Online club database launched ahead of groove changes

In advance of changes in the Rules of Golf relating to grooves, which are effective from 1 January 2010, The R&A has developed an online club database. Produced in conjunction with the USGA, the Informational Club Database is a searchable database of all irons and wedges, as well as hybrids and fairway woods with lofts of 25° or higher, which were in production prior to 1 January 2010 and which have been submitted to, and evaluated by, either The R&A or the USGA.

The purpose of the database is to assist golfers and Rules Officials in determining the status of their existing clubs, when evaluated against the current Rules of Golf and the new groove and punch mark specifications,' said David Rickman, The R&A's Director of Rules and Equipment Standards.

It is important to remember that the new specifications do not apply to any clubs manufactured prior to 1 January 2010 and those clubs will continue to conform to the Rules of Golf for the vast majority of golfers until at least 2024. However, the new specifications will be applied at the highest level of professional golf next year, via a Condition of Competition, and it is important that we provide as much information as we can to players competing at that level and to those who administer these professional events.'

Users of the database can input the details of their club in a simple ‘search' facility and compare their club to the search results, which will include full details of the clubhead markings. This will help the user to ensure that the correct club has been identified.

There are models of clubs which are not included in the database because they have not been submitted for evaluation or they have not yet been evaluated against the 2010 specifications. The database is, therefore, not a fully comprehensive list of clubs and should only be used as a reference tool.

The database and full details of the new groove specifications and their phased introduction can be accessed here.