Beg, Borrow, or Steal | Oregon Golf Association

Beg, Borrow, or Steal

OGA Senior Rules Officials: Pete Scholz and Terry McEvilly

A player’s clubs never get enough credit when a player is playing well, but seem to shoulder much of the blame during a poor round. But a club somehow manages to endure all, like a quiet sentry, exposed to weather, hours on the driving range, use during a round and the occasional burst of anger.  The club, the unsung hero of the game.

And because the club is subjected to many things, it has its own Rule – Rule 4. And for players, it’s important to know what can and can’t be done to a club during a round.  As well as, how many clubs a player can carry and if/when a club can be replaced.

This month’s True/False quiz is designed to keep you and your clubs together and in the competition, rather than having the clubs slammed into the car trunk following a disqualification.

  1. A player starts a round with 14 clubs in his bag, the maximum number of clubs that a player may carry during a round.The player putts poorly on the front nine and decides to change putters at the turn. He retrieves a new putter from his locker and leaves the one he used on the front nine in the locker.The player is permitted to do this.
  2. A player likes a little more weight on his driver and normally applies lead tape to the club to gain the added weight.The player arrives at the course just moments before his tee time and rushes to the tee without enough time to apply the tape.After completing the first hole, he applies tape before teeing off on the second hole.The player is not subject to penalty.
  3. A player begins a round with 14 clubs.He realizes on the ninth hole that he has misplaced his wedge somewhere along the way.If he can’t find the misplaced club, he is not allowed to replace it during the round.
  4. On the third hole, the player who began the round with 14 clubs believes a ball he sees in a tree may be his.In an effort to identify the ball, he throws his driver up in the tree to dislodge the ball. The driver becomes stuck in the tree and the player is unable to retrieve it. The player can replace the driver with another club.
  5. A player uses one of his clubs as a cane while climbing a hill and severely damages the club by bending the shaft. As he damaged the club other than as a result of a stroke, he cannot replace the club.
  6. During the play of a hole, the player damages his club while making a stroke rendering it unfit for play.He may replace the club, including borrowing a club from a fellow competitor.
  7. In a four–ball stroke play, on the fifth hole, a player notices he has 15 clubs.His partner has only 14 clubs.Only the player is penalized as the partner did not breach the 14-club maximum.
  8. In a singles match play, Player A notices during play of the eighth hole that he has 15 clubs and promptly notifies his opponent.Due to the breach, the player will lose the eighth hole.
  9. Early in a stroke play round, a player in anger slams his seven iron into the ground, snapping the shaft.He began the round with 14 clubs and under the Rules was prevented from replacing the club.After he completed his round, he discovers he is in a play-off.He may replace the damaged club with a different club for the play-off.
  10. Pete and Terry are playing as fellow competitors in a stroke play competition and both are carrying 14 clubs.By mistake on the third hole, Pete uses Terry’s wedge.Pete incurs a two-stroke penalty and Terry is not penalized.


  1. False. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round, except that if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, he may add any number, provided his total number does not exceed fourteen.
  2. False. During a stipulated round, the playing characteristics of a club must not be purposely changed by adjustment or by any other means. However, the player may add lead tape prior to the start of a round as such tape is considered an exception to the prohibition of external attachments on clubs.
  3. True. Nothing in the Rules allows a player to replace a lost club.
  4. False. Only when a club is substantially damaged in the normal course of play may it be replaced.In this case the player must continue the round with the remaining 13 clubs unless he is able to retrieve his driver without undue delay.
  5. False. The club is considered damaged during the normal course of play and may be repaired. Other examples of damage during the normal course of play include: making a stroke or practice swing, removing or replacing a club in the bag; using a club to search for or retrieve a ball (except by throwing the club); leaning on a club while waiting to play, teeing a ball or removing a ball from the hole; or accidentally dropping a club.
  6. False. While the player is allowed to replace a club damaged in the normal course of play he may not do so by borrowing any club selected for play by any other person playing on the course
  7. False. Breaching the Club Rule results in penalties for both partners, even if one of the partners did not breach the Rule. In this case, the penalty for both players is two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred; maximum penalty per round - four strokes (two strokes at each of the first two holes at which any breach occurred).
  8. False. A breach of the Club Rule results in the state of the match being adjusted at the completion of the hole where the breach is discovered with the maximum deduction being two holes per round.Examples -- If the match was all-square after completing the eighth hole, the match would be adjusted and the opponent would be two up. If the player had been four up after the eighth hole, the adjustment would leave the player two up.
  9. True.As the club has become unfit for play “other than in the normal course of play” it may not be replaced during the round.However, in stroke play, a play-off is considered a new round and the player could replace the club.Other examples of acts that are not in the "normal course of play" include the following: throwing a club whether in anger, in retrieving a ball, or otherwise; "slamming" a club into a bag; or intentionally striking something (e.g., the ground or a tree) with the club other than during a stroke, practice swing or practice stroke.
  10. True. Pete has incurred a two stroke penalty and is required to declare Terry’s club out of play for himself. Terry may retrieve the club and continue to use it.

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