Which Rule would you like to see changed?

A bit of a different post this one, but I would be glad of your thoughts. There is expected to be a new edition of the rules for January 2023 – not a big rewrite like 2019, but there are likely to be some changes. What rules would you like to see changed and why? Please add your thoughts to the comments below.

I’ll get the ball rolling. Mine is the embedded ball on the green. In the General Area you get relief for an embedded ball and can drop within a club length (not nearer the hole etc), but on the green you have to do your best to repair the pitch mark which you can never get absolutely flat and then putt from there.  Why can’t you place within 6 inches?  (But I’d be draconian if the player didn’t repair their pitchmark to the best of their ability).

NB There aren’t any wrong suggestions – we will all have different opinions and/or pet hates, so do please share your thoughts on potential rules updates below.

4 thoughts on “Which Rule would you like to see changed?

  1. Sand should be a loose impediment in the General Area – the fact that you can’t remove a pile of sand on the apron, that’s between your ball and the hole is ridiculous.


  2. I have a couple,
    As a player and referee, Advice 10.2a; How many players will say, “long hole today into a slight breeze” when playing in a hurricane! or “good luck, it’s going to be a bit slick down there” Never sits easy with me, are you really influencing another player because it’s so obvious.
    As a committee member, Scoring in Stroke Play 3.3b, Committee Procedure 5A(5) when using physical scorecards. The player is not responsible for name, date, marker name etc. and card is acceptable for competition and handicapping purposes (unless you can not read a players signature)
    The committee should be allowed to update the Terms of Competition and to DQ a player if information is missing; eg Comp name, Date, Player name, Handicap Index, Marker name


  3. when or if did relief from rabbit scrapings stop?
    when or if is an animal scraping a hole?
    when is a hole a hole or not a hole?
    Does a hole need to be a warren or burrow?


    1. Hi Ken
      Relief for these types of things are now for any hole made by any animal – before 2019 it had to be by a burrowing animal. Essentially if any ground has been removed by the animal, or it has been changed markedly from its original state it is considered a “hole”. The formal definition is as follows:

      “Any hole dug in the ground by an animal, except for holes dug by animals that are also defined as loose impediments (such as worms or insects).
      The term animal hole includes:
      – The loose material the animal dug out of the hole,
      – Any worn-down track or trail leading into the hole, and
      – Any area on the ground pushed up or altered as a result of the animal digging the hole underground.”

      We also have this interpretation which helps with what is not considered to be a hole:
      “Interpretation Animal Hole/1 – Isolated Animal Footprint or Hoof Mark Is Not Animal Hole
      An isolated animal footprint that is not leading into an animal hole is not a hole made by an animal but rather is an irregularity of the surface from which relief without penalty is not allowed. However, when such damage is on the putting green, it may be repaired”


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