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Rules of Golf

The USGA, in conjunction with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes, interprets and maintains the Rules of Golf to guard the tradition and integrity of the game.The two organizations are joint authors and owners of The Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf.Through an agreement with The R&A, the Rules jurisdiction of the USGA includes only the United States, its possessions and Mexico.The latest version went into effect Jan. 1, 2012, with the next revision taking effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Golf Rule 4 - Clubs

CLUBS: CONFORMING CLUB: If you ever have a question whether a club is conforming or not, conult with the USGA.

All clubs used must be conforming otherwise the penalty is DISQUALIFICATION. Keep in mind a conforming club is made up of a shaft and head which are fixed as a single unit. The shaft must be straight and attached to the clubhead at the heel, while a putter shaft can be attached to the head at any point. The grip cannot be molded to fit the hands and should extend to the end of the shaft. The head of the club must only have one striking face except the putter may have two faces.

DAMAGED CLUB OR PLAYER CHANGES OR MODIFIES CHARACTERISTICS OF A CLUB--if a club no longer conforms through damage or modification in the normal course of play (i) the player can use the club only for the remainder of the round in which the damaged occurred in the damaged state. Or (ii) repair the club as long as the player does not delay play.

If damaged other than in the normal course of play the club no longer may be used.

NOTE--the player may not apply any material to the club face that could influence the ball's movement.

PENALTY--DISQUALIFICATION; for a breach of the above.

PERMITTED NUMBER OF CLUBS: FOURTEEN (14) is the maximum allowable number of clubs a player may carry at the start of a stipulated round. The player may only play with the clubs selected prior to the beginning of the round.

EXCEPTIONS: Without delaying play (i) if the player starts the stipulated round with less than 14 clubs, he may add any number of clubs without exceeding 14. (ii) the player may replace any club that becomes unfit for play (in the normal course of play) with any club. If a 4 iron breaks on the downswing while hitting a ball against a tree root, the player may replace it with a 5 iron.

NOTE--the player may not add or replace a club by borrowing any club selected for play by another person playing on the same course.

SHARING CLUBS: Clubs may be shared by partners only if the total number of clubs carried by both players is no more than 14.

PENALTY FOR CARRYING MORE THAN 14 CLUBS: (This can get confusing) MATCH PLAY--one hole for each hole a breach had occurred with a maximum of two holes. In other words, at the end of the 4th hole it was discovered that more than 14 clubs were carried (doesn't matter if 15 or 18 clubs, the penalty is the same) loss of two holes.

STROKE PLAY--two-stroke penalty for each hole a breach occurred with a maximum of four-strokes.