Harold Varner III Penalised For Screwing In New Driver Head

The American fell foul of Rule 4-1.b in round one of the Players Championship

Harold Varner III Penalised
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The American fell foul of Rule 4-1.b in round one of the Players Championship

Harold Varner III Penalised For Screwing In New Driver Head

Hardold Varner III was penalised two strokes during the opening round of the Players Championship for a rather unique incident.

The American had a crack in his driver prior to his round on the range and didn't want to use it, so instead took his driver shaft out with him to the course and got a helper to bring him a head whilst on the course.

Getting a new driver delivered during the round would not have been a problem under the Rules of Golf, considering that he was only originally taking 13 clubs out with him.

However, he wasn't actually getting a full driver brought out to him, just the head. That meant that by screwing the head on during play, he was tinkering with his equipment and therefore breaking the Rules.

“So when they brought the head out and assembled it out there, it broke Rule 4. Can’t do that," PGA Tour vice president of rules and competition Mark Russell said.

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"They don’t want clubs assembled and adjusted on the golf course, so that’s the reason for the rule.”

Unfortunately for Varner, he even asked the Rules committee prior to going out if he could add a club during the round which they said yes to.

He clearly didn't ask them if he could add a driver head and screw it on during play.

Rule 4-1.b says - 'If the player starts a round with fewer than 14 clubs, he or she may add clubs during the roundup to the 14-club limit'

However, it then says that 'when adding or replacing a club, a player must not build a club from parts carried by anyone for the player during the round.'

This is what Varner fell foul of.

He eventually signed for a two-over-par 74.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV