Hey folks, Yves here with EXPERT GOLF, and today I am going to give you a sneak preview of the upcoming rules changes. You may have heard that the rules of golf are currently undergoing a major revision and as of January first 2019 a brand new set of rules will come into effect. Now in order not to create any misunderstandings please note that we will be playing by the current rules until the end of 2018. Also, the changes that I will address in this video are based on the new rules as proposed by the governing golf bodies, however, it is not yet sure if they are going to be implemented exactly the way they have been announced. Nevertheless I think it’s helpful to give you an idea of what is likely to change in 2019 and I have put together the five most significant rules changes for you. The time limit for searching for a lost ball will probably be reduced from five to three minutes. I think that this change makes sense and can help to speed up the game. It has been proposed that water hazards are to be renamed “penalty areas” and don’t necessarily have to contain water anymore. This will allow golf clubs to mark areas, which are currently marked as out of bounds, with red stakes instead. A player whose ball comes to rest in such a penalty area will then only incur a one stroke penalty instead of losing stroke and distance as is the case with out of bounds. What’s also new – you will be allowed to ground your club in penalty areas. However, please note that this applies only to penalty areas, you are still not allowed to ground your club in a bunker. The procedure for dropping a ball is going to be simplified substantially. Today you have to drop from shoulder height, in the future you will be able to drop from a very short distance just above the ground. You will be allowed to remove loose impediments everywhere in the future. Until now, leaves, twigs, stones and other natural objects were not to be touched in bunkers and water hazards. In the future you will be allowed to remove them in these areas as well. However, you still have to be careful of course not to move the ball when removing a loose impediment. Last but not least there will be a significant change regarding the flagstick. It will no longer be necessary to remove the flagstick when putting. Today when your ball is on the green and you putt and hit the flagstick you incur two penalty strokes or lose the hole in match play. In the future you can leave the flagstick in the hole and there will be no penalty for hitting it. Now this was just a quick overview of the five most important changes for 2019. There will be many more changes because the rule book will be rewritten from the first to the last page. Please check back with us at expertgolf.com as we will be adding more information on the new rules as they come out. If you find it hard to understand the rules or if you have specific questions, please check out my “Golf Rules Quick Reference”. It answers practically all questions that might arise during a round of golf and it is small enough to be carried in a golf bag. Of course you can also download it as an app, just go to the app store and search for iGolfrules. Thanks for watching, enjoy your golf and see you soon.