FAR HILLS, N.J. — A list of conforming driver heads will be published at http://www.usga.org/equipment/conforming_golf_club/conforming_golf_club.asp on the United States Golf Association’s Web site beginning Oct. 4, 2005.
"To help Rules officials and golfers determine the conformance status of drivers, the USGA has published a list of non-conforming drivers on the USGA website since 1999," USGA Senior Technical Dick Rugge said. "Since then, the USGA has received numerous requests for the publication of a companion list identifying conforming drivers. If a driver does not appear on either of these lists, it is likely that it has not yet been submitted to the USGA for evaluation."
Additionally, an optional Condition of Competition will be added to the Rules to permit the use of this new list by committees in charge of competitions.
Details of the List
1. The list will cover only driving club heads. There are no plans at this time to create a conforming iron, putter or fairway club list.
2. The USGA and the R&A will jointly maintain a single list of conforming driver heads. Both the USGA and The R&A will publish it on their respective Websites.
3. A driver head will be added to the list by the USGA only if it is submitted directly to the USGA by the original manufacturer and the USGA determines that the head conforms to all USGA Rules applicable to clubheads. Driver heads that are submitted to The R&A will be added to the list by The R&A.
4. For the purpose of the list, a "driving club" is a club that is designed primarily to be used while hitting from a tee. Club design features to be considered will include: loft, head size, face dimensions, head weight, and club length. Any manufacturer’s declared or apparent intent regarding the use of the club will also be considered.
5. The USGA will continue to maintain and publish the non-conforming driver list for the foreseeable future. Please note that the USGA’s non-conforming driver list includes only drivers that exceed the USGA limit for spring effect.
6. Only driver heads manufactured and submitted to the USGA since 1999 will be included on the list. Driver heads manufactured prior to 1999 will be considered conforming for spring-like effect and will be permitted for play under USGA Rules, unless the Association has made a determination of non-conformance, or non-conformance has been determined by a tournament official and/or Rules official.
7. Any driver heads made after 1998 that has not been submitted to the USGA for evaluation must be submitted and determined to be conforming in order to be included on the list.
8. The list will be updated on a weekly basis.
9. If the design of a driver head is modified from the club that was submitted to the USGA, the Association reserves the right to review the conformance status of that driver head, and to obtain and evaluate additional samples of the driver head to verify its conformance.
10. Currently, there are no plans to have an expiration date for a driver head included on the list. However, a driver head included on the list may be removed if it no longer conforms to the Rules of Golf due to a subsequent Rules change.
Condition of Competition
An optional Condition of Competition will be added to Appendix I of the Rules of Golf effective Jan. 1, 2006, stating:
List of Conforming Driver Heads
The USGA periodically issues a List of Conforming Driver Heads that lists driving clubheads that have been evaluated and found to conform to the Rules of Golf. If the Committee wishes to require players to carry a driver having a clubhead, identified by model and loft, that is on the List, the List should be posted and the following condition of competition used:
"The driver that the player carries must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft, that is named on the current List of Conforming Driver Heads issued by the United States Golf Association.
PENALTY FOR BREACH OF CONDITION:
Further details of the administration and use of this Condition are as follows:
As with the Conforming Golf Ball List, the new Condition would only be recommended for use by Committees in charge of competitions restricted to highly skilled players (including top amateur events).
The Condition will only cover driver heads. However, any driving club that a player carries must conform to all other rules pertaining to golf clubs.
It is the player’s responsibility to carry clubs that conform to the Rules of Golf, and all relevant Conditions of Competition. Players and manufacturers, therefore, should take care to ensure that any modification of a driver head does not alter the playing characteristics such that it becomes different from the sample submitted for evaluation that appears on the List.
If a driver fails any on-site test (i.e.; club length, spring effect, groove dimensions, etc.), the individual club would be considered non-conforming and may not be carried by the player even if that model of driver appears on the List.
Driver heads manufactured prior to 1999 are exempt from the requirement of this Condition.
Any questions should be sent to Dick Rugge at P.O. Box 708, Far Hills, NJ 07931; 908-781-5490; Fax 908-234-0138; or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.