Get your head around the new Rules of Golf terms

Rules of Golf

When is casual water not, well, casual water? When it’s been called something else in the new 2019 Rules of Golf. Steve Carroll explains all the jargon

If you’ve only just got to know your lateral hazards from your abnormal ground conditions, then I’m afraid it’s time to go back to school. There’s a whole host of new terms in town – and we’re all expected to know them now the rules are in play.

The changes to the rules, which have dominated discussion over the past 18 months, are the most significant in a generation.

The whole review has been designed to make them easier for us to understand and follow.

Part of that has meant changing some of the confusing jargon that blighted getting a good knowledge for many players.

So let’s go through what’s replacing the old and explain some of the alterations…

Old: Through the green
New: General area

Through the green was always a confusing one for newcomers. After all, what really was ‘through the green’? General area now refers to any part of the course that isn’t a teeing area, penalty area, bunker, or green.

Old: Teeing ground
New: Teeing area

rules of golf

Rather self-explanatory this one, although the new term of teeing area does more adequately convey that there are limits to its size.

A teeing area is a rectangle, two club-lengths deep, where “the front edge is defined by the line between the forward-most points of two tee markers set by the committee”.

The side edges are “defined by the lines back from the outside points of the tee-markers”.

Old: Play prohibited
New: No play zone

This is simply a part of the course where the committee don’t want you hacking out from.

No play zones could be areas that preserve sites of historical interest, protect wildlife, or where play is prevented to protect others from danger.

Whatever it is, no play zone seems a much more satisfactory way of pointing it out on the course.

Old: Abnormal ground condition
New: Abnormal course condition

This change makes sense. It is a condition of the course, after all.

An abnormal course condition refers to either an animal hole, ground under repair, an immovable obstruction or temporary water.

Our explanation of confusing golf rules jargon continues on the next page, including the changes to how we now view water on the course…

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