The USGA and the R&A Release Clarification to Rule 4.1b
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (April 9, 2019) –The USGA and The R&A have provided a clarification that introduces a Local Rule, allowing players to replace a broken or significantly damaged club, except in cases of abuse.
Under the Local Rule, a club is “broken or significantly damaged” if it meets the following conditions:
the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented)
the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched)
the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed
the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or
the grip is loose
However, a player is not allowed to replace his or her club solely because there is a crack in the club face or clubhead.
Committees can begin using this Local Rule immediately.