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Rule 4.2.b Clubs - Foreign substance


TJBam
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This club rule clearly forbids any substance (petroleum product) on the face of a club to manipulate ball flight.

I am aware that many iron sets offer tips on maintenance of the clubs - i.e. cleaning and coating with a THIN layer of baby oil etc.  The same can be said for driver heads and faces, putters, hybrids.

If Johnny applies this baby oil as part of the cleaning process the night before a casual round, but does not apply it maliciously the day of play, is he in violation of 4.2.b?

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Originally Posted by TJBam

This club rule clearly forbids any substance (petroleum product) on the face of a club to manipulate ball flight.

I am aware that many iron sets offer tips on maintenance of the clubs - i.e. cleaning and coating with a THIN layer of baby oil etc.  The same can be said for driver heads and faces, putters, hybrids.

If Johnny applies this baby oil as part of the cleaning process the night before a casual round, but does not apply it maliciously the day of play, is he in violation of 4.2.b?


I think that the rule only constitutes that you apply the substance to influence ball flight.  Since Johnny had no intention of influencing ball flight, he is fine.

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I would say no,

Quote:

b . Foreign Material

Foreign material must not be applied to the club face for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball.

The reason being that it was for the maintenance of the club and was not for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball.

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Thank you much - you have reassured my friend Johnny that he can continue cleaning and babying his clubs without feeling guilty.

All other opinions welcomed.  Anyone for devil's advocate?

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Originally Posted by TJBam

Thank you much - you have reassured my friend Johnny that he can continue cleaning and babying his clubs without feeling guilty.

All other opinions welcomed.  Anyone for devil's advocate?

The replies you recieved are correct.

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Originally Posted by mvarley84

Baby oil is not a petroleum product.

Mineral oil (baby oil) is a by-product of crude refining, specifically in the process of making gasoline.

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Originally Posted by geauxforbroke

Quote:

Originally Posted by mvarley84

Baby oil is not a petroleum product.

Mineral oil (baby oil) is a by-product of crude refining, specifically in the process of making gasoline.

And baby oil is just perfumed mineral oil.

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The makeup of the foreign material is irrelevant, right? I'm not even allowed to spit on the club if my intent is to influence the movement of the ball. If I'm spitting on it to wipe it down (forgot to wet the damn towel again) then that's fine, albeit indelicate. On the other hand, it's perfectly permissible to not wipe a wedge down after playing a bunker shot, knowing full well that the sand grains left on the face will help add extra spin to the next shot with that club. The material wasn't deliberately applied.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

The makeup of the foreign material is irrelevant, right? I'm not even allowed to spit on the club if my intent is to influence the movement of the ball. If I'm spitting on it to wipe it down (forgot to wet the damn towel again) then that's fine, albeit indelicate. On the other hand, it's perfectly permissible to not wipe a wedge down after playing a bunker shot, knowing full well that the sand grains left on the face will help add extra spin to the next shot with that club. The material wasn't deliberately applied.

Correct. The rules don't specifically state any examples of foreign material.

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Originally Posted by boogielicious

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

And baby oil is just perfumed mineral oil.

No silly.  It is made from squeezing babies!

That's what that thing was that I saw at Babies 'r Us that looked like a giant garlic press.  It was a baby squeezer!

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Guess I will have to remove the duct tape I used to monitor impact  on my one iron.  It felt so good that I also put it on my 7 iron. Don't know if it would influence ball flight however. The material molds itself  into the grooves but it also has a sort of built in cross hatch threads. Its not unduly slick, and you can still run finger nail across the face and feel the grooves.  Still, the rule clearly states "no foreign substance that "may" influence ball flight".  Trevino remarked on a talk show recently, that he used to put a little Vaseline on his irons to take off spin. I don't think he would have done that in tour competition though, but who knows?  Now somebody will probably call it in and void all the majors he won.

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years ago, a company used to sell these inserts of a sort of grit paper that you could glue to the face of the club.  Also I used to have a wedge that did not have any grooves. I am sure many have heard of the Pal Joey, which had a milled surface instead of grooves.  It worked pretty well. I am assuming it was non conforming.

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Originally Posted by Hacker James

Guess I will have to remove the duct tape I used to monitor impact  on my one iron.  It felt so good that I also put it on my 7 iron. Don't know if it would influence ball flight however. The material molds itself  into the grooves but it also has a sort of built in cross hatch threads. Its not unduly slick, and you can still run finger nail across the face and feel the grooves.  Still, the rule clearly states "no foreign substance that "may" influence ball flight".  Trevino remarked on a talk show recently, that he used to put a little Vaseline on his irons to take off spin. I don't think he would have done that in tour competition though, but who knows?  Now somebody will probably call it in and void all the majors he won.

The rule doesn't state that.  It states "Foreign material must not be applied to the club face for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball".  As you haven't added the tape for the purpose of influencing the ball, then you haven't broken the rule.

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5. Club Face

a. General

The face of the club must be hard and rigid and must not impart significantly more or less spin to the ball than a standard steel face (some exceptions may be made for putters). Except for such markings listed below, the club face must be smooth and must not have any degree of concavity.

b. Impact Area Roughness and Material

Except for markings specified in the following paragraphs, the surface roughness within the area where impact is intended (the “impact area”) must not exceed that of decorative sandblasting, or of fine milling (see Fig. X).

The whole of the impact area must be of the same material (exceptions may be made for clubheads made of wood).

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Guess I will have to remove the duct tape I used to monitor impact  on my one iron.  It felt so good that I also put it on my 7 iron. Don't know if it would influence ball flight however. The material molds itself  into the grooves but it also has a sort of built in cross hatch threads. Its not unduly slick, and you can still run finger nail across the face and feel the grooves.  Still, the rule clearly states "no foreign substance that "may" influence ball flight".  Trevino remarked on a talk show recently, that he used to put a little Vaseline on his irons to take off spin. I don't think he would have done that in tour competition though, but who knows?  Now somebody will probably call it in and void all the majors he won.

The Vaseline is an old hustler trick. You'll lose distance but negate a lot of side spin meaning as long as the face is aiming at the target at impact that's where the ball will go. My miss is a push so no help there. Could be an old wives tale too, I've never tried it.

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Lee Travino talked about how he would do that on his rounds down in Texas before he was a pro. He made a living on gambling while golfing. He would put Vaseline on the driver for the first tee shot. It would take all the side spin off the ball, and he would hit a drive straight. Then he would just clean the club off with his towel.

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