2012 Rules Changes-Excess Club Put In Player’s Golf Bag

There has been a revision to Decision 4-4a/6 “Excess Club Put in Player’s Golf Bag”.  The question to the Decision states: “A player arrives at the first tee.  After the match or group’s starting time while A is preparing to play his shot, B, his opponent or fellow-competitor, by mistake places his driver in A’s bag, which results in A having 15 clubs.  A then drives from the first tee.  During play of the first hole, A discovers that B’s club has been put in his (A’s) bag.  Does A incur a penalty for starting the club with more than 14 clubs?”

The answer now states:  “No.  Although A started the round with more than 14 clubs, A is not considered to have selected B’s club for play for the following reasons:

*The additional club was added to his bag by B on the 1st tee

*The club was added after the match or group’s time of starting

*The club had already been selected for play by B

Therefore A incurs no penalty provided he does not make a stroke with B’s club.  The club may be returned to B and used by him.

The decision would be different, and A would be penalized under 4-4a if:

*The additional club had belonged to a player in another match or group

*The club had been added before A’s match or group arrived to the tee

*The club had been added before A’s match or groups time of starting

Frank Guastella, PGA Master Professional

Michigan PGA Rules Official

Staff Writer for Mike Fay Golf

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