Below is the forward found in the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf for 2019. It explains the philosophy and rationale for the revised Rules of Golf.
The Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf is the first of its kind. It is an abridged version of the full Rules of Golf, aimed to help you, the golfer, with the Rules during your play. We hope you will carry it with you on the course, and also recommend that you read it to get an overall understanding of the Rules. It includes the Rules that are most relevant to you, and features diagrams and charts for easy application on the course. If you need additional information on less common situations, you will be directed to the full Rules.
The updates contained in the 2019 Rules are the result of the Rules Modernization Initiative conducted by past and present representatives of the Rules of Golf Committees of The R&A and the USGA, along with representatives from all levels of the game, and reflect feedback from thousands of golfers worldwide. This work has been fundamental and far-reaching while preserving golf’s essential principles and character, taking account of the needs of all golfers, and making the Rules easier for all golfers to understand and apply. The revised Rules are more consistent, simple and fair.
The Rules of Golf must be comprehensive and provide answers to the issues that arise in a game that is played worldwide on many different types of courses by players of all abilities. Referees, Committees and others wanting greater detail can access the full Rules of Golf in hard copy or digital versions. We have also created a new Official Guide containing Interpretations on the Rules and Committee Procedures with recommendations on how to organize general play and competitions.
We believe golfers will find the modernized Rules fairer, less complicated, more welcoming, and more aligned with issues facing the game such as pace of play and environmental stewardship. We express our gratitude not only for the tremendous work done by our respective committees and staff, but also to everyone who has contributed to this historic revision.
David Bonsall, Chairman
Rules of Golf Committee, R&A Rules Limited
The Rules of Golf can be found on the USGA’s web site at rulesofgolf or with the Rules of Golf Mobile App for iOS and Android. Additionally, we invite you to learn more about the 2019 Rules of Golf, at http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub.html.
The rules of Golf have been adapted for all golfers, they have been rewritten so there is enough flexibility so that they can cover, encourage and be inclusive to anybody who wants to play this great game, wherever they want to play it.
Thank you and enjoy each and every round of Golf you play,
George W. Lamping