New Rule: Under Rule 4.1:
- A player is 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.
- A player is not allowed to replace a damaged club, except when it is damaged during the round by an outside influence or natural forces, or by someone other than the player or his or her caddie.
Reasons for Change:
This Rule change greatly simplifies 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, benefits players in several ways.
- It helps players avoid the disqualification penalties that could have arisen previously when a player hit a club against something in anger and then continued to use the club, not realizing that the shaft was slightly bent or some other damage had occurred.
- The player is able to choose whether to continue using that club in its damaged state or to use another club; whereas previously, for example, a player who damaged a putter in anger was not allowed to use it for the rest of the round (even if it was still in a usable form) and so ended up having to putt with a wedge or another club.