USGA, R&A considering significant rules changes

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The Rules of Golf booklet in your golf bag may soon be getting a makeover.

As first reported by Golfweek and later confirmed by Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte, the USGA and R&A are considering making changes to several key rules in an attempt to "simplify the code by which the game is played."

Among the rule changes being considered:

  • Reducing search time for lost balls from five minutes to three
  • Allowing players to repair spike marks on greens
  • Emphasizing the use of red stakes for water hazard
  • Eliminating the use of club lengths when taking relief and allowing players to drop from any height rather than shoulder-length

Both governing bodies have been working on the proposed rule changes for the last three years. Rosaforte indicated they could become official as soon as 2019.

An official announcement is expected in March.