Local Knowledge

January 2023


The 2023 Rules of Golf went into effect January 1 for golfers worldwide. This new edition, while adhering to the principles that have always guided the USGA and The R&A in governing the game, continues the modernization process that began a decade ago in providing plain language, a practical approach and intuitive answers. The ongoing strategy remains to make the Rules more consistent, simple, accessible and, where possible, less penal.

While this year’s updates don’t reach the level of the 2019 overhaul, there are five key changes made in the 2023 Rules that all golfers should know and are outlined below:

New Rule – Modifications for Players with Disabilities – These modifications are now part of the Rules and are in effect for all competitions and all players who fall under the categories covered in new Rule 25.

Replacing Damaged Clubs – If your club is damaged during a round (except in cases of abuse) you may replace it, repair it or continue to use it.

Ball Moved by Natural Forces – When your ball is at rest after taking relief and then rolls into another area of the course due to natural causes, there is no penalty, and you must replace it.

Simplified Back-on-the-Line Relief – When using this relief option, you are required to drop your ball on the line, and it may roll up to one club-length in any direction.

Handicap on Scorecard (Stroke Play Only) – You are not required to put your handicap on your scorecard and there is no penalty if you return your scorecard in a competition with an incorrect handicap, as this is now the Committee’s responsibility. This change is consistent with other penalty reductions, such as reducing the penalty for playing an incorrectly substituted ball from the general penalty to one stroke.

To learn more about the key changes and for comprehensive educational resources for the 2023 Rules of Golf, click here.


With the ongoing commitment of TGA Member Clubs to being part of the Youth on Course community, more and more kids in Texas are now able to challenge themselves, connect with others, spend time outdoors, and possibly alter their life trajectory through the game of golf.

Established in 2006, Youth on Course (YOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to rounds of golf.

The TGA Foundation (TGAF) first teamed up with YOC in January of 2020 to launch a pilot program in the San Antonio area and together have been expanding the program ever since. In 2022, the TGAF rolled out YOC to more areas in the state and saw a significant participation increase across the board from the previous year. The number of YOC members in Texas jumped 86% from 1,400 to 2,600, and the number of YOC partner courses was up 74% from 27 to 47. This led to a 30% increase of the number of rounds kids played for $5 or less from 7,700 in 2021 to more than 10,000 in 2022. To date, the TGAF and YOC have contributed over $110,000 to partner courses to subsidize over 20,000 rounds of golf.

The TGAF is thrilled by the enthusiastic response thus far, but there are still many regions in Texas left to cover. The continued goal is to have additional courses join the YOC community so that more kids will have access to this far-reaching program and the opportunities it provides both on and off the golf course.

Becoming a YOC partner course is easy, and the benefits are numerous. Course operators are in full control and decide when YOC members can play the course at the YOC rate. In addition to receiving a monthly check for the subsidized rounds, course operators reported that at least 60% of the time, a parent or guardian joined the junior golfer and paid full price for their round. For course operators, that means additional revenue from green fees, cart fees, pro shop merchandise sales and food and beverage purchases.

If you would like to learn more about YOC in Texas, click here. If you would like to be a part of the YOC community and have questions about getting started, please contact Kelly Kilgo, Managing Director of the TGA Foundation and Director of Outreach.


Registration is open for the Club Management Association of America’s 2023 World Conference and Club Business Expo, scheduled for February 24-28, at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. It is a chance to join club management professionals from around the world at the only event that focuses on the business of running a club.

The industry’s largest annual gathering provides a multitude of opportunities to chart a new course and forge ahead, including presentations by stellar business and industry experts, discussion forums, meeting certification goals, networking, finding new talent, idea sharing, and exploring products and services offered by more than 200 companies showcasing industry leading trends and innovations.

With over 65 concurrent sessions across all 11 competencies for success in club management, the robust professional development offerings provide inspiration for leadership journeys and insights for management challenges.

For CMAA 2023 World Conference and Club Business Expo online registration and details, including a list of featured speakers and schedule of events, click here.


3 ways to further enhance the F&B experience

If you haven’t ramped up your food & beverage options recently, it may be time to get creative — especially if you run a private club.

“Clubs are pulling out all the stops and taking things to a whole different level,” said Monica Fedri, associate project manager for RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. “Club event demand is strong, with many clubs going above and beyond.”

Fedri oversees all facets of food & beverage at golf resorts and private clubs across the country. In 2019, RealFood joined Troon, creating new opportunities for the RealFood team to share its food & beverage expertise with the club industry.

Club members want to participate in more creative activities, Fedri said. This includes themed culinary events, wine programs and game nights with food.

In a story for Golf Inc.’s digital magazine, author Michelle Weyenberg takes a closer look some examples of what clubs around the nation are doing to bring in additional food & beverage revenue.

To read more about 3 Ways to Further Enhance the F&B Experience, click here.