GORMAN VS GEARY actually play, you will incur 2 penalty strokes for each hole on which you had too many clubs, to a maximum of 4 penalty strokes per round. Several years ago I was involved in a controversy involving a competitor having 15 clubs in his bag during a major fourball match. The opposing team had just whipped my partner and me 4-3. While walking back to the clubhouse we all discovered the competitor inadvertently had 15 clubs in his bag. I was thinking “hallelujah” we get a rematch or forfeit. No one at the club, including the pro, knew the ruling and it took close to 24 hours to get the correct decision. The correct ruling is that since the match was completed, there is no penalty to assess to the violator and the score is final. If the violation was known during the match play, then the penalty is to forfeit a maximum of two holes per round. My Callaway golf bag houses 14 clubs, 2 During the 1935 U.S. Open and Amateur, a dozen balls, three sweaters, a rain suit, an umsurvey of the players found the average numbrella, 8 old golf gloves, a swing weight, 500 ber of clubs in use was more than 18, so the tees, a ball marker, 10 old scorecards, 7 broken USGA changed the rule to maximum number pencils, a can of insect repellent, a ball to 14. No one knows for sure why 14 retriever, 2 empty sunscreen was chosen as the limit but the tubes, band-aids, a rule theory is that a set of nine book, roll of toilet paper irons, along with a putter and a peanut-butterand the accepted four and-jelly sandwich. woods (at the time) set After slapping around the standard. a bucket of balls on the So the mystery of golf by Tom Gorman range, there is only one is does having more than 14 thought on my mind when I step clubs in your bag make you better? It onto the first tee for a “yuge” match: Do I have sure helped Bobby Jones, who was the domi14 clubs? nant player in the 1920s. Bobby Jones sometimes The 14 club limit rule has been around since had 25 clubs in his bag while being credited with 1936 and I like it. First, I don’t ever remember being the only player to win the Grand Slam in playing a round and using all 14 clubs, even a single season, which in 1930, included the U.S. when I shoot in the 90s. My three least used Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur and British irons are 4, 6 and 8. My most used weapon is Amateur. Walter Hagen also used to carry more the putter, which had its highest recorded use than 14 clubs while competing. in one pathetic round of 44 putts. I remember As you start to fill the 14 spaces in your bag, quitting the game that day and crying like a some choices are easy. You need the putter baby, while forking out a ton of money on lost and driver and 4 and 5 metal fairway woods. At side bets! Second, golfers always copy what the a minimum you should carry a set of irons that pros do on TV, and the latest trend is to carry runs from 4 through PW. Toss in the sand wedge four wedges, even though the average hacker and 52 degree wedge and you are ready to (Tim Geary immediately comes to mind) can’t play. You can’t build a house without the right get out of the bunker in one clean swing. Don’t tools, and you can’t play good golf without the even begin a conversation with someone carright clubs in your bag. rying four wedges, because you know they’re The late great Arnold Palmer said it best, “The a Phil Mickelson wanna-be, and probably can’t ideal set of clubs is one that leaves you with the break 88 on their best day! right club in your hands for the highest percentAccording to the deadly little booklet called age of shots throughout the round.” The Rules of Golf,” which is 128 brain-numbing Tom Gorman, a Boston-based golf writer, pages filled with batty commandments and blashould clean out his golf bag someday since he tant contradictions, which taken as a whole, are has no room for another club. not relevant to the game of golf most people
Should you be allowed to use more than 14 clubs? NO
76 | golfcontentnetwork.com | October / November 2016
Published on Oct 11, 2016
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