There will be a major change to the way we drop from 2019, and a minor new restriction on the club we use to measure...

New Golf Rules Explained: Dropping And Measuring

The new Rules of Golf came into play on 1st Jan 2019 and there are two big changes regarding the dropping procedure.

From 2019, golfers must now drop from knee height whilst club length measurements will be done with the longest club in the bag barring the putter as opposed to the current rule which doesn’t state that.

Below, we go into more detail on these two new Rules…

Dropping procedure


When taking free or penalty relief, the ball must be dropped from shoulder height and first strike a part of the course within the one- or two-club-length relief area.

It may then roll up to another two club-lengths not nearer the hole from where it first struck a part of the course.

From 2019

Drops will be from knee height

Drops will be from knee height and the ball must come to rest within the relief area, without the additional two club-lengths.

If it doesn’t, you will need to drop once more before being allowed to place it.

The new procedure should not only be quicker, as the ball is more likely to remain within the relief area when dropped from knee height, but easier to understand too.

It also means players will no longer be able to end up almost four club-lengths away from where the ball was lying, potentially creating a big advantage.

Fixed distances to be use for measuring


Club-length measurements are not fixed and players may use any club to measure, allowing those with long putters to potentially gain an advantage.

From 2019

All club length measurements will be with your longest club other than the putter

Club-lengths must be measured using the longest club in the player’s bag with the exception of the putter.

This has been a point of contention since long putters first appeared on the scene.

Although there will obviously still be some difference between the length of the longest club (shorter clubs for ladies and juniors, for example), this will now significantly minimise the extent of any advantage one player could gain over another when measuring.

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels