Prior to the new rules, a player had to take a stance plus grounding the club for him to be deemed to have addressed the ball. Due to the new definition, the rule no longer provides for a player addressing the ball in a hazard.
Rule 18-2b Ball Moving after Address. There is now an exception which states: “If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply.” This means that there is no penalty applicable. The important words to note carefully are “known or virtually certain”.
I foresee many players claiming that they did not cause the ball to move and counter claims from other competitors or opponents that the player caused it to move. For any player to get away with it, the circumstances should be so clear “known or virtually certain” such that there is no doubt, for example a gust of wind causing the ball to move. The rules officials /referees or committees are most likely going to be very busy having to make the final decisions under this exception.
Rule 13-4: Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions. There are three exceptions under this heading. Under the new rules, exception 2 has been amended. A player is now permitted to smooth sand or soil in a hazard at any time, even before playing from that hazard, “provided this is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and nothing is done to breach Rule 13-2 with respect to his next stroke”. YOU ALSO CAN. To be continued.
For any feedback/comments and any assistance you may need contact the writer, Tavenganiswa Mabikacheche at The Centre for Training and Research Services on email: email@example.com or mobile no. +263712200922 /+263772319612