THERE ARE LOTS OF CHANGES TO THE PUTTING GREEN RULES:
- Any damage can be repaired such as ball marks, old hole plugs, shoe damage, animal tracks or hoof marks
- Embedded objects like stones or acorns can be removed
However, damage does not include natural surface imperfections, natural wear of the hole or normal greenkeeping practices like aeration holes
- Your caddie or partner can now touch the putting green with a hand, foot or anything held by them to indicate a line of play for you
- There is no penalty for accidentally causing the ball or ball marker to move, replace the ball or ball marker on the original spot (which if not known must be estimated)
- If the ball has been marked, lifted and replaced and is then moved by natural forces like the wind, replace the ball on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)
- If the ball was not already marked and was then moved by the wind, play from its new position
- Always remove the ball marker before you take your putt. If it is left in position while you putt you get one penalty stroke
- You must always take free relief for a ball on a wrong green. A wrong green is any green on the course other than the putting green of the hole being played plus any practice green.
- A penalty still applies in stroke play if a player’s ball in motion from a stroke on the green hits another ball at rest on the green, however the rules now allow you to pick up the ball at rest to avoid it being struck! No penalty in match play, replace the ball at rest that was moved and play the other ball as it lies.