Monday, May 30, 2016
Ask Linda #1314-Hit ball with back of club
I heard that you can’t use the back of any club, whether it’s a chipper, putter, or any club. Is this correct?
Lou from Melbourne, Australia
No, that is not correct. You may hit the ball with either side of the clubhead [Decision 14-1a/1].
Rule 14-1a requires that the ball be fairly struck at with the head of the club. It does not limit which side of the clubhead may be used. It is not uncommon to see a right-handed player use a left-handed stroke with a right-handed club to extricate his ball from a difficult lie (e.g., near an out-of-bounds fence or close to a tree); this is perfectly legal.
Be aware that clubs, other than putters, are limited to one striking face [Appendix II, #4d]. Two-sided chippers are illegal.
Rules are better learned from research than from hearsay.
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