Maximum number of clubs in the bag - Rule 4.1b - "a player must not start a round with more than 14 clubs"

fullongolf

New member
Joined
May 5, 2022
Messages
17
Visit site
Played today in a stableford comp. On the 18th tee I finally noticed that a fellow competitor had a lot of clubs in his bag. I did a quick count and saw there was at least 15 clubs (it looked like more). I asked him how many clubs he had and he said 15. I told him the limit was 14. He then said that the rules were changed 6 months ago and you can now have 15 clubs in the bag! That was news to me, but then the penny dropped, when they changed the rule they only told this guy!

My question is, should I take this up with the R&A or just let it go? I really believe that when a rule is changed that all golfers should be notified, not just a select few (or only one in this case).

PS: the fellow competitor is a 12 handicapper. He ended up with 32 points (I wasn't marking his card). PPS: I play at a public course and the comp is run by the pro shop. The staff run a mile if you raise any difficult questions (such as the one above).
 

doublebogey7

Head Pro
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
1,893
Location
Leicester
Visit site
Firstly I am sure you are aware of the rule so will ignore the second para.

It really is up to you what you choose to do in this case, but the rules expect you to protect the field, so you should report this to the organisor. If that goes nowhere then you need to decide whether you report the club to your County Union, leave the club or accept that rules can be broken with impunity where you choose to play.
 

fullongolf

New member
Joined
May 5, 2022
Messages
17
Visit site
Yes, the second para was for a laugh.

I agree, I will take it up with the pro shop and hopefully they will take some action.

I'm in Australia but I find this site a useful source of information.

Cheers
 

Colin L

Tour Winner
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
5,305
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
Played today in a stableford comp. On the 18th tee I finally noticed that a fellow competitor had a lot of clubs in his bag. I did a quick count and saw there was at least 15 clubs (it looked like more). I asked him how many clubs he had and he said 15. I told him the limit was 14. He then said that the rules were changed 6 months ago and you can now have 15 clubs in the bag! That was news to me, but then the penny dropped, when they changed the rule they only told this guy!

My question is, should I take this up with the R&A or just let it go? I really believe that when a rule is changed that all golfers should be notified, not just a select few (or only one in this case).

PS: the fellow competitor is a 12 handicapper. He ended up with 32 points (I wasn't marking his card). PPS: I play at a public course and the comp is run by the pro shop. The staff run a mile if you raise any difficult questions (such as the one above).
It's not really a difficult question. Point them to Rule 4.1b. They knock 4 points off his 31.
 

Orikoru

Tour Winner
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
26,328
Location
Watford
Visit site
What did he think they'd changed the rule to?

Am I right in thinking you can carry an extra club in the bag if you declare it not in use at the start? For example, last weekend I picked up my wife's 7 iron that I'd had regripped and chucked it in my bag so I didn't have to walk back to the car, obviously just told my fellow players that I wouldn't be using it.
 

salfordlad

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
921
Visit site
Am I right in thinking you can carry an extra club in the bag if you declare it not in use at the start? For example, last weekend I picked up my wife's 7 iron that I'd had regripped and chucked it in my bag so I didn't have to walk back to the car, obviously just told my fellow players that I wouldn't be using it.
This rule (4.1c) is commonly misunderstood.

The R&A has ruled on this: no, this is not permitted in the circumstance you have identified. The rule - permission to take a club out of play without penalty - only applies "if a player becomes aware shortly before starting the round that they accidentally have more than 14 clubs.....". Key requirements are no awareness and accidental, neither of which applies in your case - you knowingly took 15 clubs to the tee because you didn't want to make a trip to the car. The process you followed of telling fellow players you wouldn't be using the club had no validity under the rule and the correct ruling was DQ for breach of 4.1c.
 

Beezerk

Money List Winner
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
13,168
Location
Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Visit site
Sorry for the slight hijack but can I ask a related question please.
I started a round last week with 13 clubs in the bag as I’d removed a hybrid I wasn’t getting in with, am I allowed to stop at the pro shop half way round, buy another club and put it in my bag to be used? Both me and my pp don’t have a clue to the answer.
 

Slab

Occasional Tour Caddy
Joined
Nov 20, 2011
Messages
11,140
Location
Port Louis
Visit site
Sorry for the slight hijack but can I ask a related question please.
I started a round last week with 13 clubs in the bag as I’d removed a hybrid I wasn’t getting in with, am I allowed to stop at the pro shop half way round, buy another club and put it in my bag to be used? Both me and my pp don’t have a clue to the answer.

extract from R&A
If the player starts a round with fewer than 14 clubs, they may add clubs during the round up to the 14-club limit (see
Rule 4.1b(4) for restrictions in doing this). A club is considered added when the player makes their next stroke with any club while the added club is in the player’s possession.


I think there's caveats with no undue delay etc

edit:
found the restrictions:
(4) Restrictions When Adding or Replacing Clubs. When adding or replacing a club under Rule 4.1a(2) or Rule 4.1b(1) ,
a player must not: Unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a),
Add or borrow any club being carried by or for any other player who is playing on the course (even if the other player is playing in a different group or competition),
or Build a club from parts being carried by or for the player or any other player who is playing on the course (even if the other player is playing in a different group or competition).
 

Beezerk

Money List Winner
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
13,168
Location
Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Visit site
extract from R&A
If the player starts a round with fewer than 14 clubs, they may add clubs during the round up to the 14-club limit (see
Rule 4.1b(4) for restrictions in doing this). A club is considered added when the player makes their next stroke with any club while the added club is in the player’s possession.


I think there's caveats with no undue delay etc

edit:
found the restrictions:
(4) Restrictions When Adding or Replacing Clubs. When adding or replacing a club under Rule 4.1a(2) or Rule 4.1b(1) ,
a player must not: Unreasonably delay play (see Rule 5.6a),
Add or borrow any club being carried by or for any other player who is playing on the course (even if the other player is playing in a different group or competition),
or Build a club from parts being carried by or for the player or any other player who is playing on the course (even if the other player is playing in a different group or competition).

Great thanks 👍
 

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Moderator
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
27,708
Location
Northumberland
Visit site
Sorry for the slight hijack but can I ask a related question please.
I started a round last week with 13 clubs in the bag as I’d removed a hybrid I wasn’t getting in with, am I allowed to stop at the pro shop half way round, buy another club and put it in my bag to be used? Both me and my pp don’t have a clue to the answer.
Great thanks 👍
You have to do this now. Somehow this sounds funny. The act of a desperate golfer :ROFLMAO:

Imagine a pro shop as part of the halfway house o_O
 
Top