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Can you wrap a towel round your grip to take a shot?

Can you wrap a towel round your grip to take a shot?

Can you take measures to stop your club sliding about in your hands? Our expert Steve Carroll takes you through an interesting golf equipment rule

 

It’s pouring. You’ve rooted around the bag but your precious rain glove is nowhere to be found. Your grips are so slick, you’ve got a better chance of the club going further than the ball. Why are you playing? But, seriously, do you just have to put up with nature? If you’ve got a golf towel in your bag, could you put it to good use?

You might think you’re at the mercy of the weather but, if you dig deeply enough, there may be something in the Rules of Golf that can help you. Let’s dive in…

golf towel

Golf towel and golf equipment rules

You can wrap a golf towel or handkerchief around the grip of your club. There, I’ve said it. Are you surprised? I was when I first found this little nugget lurking in Rule 4.3a (5). But no less a golfing great than Tom Watson once advised this and who’s going to argue with a five-time Open champion?

Not only can you do that, but you can also use resin, powders and “other moisturising or drying agents”.

So if you want to sprinkle powder to help your grip, the Rules won’t stop you. The club might have an issue, though, if you make a mess!

Don’t get too creative, though. The same rule says you are not allowed to use other equipment that gives “an unfair advantage with hand position or grip pressure”.

You’ll get absolutely hammered if you get this wrong. It’s the general penalty for the first breach (two shots or loss of hole in match play) and disqualification if it happens again.

Got a question for our expert?

Despite the changes to the Rules of Golf in 2019 and 2023, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.

What do you think about this golf towel rule? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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