• Currently you incur a penalty if you accidently move your ball or ball marker on the putting green.

As of January 2019, there will no longer be a penalty if a player (or opponent) accidentally causes the player’s ball to move on the putting green. For example, if you accidentally move your ball in making a practice swing or preparing for a stroke, drop your ball marker on your ball and move it, move your ball with your foot, or cause your ball maker to move, there is no penalty and you simply replace your ball or ball marker on its original spot.

(The substance of this Rule change has already been implemented as of January 1, 2017 by authorizing Committees to adopt a Local Rule that eliminates the penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green.)


  • Currently you are required to announce you are marking and lifting a ball to identify it.

As of January 2019, in all three situations under the Rules (that is, Rule 4.2c, Rule 7.3 and Rule 16.4):

  1. A player will be allowed to mark and lift the ball and proceed under the Rule without needing first to announce this intention to another person or to give that person a chance to observe the process.
  2. But the player will still get a one stroke penalty if he or she marked and lifted the ball without good reason to do so under that Rule.


  • Currently, you receive a penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment.

As of January 2019, for all accidental deflections, including when the ball hits the player or opponent or their equipment or caddies, there will be no penalty and the ball will be played from where it comes to rest. (With limited exceptions.)


  • Currently you have five minutes to search for a lost all.

As of January 2019, you will have three minutes to search for a lost ball.


  • Currently if you double-hit your ball, it is a one stroke penalty.

As of January 2019, if your club accidentally hits the ball more than once during a stroke, there has been only one stroke and there is NO penalty and you play the ball where it comes to rest.