The R&A - Working for Golf

Equipment Submissions

Playing to the Rules of Golf does not just involve making sure the ball is dropped in the correct place, or that the correct penalty is applied for a specific infringement. The Rules also require that the equipment being used is “conforming” to certain specifications.

To help try and prevent non-conforming equipment from appearing in the marketplace or from being used, The R&A offers an equipment testing and evaluation service to manufacturers and advice and guidance is also available to players.

Guidance on what to submit

Manufacturers are encouraged to submit samples of their new designs as early as possible in the development process, but the procedures vary slightly depending on the product type.

Explore these panels to find out more about the submission procedures for golf clubs, balls and other equipment.

For quick access to all of the relevant forms and procedures, click on the link below.

Browse Forms

GOLF CLUBS

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Golf Clubs

Golf Balls

Other Equipment

Sample

In order for The R&A to render a formal ruling on a device or other piece of equipment, a sample needs to be submitted for examination, which can come in any of the following forms:

  • Production sample
  • First Article sample
  • Prototype
  • Mock-up
  • Test Service

Paperwork

Samples must be accompanied by a Submission Form, detailing all information regarding intended method of use, 'intent' of the design and future advertising claims. If the club is designed to be adjustable, there should be a clear explanation as to how the mechanism works and a sample of the tool must be submitted.

Test Fees

In most cases, test fees will only apply to Production samples.

Informal Submissions

In the absence of a sample, informal comments can sometimes be offered based on images and/or descriptions. However, the level of feedback depends on the nature of the design and the clarity of the information provided.

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GOLF BALLS

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Golf Clubs

Golf Balls

Other Equipment

Submission Procedure

Golf ball manufacturers may submit golf balls to The R&A for conformance testing and subsequent inclusion on the List of Conforming Golf Balls.

Full details of the golf ball submissions procedure (including testing fees) and the golf ball specification sheet can be found using the ‘Learn more’ button.

Conforming Ball Condition

In the note to Rule 5-1, it states that "The Committee may require, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), that the ball the player uses must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by The R&A".

This List includes all those balls which have been submitted by manufacturers for testing, and which have been found to conform to the specifications laid down in Appendix III of the Rules of Golf.

It is recommended that the List is used for competitions involving expert players (ie Professional and top Amateur events). Use of the List in other events and Club golf is not recommended, but it is at the discretion of the Committee.

A Committee wishing to implement the 'Conforming Golf Ball Condition' should refer to the Rules of Golf, Appendix 1, Part B, 1b.

Learn more

OTHER EQUIPMENT

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Golf Clubs

Golf Balls

Other Equipment

Sample

In order for The R&A to render a formal ruling on a device or other piece of equipment, a sample needs to be submitted for examination, which can come in any of the following forms:

  • Production sample
  • First Article sample
  • Prototype
  • Mock-up
  • Test Service

Paperwork

The sample must be accompanied by a fully completed Submission Form, detailing all relevant explanations regarding the intended method of use, the 'intent' of the design and any claims that may be made in the marketing of the of the product.

Evaluation Fees

Test fees are applicable to submissions of Production samples only.

Informal Submissions

In the absence of a sample, informal opinions and advice can sometimes be offered based on photographs, drawings and/or descriptions. However, the level of feedback depends on the nature of the design and the clarity of the information provided. There is no charge for this service.

Learn more

Appeals

Manufacturers of clubs and other equipment and devices, e.g. gloves, tees, electronic devices, etc., may appeal decisions made by the relevant Committee, i.e. Equipment Standards Committee or Rules of Golf Committee, to the Appeals Committee.


Equipment Rules

The Equipment Rules and specifications can be found via Rule 4 and Appendix II for golf clubs and Rule 5 and Appendix III for golf balls. Other equipment and devices, for example, gloves, tees and electronic devices, are covered by Rule 14-3 and Appendix IV.

The publication "A Guide to the Rules on Clubs and Balls", which details all of our interpretive guidelines, can be downloaded here and both the Equipment Rules and the Guidelines can be accessed using the Rules Explorer.

Rules Explorer