Borrowing equipment during a round

I have heard several myths about what a player may borrow from a fellow competitor during their round.

What exactly can fellow competitors borrow from one another?

A player may borrow the following,

  • Balls (but if a One Ball Condition is in effect, the player would need to borrow the same brand and type of ball that they had been using).
  • Equipment (e.g. tee, towel, ball marker, pitch repairer, trolley and umbrella).
  • Clothing (e.g. rain gear, sweater and glove).

A player may not borrow;

Any club selected for play by any other person playing on the course, Rule 4-4a.
However, a player may borrow a club for measuring purposes, providing they do not borrow and measure with a club that is longer than one that they carry in their own bag. They may also borrow a club to practice putts or chips between holes, as permitted by Rule 7-2, providing the club is not used to make a stroke that counts in the player’s score.

The penalty for a breach of Rule 4-4a in stroke play is two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred, with a maximum penalty of four strokes (two strokes at each of the first two holes at which any breach occurred). The penalty in match play, at the conclusion of the hole at which the breach is discovered, is that the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred, with a maximum deduction of two holes.

8 Responses to Borrowing equipment during a round

  1. Robert January 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

    Congrats to Barry for a perfect score, but doesn’t that speak volumes about how ridiculous the rules are? I imagine that multiples of people have taken the exam but he was the first to score 100% correct? How can a a tour player hope to avoid an infraction that may result in loss or DQ?
    It is time to get up out of our chairs, go to the windows and yell “we are not going to take it anymore!”

    • Ray Gawlak February 28, 2018 at 8:31 am #

      Right you are, Robbie. This game we love so much unfortunately has an anal retentive characteristic that borders on stupidity. The rules need to be simplified —–and don’t get me started on the morons who phone in from telecasts to “report” on violations. Common sense should prevail but often doesn’t.

  2. Charlie January 13, 2018 at 6:40 am #

    Can I borrow a range finder from another competitor, also am I allowed to look at the wrist type range finder of another competitor.

    • Barry Rhodes January 18, 2018 at 9:18 am #

      Yes in both cases, providing a Local Rule permits the use of distance measuring devices and that there is no other feature on the range finder that is disallowed (e.g. to measure wind speed or slope). Distance is a matter of public information and is not advice.

    • Douglas B Hall June 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

      Order of play on the green is furthest from the hole putts first,, But if you miss your putt you are allowed to finish your play regardless of how far you are or how close to you are to the hole… You do not need anyone’s permission to continue your play Right or wrong?????

      • Barry Rhodes June 5, 2018 at 3:47 am #

        Correct in singles stroke play, as there is no penalty for playing out of turn, unless the Committee determines that competitors have agreed to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage, Rule 10-2c. However, it is poor etiquette to putt out without obtaining permission from fellow competitors, especially if it means taking part of a stance on their line of putt. For match play see Rule 10-1..

      • shu October 18, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

        Except in match play

  3. Butch Taylor October 23, 2018 at 7:04 am #

    Asto borrowing clubs, is the answer different if it is team play? May I borrow my teammates 4I?

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