Major Change: Fixed Distances Used for MeasuringGolf's New Rules
New Rule: A club-length is defined as the length of the longest club in the player’s bag, except that this cannot be his or her putter.
- The relief area for dropping a ball is a fixed size of either one or two club-lengths depending on which relief Rule is being used.
- The relief area is a fixed size for each player and is pre-determined based on the clubs the player has selected for play.
Reasons for Change:
The definition of a club-length as the longest club other than a putter means that a player cannot choose which club to measure with based on the situation.
For example, players are no longer able to make a strategic choice about the size of the relief area by choosing a longer club so that the player can reach a location that is farther from the nearest point of relief or other reference point.
Using the longest club for measuring minimizes the inconsistency in the size of a relief area between players (including eliminating the advantage for players who previously could have used a long putter for measuring).