FIPPA Rules 2020 - Changes
Changes from previous 2014 version listed
The following is a summary of the changes of the rules in the 2020 version from the 2014 version:
1 - There is no longer a penalty for accidentally moving your ball while searching for it.
2 - There is no longer a penalty for accidentally moving your ball or ball-marker when it is on the putting green.
3 - New procedure will apply when you don’t know the exact spot where your ball was at rest: You must replace the ball on its estimated original spot.
4 – If your ball in motion accidentally hits you, your equipment, your caddie, someone attending the flagstick for you or a removed or attended flagstick, there is no longer a penalty
5 - Touching your line of putt or touching the putting green in pointing out target: There is no longer a penalty if you or your caddie does either of these things, so long as doing so does not improve the conditions affecting your stroke.
6 - Expanded use of red penalty areas: Committees are given the discretion to mark all penalty areas as red. It doesn´t need to be specifically an area of water.
7 - Use of damaged clubs. You may keep using any club that is damaged during the round, no matter how it happens (for example, even if you damaged it in anger).
8 - Replacement of damaged clubs. You may not replace a damaged club, unless you were not responsible for causing the damage
9 - Distance-Measuring Devices (DMD): You may use DMDs to measure distance, except when prohibited by Local Rule.
10 - Relief for embedded ball in the general area: You may take relief if your ball is embedded anywhere (except in sand) in the general area
11 - Repairing damage on the putting green: You may repair almost all damage (including shoe damage, such as spike marks, and animal damage) on the putting green (rather than being limited to repairing only ball-marks or old hole plugs).
12 - Substituting another ball for a cut or cracked ball: You may substitute another ball if your ball in play on a hole has become cut or cracked while playing that hole; but you are no longer allowed to change balls solely because the ball has become “out of shape”.
13 - Replacing your ball if it moves only after you had already marked, lifted and replaced it: Any time this happens on the putting green, you replace the ball on its original spot – even if it was blown by the wind or moved for no clear reason.
14 - Putting with flagstick left in the hole. There is no longer a penalty if you play a ball from the putting green and it hits the unattended flagstick in the hole.
15 - Defined relief area: The ball needs to be placed in and played from a single required relief area
16 - Removal of all special restrictions on moving or touching things in a penalty area: There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments (such as leaves, stones and sticks) or touch the ground or water with your hand or your club in a penalty area.
17 - Removal of special restrictions on moving loose impediments: There is no longer a penalty if you touch or move loose impediments in a bunker.
18 - There is no longer a penalty for accidentally hitting your ball more than once during a stroke:
19 - There are new definitions for: General Area, Penalty Areas and Relief Area.
20 - Relaxed restrictions on touching the sand with your hand or club when your ball is in a bunker: You are now prohibited only from touching the sand
(1) with your hand or club to test the condition of the bunker,
(2) with your club in the area right behind or in front of the ball or
(3) when making a practice swing or the backswing for your stroke.
21- Practice a shot with a ball is only allowed in the green after to finish a hole
22 - The taking of relief under penalty is redefined to 2 club lengths for droppng the ball.