Medicus Driver – Is the Medicus Driver a Legal Golf Club?

The Medicus Driver is the best selling golf training aid ever. The Medicus Driver, along with the Medicus 5-iron, and Medicus 7-iron have a huge fan following among all golfers, both amateur and professional. The fact that they’re hittable golf swing trainers gives them even more appeal versus other golf training aids.

I’ve seen many golfers over the years use Medicus golf clubs at the driving range. I’ve even seen golfers pull out their Medicus Driver as a way to groove their swing on the golf course, as they wait to take their next tee shot. Many golfers wonder though, “Is it legal to carry any of the Medicus dual hinge clubs in your golf bag?”

In a word, the answer is NO. Let me repeat myself, the answer is NO. The Medicus dual hinge golf clubs are not legal to use during a round of golf, per the rules of golf set by the USGA.

As we’ve seen in so far in 2010, knowing the rules of golf is important. 2010 has been an unusual year in golf. With Tiger being off his game this year, it seems that the whole golf world has been turned upside down. This year has been the year of the rules violations. In fact, several notable rules violations have taken place in just the last year alone.

In the past year, we have seen a startling lack of judgment on the part of many very well known professional and amateur golfers. Notable rules violations just this year include:

1. Dustin Johnson grounding his club in a “sand trap,” causing a two stroke penalty. This caused him to miss the playoff for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
2. Jim Furyk failing to wake up due to a dead cell phone battery, missing his tee time for the Barclays Pro-Am. The result was tournament disqualification. 
3. Julie Inkster using a weighted doughnut during the LPGA Safeway Classic. This penalty resulted in disqualification.
4. Jerry Rice (NFL Hall of Famer) had his caddy use a range finder during a Nationwide Tournament. The result – You guessed it, tournament disqualification.

While the Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk violations were more talked about at the water cooler, for our purposes the two examples of rules violations that apply to the Medicus are the Julie Inkster and Jerry Rice disqualifications.

Julie Inkster, an LPGA Hall of Famer, was disqualified from the LPGA Safeway Classic for using a weighted doughnut on her 9-iron to keep loose, as there was a 30 minute wait on the number 10 hole. Using the weighted doughnut is fine if you’re hacking around on a Sunday with your friends. We’ve all been there. You’re in a groove, feeling good, and then you get stuck in a golf cart traffic jam, usually at a par 3. You want to keep loose, to keep that groove going. When you’re playing in a tournament though, the USGA’s Rules of Golf are in full effect. Remember, if you’re playing in a tournament, you must read the rules.

So what makes the Medicus Driver an illegal golf club? The Medicus Driver, Medicus 5-iron, and Medicus 7-iron all violate USGA Rule 14-3. Rule 14-3: Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment specifies that the penalty for breaking this rule isn’t one stroke or two strokes. The penalty is disqualification. 

To read the full rule, visit the USGA’s official website here: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-14/#14-3

The basic language of the rule is, if you’re using something to gain an advantage on the golf course, other than USGA approved golf equipment, chances are you’re using a piece of equipment that breaks the rules.

Pros aren’t the only ones who break the rules. Earlier this year, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice was disqualified from a Nationwide tournament when his caddy used a range finder to measure yardage. This was also a violation of Rule 14-3.

While yardage books are allowed, range finders are not. The same is true for those hot new GPS devices and smart phone apps as well. Using any of these will get you disqualified based on rule 14-3. So what can we do as amateur golfers to learn from these high profile mistakes? The number one thing to do is familiarize yourself with the rules of golf. Remember, while many training aids are designed to help the weekend golfer improve their scores, keep in mind that many are not legal to use on the golf course. This is per the rules stated by the USGA. This means that use of any of the Medicus Dual Hinge Swing Trainers while on the course is a rules violation, resulting in disqualification.

Therefore, you don’t want to become dependent on training aids and other devices while on the golf course. Training aids are for practice, not for real rounds of golf. I am a strong believer in using training aids, especially the Medicus Driver, as it’s helped improve my scores immensely. But training aids have a time and place. That time and place is on the driving range, and in your back yard. You don’t want to use training aids during a round of golf. Basically, it’s cheating, even if you feel that you don’t really gain any sort of distinct advantage by doing so. Also, make sure that any equipment you use is approved for use on the golf course by the USGA. The Medicus also has weighted swing trainers as well, and all of those are also illegal clubs, except for the Power Maximus L-Wedge, which has been USGA approved for use on the golf course.

When you’re playing with your regular foursome, do any of them really care that you’re breaking the rules by using a Medicus, a range finder, or some other training aid? Probably not. But you must remember this rule when you play in a tournament. Your tournament playing partners won’t be as forgiving as your regular foursome. This is especially true if you finish in the money. Leave your Medicus and any other training aids at home, otherwise you may fall into old habits and use the training aid during the tournament, violating USGA Rule 14-3. If you happen to just throw your Medicus Driver in your golf bag but never use it, you may be in violation of another USGA Rule. 

Having an extra club in your bag would violate USGA Rule 4-4: Maximum of 14 Clubs. The penalty for carrying an extra club in your bag is also disqualification.

To read the 14 Club rule, click this link: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-04/#4-4

Do yourself a favor when you play in a tournament, especially if money is involved, leave any golf training aids at home. When it comes to tournaments, just remember, training aids are a big NO-NO!

For more tips and information on the Medicus training aids, including the Medicus Driver, check out the links below.