USGA, RGA Announce Rule Change: Accidental Ball Movement

In a nod to the heavy criticism they received during the Dustin Johnson fiasco at last summer’s U.S. Open, the USGA (and RGA) announced that they are changing the local rule that penalizes a player for an accidental movement of the ball.

The infraction falls under Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1. But golf fans know it simply as the Dustin Johnson Rule.

“For the past several years, as part of the R&A and USGA’s Rules Modernization initiative, we have considered the penalty for a ball that is accidentally moved on the putting green,” David Rickman, executive director of governance at the R&A, said in a prepared statement. “Both rules committees agreed that it needed to be changed and decided that in this particular case it was important to act now, through a Local Rule, rather than wait for the next overall set of revisions to the Rules of Golf.”

Here’s the USGA’s quick recap/explanation.

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