Major Change: New Procedure for Dropping a BallGolf's New Rules


Golf's New Rules: Major Changes


New Rule:
 Players continue to drop a ball when taking relief, but the dropping procedure is changed in several ways as detailed in Rule 14.3:

  • How a ball may be dropped is simplified; the only requirement is that the ball be let go from knee height so that it falls through the air and does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground.


Reasons for Change:

The new procedure lowers the height from which the ball is dropped to increase the chance that it stays within the relief area.

Requiring the player to drop a ball (as opposed to placing it) retains a desired randomness about where the ball ends up:

  • The player has no guarantee that the ball will come to rest on a desired spot or in a good lie.
  • This is especially the case when a ball is dropped in more difficult conditions such as thick rough or longer grass.


Allowing the player to drop a ball from knee height helps to limit the extent to which a ball will embed in sand in a bunker.