The R&A and the USGA that applies worldwide to all golfers.

Among the most significant of the changes in the 2016 edition of the Rules are the following:

Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address – Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving after Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.

Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card – A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.

Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment – The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification.

Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke – As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point” in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.

Thomas Pagel, senior director of Rules of Golf at the USGA, said, “The objective with each four-year cycle of the Rules is to monitor developments in the game and, when appropriate, to respond with changes that keep the best interests of the game in mind. The amendments for 2016 preserve and enhance the essential principles of the Rules, while at the same time ensuring that they reflect the evolution of the game.”

David Rickman, executive director – Rules and Equipment Standards at The R&A, said, “We continually look at ways we can improve and clarify the Rules of Golf. The R&A and the USGA collaborate closely and we consult with our respective national and international advisory members to produce a code of Rules that is relevant to all golfers around the world.”

Additional Comments on the Principal Changes

Under Rule 18-2b, a player whose ball moved after address was automatically presumed to have caused the ball to move. In 2012, an Exception to Rule 18-2b was introduced to cover situations where it was known or virtually certain that the player had not caused the ball to move, but the application of that standard was not always clear. The withdrawal of Rule 18-2b means that there no longer will be any presumption and that the same overall test in Rule 18-2 will apply to all actions by the player: if the facts show that the player’s addressing of the ball or other actions caused the ball to move, the player will incur a one-stroke penalty.

The introduction of the new Exception under Rule 6-6d will maintain the importance of returning an accurate score card by penalizing the player two strokes for the score card error in addition to the penalty for the original underlying breach of the Rules. In all other cases where a player returns a score card with a score lower than actually taken on a hole, the player will continue to be disqualified.

In addition to the revised penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 during a round, a statement has been introduced at the beginning of Rule 14-3 to explain that the governing bodies are guided by the principle that “success should depend on the judgment, skills and abilities of the player” in determining whether use of any artificial device or item of equipment is in breach of the Rule.

The R&A and the USGA announced in 2013 that new Rule 14-1b prohibiting anchoring the club in making a stroke would take effect in the 2016 edition of the Rules. The Rule was adopted following an extensive review by both organizations. For an explanation of the reasons for adopting Rule 14-1b and for guidance on applying the Rule, see

Printed copies of the Rules of Golf, which are supported by Rolex, are now available from the USGA and The R&A. More detailed information on recent changes and the complete Rules of Golf can also be found at and

Featured Story and Image:–r-a-release-2016-edition-of-the-rules-of-golf.html

Border Collie Chosen as Calendar Cover Dog

GCSSA calendar dogGCSSA logo 2Lebanon Turf to feature golf course superintendent Tim Glorioso’s  dog, who loves to combine work and play at Toledo Country Club, in their 2016 calendar.

She can’t wait to get out on the golf course every morning, and she looks forward to a good game of catch with a Frisbee.

She is a 3-year-old border collie named Fairway, who has become a fixture among the golf course management staff at Toledo (Ohio) Country Club (TCC) since being “hired” two years ago to keep the on-course geese population under control.

The playful black-and-white spotted dog is enjoying celebrity status theses days after being chosen for the cover of the 2016 Dog Days of Golf calendar, sponsored by LebanonTurf and distributed without cost to nearly 18,000 members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. She is also in the running for Dog of the Year through a vote of the 13,000-plus expected attendees at the February 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.

Fairway is the second dog for Tim Glorioso, the director of golf course operations at TCC for the last 15 years, but the first he has photographed and nominated for consideration for the calendar.

“I had always meant to nominate my first dog, Divot, for the calendar, but I never got around to it,” said Glorioso, who lost Divot in 2012. “I regret not doing it before, but I made myself a promise to nominate Fairway. She is a talented and beautiful dog. I was ecstatic when they told me Fairway was picked for the cover dog. She is going to be a celebrity!”

The cover photo, taken by family friend Jeff Harris, shows Fairway jumping high to snag a Frisbee, a favorite pastime for the dog after the work is done. It’s a joy Fairway picked up from the grounds staff and Glorioso, who holds the distinction of being a certified golf course superintendent.

Glorioso was told the dog was well-trained for her primary role as a geese chaser, but he had his doubts in the beginning, after paying $3,500 to a Canadian company that recommended Fairway for the job. At first she didn’t listen, and she was more interested in chasing deer and squirrels. But Fairway is now the best part of the superintendent’s early day, along with the morning sunrise over the historic Willie Park Jr. design that opened in 1897.

“I knew I had to get a geese dog and get our problem under control,” remembers Glorioso of his early days at TCC. “When I first came here, it was insane. We have three holes on the Maumee River, and there must have been a thousand geese down there at times. Fairway has since taken over and keeps that part of the course in shape.”

“Fairway is one of the adopted members of our club,” said Tony Searl, head golf professional at TCC. “Most of our golf members know Fairway by name and appreciate the job that she does to help Tim and the excellent work he and his staff do here. The geese have learned that Fairway is in charge, and she chases them to let them know they are not welcome at Toledo Country Club. Fairway gets my vote for dog of the year within the golf course community, and I’m sure the members at Toledo Country Club would agree.”

This Week’s Winners in Professional Golf!

Congratulations to this Week’s Winners in Professional Golf!

PGA Tour: American Smylie Kaufman, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (Las Vegas, Nevada), $1,152,000 prize money, -16 under par.

Photo: Smylie Kaufman,
Photo: Smylie Kaufman,

LPGA Tour: New Zealander Lydia Ko, Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship (Taipei, Taiwan), $300,000 prize money, -20 under par.

Photo: Lydia Ko,
Photo: Lydia Ko,

European Tour: Englishman Justin Rose, UBS Hong Kong Open (Fanling, Hong Kong), €289,947 prize money, -17 under par.

Photo: Justin Rose,
Photo: Justin Rose,

Champions Tour: **BREAK IN SCHEDULE** Next Event: Toshiba Classic (Newport Beach, California), October 30 – November 1.

Featured Image: Justin Rose, 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open Champion,