- Then Currently, Rule 16-1c [Repair of Hole Plugs, Ball Marks and Other Damage] limits the player to repairing only old hole plugs or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball. See also Decision 16-1a/7 [Player Repairs Depression on Line of Putt Created When Partially Embedded Acorn Removed]. Forthcoming Rule 13.1c(2) [Improvements Allowed on Putting Green: Repair of Damage] states, in part, “A player may repair damage on the putting green without penalty by taking reasonable actions to restore the putting green as nearly as possible to its original condition….” This Rule includes “Embedded objects (such as a stone, acorn or tee)” as examples of “damage on the putting green.”
- Now Currently, Rule 4-3a [Damaged Clubs: Repair and Replacement: Damage in Normal Course of Play] allows a player to repair a damaged club if it was damaged in the normal course of play. But Decision 4-3/1 [Meaning of Damage Sustained in “Normal Course of Play”] points out that intentionally striking the ground with a club other than during a stroke, practice swing or practice stroke is an act that is not in the normal course of play. Forthcoming Rule 4.1a(2) [Use or Repair of Club Damaged During Round] allows a player to repair a conforming club if it is “damaged during a round.” This Rule states, in part, “”Damaged during a round” means when the club’s performance characteristics are changed because of any act during the round … whether …[b]y the player (such as making a stroke or practice swing with the club, putting it in or taking it out of a golf bag, dropping or leaning on it, or throwing or abusing it ….”
- Now Current Rule 5-3 [Ball Unfit for Play] requires that the player announce his intention to lift and give his or her opponent, marker or fellow-competitor the opportunity to examine the ball and observe the lifting and replacement of the ball. Forthcoming Rule 4.2c [Ball Becomes Cut or Cracked While Playing Hole] does away with this requirement!
- Then The Note to current Rule 14-3 [Artificial Devices and Unusual Equipment; Abnormal Use of Equipment] states, “The Committee may make a Local Rule allowing players to use a distance-measuring device.” Opposite to this, forthcoming Rule 4.3a(1) [Allowed and Prohibited Uses of Equipment: Distance and Directional Information] points out that the Committee may adopt a Local Rule prohibiting the use of distance-measuring devices.
- Now Per current Rule 12-1 [Seeing Ball; Searching for Ball], a player is subject to penalty under Rule 18-2 [Ball at Rest Moved by Player …] if he or she accidentally moves the ball while searching for it in the rough. Per forthcoming Rule 7.4 [Ball Accidentally Moved in Trying to Find or Identify It], there is no penalty if the player’s ball is accidentally moved by the player, opponent or anyone else while trying to find or identify it!
- Then Currently, Rule 13-4 [Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions] prohibits the player from touching or moving a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard when the player’s ball is in the same hazard. On the other hand, forthcoming Rule 15.1a [Removal of Loose Impediment] states, in part, “Without penalty, a player may remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course, and may do so in any way (such as by using a hand or foot or a club or other equipment).”
- Then Currently, Rule 26-1c(ii) [Relief for Ball in Water Hazard] allows the player to drop a ball within two club-lengths of, and not nearer the hole than, a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.
Rule 17.1d(3) [Relief for Ball in Penalty Area: Lateral Relief (Only for Red Penalty Area)] points out that the Committee may adopt a Local Rule allowing lateral relief on the opposite side of a red penalty area at an equal distance from the hole.