USGA Rules Change

New Local Rule Eliminates Penalty for a Player Who Accidentally Causes a Ball to Move on the Putting Green
FAR HILLS, N.J. (Dec. 8, 2016) – The USGA and The R&A today announced the introduction of a new Local Rule that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green.
The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a competition to use starting Jan. 1, 2017. It will be adopted by the USGA and The R&A in all of their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.
“Eliminating this penalty responds to the concerns we have heard from both golfers and committees about the difficulties in applying the current Rules when a player accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, said. “This change is a good example of the type of Rules Modernization changes we hope to implement after completing our fundamental review of all of the Rules. We are looking for ways to improve the Rules by making them easier to understand and apply.”
David Rickman, executive director – Governance at The R&A, said, “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. 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.”
The Local Rule has been welcomed by all of the major tours worldwide, and the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and the Masters Tournament are among the golf organizations that will implement the Local Rule for all future events, beginning Jan.1, 2017.
If a committee wishes to introduce this Local Rule, the following wording is recommended:
“Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows:
When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.
The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1. This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.
Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.”
For more information about the new Local Rule, including explanatory diagrams, videos and a detailed question-and-answer document, please visit
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.
The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit
About The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A runs The Open, elite amateur events, international matches and rankings. Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 140 countries and with the consent of 152 organisations from amateur and professional golf.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities.
For more information about The R&A, visit


Itty Bitty Open

Sponsored by: The Junior Golf Association of Arizona, The Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department & The Thunderbirds
PHOENIX – The Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) announced today that it will host the 2017 Itty Bitty Open on January 14, 2017 at 14 Valley-wide locations open to all youngsters ages 3-5 years old. The FREE event has three clinic times per location starting a 9, 10 and 11 am where juniors and their parents will learn the basics skills of golf taught by qualified PGA and LPGA professionals. After the clinics, the kids will then participate in fun-filled, non-competitive golf games and tournaments. Each golfer will receive a set of plastic golf clubs, balls, a bag, and a visor – participants are asked to leave their own clubs at home. An adult “caddie” must accompany each golfer.
“Itty Bitty Open is a great way for parents to introduce their children to the game of golf,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the JGAA. “It’s always fun to see so many kids having such a good time. It’s very exciting to think that a three-year-old kid attending the Itty Bitty Open will likely still be playing the game for decades to come. We’re honored to help them begin that journey.”
A special contest with prizes will be held at each session for the “Best Dressed Golfer and Caddie Team.” Anything goes: classic golf fashion; contemporary golf fashion; or any unique golf duds that may come to mind. All winners will receive a congratulatory letter, a trophy, and two tickets for the R.S. Hoyt, Jr. Dream Day Activities at the 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community (kids are already allowed to attend it at no charge, so the tickets are for parents or other adults).
Space is limited, sign up before January 7 deadline. To register online, visit and click on Itty Bitty Open, or call 602.944.6168. For those would like to check availability after the entry deadline, please call the phone number listed for the specific site.

Click on the REGISTER ONLINE link below
Click on the Register link on the far right, of the site/ time you plan to attend 
Click I AM NOT A MEMBER tab, then click NEXT 
Agree to the waiver and fill out contact info 










  Cashman Park

22222 N 44th St. 

Lori Colburn


  Deer Valley Community Center

2001 W. Wahalla Ln. 

Allyson Pacini


  Paseo Highlands/ Beuf Com. Center

3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd.

Dave Adams


  Pecos Park

17010 S. 48th St.

John Mark Shea


  Salvation Army KROC Center

1375 E Broadway Rd.







  Legend at Arrowhead GC

21027 N. 67th Avenue








451 N Old Litchfield Rd.







  Gene Autry Park

4125 E McKellips Rd. 







  Rio Vista Community Park

8866 W Thunderbird Rd.

Scott McNevin






  Scottsdale Ranch Park

104th St & Via Linda 

Cori Matheson






  Surprise Stadium

15930 N Bullard Ave.







  Kiwanis Park

5500 S Mill Ave. 







  Espee Park

450 E Knox Rd.







  McQueen Park

480 N Horne St. 




12 Days of Holiday Giveaways

The Arizona Golf Association would like to thank you for being an Arizona Golf Associations member with our “Dozen Days of Holiday Giveaways” sweepstakes.
For 12 days, we will give away great gifts including: a 2017 National Troon Foursome Card, 5 Lessons from Golftec, a $100 Visa gift card and more!
The gift giveaways start on December 13th and is free to enter. Fill out our sweepstakes form below and winners will be contacted be email and announced daily on Facebook and our website. Enter to win today!
Thank you for being an Arizona Golf Association Member and Happy Holidays!

December 13th
Nationwide Gift Package: Bill Haas Signed Flag, Golf Balls & Tees
Winner: Daniel Gary

December 14th
Dozen Nike Crush Golf Balls
Winner: David Konkol

December 15th
Dozen Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
Winner: John Balnis

December 16th 
A Week’s Supply of Chef’s Cut Beef Jerky
Winner: Ken Nordstrom

December 17th
Dozen Bridgestone 330rx Golf Balls
Winner: Faye Tisot

December 18th
2 Caddy Microfiber Golf Towels Presented by Club Glove
Winner: Robert Meek

December 19th
Club Glove Travel Bag
Winner: Joe Pilling

December 20th
5 Golftec Lessons ($399 Value)
Winner: Alex Lowe

December 21st
$100 Visa Gift Card Provided by AGA
Winner: Chris Apitz

December 22nd 
Foursome of Golf at ASU Karsten Golf Course
Winner: Jim Smith

December 23rd
2017 National Troon Foursome Card
Winner: Darcy Cairns

December 24th
4 Patriot All-America VIP Tickets (Presented by Mavericks) & 2 Waste Management Open Tickets
Winner: Eric Kurland