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Ask The Rules Guy: What happens if my partner changes his driver's setting between holes?

Ask the rules guy
Ask the rules guy.

Dear rules guy: My playing partner changed the setting of his adjustable driver between holes in a stroke-play event. I told him it was illegal. He didn't argue that point, but he said changing it back to its original setting would cost him another penalty. I think he should have done so immediately, but he played the rest of the round with the adjusted club. What's the penalty?

—Selvon D., via e-mail

A Too bad your friend was so "dialed" in to win, because this one's gonna cost him. Rule 4-2 states if you change the characteristics of your club but don't make a stroke with it, you're assessed two penalty strokes on the hole where the breach occurred and must declare the club out of play for the rest of the round. You are not permitted to change the club back to its previous configuration to avoid the penalty. Since your partner made a stroke with the altered club, he is disqualified.

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