Ԫ TRGA - Historic References
TRGA

Historical References

The first 'procedure' for dropping a ball came in 1754: throwing it behind a water hazard 'six yards at least'.

Leith code of 1775, the rule was stroke only, and a player dropped a ball where he judged the original was lost.

The three minute time limit for searching for a lost ball was introduced by the Aberdeen Golfers in 1783.

1809. If a ball is lost on the green, the player shall drop another behind the place where the other was lost, and lose one.

1812 XIII. All loose impediments of whatever kind, may be removed upon the putting green.

Burntisland 1828, which allowed the removal of 'loose obstructions' on the fair green.

1851 With the consent of one's adversary, a player could lift and drop behind the place for 1 penalty stroke.

1891 all balls must be holed out in SP.

R&A 1891 The rectangular shape of the teeing ground is stipulated for the first time: a ball must not be teed in front of, nor on either side of, nor more than two club lengths behind the teeing markers.

The hole size was standardised in 1891 at the dimensions of today.

1899 ball must not be pushed scraped or spooned.

1899 play on putting green when another ball in motion, 1 penalty stroke.

The wooden tee peg was patented in 1899 by George F. Grant

The competitor was obliged to countersign his card for a brief period, 1899-1901

Through the green was first defined in 1899, as being all parts of the course except hazards and the putting green.

In 1908 the new procedure of dropping over the shoulder introduced.

1909 The Rules of Golf Committee is, however, of opinion that it is not allowable to employ the vertical croquet stroke as a method of putting.

July 1921 deeply grooved irons made illegal by the R&A.

Steel shafts were initially banned by the R&A and USGA in 1914 as "not a permissible departure from the traditional form and make of golf clubs". However, following further developments and pressure from manufacturers, the increasingly popular steel shafts were legalised in April 1924 by the USGA, and in Sept 1929 by the R&A, the main reasons being that steel shafts conferred no playing advantages, and conservation of the world's supply of hickory.

Unplayable....1920: Ball now can be 'deemed' unplayable anywhere on the course; penalty stroke and distance in match play, stroke and distance or tee behind the place for 2 strokes in stroke play.

steel shafts were legalised in April 1924 by the USGA, and in Sept 1929 by the R&A, the main reasons being that steel shafts conferred no playing advantages, and conservation of the world's supply of hickory.

Although a ball could be declared unplayable anywhere at this time, if a player's ball was in a water hazard, by following the water hazard Rule he could get back into play for one penalty stroke instead of two in stroke play

The teeing ground was added to the definition in 1933.

Legal number of clubs carried becomes 14 on 1 Jan 1938; the R&A followed suit 1 May, 1939

1947 (USGA) said "It is impossible to lay down exact rules to govern always the play of a ball which lies in a water hazard.

giving unsolicited advice was not an offence until 1947 (USGA) and 1952 (R&A).

1947 USGA. Grips must be substantially straight and plain, but may have flat sides.

1950 penalties reduced to distance only for lost, out of bounds and unplayable.

No practice on the course and 'undue delay' introduced 1950

Practice anywhere on the course was prohibited from 1950 (1952 in USGA); at the same time playing a practice stroke during play was also banned.

1952 Putter shafts may be fixed at any point in the head.

1952 Lost, Unplayable, OOB all under same rule and penalties. Player is sole judge whether his ball is unplayable, and it can be declared Unplayable anywhere.

1956 Ball may be declared lost by player.

1956 No penalty for striking an unattended flagstick from any distance.

1960 USGA. reduced penalty to 1 stroke and removed Provisional option.

1960 Lifting a ball on the putting green was allowed, so cleaning was added to the list.

1964 USGA allowed a stroke-only option if it was felt that stroke and distance would be "'unduly severe."

1968 R&A. OB penalty reduced to 1 stroke, no provisional.