Nick Piastowski

January 8, 2023

Xander Schauffele hits his tee shot on Friday on the seventh gap on the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Getty Pictures

Xander Schauffele is aware of the ‘Hideki Matsuyama rule.’

Matsuyama, it’s possible you’ll bear in mind, created a stir final June in the course of the Memorial’s first spherical when he added a “White Out” substance to the face of his 3-wood. That’s a no-no, in accordance with rule 4.3, which which PGA Tour guidelines official Steve Rintoul stated on the time reads: “A substance or any remedy can’t be utilized to the face of a membership which might affect the flight of the ball, the spin, the loft or something on the ball, how the ball performs.” The penalty after one use is a DQ, and Matsuyama was, although not till the tenth tee at Muirfield Village. 

It’s right here the place issues received murky. 

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Memorably, throughout a press convention halfway via the primary spherical, Rintoul stated {that a} member of his guidelines committee had been despatched photos of the membership and was requested whether or not they had seen it. The images, Rintoul stated, had been from a web site — posted photos of the membership earlier this week — however Rintoul wouldn’t reveal who alerted the committee member when twice requested.  

“One other individual on the planet of golf,” he first stated. “We don’t have to get into that.”

“One other individual within the golf business,” Rintoul stated when questioned once more.

“You’re not prepared …” a reporter began. 

“I don’t suppose it’s necessary right here,” Rintoul stated. “It might have come throughout in the end. It was going to be on digicam this afternoon.”

Rintoul stated the message was acquired when Matsuyama and enjoying companions Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed had been on the primary inexperienced, and he met Matsyama on the fifth tee. There, after Matsuyama informed Rintoul that he had used the 3-wood, Rintoul took photos of it and rubbed his fingernail throughout the substance, then took his proof again to guidelines officers and informed Matsuyama to maintain enjoying. 

“These gear guidelines can get actual finicky actual fast,” Rintoul stated. 

In query was a white substance outlined in a circle on the membership face, Rintoul described its texture as “White Out,” and guidelines officers decided that was sufficient to be a violation of rule 4.1a (3). And Matsuyama was informed whereas he and his group had been making the flip.

In his press convention, Rintoul added this clarification, although:

You might be allowed to have smaller markings on the membership face — “like a Sharpie dot” — and that if “the paint had been down within the grooves and within the backside of the grooves the place it’s not on the face, not making contact with the ball, once more, no drawback.” (Matsuyama additionally would have been allowed to proceed both if the 3-wood had been simply in his bag and never in play, or if the substance was eliminated earlier than hitting it. This clarification, GOLF’s Sean Zak reported, was made in April.) 

That brings us again to Schauffele. 

In line with gear website GolfWRX, the Callaway staffer was enjoying the brand new Paradym Triple Diamond driver this week on the Event of Champions, earlier than withdrawing resulting from damage on Friday. And on the positioning’s Instagram web page, there have been six images of the membership, together with one of many face. 

With, sure, Sharpie traces on it. (Notably, the caption to the GolfWRX photograph learn: “It’s not paint.”)

The markings assist with alignment, and some execs have made the transfer previously. However there are limits, as Matsuyama realized and Schauffele understood.  

On Golf Channel final June, Rintoul supplied up some recommendation. 

“Don’t put paint on the face of your golf equipment at house.” 

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Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s chargeable for modifying, writing and creating tales throughout the golf area. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be enjoying the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and quick, and ingesting a chilly beer to scrub away his rating. You’ll be able to attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his sport or his beers — at [email protected].

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