A Guide to the Rules on Clubs and Balls


To help try and prevent nonconforming 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 available to players.The preamble to both Rule 4 and Appendix II states that:

A player in doubt as to the conformity of a club should consult The R&A.

A manufacturer should submit to The R&A a sample of a club to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether the club conforms with the Rules.The sample becomes the property of The R&A for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample, or, having submitted a sample, fails to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the club, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that the club does not conform to the Rules.

Manufacturers are encouraged to submit drawings, descriptions and/or prototype samples of their new products as early in the development process as possible, and certainly prior to mass production and distribution.This is in order to avoid potentially costly repercussions should a product subsequently be ruled not to conform (for example, due to the existence of large amounts of stock which cannot be sold, or the necessity for product recalls and replacements).When a new design concept is submitted early in the process, production and distribution would not normally have started and golfers should be protected from unwittingly obtaining a nonconforming club to use.