2019 Rule: Under Rule 1.2b, a Committee will be allowed to adopt a “Code of Conduct” that:
- Sets the Committee’s own standards for how players should conduct themselves, and
- May set penalties less than disqualification (such as a one-stroke penalty or a two-stroke penalty/loss of hole penalty) for a player’s breach of those standards.
The Committee will also still be able to disqualify a player for serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, as emphasized in new Rule 1.2a (see Explanation for Proposed Rule Change – Expected Standards of Player Conduct).
Reasons for Change:
Some Committees have requested additional means under the Rules to allow them to address player conduct that is contrary to expected standards that are central to the game (such as courtesy and sportsmanship).
- In many cases, disqualifying a player for inappropriate behavior will be overly harsh - leaving Committees today with no way to penalize players for such behavior.
- This has been a particular concern for junior golf organizations whose mission often includes teaching young golfers how to act while on the course.
The proposed Rule change will give Committees flexibility to set and enforce standards of conduct specific to their competitions and players, should they choose to do so.