Rules Guy: Are you allowed to repair a snapped shaft mid-round?

broken club

What do the Rules say about repairing a broken club during a round?

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The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

During a tournament match, my partner slammed his driver in frustration after a big slice, shattering the shaft just above the hosel adapter. Luckily, the manufacturer of his driver was onsite doing a demo day, and we were about to make the turn; my partner was able to switch in a new shaft on the spot. I know he can repair a club damaged during a round, but does getting a new shaft to plug into the original clubhead constitute a repair or a replacement?
—Robert Black, Johns Creek, Ga.

Rules Guy: Is it permissible to accidentally mix up the numbers on a scorecard if the total score is correct?
By: Rules Guy

Your angry partner’s lucky streak has snapped, too.

In the latest Rules update, you can keep using, or repair without unreasonable delay, a damaged club under Rule 4.1a(2)—no matter how the damage occurred. So far, so good … except “repairing” a club is limited to its original components, so switching in a new shaft would go beyond what’s allowed in repairing the club.

The new Model Local Rule G-9 excludes replacing a club damaged by an act of anger or abuse. In these circumstances, any stroke made with a replaced club would result in disqualification (although there’s no penalty for carrying the incorrectly repaired club and then not using it for the rest of the round). Rules Guy shudders to think how angry that DQ would make him.

Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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