A Guide to the Rules on Clubs and Balls

The List of Conforming Golf Balls

Manufacturers may submit balls to The R&A and the United States Golf Association for testing. Twenty-four samples of each ball type or model need to be submitted and they are then subjected to each of the tests described in this Section. If the samples conform to the Rules, the model is then entered onto the List of Conforming Golf Balls which, since March 2001, has been updated on a monthly basis. The current list can be found on The R&A’s website at www.randa.org. Full details of the golf ball submission procedure can be obtained from The R&A.

Balls remain on the List for a year. Random tests are carried out by The R&A and the USGA on selected balls to ensure that the ball characteristics remain the same. If a conformance issue is identified during random testing, the ball may be removed from the list.

Normally, only the Committees in charge of competitions involving expert players (at District and National level for Amateurs, or at Professional events) introduce a Condition of Competition requiring a player to use a ball included in the Conforming Golf Ball List, the penalty for breach of the Condition being disqualification. However, if this Condition is not in place then the assumption is that a ball used by a player conforms unless there is strong evidence to the contrary e.g. a player used a 1.62 inch golf ball (a ball which used to be in circulation and was permitted under the Rules before finally being prohibited in 1990).