Club Replacement and Normal Course of Play
During the second round of play of the 2015 WGC – Cadillac Championship a frustrated Rory McIlroy hurled a golf club into the water in anger, playing the remainder of the round without his three iron. According to the Rules of Golf, a club can be replaced if it is damaged in the “normal course of play”.
The term “normal course of play” is intended to cover all reasonable acts but specifically excludes cases of abuse. In addition to making a stroke, practice swing or practice stroke, examples of acts that are in the “normal course of play” include the following:
*removing or replacing a club in the bag;
*using a club to search for or retrieve a ball (except by throwing the club);
*leaning on a club while waiting to play, teeing a ball or removing a ball from the hole: or
*accidentally dropping a club.
Examples of acts that are not in the “normal course of play” include the following:
*throwing a club whether in anger, in retrieving a ball, or otherwise;
*”slamming” a club into a bag; or
*intentionally striking something (e.g. the ground or a tree) with the club other than during a stroke, practice swing or practice stroke.
On a personal note, I felt Rory’s club tossing showed a lack of professionalism and a lack of respect to the game. I can understand his frustration with hitting a bad shot, but I do not condone his ultimate reaction. You are the Number One player in the world, act like it.
If you have a question on the Rules of Golf please submit it to @new.mikefaygolf. Here’s hoping your re Playing By The Rules.
Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
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Photo: USA Today