The 2023 Rules of Golf have been announced!

Hi all!

Finally! The new 2023-Rules of Golf have been announced by The R&A and the USGA.

There are not a lot of substantial changes this time (especially not compared to the 2019-changes), but still there are quite a few things to be aware of.

Four key changes.

Let me mention four of the key changes:

  1. The “back-on-the-line” procedure has been simplified. As of 2023 you must drop your ball on the line, and the relief area then is one club-length in any direction (including closer to the hole) from the spot, where the ball first touched the ground when dropped. As of today you should mark a spot on the line, and the relief area then is within one club-length of that spot, not nearer the hole.
  2. You are no longer required to show your handicap on the scorecard.
  3. If your club is damaged, in the course of normal wear and not “abuse” (such as slamming your club down on ground) you are allowed to replace it. For example, if you play a stroke very close to a tree, and strike the tree on your follow through, breaking the club, you may replace it.
  4. When you have dropped, placed or replaced a ball, and the ball then (after having come to rest) rolls onto another area of the course, you must (as of 2023) replace the ball without penalty. This replaces the present rule, where you must play it as it lies (or proceed under an applicable Rule).
    1. EXAMPLE: If you take relief from a penalty area, and the ball after being dropped lies still for 10 seconds… but then rolls back into the adjacent penalty area: As of 2023 you must replace the ball without penalty. If the same thing under the present rules, you would have to play the ball as it lay, or proceed under the penalty area Rule (with an additional one stroke penalty).

Additional changes.

Apart from this, a new Rule 25 has been inserted (Rules for golfers with disabilities) and the penalty for playing with a substituted ball (when substitution is not allowed) has been lowered to one penalty stroke.

Furthermore, there have been quite a few minor changes in the language as well as additional new model local Rules and Clarifications..

Learn more.

If you would like to learn more about the new 2023-Rules, you have quite a few options:

  1. You can take a look at this overview of the five key changes.
  2. You can see a video and additional graphics and text documents about the changes here here (USGA’s website) and here (R&A’s website).
  3. You can enroll in the free 1,5 hour webinar about the 2023-Rules (limited number of spots – first come first serve):
    1. Saturday, December 10th at 3 AM (US Eastern time): Enroll.
    2. Saturday, December 10th at 2 PM (US Eastern time): Enroll.
  4. You can enroll in the Oswald Academy 10-hours online workshop in November, December or January. The price is US $295 (discounts available). The price includes a free slideshow, many Kahoot-quizzes and the option to sit an exam similar to the USGA/R&A exam. Enroll by e-mail to Read more about the workshops here.
  5. Become a VIP member of The Oswald Academy, which (among other membership benefits) gives you the right to get an answer to any Rules question you might have – including about the 2023-Rules. Price US$ 14 / month. Read more about personal VIP membership here.