Guidance on Running a Competition

List of Conforming Golf Balls

The R&A publishes a list of conforming golf balls that have been tested and found to conform to the Rules. This List can be found on the R&A’s website ( The Note to Rule 5-1 states:

“The Committee may require, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), that the ball the player plays must be named on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by the R&A”.

If such a condition is in place, the penalty for a breach is disqualification.

The List is normally introduced for competitions involving expert players at County (Provincial) and National level for Amateurs and at Professional events. Generally, it is not recommended that such a condition be introduced in Club competitions. The suggested wording for such a condition of competition is contained in Appendix I, Part C of the Rules of Golf.

Where the List is not operational it is assumed that any particular individual ball conforms to the Rules unless there is strong evidence that it does not. This will include balls absent from the Conforming List, for example, “X outs” and “refurbished” golf balls (see Decision 5-1/4). If, however, a player uses a ball that obviously does not meet the prescribed specifications specified in Appendix III of the Rules of Golf, he must be disqualified.