Playing Golf: New Rules You Must Know In 2021

April 16, 2021 By Admin

Playing Golf: New Rules You Must Know In 2021

The origin of golf as a sport is unclear. There’s much contention about whether the Romans or the Chinese developed the rules of the game. Some historians assert that golf began around the first century BC from the Roman game called “paganica”; while others are in the position that the Chinese played the game from the eighth and fourteenth centuries.

Be that as it may, the rules of playing golf are highly detailed and are often changed every few years. This doesn’t, however, discourage golf players from loving the game. In fact, golf enthusiasts range from businessmen, Hollywood actors, and former political leaders.  

Playing Golf: New Rules You Must Know

There are quite a few rules of golf that every player - whether a newcomer, novice, enthusiast, or pro - has to know about before practicing their winning putts.

Here are some of them:

1. Play your ball from where it came to rest

Rule number 9 of the rules of playing golf strictly instructs players to “play the ball as it lies”. A player is allowed only to play a ball from another place on the course or lift the ball and then return it to its resting spot, in very specific circumstances.

When it comes to ball movements cause by natural forces such as a strong wind or water, the player can take the shot from where the golf ball rests. If the player or the caddie caused the ball to move, there might be a corresponding penalty.  If not, the individual should be returned to their original spot. Any ball that rests in an unplayable position can be played in three ways; all of which is imposable with a one penalty stroke. Find out how to handle these challenging situations by reading the latest PGA golf rules.

2. Red stakes and Yellow stakes

The stakes used in every golf game represent different meanings. For instance, a white stake means out of bounds, meaning, it indicates a property line or an area in the property where golf shouldn’t be played.

It can become tricky to discern the difference between the yellow and red stakes though. Red stakes refer to a lateral water hazard; something that can interfere with a poor shot but is within the intended line of play.   

On the other hand, yellow stakes signify standard water hazards like ponds and small lakes. A golfer can play from a yellow stake, however, provided that they don’t ground their club in the hazard. A player can take the next shot if they drop the ball nearest the place where he or she hit the previous shot. This holds a penalty of one stroke.

3. New rules on the flagstick

Before 2019, great golfers and regular players faced either a two-stroke or one-shot penalty if the ball they’ve put hit a flagstick. This tool is critical to players, as flagsticks are used to notify them of the hole’s location.

The no-hitting the flagstick rule has been changed so that golf players can now decide whether they want to remove a flagstick, leave it as it is, or have a pulled-out flagstick reinstalled; but not repositioned to another hole or anywhere outside of the center of the hole.   

General penalties apply to the offenses mentioned earlier, and for moving the flagstick to redirect the moving ball’s stop. A second player is faced with a general penalty, too, if he or she moves the flagstick without informing the first player before or during the period where he or she is about to take the shot.  

4. You can’t take an unlimited number of clubs with you

The clubs in your golf bag should not exceed 14 clubs at the start and during the round. Sharing, relacing lost and damaged clubs is also discouraged and may be done only in specific circumstances. Any breach of this rule may cost you penalty strokes for each hole you play or have just completed. 

5. Shorter time to handle Out of Bounds (OB) balls

In the previous years, golf players were allowed five minutes to search for a ball that’s gone out of bounds, as indicated by white stakes, or via water hazards, as indicated by either a red or yellow stake. This rule has been replaced by a new rule that cuts the search period to only three minutes.

If a ball disappears in the white stake, a one-stroke penalty is imposed and the shot should be re-played from the original position before going out of bounds. Otherwise, a player can declare a provisional ball, which means you’ll be given a second golf ball to continue with the game.

However, if the original ball is found within three minutes, you should continue with the original golf ball until the game is over.   


Playing golf has a lot of nuances that may discourage an individual from learning the game. Once you know the basic rules, though, it won’t be too hard finding out the rest of the special and ever-changing guidelines. Doing your homework and getting enough (or a lot of) practice are keys to being a good golfer. 

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