In this video, Neil Tappin and Jezz Ellwood look at 7 golf gear rules.


7 Golf Gear Rules

These are all rules of golf you will need to follow when playing in competition. From laser range finders to the golf balls you play, these 7 golf gear rules are well worth knowing for anyone playing competitive golf. Hopefully they help you avoid any rules-related disasters!

WATCH: 7 Golf Gear Rules


Golf Monthly is partnering with Titleist and FootJoy as our official golf ball, golf bag, footwear and apparel partners for this year.

Shop the featured FootJoy footwear and apparel worn in this video:

7 Golf Gear Rules

7. Distance Measuring Devices

Using DMD’s is common place nowadays but there are a couple of things to be wary of, chief among which is using slope features.

Most laser rangefinders come with slope features which take into account elevation changes when giving you a yardage. These have to be turned off during competition.

Additionally many GPS watches have caddie features to help in terms of slope. For example they give you ideas on what clubs to hit based upon stats from previous rounds. Once again these must be turned off during competition.

Oh and you cannot take anything out onto the course that measures wind speed.

6. Club Adjustability 

You can do all the adjusting you like in practice but in competition rounds you cannot change the playing characteristics of a club once the round has started. This rule also applies if the round has been suspended.

If you do change a club, you will be disqualified once you use it again.

5. What club did you hit?

Be wary of asking this question in competition because you are not allowed to do so. You are not allowed to ask advice nor are you allowed to rummage around in someone else’s bag to find out.

What you can do is ask the distance of a shot because it is deemed to be public information.

4. Number of golf clubs

This is one of the most important rules in golf, the maximum number of clubs you can carry is 14.

If you do accidentally put 15 in the bag, the first thing you must do is declare a club out of play.

You then cannot use that club for the rest of the round, however you will still receive a penalty of two strokes for each hole a breach occurred. The maximum is four strokes.

In terms of stableford, two points are deducted for each hole a breach occurred, with a maximum of four points.

In matchplay it is a hole for each hole a breach has occurred, with a maximum of two holes.

3. Taking a drop 

When using a club to drop it must be the longest club in the bag other than the putter (Getty Images)

Changes were made to the rules in terms of using your clubs to take a drop, with the main one being that you cannot use a long putter to take a drop.

The rules now define a club-length as the longest club you are carrying for a round, other than the putter. Typically this will be the driver.

2. Damaging a club

If you damage a club you can still continue to use that club for the rest of the round.

In some cases if outside influences or someone other than you or your caddie damaged a club, you could get it replaced provided you can do so without unreasonable delay.

You could also get it repaired, again provided you can do so without unreasonable delay. At club level this is unlikely.

1. Choice of golf ball

There is one rule that is slightly different between Tour professionals and at club level.

At club level we can use one ball for the first hole, a different ball for the second hole and so on. We can change whenever we please however a professional has to use the same brand and model throughout.

This is called the One Ball Condition which only applies to professionals and top-amateur events.

Indeed because this rule doesn’t apply in the club game, if you run out of balls one day you can ask a playing partner to borrow a ball!

Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more golf content.