Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Ask Linda #1059-Broken putter
During a foursomes competition (alternate shot), I accidentally broke the handle off my putter while removing it from my bag. I then putted with my rescue club. Would I have been allowed to putt with my broken putter? As it was a foursome format, would I have been allowed to borrow my partner’s putter?
Lulu from Edinburgh, Scotland
When you accidentally break or damage a club during play, you are permitted to use the club for the rest of your round. You also have two other options, both of which are allowed only if you don’t unduly delay play: (1) repair it (or have it repaired), or (2) replace it if it is unfit for play [Rule 4-3a].
Pay attention to my use of the word “accidentally.” If your club breaks when you intentionally smash it against a tree or slam it down on the cart path, you are not permitted to use it if it is now non-conforming [see Appendix II] or its playing characteristics have been altered.
You are not permitted to borrow a club from another player [Rule 4-4a]. Partners may share clubs only when the total number of clubs carried by the two players is 14 or less. In other words, if you each carry 7 clubs, you may share; if you carry 10 and your partner carries 12, sharing is prohibited [Rule 4-4b].
However, if you start your round with 10 clubs, you may add up to four clubs at any time (borrowed or purchased from the pro shop, retrieved from your or anyone else’s car, stored in the locker room). Another player (including your partner) may not give you a club to use for the rest of your round if it is a club she has chosen to put in her bag for her own use during her round.
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