Varner had a driver assembled for him on the golf course, which is illegal. 

By Daniel Rapaport
March 14, 2019

Harold Varner III shot an opening-round 74 at the Players Championship, but it would have been a 72 had he not been assessed one of the odder penalties you'll ever see. 

Before the round started, Varner noticed a crack in his driver. He alerted rules officials and told them he intended to start the round with 13 clubs, with a plan to have a driver built and sent out to him while he was on the course. It is legal to start a round with 13 clubs and add one later. 

His agent brought the clubhead to the course and a walking scorer brought the shaft. The two parts were then attached and Varner hit a shot with the newly assembled driver. He was then assessed a two-stroke penalty because a player is not allowed to use a club whose parts were assembled on the golf course by anyone, even if it's not the player. The rule is designed to prevent players from being able to have a club built to cater to the conditions—players are also not allowed to make any tweaks to clubs in their bags, such as changing the weights in an adjustable driver. 

According to a rules official who apppeared on the Golf Channel, Varner would not have been penalized had the driver been assembled in the locker room. But because the parts were connected on the course, the club was not fit to be used in that round. 

A really tough break for the 28-year-old, particularly because he went out of his way to communicate with officials and try to avoid breaking any rules. 

You May Like