Together, The R&A, based in St Andrews, Scotland and the USGA, based in Liberty Corner, New Jersey govern the game worldwide, including writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf.
On January 1, 2019, a new "Modernized" set of Rules went into effect. The changes resulted from an initiative that began seven years prior in an effort to bring the Rules up to date to fit the needs of today's global game. Now, these have undergone a subsequent review and the updated Rules will be adopted effective January 1, 2023.
The original initiative (for 2019) had two guiding themes:
- Even far-reaching Rule changes should be open for discussion, but golf's essential principles and character must be preserved.
- Revisions should be assessed with all golfers in mind, so that the Rules are easier to understand and apply not only for professionals and elite amateurs, but also for beginners, high-handicappers and typical club and recreational golfers at all levels of play around the world.
The revisions for 2023 deal with a greater fine-tuning of the Rules and primarily deal with issues that have come up since the 2019 Rules were released. These changes continue the theme of making the Rules more easily understood and applied (and include the lessening of severity of penalties) while maintaining the required equity of treating like situations alike for all players.
for more information on the Rules. NOTE: The Rules as found on the USGA or R&A websites and apps are the Rules in effect through Dec. 31, 2022. While articles and notes discussing the changes may be visible prior to then, the Revised version will not be available until Jan. 1, 2023.
The Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) is readily available to provide answers to any Rules of Golf questions or concerns. The MGA is an experienced liaison between the USGA - the governing authority on the Rules of Golf in the United States - and its Member Clubs.
The MGA also is available to assist Member Clubs with any rules questions, as well as assist with course marking questions and to provide rules programs tailored for its golfers. For more information, please contact Doug Hoffmann,
MGA Director of Rules and Competitions, at Doug@mngolf.org or (952) 345-3963.
Rules of Golf Resources
- USGA Rules of Golf Homepage - The USGA's "one-stop shop" for anything and everything Rules of Golf
- Rules of the Game Instructional Videos - A series of videos produced by the USGA to explain the rules in particular circumstances.
- R&A Rules Homepage - The R&A's place for everything Rules. While the Rules are the same worldwide, the R&A website provides some different resources that can help your learning experience.
- Rules Publications - The Rules book in two editions for 2023 - Rules of Golf and the Official Guide to the Rules - complete with all of the Interpretations and Committee Section. (NOTE: The Player's Edition will not be published for the updated Rules.)
- USGA Rules of Golf Quiz - Test your knowledge by taking the USGA rules quiz.
- The General Area - A website devoted to rules education created and managed by Dr. Lew Blakey, esteemed rules officianado.
- Oswald Golf Rules - Another great resource from Brian Nyggard Oswald who has great resources, including an online workshop, that will improve your Rules knowledge.
MGA Rules & Tournament Volunteer Education Programs - 2023
IN-PERSON RULES CLASSES
Since 1999, the MGA has been conducting Rules Education programs; 2023 is no different. The programs offered are designed to meet the needs for all individuals - beginners to tournament players, rules novices to experienced tournament officials. Rarely will a person be able to say they know the Rules well enough. And, the Rules can help players be more confident when playing because they can be certain that the procedure they followed is correct. If you play golf, you should attend! NOTE:
Each in-person session will be limited to 30 attendees.
As is the tradition, the MGA will be conducting One-Day Rules Clinics
and a Two-Day Rules Workshop
. Here is a brief description of the offerings: The schedule will be updated as dates are finalized; registration will open on Jan. 1. Click HERE
to register through Golf Genius for any of the online program.
ONLINE RULES PROGRAMS
- MGA One-Day Rules Clinic
This class serves as a great introduction to those who are relatively new to golf and/or the Rules or who need a refresher. It's also a great re-introduction to the "New and Modernized" Rules introduced in 2019 and the updates effective Jan. 1. The focus will be on the terminology as well as the every day basics. This class will prepare you for most of what you will encounter on the course on a regular basis. It is a great "jumping off" point to your journey of becoming knowledgeable in the Rules if that is what you want. It is a must for anyone who is responsible for overseeing the Rules on behalf of a league, group, course or is a rules official.
Instruction will include a PowerPoint presentation and video segments as well as interactive discussion. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided as well as beverages throughout the day. Attendees will receive a Rules of Golf and Official Guide to the Rules of Golf book as well as other materials.
Cost: $80 per person, $55 for Golf Industry professionals and $40 for current and active MGA Tournament Volunteers. NOTE: Each session is limited to 30 attendees.
- Monday, March 27, 2023 @ Brookview Golf Course (Golden Valley); Time: 8a-5p
- Tuesday, April 4, 2023 @ Edina Country Club (Edina); Time: 8a-5p
- Saturday, April 15, 2023 @ Valleywood Golf Course (Apple Valley); Time: 8a-5p
- MGA Two-Day Rules & Officiating Workshop
As indicated by its name, this class is a more in-depth study of the Rules. It will cover the terminology and basics, but it also will go deeper and touch on more complex situations.
Instruction will include a PowerPoint presentation and video segments as well as interactive discussion. Weather permitting, an outdoor session will be included on the afternoon of Day 1. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided both days as well as beverages throughout the days. Attendees will receive a Rules of Golf and Official Guide to the Rules of Golf book as well as other materials. This workshop is for individuals who already have a good understanding of the Rules and use them frequently while overseeing competitions at all levels or are interested in officiating at higher levels.
Also, there will be an optional RULES EXAM at the conclusion of Day 2, allowing you to test your knowledge. This exam is required for persons wanting to become a Rules Official with the MGA.
Cost: $150 per person, $100 for Golf Industry professionals and $75 for current and active MGA Tournament Volunteers. NOTE: This session is limited to 30 attendees.
- Tuesday-Wednesday, April 18-19, 2023 @ Brackett's Crossing CC (Lakeville)
Times: Tuesday - 8a-5p; Wednesday - 8a-3p; Optional Exam & Review - 3p-6p
In addition to the In-Person sessions, the MGA again will be conducting three different online programs as listed below. Once registration goes live, simply click on the desired session below to register. (NOTE: You will need to register for each session individually.)
MGA "Rules on Tap" - The Live, Online Rules Program
returns each Thursday
from 7:00-8:30 pm Central time
from February 9 - April 13.
Below is the tentative lineup of topics (subject to change). And, if you missed any of the shows from the first three seasons, a library of the recordings is available for listenting at the MGA Rules of Golf Channel
online at GoToStage.com.
- Feb 9 - Welcome Back! Introduction & The Changes for 2023: A Compendium
- Feb 16 - The Rules Fundamentals & Definitions: The Language of the Rules
- Feb 23 - Taking Relief: A How To (Rule 14)
- March 2 - Taking Relief: Free & Otherwise (Rules 15-19)
- March 9 - Open Forum I: Your Topics, Your Questions
- March 16 - Special Areas: Teeing Areas, Putting Greens & Bunkers
- March 23 - Playing a Hole / Playing the Round (Rules 5-6)
- March 30 - Course Played as It Is Found / Ball in Motion (Rules 8 & 11)
- April 6 - Your Shag Bag of Other Important Rules
- April 13 - Open Forum II & Season Wrap-up
- April 20 - BONUS SESSION: Course Setup - The MGA Way
Have you ever thought about helping out at an MGA event? The MGA Tournament Volunteer Orientation
is for anyone wanting to become a tournament volunteer for the MGA. The program covers the steps necessary to become a volunteer, the different classifications of tournament volunteer, expectations (of you and the MGA) and the other details of volunteering for the MGA. This is required for all new Tournament Volunteers. A session lasts approximately 1.5 hours. Registration is required and will open Jan 1. Once registration goes live, simply click on the desired session below to register.
Back for 2023 is the popular "For Your Eyes Only" - An MGA Rules Discussion for Players.
This quick, 90-minute session is designed to help players with the rules and most common situations they face on the course, such as embedded balls, penalty areas, GUR and unplayable balls. It also will cover other "need to know" items beneficial for anyone who competes at any level. Once registration goes live, simply click on the desired session below to register.
USGA RULES OF GOLF EXAMS
- SPECIAL SESSION: How the MGA Sets Up a Course for Competitions - Thursday, April 20, 7-8:30p
- "For Your Eyes Only" - An MGA Rules Discussion for Players - Tuesday, April 25, 7-8:30p
- "For Your Eyes Only" - An MGA Rules Discussion for Players - Thursday, May 4, 7-8:30p
As an Allied Golf Association of the USGA, the MGA is authorized to offer and proctor the 80 Question Exam
on behalf of the USGA. Although the details have yet to be finalized, the USGA plans to continue this opportunity into the 2023 season. Thus, the MGA will be making available this opportunity to its Tournament Volunteers as well as other interested individuals. Once details are finalized, an email will be sent to all Tournament Volunteers as well as being posted here.