The Royal and Ancient and the United States Golf Association have announced 87 new rules changes that will be implemented on January 1, including a change to the rule that allows viewers to phone in and report a breach. 

Tiger Woods suffered at the hands of a viewer call in during the BMW Championship in September, costing him a two-stroke penalty, after high-vision cameras showed his ball moved as he attempted to remove an obstruction beside it. 

Decision 18/4 will now read thus: "The ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time."

In the FedEx Cup playoff event in autumn, Woods was penalised after video crew used slow motion and high definition footage to show that his ball had moved as he attempted to remove a loose impediment. 

The world number one was apparently outraged at the decision, stating his ball had merely oscillated and hadn't changed position. 

The USGA's senior director of rules, Thomas Pagel, said: "If a situation similar to that of Tiger's at the BMW Championship were to occur after January 1, 2014, the additional considerations for committees that are outlined in new Decision 18/4 would be used in determining the ruling.

"As to whether these new considerations would have changed the ruling that was made at the BMW Championship, our answer is that it is difficult to speculate on what the outcome of the ruling would have been because the only issue addressed by the committee at the time was whether the ball moved."

Woods said at the time: "I felt like nothing happened. I felt like the ball oscillated and that was it."

He suffered a freak year involving rules infringements, most notably the out cry for him to be disqualified from the Masters after his ball hit the flag stick and found the water; with him subsequently saying in a press conference after that he dropped the ball two yards further back to aid his yardage.

He was deemed not to have broken the rules and was allowed to continue competing. 

Greg Chamblee, a former PGA Tour player who now works for the Golf Channel in the US, described Woods as being "cavalier with the rules" - eventually labelling his season an 'F' despite his five wins on tour.

He faced a backlash, however, with Woods' agent considering legal action.  

At the PGA Tour's season-ending event, the Tour Championship, the 14-time major winner called for a time limit to imposed on viewer call-ins. 

"There needs to be a discussion, obviously, where is that time limit?"

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of discussion over it. What's going to happen over the course of time, is every player going to be mandated to have a camera follow them around everywhere they go, all 156 players for every shot?"

"Or is there a certain time limit when we're going to have to do it. Is it going to change in the digital age? These are all questions and answers that need to be resolved in the near future."

Despite this latest announcement regarding the rules changes, it remains to be seen how effective they will be when another issue like Woods' arises. 

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