New Rule: Under Rule 1.2b, a Committee is 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 is also still able to disqualify a player for serious misconduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, as emphasized in Rule 1.2a.
Reasons for Change:
Some Committees had previously requested additional means under the Rules to allow them to address player conduct that was contrary to the expected standards central to the game (such as courtesy and sportsmanship).
- In many cases, disqualifying a player for inappropriate behavior was overly harsh - leaving Committees previously 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 Rule change gives Committees flexibility to set and enforce standards of conduct specific to their competitions and players, should they choose to do so.