Monday, July 3, 2017

Ask Linda #1565-Play with driver with cracked face

A small crack has appeared in the face of my TaylorMade R7 driver. I have tried to fix it with super glue and it seems to be totally sealed (tested the head by holding it underwater and saw no bubbles). 

I need to use the driver tomorrow, and would like to post my score for handicap purposes. Is it legal to play with the (hopefully) repaired driver? I think the repair was successful and I doubt the playing characteristics of the club have been changed. 

Would it be legal (for handicap purposes) to play with the crack UNrepaired? I broke it during a range session. I tried looking on the USGA and R&A sites for the answer, but can't find a decision. Thanks for your help.
Lou from Thailand

Readers, please scroll to the bottom for the official response from the R&A.

Dear Lou,

Ordinarily I would consult the USGA to answer this question, as I am not 100% certain of the answer. However, their offices are closed on the weekend, so I will give you my opinion.

When the Rules talk about a club unfit for play, they refer to a scratched club-head as being fit. The fact that there is no mention of a cracked face leads me to suspect that such a club would be non-conforming. When the face is cracked, the playing characteristics have changed.

If the face had cracked during your round, you would be entitled to finish the round with the club [Rule 4-3a]. Your club was damaged before the round, and I doubt that glue will restore the trampoline effects of a titanium face.

Repair generally refers to a damaged or bent shaft, a club-head that has become loose, or a loose grip. A cracked face cannot be repaired. It is my opinion that you would not be permitted to begin your round with your damaged, non-conforming driver.

Copyright © 2017 Linda Miller. All rights reserved.

OK, thanks much for the rapid and detailed reply. I would guess you are correct. I am hoping to hear from the R&A and/or USGA soon.  

Lou, when you get your answer, please share it with me.

The R&A got back to me on cracked driver face…CANNOT use for handicap round…crack in face makes club non-conforming.