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  1. #1
    Challenge Tour Pro mikejohnchapman's Avatar
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    Altering the Condition of a Club

    I had noticed one of my graphite shafted clubs had begun to rub on my bag so I put a roll of tape in my pocket to apply it next time I used the club.

    Standing by the first tee before commencing the round I put the tape around the shaft. A well know pedant at the club told me I couldn't do this on the course as I was altering the playing condition of the club during a round.

    With commendable patience I told him I had not yet commenced my round and that a small covering of tape over less than an inch of shaft did not make the club non-conforming.

    Let's say we agreed to differ but surely there is no issue here?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    He would appear to be confusing various decisions regarding tape and the clubhead.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    As you say you haven't started the round so no problem there.

    I can see no prohibition of applying a piece of tape to the shaft to provide protection as you describe.

    As plenty of shafts have stickers pre-applied ( to indicate flex etc ) I don't believe that the ruling bodies consider something like this to not be "fixed" which would be the only argument someone might raise.

  4. #4
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Quote Originally Posted by mikejohnchapman View Post

    With commendable patience I told him I had not yet commenced my round and that a small covering of tape over less than an inch of shaft did not make the club non-conforming.
    As has been said, you were right on both counts.

    But an additional point should be noted. You cannot change the playing characteristics during a round.
    Most actions of this type are pretty obvious but one that is not well known is roughening or applying coarse textured tape to a slippy grip.

  5. #5
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Content of previous answers noted - especially the bit about the round not having started.

    But, even if it had started, can you not also throw rule 4-3c into the argument - ie ok to repair a previously damaged club even during a round, provided playing characterists not altered and not delay play? Surely rub mark = damage, tape = repair, and i can't image that it would alter playing characteristics?
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  6. #6
    Q-School Graduate KenL's Avatar
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Quote Originally Posted by rulefan View Post
    one that is not well known is roughening or applying coarse textured tape to a slippy grip.
    Is it OK to rub a grip hard with a rough towel?

    I imagine that as long as your intention is just to dry it rather than toughen the surface of the grip then that would be fine.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Quote Originally Posted by backwoodsman View Post
    Content of previous answers noted - especially the bit about the round not having started.

    But, even if it had started, can you not also throw rule 4-3c into the argument - ie ok to repair a previously damaged club even during a round, provided playing characterists not altered and not delay play? Surely rub mark = damage, tape = repair, and i can't image that it would alter playing characteristics?
    Don't see that I this context. It's not damaged, it's wear and tear. You are simply aiming to prevent further wear and tear.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Quote Originally Posted by KenL View Post
    Is it OK to rub a grip hard with a rough towel?

    I imagine that as long as your intention is just to dry it rather than toughen the surface of the grip then that would be fine.
    I'm not sure if you mean toughen or roughen. But I can confirm that you cannot change a slippy grip into a rough grip by roughening the surface. Slippiness is not necessarily a function of being wet but can occur when it wears and becomes very smooth. In that situation, roughening when in play is forbidden.

  9. #9
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    Quote Originally Posted by duncan mackie View Post
    Don't see that I this context. It's not damaged, it's wear and tear. You are simply aiming to prevent further wear and tear.
    I has this confirmation from the R&A many some ago.

    "That would not be “damage in the normal course of play”, it would simply be wear and tear…the player should check his grips before he starts! So, no sandpapering or replacing in those circumstances."

  10. #10
    Ryder Cup Winner fundy's Avatar
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    Re: Altering the Condition of a Club

    did said pedant then regale with a tale of lyle and faldo to justify his theory?
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