"Juli Inkster was disqualified from the 2010 Safeway Classic for swinging a weighted "doughnut that she had attached to a club for the purposes of warming up on the course."
The golf journal that does the rounds in Auckland and mentioned in my previous post includes a rules section and I was reminded of the Julie Inkster incident.
Julie's disqualification is covered by rule 14-3 "Players must not use any "artificial equipment", "unusual equipment", nor may they use equipment in an unusual way to assist them in making a stroke, judging distance, or gripping the club. The rules provide for some exceptions and also allow the USGA to make rulings on equipment and uses of same at any time." (Source Wikipedia)
Since I'm a fiddler and will try anything, hopefully legal, to fix my golf swing. Either on or off the course, I'm intrigued by the ambiguity of, "Nor may they use equipment in an unusual way to assist them in making a stroke, judging distance, or gripping the club."
Countless times I've read how I/We should swing with two clubs in our hands prior to teeing off so that we can loosen-up our muscles.
My question is, "Can I continue to use this loosening-up drill during the course of a round?"
So I surfed the internet having Googled, "Silly rules of golf" but alas didn't find an answer. However I did find this astonishing rules story by Slamin' Sam at the Hacker's Paradise forum,
"I am not sure if I have discussed this in the THP forums, but I once got a two stroke penalty (that I called on myself) for the action of a spectator that was totally beyond my knowledge and control. It was the most unfair absurd inequitable ruling I ever saw on the course in thousands of rounds and hundreds of tournaments, but the ruling was upheld by the USGA when I appealed it that far.
To keep a long story short, a spectator following my group stuck a club in my bag while my cart partner (the carts were required) had driven away from me. As soon as he returned and I was selecting my club for the next shot, I spotted the foreign club in with my 14 and removed it, and called the penalty. I never hit a shot while the foreign club was in my bag, and because the cart was required and my co-rider had driven it away from me, my clubs were temporarily beyond my control. My fellow-competitors in my group tried to have me not call the penalty, but I was sure the proper procedure was to call the penalty and appeal it to the committee. The penalty stood. I was penalized two strokes for the actions of a spectator (that innocently didn't want to carry the putter she had with her all day) that had absolutely no effect on the play of the game. Ridiculous ruling!"
i liked this story from Stan, but it does make you think about stupid rulings. Not banning the anchoring of the long putter in the first instance is one that springs to mind. Rule rule 14-3 would seem to have it covered;
"Players must not use any "artificial equipment", "unusual equipment", nor may they use equipment in an unusual way to assist them in making a stroke, judging distance, or gripping the club.
And of course the original 14-1
A player must not make a stroke whist accepting physical assistance or protection from the elements".
To my way of thinking anchoring is accepting physical assistance, and also by leaning on the club the player is protected from the elements of the wind.
In Julie's case swinging a doughnut on the end of her club in no way assisted her in making a stroke, she wasn't even playing at that point.