Rules for Golf Clubs – Which Irons are allowed, which are not and where do they fit in?


When it comes to golf clubs, you need to ensure that you are certain types of clubs especially if you are playing in competitions. It must be noted that clubs must conform to the regulations in terms of specifications or it would mean disqualification from the competition.

Not every club is allowed

The rule of thumb is that not every club you can buy is permitted for use in tournaments. This is because there are certain clubs that are made for leisure playing and not for competitions. In most cases, the manufacturer of the club will submit any new models to the USGA to check if the club conforms to the rules of the game. Here, the golfer can always double confirm if the club is permitted.

Major rules for Golf Clubs

Wear and conformity – It is regarded that the club conforms to the rules through the normal use of playing. If there is a situation where the club is purposely modified and altered, it is regarded as new. As such, it must conform to the rules in this new state. In the course of a competition, the club must not be purposely changed or modified. There must not be any foreign material being applied to the club which can influence the gameplay in any way. Breaching of these rules will result in disqualification.

Carrying of illegitimate clubs – It must be noted that if the golfer is discovered to have carried a club that did not conform to the rules, a one-hole deduction at each hole the breach occurred will be incurred during match play. If the breach was discovered during stroke play, 2 strokes for each hole will be deducted.

If the player is caught making a stroke with a club that breached the regulation, it will result in disqualification.

Damaged Clubs – In the event that a club is damaged during the course of play, the player can choose to continue using the club for that round which will not incur any changes. The club can be repaired as long as it does not delay the gameplay or replaces it with another club. The player is, however, not allowed to borrow any club from a fellow competitor.

A club is deemed to be damaged when the shaft is significantly dented, bent or broken. This is applicable for situations where the clubhead becomes detached, loosened or deformed. For clubs that were damaged but were not during the course of play, no replacements or repairs will be allowed or it would result in disqualification.

Number of Clubs – The player is allowed up to 14 clubs for every round in the competition. Carrying lesser than 14 is permitted while anything more than that will result in a penalty. The 14 clubs in the golf bag are declared before the game where changing the clubs is not permitted. This means that a player which started the competition with 14 clubs must complete that round with the same 14 clubs unless there are instances of damaged or clubs that broke during the course of play. Players who start with lesser than 14 clubs can add clubs as long as there is no delay to the course of play and does not exceed 14. Adding clubs do not cover borrowing clubs from other players. Players found to have more than 14 clubs in the bag will result in a loss of hole for each hole played during the breach.

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