Did you know this rule about using clubs that DON'T CONFORM to EQUIPMENT RULES?

It is important that every player is aware of which golf clubs they can and can't use on the golf course.

Matt Chivers's picture
Tue, 20 Jul 2021
Did you know this rule about using clubs that DON'T CONFORM to EQUIPMENT RULES

The rules of golf are extremely detailed and thoroughly written, ensuring that every golfer has a comprehensive guide to the game at their fingertips. 

There are a lot of unusual rules that you think would never be relevant or applicable in a round, but they are there to be used and set the guidelines of the sport.

Recently, a video emerged of a man using a freakishly large putter to putt with on the green. The club is massively bigger than any normal putter with its huge shaft and clubface.

This stimulated a question for us: is there a penalty for using a club during a round that does not conform with the normal characteristics of a golf club?

The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, it is not just a penalty, it will result in disqualification for those who use such a club that doesn't match the requirement for club rules.

As you can see in the video above, this is clearly an extreme case of club misuse, but it is an example of what would happen if you used an abnormal club in a competition.

Rule 4.1a fully outlines the details of equipment rules and this is stated below:

Conforming Clubs. In making a stroke, a player must use a club that conforms to the requirements in the Equipment Rules:

- A club used to make a stroke must conform not only when the club is new, but also when it has been deliberately or accidentally changed in any way.

- But if the performance characteristics of a conforming club change because of wear through normal use, it is still a conforming club.

"Performance characteristics" means any part of the club that affects how it performs in making a stroke, such as its grip, shaft, clubhead or lie or loft.