Wednesday, March 3

The Rules Geek: Hunter Mahan’s Driver Replacement

Editor’s note: The Rules Geek may be an occasional and annoying feature at ARMCHAIR GOLF. Well see how it goes.

HUNTER MAHAN FIRED A 65 in the final round and cruised to a one-stroke victory over Ricky Fowler at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In addition to the alcohol-fueled enthusiasm of Phoenix fans, Mahan’s round featured a driver malfunction on the second hole.

“I looked down at it, and it had a little crack in it,” Mahan said, “and I was able to take it out of play.”


Rule 4-3 Damaged Clubs: Repair and Replacement allows a player to replace a club that “is damaged in the normal course of play.”

Mahan exercised the replacement option, but, of course, there’s a caveat: “The replacement of a club must not unduly delay play and must not be made by borrowing any club selected for play by any other person playing on the course.”

That’s where Mahan’s girl friend, Kandi, came in. Kandi had the keys to Mahan’s courtesy car and, with the help of a cart-driving rules official, hustled out to the parking lot to retrieve Mahan’s backup driver, a Ping Rapture V2.

“I got it before the next tee shot,” Mahan said, “which was nice, because the next hole is a par-5. I really didn’t want to hit a 3-wood off the par-5.”

No sir. No you did not. But you didn’t have to thanks to Rule 4-3. (And Kandi.) The Rules Geek salutes Hunter Mahan for knowing the rules, and his girlfriend Kandi for helping him to play by them.

The Rules Geek sez rules were made to be followed. Got a rules-related tip or story? Send it to The Rules Geek at

(Image: Chase McAlpine/Flickr)

1 comment:

E Hawker said...

Good coverage of the rules. I imagine it will be a good feature simply because most people want to better understand the rules of golf (even if some never truly play by them).

Thank you for the clarification.