MODERNIZING GOLF'S RULES
Proposed Change: Reasonable Judgment in Estimating and Measuring March 1, 2017

Proposed Rule: Under new Rule 1.3a(2), whenever required to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance, the player’s reasonable judgment would be accepted if:

The player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make a prompt and accurate estimation or measurement.

This means that the player’s reasonable judgment would be upheld even if later shown to be wrong by other information (such as video technology).

Reasons for Change:

The Rules generally rely on the integrity of the player, and this is a natural and appropriate extension of this trust in the player.

There are many times when the Rules require a player to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance, such as when the player:

  • Uses a ball-marker to mark a ball’s spot, and then replace the ball, or
  • Needs to find a reference point or reference line for taking relief (such as the nearest point of complete relief or the line from the hole through the spot of an unplayable ball), or to determine the extent of a relief area (such as measuring a fixed distance from a reference point or reference line).


Such judgments need to be made promptly, and players often cannot be precise in doing so.

So long as the player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances:

  • The player gets no penalty for any small inaccuracies, irrespective of any advantage gained.


Accepting a player’s reasonable judgment would limit “second-guessing” that can arise from the use of enhanced technology (such as video review when golf is televised).

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