Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ask Linda #345-Training aids

Hi Linda,

I have a couple of questions regarding training aids.

1.    I am making some changes to my swing, and as a visual aid I have a tee peg stuck in the end of my grip.  Would I be within the rules to leave this tee peg in the club during a competitive round or would it be classed as a training aid?

2.    While waiting on a par three the other day I noticed that my playing partner had one of those weighted swing trainer clubs in his bag.  Out of curiosity I picked it up and had a waggle and a swing with it – not with any intention of “training” my swing or loosening up but just out of curiosity.  I know using a weighted training device in a round should result in disqualification, but would “intention” be relevant here?  As I was not intending to use the device to “train” would the rule still apply?

Thanks Linda,
Lou Lou

Dear Lou Lou,

Question #1:
You are not permitted to make a stroke with a tee stuck in the end of your grip. This comes under Rule 14-3, which prohibits “unusual use of equipment.” The penalty is disqualification.

Question #2:
You are permitted to make a practice swing with another player’s club, regardless of whether it is a standard club or a training club. [by extension of Decision 4-4a/13].

Since you have brought up the topic of a weighted club for swing training, I would like to make a few comments:

1. A player is permitted to carry a weighted training club as long as it is one of his 14 clubs and it conforms to the specifications for clubs in Appendix II of the rulebook. He may use it for both practice swings and actual strokes.

2. If a player carries a club that does not conform (e.g., a club with a hinged shaft), then in stroke play he is penalized two strokes per hole, with a maximum 4-stroke penalty per round. In match play, the penalty is that the state of the match is adjusted by one hole, with a maximum deduction of two holes. For example, if a player is 4-up at the 7th hole when the non-conforming club is discovered, he is now 2-up.

3. If a player makes a stroke with a club that does not conform, he is disqualified [Rule 4-1].

4. A player who makes a stroke or a practice swing during his round with a weighted headcover or a donut on his club is disqualified under Rule 14-3 for using an artificial device to assist him in his play [Decision 14-3/10].

Copyright © 2011 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.