A New Local Rule that eliminates a penalty for a golfer who accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green is available for committees to use in golf competitions from 1 January 2017.
R&A and USGA have adopted the new Local Rule in all golf championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.
At the Golf Committee Meeting on Thursday 16th February 2017 the decision is to introduce this local rule for Hockley Golf Club with immediate effect.
When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.
This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced."
Golf Committee March 2017