Beginning in 2018, a player will be allowed to mark and lift the ball and proceed under the Rule without needing first to announce this intention to another person or to give that person a chance to observe the process.
However, the player will still get a one-stroke penalty if he or she marked and lifted the ball without good reason to do so under that Rule.
Reasons for Change
The Rules generally rely on the integrity of the player.
In other relief situations, including when a ball may be lifted and played from a different place, players are allowed to proceed under the Rules without being required to involve another person in any part of the process.
Eliminating the announcement requirements for these three situations will simplify the Rules, bring consistency to the approach of trusting the player and eliminate an unnecessary procedural penalty for simply not informing an appropriate person.
This change should also speed up play because a player will no longer need to take the time to inform another player of the intent to lift and to wait to see if that other player wants to come over to observe the lifting and replacement of the ball.