Most of the golfers know that we can’t carry more than 14 clubs in our bag. In the case of a breach of the 14 clubs rule, the penalty is 2 strokes per hole with a maximum of 4 strokes for the round.
In Match Play the penalty is loss of hole maximum 2 holes. If a player finds out he is carrying 15 clubs after 2 holes and he lost the 2 first hole he will be 4 down in his match.
During a stipulated round we are not allowed to change a club for another one. We must keep the same clubs we started the round with, unless we broke or damaged a club in the normal course of making any stroke.
Sometimes a round is stopped because of bad weather. Even if the round is continued the next day, we can’t change the configuration of our bag until we have completed that stipulated round. We must keep the same clubs.
In May 2017, at the Wells Fargo Tournament, Willy Wilcox’s round was stopped because of darkness at the 13th hole. The next morning he decided to change his putter. After a few holes he remembered that he was not allowed to do that. He picked up his ball and went back to the clubhouse. He did not know that the penalty was 4 strokes instead of disqualification. Because he did not complete his round he was disqualified.
Illegal or damaged club
If a player carries an illegal club, the penalty is the same (maximum 4 strokes) but if a player makes a stroke with an illegal club, he is disqualified. As an example if a player after missing a putt hits the ground or his foot with the putter and it changes the characteristics of the club, this club must be put aside for the remainder of the round. If the player hits a single stroke with it he will be disqualified.
Ajusting a club
A player does not like the shape of his drive and decides to change the screws. He is not allowed to change the playing characteristics of any clubs and the penalty is 2 strokes and he must declare the club out of play.
If a screw came loose after the normal course of a stroke, he may correct it but must make sure a fellow competitor is aware of the fact it was damaged normally.