Rules of Golf – Ball at Rest

New Year, new Rules. Golf’s new Rules are now in effect.

The main changes have been organized into nine different categories; Ball at Rest, Ball in Motion, Taking Relief, Areas of the Course, Equipment, Playing a Ball, When to Play During a Round, Player Behavior and Local Rule.

The following items outline some of the main changes in the Rules of Golf related to the “Ball at Rest” category.

Ball at Rest

Ball Moved During Search


Ball Moved on Putting Green


Standard for Deciding Why a Ball Moved

  • Current rule: The player will be found to be the cause only when it is known or virtually certain (meaning at least 95%) to be the case.
  • Old rule: Weight of the evidence/more likely than not.
  • Full explanation from the USGA.

Replacing Ball When Original Spot is Not Known

  • Current rule: Replace the ball on its estimated spot; if that spot was on, under or against attached natural objects, replace the ball on that spot on, under or against those objects.
  • Old rule: Drop the ball as near as possible to the estimated spot.
  • Full explanation from the USGA.

For more information on the new Rules of Golf, visit usga.org/rules.