This new equipment rule offers golfers more leniency during rounds
The rules of golf can be complicated and confusing, but the USGA has been doing its best to help make the rules easier to understand. Witness the recently released tweaks for 2023.
Among the changes: the ability to replace a broken club, no disqualification for forgetting to sign a scorecard (under a local rule) and modifications for golfers with a disability. But for those hardcore practicers out there, there’s another new rule that’s also worth noting.
The new rules change to 4.1a(3) — good luck pulling that reference out of thin air! — now allows golfers to remove any clubface sticker from the club before using it (with no penalty!) and then continue to use that club during the round. The old rule prohibited the use of the club even after the stickers were removed.
You might think it would be easy to remember if your golf club had a sticker on the face or not, but with the popularity of Foresight Sports’ GCQuad launch monitor, which requires small reflective dots to capture data of the golf club during impact, it’s easy to forget they’re there — especially when under a headcover. Or, say, when you’re busy prepping for a PGA Tour round.
This exact scenario played out last year when Olympic silver medalist Rory Sabbatini forgot to remove a reflective stick from his 3-wood before using it during the RSM Classic — and it resulted in him being disqualified.
So for anyone who practices or uses reflective club face stickers to test golf equipment (your correspondent is taking note!), make sure to take them off before you hit that next shot, and the USGA has no problem with it.
Are you planning an equipment overhaul in 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.