Ever find a golf club sitting by the green? Probably. Ever lose a golf club of your own? Probably. So, what happens if you find a golf club? What do you do?
Golf clubs have a funny way of hiding in the grass, just beyond view and slipping our mind after a nice 15-foot putt or 3-putt from 15 feet. Regardless of your outcome on the green, losing a club is a major inconvenience.
The most commonly lost golf clubs are wedges. You bring a wedge and putter towards the green, and drop the putter to chip on. After your shot, you pick up the putter to continue the hole and forget the wedge. Most golfers remember to go back for it, but other do not.
Pick it Up!
When you find a golf club left behind on the course, you pick it up. If picking up a lost golf club is point A, turning it in is point B.
A lost golf club should always be turned in to the pro shop or a staff member. Always. This can be done after the round (usually the easiest option). You can also give it to a ranger or stop in at the turn.
Golf is a community, and no matter how many times you’re hit into or hit into someone, you’re all friends out there. Being part of the golf community means helping others out and policing those around you. Make sure the club gets picked up, and make sure that the person picking it up isn’t doing so to keep it.
What happens if you find a golf club and do nothing? When a lost club is ignored, you run the risk it is left until dark when no one can find it, it gets run over by a lawn mower, or one of the members of our golf community with loose morals brings it home with them.
Take the initiative. Pick the club up and turn it in.
I Found a Golf Club, Now What?
After you pick the club up, it needs to go into a place where you won’t forget about it when your round is over.
If you’re walking or using a push cart, options are limited. When you’re on foot, take the newly found club and stick it into your bag. Since you check your bag at the end of each round to make sure you haven’t lost any clubs, remembering the lost (now found) club is there should be no issue.
But what happens if you find a golf club and you’re in a cart? It’s even easier to remember you have the club and turn in. You have three options. Place it in your bag. Put it in the basket between the seat and your bag. Or lastly, keep it up front in the cart with you. No matter where you place the club, it’s easy to turn in a lost golf club when the time comes.
What happens if you find a golf club and another golfer asks about it?
This is a less common occurrence, but one you should be aware of. Remember the golf community members with loose morals we mentioned a couple sections ago? They often present themselves in different forms. When someone asks you about finding a club, ask what type of club they’re looking for before turning it over. If they can tell you the type, hand, and loft, it’s all theirs. If not, hold onto it until you can get to a course worker.
There are people who might see you pick the club and see it as a freebie for them. Keep your guard up the same way you would if you found a nice watch or diamond ring. You wouldn’t give those to just anyone, would you? By confirming the club specs, it ensures the person is being honest.
In nearly all situations, the person asking if you found the club will be legit. You’ll see them driving back towards you from the next green after realizing the club they need was last spotted a few holes ago. On this walk of shame, they’ll ask each group they pass if they have it.
It’s okay to give these people the club back (after a quick confirmation). After all, it is theirs. Save them some time by picking the club up when you see it. You just might cut a few minutes of pace of play and get a free drink from them after the round.
Where Should I Leave My Extra Clubs?
Rather than break every situation down, we’ve listed a few bullet points. After all, the less times “What happens if you find a golf club?” is asked, the better. This isn’t a foolproof plan, but most golfers follow these ideas.
- Never leave a club in the rough. Greens are the best place because the grass is shorter and clubs are more visible.
- Place the club between the hole and where you’ll walk after putting out. You’ll run right into it.
- If you’re playing with others, place your clubs next to one another. This cuts the chance of forgetting in half.
- If you put without a glove, leave it with your extra clubs. You’ll immediately remember when you go to tee off on the next hole.
When you’re in a group, always keep an eye on your fellow group mates. You’d rather one of them answer “what happens if you find a golf club?” than someone in the group behind you. If you notice them walking off the green without their club, always let them know or grab it yourself.
What Happens if I Lose a Golf Club?
18th hole. Match on the line. 10-yard wedge shot over a bunker. Need an up and down to beat your buddy. But wait—your trusty 56-degree wedge is missing. For that shot, you’ll probably have to make do with what you have. The cost of not keeping track of your stuff.
After you finish the hole, figure out when you last used the club. Begin walking or driving the course backwards from where you currently are until you reach the spot it was used last. Ask each group you pass if they found it. With any luck you won’t have to go far.
If you ask each group and return to the spot it was used last without finding it, you need to check in with course staff and the pro shop. If you’ve exhausted all of these options without any luck, leave your information with the pro shop. Tell them what you lost and leave your information so they can get in touch with you when it turns up.
If you have to leave the course without your lost club, call and check in with the pro shop later. Workers change day to day, and unless someone you talked to is there when the club is turned in, it will go into the lost and found. Reaching out a few days in a row after is the best you can do to make sure you get it back.