The R&A - Working for Golf

Club Grooves

The Club Groove “informational” Database identifies the models, lofts and/or number of all of the clubs (except drivers and putters) that have been submitted to either The R&A or the United States Golf Association, and confirms their status against both the pre-2010 and post-2010 groove specifications.

The database is primarily aimed at golfers who plan to play in events where the condition of competition is in effect, requiring that the player's clubs conform to the new groove and punch mark specifications effective 1 January 2010 (see Decision 4-1/1 of Decisions on the Rules of Golf)

It is updated on an adhoc basis, as and when required.

Identifying my Club

Clubs are listed differently depending on the club type and/or the status of the club. Iron clubs can either be listed as a full ‘SET’, or they can be listed individually. All other club types (wedges, fairway woods and hybrids) are all listed individually.

 A link to an image of each club included on this database is available through the searchable online tool. Please note that only the image of the clubhead's sole is provided (for fairway woods and hybrids) or the back of the clubhead (for irons and wedges). Therefore, it should only be used for reference purposes. There are often models that have identical markings on the sole or back, but have different face, crown, hosel, toe and/or heel markings. Identical sole or back markings alone are not enough to conclude that the clubhead in question is the model listed. 

Tips for Players & Officials

  • Search the database with the club in hand
  • Be methodical
  • Take care to look at all parts of the head – sole, back, heel, toe, crown and hosel
  • Check that the relevant loft or club number is listed
  • Differentiating markings, to distinguish two different models, may be subtle
  • If all markings on the listed club do not match exactly to a club that is in question, it is likely to be a different model
  • The colour of the markings is not relevant
  • Post-production custom markings or logos, or any stick on decals, do not count as identification markings 

Search the Database

The database can be searched online using a simple Equipment Search tool.

Search for Equipment

For assistance in interpreting the results, visit our Groove Information page:

Visit Groove Information

Condition of Competition

  • The Groove Condition of Competition is only recommended for use by Committees in charge of competitions restricted to highly skilled players (including top amateur events).
  • The Condition does NOT require the player’s clubs to be included on the database. The database is purely an informational tool.
  • It is the player's responsibility to carry clubs that conform to the Rules of Golf, and all relevant Conditions of Competition. Players and manufacturers, therefore, should take care to ensure that any modification of a clubhead does not alter the playing characteristics such that it becomes different from the sample submitted for evaluation which appears on the database.

Unlisted Clubs

Q. Can I still use my club if it is not listed?

A. If the condition of competition is in effect, the club is required to conform to the 2010 groove specifications - but it does not have to be included on the database. If the club in question is a pre-2010 model and it is not included on the database, then it is the player’s responsibility to ascertain the status of that club.

Q. Why is my club not listed?

A. There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • It may never have been submitted;
  • It may not yet have been evaluated against the 2010 specifications.
  • The database does not include fairway woods and hybrids with a loft less than 25 degrees, as it is expected that the vast majority of these clubs meet the requirements of the condition.

Q. If my club is not listed, how can I find out its conformance status?

A. By contacting either the manufacturer or The R&A.