The R&A - Working for Golf

Conforming Ball List

The Conforming Ball List identifies the models of all golf balls that have been submitted for evaluation to either The R&A or the United States Golf Association in the previous 12 months.

 It is updated on the first Wednesday of every month.

Identifying my Golf Ball

Every model is included on the List as a separate entry with cover colour and identification markings that are essential to determining whether the ball model listed is the same as the ball in question.

The searchable list does not yet include images of the balls, so close attention should be taken to the description of the markings.

Tips for Players & Officials

  • Search the List with the ball in hand
  • Be methodical
  • Take care to look at all orientations of the ball – there may be two different pole markings and two different seam markings
  • Check that the relevant cover colour is listed
  • Differentiating markings, to distinguish two different models, may be subtle
  • If all markings on the listed ball do not match exactly to a ball that is in question, it is likely to be a different model
  • The colour of the markings is relevant
  • The player identification number is NOT relevant – either the value or the colour
  • Post-production custom markings, logos or transfers do not count as identification markings 

Searching the List

The full List can be downloaded in PDF form, where balls are listed alphabetically by Pole marking (brand name or Manufacturer name), then by Seam marking. Each ball type, including individual cover colours, is listed as a separate entry.

Alternatively, the List can be searched online using a simple Equipment Search tool.

Equipment Search

Condition of Competition

  • The Conforming Ball List as a Condition of Competition is only recommended for use by Committees in charge of competitions restricted to highly skilled players (including top amateur events).
  • It is the player's responsibility to use a ball that conforms to the Rules of Golf, and all relevant Conditions of Competition.
  • Additional information provided by the manufacturer describing the ball construction, spin rating and the number of dimples is included in the PDF version of the List.

Unlisted Balls

Q. Can I still use my ball if it is not listed?

A. If the condition of competition is in effect, requiring your ball type to be on the List, then the answer is ‘No’. If the condition is not in effect, the ball can be used – provided it conforms to the Rules.

Q. Why is my ball not listed?

A. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
• It may never have been submitted;
• It may be non-conforming;
• It may have expired from the List and not resubmitted.

Q. If my ball is not listed, how can I find out its conformance status?

A. By contacting either the manufacturer or The R&A.

Q. What is the status of a ball marked ‘PRACTICE’?

A. In most cases, “practice” balls are simply listed, conforming golf balls that have been stamped “Practice,” in the same way that golf balls often feature a club or company logo. Such balls may be used even where the Committee has adopted the condition that the ball the player plays must be named on the List of Conforming Golf Balls.

Q. What is the status of a ‘refurbished’ ball?

A. A “refurbished” golf ball is a second-hand ball that has been cleaned and stamped as “refurbished.”

In the absence of strong evidence to suggest that a “refurbished” ball does not conform to the Rules, it is permissible for such a ball to be used. However, in a competition where the Committee has adopted the condition that the ball the player plays must be named on the List of Conforming Golf Balls (see Note to Rule 5-1), such a ball may not be used, even if the ball in question (without the X’s or without the “refurbished” stamp) does appear on the List.