The R&A - Working for Golf

What we do

The role of Equipment Standards can essentially be split into three main areas - to evaluate submissions of new equipment for conformance to the Rules of Golf; to conduct fundamental research into the physics of golf; and to constantly review the Equipment Rules to ensure that they remain relevant to today’s equipment and continue to ensure that skill is the dominant ingredient to success.

Conforming Club and Ball Lists

These lists identify those golf clubs and balls that have been submitted and evaluated for conformance to the Rules of Golf

Committees in charge of competitions restricted to elite level golfers can require, as a Condition of Competition, that a player’s driver or ball is included on the appropriate Conforming List.

The Equipment Search function allows you to explore these Lists to find out whether your club or ball has been submitted and, most importantly, whether it conforms to the Rules of Golf.

Search Equipment

Conforming Driver List

Identifyingmydriver

Driver List

Ball List

Club Grooves

What is it?

A List of all of the drivers that have been submitted for evaluation since 1 January 1999, and ruled to conform to the Rules of Golf. Models which predate 1999 are automatically assumed to be conforming and on the List, unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise.

How often is this List updated?

Every Monday.

How do I identify my driver?

When searching the List, close attention should be paid to the "Identification Markings". These are a detailed description of the markings on the driver head, which identify the exact model in question, as distinguishable from another.

What if my driver is not listed?

  • It may not have been submitted, but may still conform and be usable at the non-elite level
  • It may have been submitted and ruled non-conforming
  • It may pre-date 1999
  • Whatever the reason, such a driver must not be used when the condition is in effect

Learn more

Conforming Ball List

Identifyingmydriver

Driver List

Ball List

Club Grooves

What is it?

A List of all of the golf balls that have been submitted for evaluation within the last 12 months, and ruled to conform to the Rules of Golf. In order for a ball to remain on the List after 12 months, the manufacturer is required to submit additional samples.

How often is this List updated?

First Wednesday of every month.

How do I identify my ball?

When searching the List, close attention should be paid to the "Pole" and “Seam” markings. These are a detailed description of the markings on the ball, which identify the exact model in question, as distinguishable from another.

What if my ball is not listed?

  • It may not have been submitted, but may still conform for use at the non-elite level
  • It may have been ruled non-conforming
  • It may have expired from the List – which means it should still be considered ‘conforming’ for use at the non-elite level
  • It must NOT be used when the condition is in effect

Learn more

Club Grooves (Information Database)

Identifyingmydriver

Driver List

Ball List

Club Grooves

What is it?

The Club Groove Informational Database is a tool designed to assist golfers determine the status of their irons, wedges, fairway woods and hybrids against the pre-2010 and post-2010 groove Rules. The database itself is not the focus of a condition of competition. However, it can be used by a player to ascertain whether his club meets the requirements of the Groove Condition.

How often is this List updated?

No fixed schedule; as and when required.

How do I identify my club?

When searching the List, close attention should be paid to the "Identification Markings". These are a detailed description of the markings on the clubhead, which identify the exact model in question, as distinguishable from another.

What if my club is not listed?

  • It may not have been submitted, but may still conform
  • It may pre-date 1995
  • If it is a fairway wood or hybrid, with a loft less than 25 degrees. Such clubs are only listed if they have been submitted and they were found not to conform to the post-2010 specifications

Learn more

Principles and Procedures

In a historical context, the game of golf has seen progressive developments in the clubs and balls available to golfers who, through almost six centuries, have sought to improve the playing performance of their equipment.

While generally welcoming this progress, in 1924 The R&A issued a statement which "deplored that players, instead of trying to master the use of golf clubs, should endeavour to overcome difficulties of the game by using implements which have never been associated with it". More recently, in a written 'statement of principles' published jointly by The R&A and the USGA, it was acknowledged that "History has proved that it is impossible to foresee the developments in golf equipment which advancing technology will deliver".

However, both The R&A and the USGA remain vigilant when considering the equipment Rules. The main objective of Rules 4 and 5 and Appendices II and III is to protect golf's traditions, to prevent an over-reliance on technological advances rather than skill, and to ensure that skill is the dominant element golfing of success.