Friday, July 7, 2017
Ask Linda #1568-Opponent carries “baby” club
During a match my caddy discovers an additional club, the 15th one, in my opponent’s bag. My opponent said that he knew about this club but it does not matter, as it’s a baby club that is used by his little son. What do the rules say about it?
Lou from Pakistan
If the club is at least 18 inches long, it is a conforming club. Assuming the player did not use the club, the penalty is as follows:
After you finish playing the hole where your caddie discovered the 15th club, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole (discovery before starting play of Hole #2) or two holes (discovery anytime after starting play of Hole #2) from your opponent’s score [Rule 4-4]. If he were 1-up after completing play of the fourth hole, for example, he would now be 1-down; if he were 2-up, the match would be all square.
If the club is shorter than 18 inches, it is a non-conforming club. Your opponent has breached two Rules (15 clubs and a non-conforming club), and two penalties apply. That would mean there would be an adjustment of up to four holes, two for each Rule breached.
Since your opponent disagreed that he incurred a penalty, you should have filed a claim as soon as your caddie discovered the breach. You must file the claim before either of you plays from the next teeing ground [Rule 2-5]. The Committee would have adjusted the match by deducting from one to four holes from your opponent’s score, depending upon when the breach was discovered.
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