Ben Crane disqualified: Carried non-conforming clubs he did not use

Hi all.

Once again the Rules of Golf are in the headlines after yet another weird situation!

In the recent Albertsons Boise Open on the Tour, american professional golfer Ben Crane incurred four penalty strokes early during the first round Thursday….. then he incurred four penalty strokes more later in the round…and finally he was disqualified Friday morning!

What happened?

Penalty nr. 1: The driver.
Well, on the teeing ground at hole 11 (his second hole of the day) Ben Crane realized, that he had forgot to remove a small electronic decal/sticker from his driver. This sticker was used during practice to send data, and this data could then subsequently be analyzed.

If you put sich a sticker to your club, it is renderen non-conforming after Rule 4-1. The penalty is two penalty strokes for each hole, where the breach has occurred (with a maximum of four penalty strokes). If it is discovered between holes (which Crane did), the Rules of Golf states, that it is considered to be discovered during play of the next hole. Therefore Crane incurred two penalty strokes at hole 10 and two penalty strokes at hole 11. In all four penalty strokes!

It does not effect the penalty that he in fact had not used the driver!

Penalty nr. 2: The 6-iron.
At hole 14 he then conferred with a rules official and basically told the official, that the same kind of sticker was on his 6-iron! Result: Four penalty strokes more; two on hole 10 and two on hole 11. In all 8 penalty strokes!

The 6-iron had not been used.

Penalty nr. 3: Disqualification!
Friday morning Crane took a talk with a rules official and told him, that he (Crane) in fact already between hole 10 and 11 Thursday knew about the sticker on the 6-iron.

OOps, not too good. The Rules of Golf states, that you – as soon as you realize the problem – must declare the club out of play. Crane did not deckle the 6-iron out of play as soon as possible… he did not do it until hole 14.

Penalty? Disqualification!

Ben Crane quite confused.
Ben Crane was quite confused and in the below video it does not seem that he has fully understood the Rules and his penalty:


In general he took it really well:

– You can still learn while you are playing….I just tried to keep plugging away and make the best of it, he said according to the PGA Tours website.

Really nice attitude especially considering the fact, that he was fighting hard to keep his PGA Tour card.


  1. Michael says

    Rules are rules and it prevents players pleading innocence or ignorance and protects the payers that have confirmed to the rules!

    True sportsman like Ben Crane accept and comply with the rules. Period ! The Intregity of golf is funderamental

  2. Jaime Costanzo says

    They did become non-conforming clubs therefore he is at fault and admittedly so. I feel bad for him because he truly did not know. He brought it to the attention of the rules official and by doing so, I commend him for his honesty and integrity. I applaud him!!

  3. Richard says

    Honesty and integrity is why I play this sport. Let see NFL take responsibility and follow

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.