Replacing a Broken Club
Question: - I have broken a club during a round of golf. May I replace it?
Answer: - Providing that it was broken in the normal course of play you may:-
a) Use the club it its damaged state
b) Without any undue delay to play, repair it or have it repaired
c) If the club is unfit for play you may replace the damaged club with any other club. You can obtain or borrow a club from anyone providing that they are not playing on the course.
You can get another club from anywhere - from the boot of your car, from your locker, from the golf shop providing that you do not unduly delay play. (Rule 4-3)
A club is unfit for play only if it is substantially damaged. This means if the shaft is dented, significantly bent, or broken in two pieces. It is also unfit if the club head becomes loose or significantly deformed. You can also replace it if the grip becomes loose. (It is not unfit for play if the club’s lie or loft has been altered or if the head is scratched).
This rule does not apply if you have broken your club in anger or broke it whilst using it as a walking stick. If you have caused the damage you can not replace the club or use it again during the round as you have changed its playing characteristic (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 4-3/4). You also can not replace a club if you have lost it. (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 4-3/10)
If you only started the round with less than 14 clubs you are permitted to add another club. (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 4-3/8)
If you break the club whilst attempting to repair it is considered to have broken in the normal course of play so the above rule applies (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 4-3/3)
The only other instance in which you may replace a club or clubs is if they are damaged by an outside agency e.g. green staff vehicle (Decisions on the Rules of Golf 4-3/9.5)