Since it’s creation golf has always had many a stupid rule but the USGA and R&A finally shed themselves of one of the more ridiculous ones on Monday.
Rule 18-2b stated that if a player addresses the ball and it moves they would automatically be docked with a one-stroke penalty and ordered to replace their ball. The rule was amended in 2012 so that if it was “virtually certain” that something other than a golfer caused the ball to move, you could replace the ball with no penalty.
However this didn’t really fix the problem as it still caused delays in really windy conditions. Now finally the rule is being totally scrapped. A penalty will only be assessed in the facts prove that the player directly caused the ball to move.
Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address – Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving After Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.