Proposed Rule: Under new Rule 4.1:
A player would be allowed to keep using and/or to repair any club damaged during the round, no matter what the damage and even if the player damaged it in anger.
Reasons for Change:
This Rule change would greatly simplify the complex Rules on damaged clubs.
Allowing a player to keep using or to repair any damaged club, regardless of the nature or cause of the damage, would benefit players in several ways.
- It would help players avoid the disqualification penalties that can arise today when a player hits a club against something in anger and then continues to use the club, not realizing that the shaft was slightly bent or some other damage had occurred.
- The player would be able to choose whether to continue using that club in its damaged state or to use another club; whereas today, for example, a player who damages a putter in anger is not allowed to use it for the rest of the round (even if it is still in a usable form) and so ends up having to putt with a wedge or another club
This potential downside from a player’s perspective is outweighed by the ability to use or repair any damaged club, as well as by the significant simplification that results.