One interesting result of the 2019 Rules revisions is a permissible new Local Rules that will provide an alternative to stroke and distance for a ball that is either lost or out of bounds.
Here’s how it would work where adopted…
If your ball is lost or out of bounds, find an equidistant point on the edge of the fairway (your ‘fairway reference point’) to where you believe your ball is either lost or went out of bounds (your ‘ball reference point’) and then drop somewhere between the two, with a further two club lengths’ leeway (either side for a lost ball) under penalty of two strokes.
TIf it were your tee shot that went out of bounds, you would be playing four from there, just as you would if you had hit your provisional ball to the same spot.
Related: 5 things to know about the 2019 golf rule changes
However, there are a number of important points to bear in mind:
1) Many people who currently play such a ‘Rule’ informally will typically only regard it as a one-shot penalty, but the penalty under this new Local Rule will be two strokes.
2) Even when this Local Rule is in force, you may still choose to hit a provisional. But if you do, the above alternative won’t be available.
3) It is only a Local Rule option, so check if your home club will be adopting it. Even if they do, it won’t always be an option when playing away matches of competitions.
Thanks to www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/new-golf-rules-explained-local-rules-for the new rule illustration (top).
The old rule for anyone interested in a comparison is posted below the new image