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Golf's governing bodies propose 'fundamental' rule changes

85   //    01 Mar 2017, 18:32 IST

OAKMONT, PA - JUNE 15:  USGA executive director Mike Davis (C) speaks with the media as Stuart Francis (L) and Jeff Hall (R) look on during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 15, 2016 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Reuters) - The elimination of "ball moved" penalties and reduction of time allowed to search for a lost ball are among several fundamental rule changes that have been proposed by golf's governing bodies.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A have also proposed relaxing rules for putting greens, water hazards and bunkers, and allowing players to take a two-stroke penalty when faced with an unplayable shot in a bunker.

The proposed changes, which reduce the rules governing the game to 24 from 34, will be settled in 2018 and take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, the governing bodies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Another change would rely on a player's "reasonable judgment" when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong. And another would impose a limit of 40 seconds for players to play a stroke.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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