The USGA and R&A are contemplating a significant overhaul to the Rules of Golf in an effort to make them easier for golfers to understand, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
“This is just a chance to reset,” USGA chief executive Mike Davis told the Journal. “The idea is if we get this right, many more golfers will embrace and understand the rules.”
The USGA aims to release a draft of the revised rules for feedback from recreational players next year, though it could be another few years before they take effect, the report said.
“I think it’s fair to say that some golfers, perhaps many, are intimidated in picking up the rule book,” added John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s head of rules, competitions and equipment standards. “We want to be able to help golfers with that.”
The effort comes in response to a steady decline in the past decade in the number of Americans who play golf at least once a year, according to National Golf Foundation figures, and in the wake of high-profile rules incidents in major championships this year, including U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson’s penalty for a moving ball in the final round of the championship and Anna Nordqvist’s playoff loss at the U.S. Women’s Open after her club touched grains of sand in a fairway bunker at address.
Journal subscribers can access the full story here.