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David Toms’ Damaged Club

David Toms’ Damaged Club

At the Barbasol Championship this week David Toms called for a ruling while walking down the 5th fairway.  After teeing off on hole 5, David noticed that a decal on the bottom of his driver had fallen off.

The first step in the ruling was to determine how the club was damaged.  After a few questions it was determined that the club was damaged in the normal course of play (Decision 4-3/1).


David Toms’ Damaged Club

Photograph by Mike Peterson

Rule 4-3a covers what a player can do if his club is damaged in the normal course of play.  David had the option of playing the club in its damaged state or to have it repaired as long as it didn’t unduly delay play.


“But since David’s club was only missing a decal, it was determined that the club was not unfit for play and that this option was not available.”


One additional option under Rule 4-3a allows a player to replace the damaged club with any club, but this option is only available if the club is “unfit for play”.   Rule 4-3a goes on to define when a club is considered unfit for play, which is when it is substantially damaged. But since David’s club was only missing a decal, it was determined that the club was not unfit for play and that this option was not available.

After weighing his options, David elected to continue play with the driver for the remainder of the round.

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