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Rule Changes 2012

                                                                Rule Changes 2012 

 
The Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status 2012-2015 have been published.  
The changes are set out in detail at page 6 Rules of Golf and should be read if you wish to fully understand the changes.  
This note is simply to alert you to a few of the changes introduced in the 2012 Code e.g. there are changes to the Rules relating to time of starting (Rule 6-3a), searching for the ball (Rule 12.1), ball in motion deflected or stopped by outside agency (Rule 19-1), playing from wrong place (Rule 20-7c) and to the Rules of Amateur Status relating to for example the definition of Amateur Golfer and subsistence expenses (Rule 4-3).
 
                                                                   RULES OF GOLF
Definition: ‘Addressing the ball’                                                                                        
The Definition is amended so that a player has addressed the ball simply by grounding his club immediately in front of or behind the ball regardless of whether or not he has taken his stance.
 
Rules:
 
BALL MOVING AFTER ADDRESS:                                                                                        
A new exception is added that exonerates the player from penalty if his ball moves, after it has been addressed, when it is known or virtually certain that he did not cause the ball to move.  For example there is no penalty if the wind moves the ball. The ball is simply played from the new position.
 
BALL IN HAZARD: PROHIBITED ACTIONS                                                                         Exception 2 to Rule 13-4 is amended to permit a player to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time, including before playing from that hazard, provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and rule 13-2 is not breached.  He must not improve his stance or swing line.
 
 
Rules of Amateur Status
PRIZE LIMITS: GENERAL                                                                                      
An amateur golfer must not accept a prize or prize voucher of retail value in excess of £500.00 or the equivalent or such a lesser figure as may be decided by the governing body.  This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions. The rule applies to all forms of golf. Exception hole-in-one prizes see below.
 
HOLE-IN-ONE PRIZES:                                                                                          
New Rule 3-2b excludes hole-in-one prizes (including cash prizes) from general prize limits whilst playing a round of golf. This is specific to prizes for holes-in-one (not for longest drive or nearest the hole) and neither separate events nor multiple events qualify). It is now deemed that a hole in one is not skill but a lucky shot and no limit to value of prize.
 
NEW RULE BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE COMPETITION SECRETARY OR THE SHOP
 
                          
                      CONGU UNIFIED HANDICAPPING SYSTEM CHANGES
CONGU Unified Handicapping System 2012 – 2015 booklet text is downloadable from GUI.ie and will be available in booklet form in the near future.  The following are some of the main points worthy of note:
 
Returns of ALL rounds of golf played on a measured course with a SSS and where competition play conditions exist (9 or18 holes under competition rules) are to be made to your home club (Clause 23(B))
 
It is the PLAYER’S RESPONSIBILITY to return scores (with the date, venue, SSS, CSS etc. (see Clause 8)) - in respect of non-qualifying competitions (Clause 8.12) the SSS - to home club in all qualifying and non-qualifying (Clause 4.5(b)) competitions including team events.  This includes all scores from society type outings.
 
Players who fail to do so in a timely manner may be dealt with under Clause 24. This may include suspensions or loss of handicap
 
All such scores will be used in considering possible general play adjustments of handicap. Except for Category 1 golfers: - (Clause 22.6 - only players in Handicap Categories 2, 3, 4 and [5] may return Nine-Hole scores for handicap purposes). Note: A Category 1 player may participate in a Nine-Hole Qualifying Competition and his score should be recorded in his Player Handicap Record. No adjustment in handicap shall be applied i.e. his score must be disregarded for handicap purposes.
 
CSS (Competition Scratch Score) calculation procedure has been amended to target score SSS + Category Buffer Zone – Clause 8/Appendix B – and there is now a
 
Secondary CSS calculation phase for Small Fields i.e. 9 players or less – Clause 8.4
 
Scores over 9 and 18 holes now permissible for allotment and regaining a CONGU® Handicap - Clauses 6.2/ 6.3
 
Restriction removed on number of scores returned the previous year to qualify for return of Supplementary Scores– Clause 2 .2
 
Supplementary Scores available to all Handicap Categories – Clause 2.
 
Restriction removed on the number of Nine-Hole Qualifying Competitions that a section of a golf club may run – Clause 22 
 
Exceptional Score Reductions (ESR) introduced on trial basis – Clause 23 (C).  The ESR mechanism will make a recommendation, based on both the level of the scores returned and their frequency, for Handicap Committees to consider in accordance with the Exceptional Scoring Reduction Table. The ESR mechanism does not apply to Category 1.