Before we get going, this is not an April Fools joke. So you can read on in that frame of mind. I generally feel I have a good handle on the rules of golf. I figured that since I have read them, that I would remember some of the nuances of each rule. Well, I guess I need to get back into the books because I stumbled across the rule about sharing clubs that I thought was new, when in actuality it is not. Who knew?
My discovery started when researching the rules for yesterday’s article on counting the number of clubs in my bag before starting a competition. As I read through Rule 4.1b – Limit of 14 Clubs; Sharing, Adding or Replacing Clubs During Round, I noticed this little line in blue:
See Rules 22.5 and 23.7 (limited exception in partner forms of play allowing partners to share clubs if they have no more than 14 clubs between them).2019 Rules of Golf
Of course I started to delve deeper into the what the other rules were and they dealt with partner events; specifically, alternate shot and best ball formats. I started to think about the other team formats (specifically scrambles) and there is a provision for that under this rule:
21.5 Other Forms of Playing Golf
Although only certain forms of play are specifically covered by Rules 3, 21, 22 and 23, golf is also played in many other forms, such as scrambles and greensomes.
The Rules can be adapted to govern play in these and other forms of play.2019 Rules of Golf
So basically, I can show up and share golf clubs with my playing partner as long as we do not exceed the maximum of 14 clubs. This is an interesting rule and wonder the foundation for it; I will have to give this some thought.
As I was researching, I thought that this was a strange addition to the new rules of golf. Because I have a copy of the old rules for comparison, I checked to see if in fact this is a new rule. The short answers is nope! This is an old rule (4.4b) and I was surprised that after all this time, it would not have popped up in conversation or my perusing of the rules.
Now, I cannot think of why sharing of clubs is a rule, but I think it goes way back to the days when golfers only carried (or afford) a few clubs at a time. This rule allows partners to expand their set and hit clubs they would not normally carry.
So, today was not wasted. I learned something new and feel smarter than yesterday.
Did you know it was legal to share golf clubs?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!