At the 2015 US Open in Chambers Bay, George Coetzee pulled out his driver on the 11th tee and let it fly. And fly it did. While his ball flew down the left side of the fairway, the head of his driver snapped off and rolled about 40 yards ahead.
Now we know that if a club is damaged in the normal course of play, it can be replaced without penalty. Coetzee’s playing partner, Jim Furyk, had an extra driver in the clubhouse, and a course official got it and met Coetzee on the drivable par-4 12th tee with this replacement driver. This replacement driver had an adjustable head.
This leads to the question — we know that once you start a round, you cannot adjust any of your adjustable clubs. But what happens when a new club is put in play mid round? You get to adjust it before you use it.
Since the club was unfamiliar, Furyk asked the rules official if he could help explain the adjustments without it being considered “advice”, and it was ruled that this wouldn’t be advice. After a few minutes of Furyk’s explanations and Coetzee’s adjustments, Coetzee was ready to put the new club in play.
On the 12th tee, Coetzee swung hard. And sliced it about 40 yards. And now he was stuck with the driver’s settings the rest of the round.
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