The summary of major new golf rule changes for 2019 put together by Jenny Blaschke are posted in the Membership/Resources and Records/Handicap and Rules area of the website:
New Golf Rules 2019
I have been asked to check out two rules.
1. Can one move a ball within a bunker (or on a fairway) when it lands in a deep divot made by an animal’s footprint? The answer is no! However, you can move the ball if a hole is made by a burrowing animal.
2. Can one use a driver on the fairway? The answer is yes! One can use a driver anywhere on the golf course including the green. One can use any club anywhere on the golf course.
From: Connie DUNCAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 2:10 PM
Subject: Rules information from Jenny Blaschke
Connie Duncan and I went to the rules seminar on Wednesday. Some of the rules discussed:
UNPLAYABLE LIE: One stroke penalty. An unplayable lie can be taken anywhere on the course. There are three options when you declare a ball unplayable.
1. Drop the ball from shoulder height within two club lengths from where it lies, no closer to the hole
2. Go back as far as you want as long as you maintain a line between the ball and the hole.
3. Go back to the place from which you originally hit the ball.
IMMOVABLE OBSTRUCTION: No penalty. Must take the nearest point of relief. Measure one club length (you may use any club) from obstruction and then drop ball. When you drop ball from shoulder height it must be within two club lengths no closer to the hole.
When a player's ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced.
A ball on the green, when hit, goes off the green and hits an opponent’s equipment. No penalty. You may replace the ball where it originally lay or hit it from where it landed after removing equipment. If you choose the first option, do not count the stroke which sent the ball off the green. Second option counts the stroke that goes off the green.
If your ball hits a ball at rest and causes it to move, the ball originally at rest is replaced to its original position with no penalty to either person.
If a competitor is asked to mark her ball on the FAIRWAY, she must mark her ball and pick the ball up like an egg so as not to disturb any dirt or grass that might be on the ball.
Lateral hazards: Usually red stakes. These are water hazards parallel to the golf course. There are five options.
1. Play the ball where it lies with no penalty
2. Drop within two club lengths no closer to the hole from where the ball last crossed the hazard. One stroke penalty.
3. Go back as far as you want as long as the place where the ball last crossed the hazard is in line with the flag. One stroke penalty
4. Go back to the spot from which the ball was originally hit. One stroke penalty.
5. Go to the other side of the hazard at an equal distance from where the ball last crossed the hazard and drop within two club lengths from that spot. One stroke penalty.
Direct Water Hazard. Yellow stakes. One stroke penalty. Three options.
1. Play the ball at it lies. No penalty
2. Go back to the point from which the ball was originally hit.
3. You must hit the ball from behind the water hazard at a point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard going back as far as you want. One stroke penalty.
Unplayable lie in a bunker:
1. Play the ball from the spot from which the ball was originally hit. One stroke penalty.
2. Drop the ball in the bunker behind where the ball lies in line with and no closer to the hole.
3. Drop the ball within two club lengths of the spot where the ball lies but within the bunker.
I found this quite interesting and thought you might too.