GOLF’S 9 MOST NOTABLE RULE CHANGES

The Stymie Rule

Golf isn’t a sport where you can play defense against your opponent, but once you could. For many years in singles match play, a person wasn’t allowed to move his or her ball on the green even if it was directly in an opponent’s path. A player facing the obstacle while trying to hole out was known as being “stymied.” They could either try to putt around an opponent’s ball or putt or chip over it. There were revisions to this rule over the years before it was totally abolished worldwide in 1952.

The Golf Ball Size Rule

When it comes to golf balls, golfers today play a variety of brands and models — they just don’t come in all shapes and sizes anymore. Until 1974, the R&A allowed players to use a smaller ball (1.62 inches in diameter) in the British Open. In 1988, the ball was made illegal, and the USGA’s 1.68 diameter model has been the only legal ball since. There has been talk about modifying the current ball to help curb distance, but nothing appears imminent at this point.

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