Get right with the rule changes


April 06, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

There are several adaptations to the United States Golf Association rules for the 2008 season, some that come into play on a regular basis.

The USGA urges all golfers to become familiar with the rules that are the standard in stroke play and match play.

Some of the notable changes this season include:

n In rules 12-2 and 15-3, a golfer is now allowed to lift a ball for identification when in a bunker or a water hazard. However, there will be a two-stroke penalty for playing a wrong ball from a hazard in stroke play. In match play, the penalty is loss of hole. When lifting the ball, the golfer must put the golf ball back in the exact spot.

n In Rule 4-1, there is a reduction in penalty from disqualification to (in stroke play) a penalty of two strokes per hole, with a maximum penalty of four strokes for the round, for carrying, but not using, a non-conforming club


n In Rule 19-2, the penalty for an accidental deflection of a ball by a player, partner or either of their caddies or equipment will be reduced from two strokes to one in stroke and match play.

n Here's one everyone, at some time or another, has encountered even in a friendly round: Rule 24-1 has been amended to allow a flagstick, whether attended, removed or held up, to be moved when the ball is in motion.

How many times have you dropped a flagstick on the green too close to the hole and a putt charges past the cup and hits the flagstick? More than once I bet. Now, the flag can be moved, but the smartest thing to do is always place the flagstick a good distance from the hole.

All of the rule changes can be found in the latest printed version of the USGA rulebook for 2008, or go online at to view the changes.

State tourney bonanza

n Maryland -- (Conducted by the Maryland State Golf Assn.) Men's Amateur Championship at Woodholme (June 5-8), Junior Boys at Andrews AFB (June 23-24), Open Championship at Fountain Head (July 14-16), Pro-Am Championship at Holly Hills (July 21), Amateur Public Links at Whiskey Creek (July 29), Men's Mid-Amateur at Old South (Aug. 18-19), Senior Men's Championship at Talbot (Sept. 4-5), Senior Men's Open at Beachtree (Oct. 13-14) and the State Team Matches which were scheduled to begin Saturday (weather permitting) at various locations throughout Maryland, including teams from Beaver Creek and Fountain Head.

In the Maryland Women's Division, dates include: Amateur Championship at Crofton CC (July 14-17) and the Women's Open Championship at CC at Woodmore (Oct. 6-7).

(Conducted by the Middle Atlantic Golf Assn.) -- Junior Boys at Old South (June 26-27), Senior Amateur at Farmington CC (July 22-24), Women's Amateur at Kingsmill CC (Sept. 3-4), Men's Amateur at Belle Haven (Oct. 2-5).

n Pennsylvania -- Jay Sigel Amateur Match Play at Stonewall (May 12-14), Amateur Championship at Saucon Valley Country Club (July 28-30), Junior Championship at Hershey Country Club (July 7-8), Senior Amateur Championship at The Club at Nevillewood (Aug. 4-5), Open Championship at Old York Road CC (Aug. 11-13).

n West Virginia -- Open Championship at Berry Hills CC (June 25-27), Women's Amateur at The Greenbrier (Aug. 4-7), Amateur Championship at Sleepy Hollow GC (July 29), Senior Amateur at Edgewood CC (Sept. 3-7).

Hawks on golf

Dirk Schultz coaches the Hagerstown Community College golf team and the Hawks have started the season 1-1.

They defeated Frederick Community College in the opener, with Boonsboro graduate Caleb Hudlow leading HCC with an 81. The Hawks lost to Montgomery 349-356 in a match at Beaver Creek. Hudlow again led HCC with an 80.

Other members of the team are Matt Weber, Clark Grumbine, Seth Boesecker and Ethen McNew.

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