2021 Golf Club & Other Equipment Submission Guidelines
The purpose of this document is to provide key policies and procedures that you should be aware of and/or follow when submitting models of golf clubs and other equipment to The R&A for conformance evaluation. A model of club is defined as one in which all of the individual samples have been designed and manufactured to be identical, within reasonable manufacturing tolerances, including the external markings and appearance of the club, except that there may be a variety of lofts and bounces.
If the design, construction or manufacture of a club or other equipment is changed or updated such that the new version is different in appearance, or may perform differently, from the samples submitted of the prior version then a sample of the new version should be re-submitted as a different model or version. In the case of clubs, the new version must be distinguishable from all previous versions through adjustments made to the Clubhead Markings (see Section VII below on Clubhead Markings).
While many of the following procedures will be known to you, we ask that you review the entire document so that you are familiar with the most up-to-date submission information. This will help to ensure that processing of equipment submitted to The R&A for conformance evaluation is performed in an accurate and timely manner.
As a reminder
Several golf club testing protocols are available at the following link:
The Preamble to “The Equipment Rules” state that “A manufacturer should submit to The R&A or USGA a sample of the equipment to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether it conforms with the Equipment Rules. The sample becomes the property of The R&A or USGA 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 equipment, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that the equipment does not conform to the Equipment Rules. The following link will direct you to the Equipment Rules on The R&A Website:
The above indicates that submissions of new equipment to The R&A for a ruling are strongly recommended, but not mandatory. The R&A’s general advice to manufacturers regarding what to submit is as follows:
All drivers which are intended for use at the elite level of play (e.g. in professional and elite level amateur competitions where Model Local Rule G-1 is in effect) and which, therefore, must be included on the List of Conforming Driver Heads (see Section VIII below).
(ii) Any products which have the potential to be used at the elite level of play where Model Local Rule G-2 is in effect. This is particularly important for irons, wedges, fairway woods and hybrids.
(iii) Any product that the manufacturer has any doubt as to whether it conforms to the Rules.
(iv) Any unique, innovative design which incorporates a new material and/or an unusual feature. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit such products early in the development cycle to avoid R&A Rules Ltd. Registered Office: Beach House, Golf Place, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JA. Registered in Scotland Company No. SC247046. The R&A St Andrews Fife Scotland KY16 9JD T +44 (0) 1334 460000 www.RandA.org www.TheOpen.com unnecessary costs and/or production delays. Early submissions may be in the form of drawings, diagrams, descriptions etc.
(v) Any products that the manufacturer wishes to state “Conforms to the Rules of Golf” in advertising, marketing, instructional and other material associated with the product. Such statements are only permissible when a product has passed through the official conformance evaluation process.