Rules Guy: Is it legal to use your spit to help grip the club?

What do the rules say about spitting into your glove?

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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.

At my club, I play on occasion with a guy who spits into his glove before each shot. Is this permissible or considered to be applying a foreign substance to the golf club? —Eric Edwards, Hickory, N.C.

What this is … is kinda gross. But also legal.

Rule 4.3a(5) allows players to use “moisturizing or drying agents” to assist in gripping the club. While maybe not the most hygienic or genteel of methods, it isn’t a breach of the rules. Phtooey!

For more grip guidance from our guru, read on …

A golfer carries a range bucket and a water bottle out to the course.
Rules Guy: Can I spray a grip with water and dry it to make it sticky before a stroke?
By: GOLF Editors

I have made three prototype grips and use one on my putter. I read the definition of a conforming grip, contacted the USGA, and it conforms. Is it legal to play in competition?
—Jim Thompson, via email

Readers of a certain age will remember the old ad: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.”

Well, the same goes for the USGA. In conjunction with the R&A, it sets golf’s rules — equipment and otherwise.

So, if your Super Duper Wowie Zowie grip conforms to its regulations, then it is legal to use in competition and more generally. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from 8 AM Golf affiliate Golf Logix.

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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