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New Rules - Moving Ball

Continuing our look at the major new rules in golf we are looking at a moving golf ball. This means whenever the ball is in motion and more specifically, when you have hit the ball and something unusual happens.

Things do not always go to plan on the golf course and mistakes can happen, especially if you are hitting the ball towards the green or where there is a large group of people.

This could be the case when playing in a tournament for example and there are other golfers watching on the edge of the fairway or around the green.

Previously to the new rules for 2019, if you hit the ball and it accidentally hit yourself, another golfer, or any equipment, whether it belongs to your or someone else, you could receive a one or two stroke penalty.

The same applied for when you hit the flag stick (which as been removed from the hole) when making a putt on the green.

However, this rule has changed and if you do any of the above by accident, there is no penalty and you can play your next shot as the ball lies.

Clearly there are going to be exceptions to this such as using your golf bag to deflect the ball if you are left in an awkward position but for every accidental coming together between your ball and an object or person, there is no penalty.

The double hit rule is another law involving a moving ball that has changed recently. Previously, if you made a double-hit you would be handed a one stroke penalty, regardless of the fact it was an accident.

In most cases the ball will not travel a great distance when making a double hit or be on the intended line. In other words, there has never been an advantage to making a doubt hit and the ruling has changed.

If you accidentally make a double hit when playing a shot, it will be considered as one shot and you will not receive a penalty.

Again, common sense prevails here and you cannot play a putt and quickly try and hit the ball again following the original shot to try and gain an advantage. Not only would that be difficult to accomplish, it would be a deliberate act and not fall under the double hit rule as it concerns accidental double hits only.

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