Distance

Notice to Manufacturers - Equipment Research

As part of our ongoing commitment to engagement with stakeholders we would like to provide an interim update to the March 2022 Area of Interest.

The R&A
08 Jun 22
2 mins

As part of our ongoing commitment to engagement with stakeholders we would like to provide an interim update to the March 2022 Area of Interest, which in turn was based on an Area of Interest communication in February 2021 (herein referred to as the original Area of Interest). 

It should be noted that the USGA and R&A Rules Limited (The R&A) are continually involved in research and that in accordance with the Vancouver protocol we will periodically inform the industry, especially when the outcomes of this research would have value for stakeholders even when these are not associated with changes to the Equipment Rules. In seeking to best facilitate the discussions and anticipated feedback, the main purposes of this communication are:
  1. To provide further information on the topics included in the March 2022 Area of Interest, specifically to provide stakeholders with an indication of the focus of our research.
  2. To publish findings from research that has been conducted in relation to topics included in the original Area of Interest (February 2021) that are NOT being pursued at this time
Please note that the March 2022 Area of Interest remains unaltered, and this communication is intended to give further information to feed into stakeholder feedback. We look forward to responses from stakeholders by 2 September 2022. We would like to thank stakeholders for their ongoing feedback and this communication is intended to respond to those interactions.

Further guidance on the focus of research on the topics included in the March 2022 Area of Interest

The March 2022 Area of Interest highlighted two specific areas for consideration:
  1. Investigating an increase to the launch speed used to determine conformance to the Overall Distance Standard (ODS) that reflects the clubhead speeds of the longest hitters of the golf ball.  The launch speed would be determined using a clubhead speed of at least 125 mph.  In addition, use of optimum conditions of angle and spin in conjunction with this higher clubhead speed will be evaluated as part of this investigation.
  2. Narrowing the focus of the research topics presented in the February 2021 Area of Interest communication, specifically in the context of potential Model Local Rules, to explore (i) reduction of the spring-like effect in drivers; and (ii) changes to the Moment of Inertia limit of drivers to enhance the reward of a central impact.
Regarding area 1., our research is focused on clubhead speeds between 125 and 127 mph and will include studies of the effects of these test speeds on the launch conditions and aerodynamics of the golf ball. Findings from previously conducted research that is pertinent to this subject area are also being made available concurrently with this communication.
 
For area 2., previous research as published in the Equipment Specifications Research included in the above referenced documents involved a driver with a Characteristic Time (CT) of 170 µs and a Moment of Inertia (MoI) of 2600 g-cm2 with modified geometric properties.  Our research is focused on CT values not more than 200 µs and not less than 150 µs. Research on the Moment of Inertia is focused on values as low as 2,000 g-cm2.  Research into changes to the specifications within the Equipment Rules on volume, clubhead dimensions, or geometry are not currently under consideration. Findings from previously conducted research that is pertinent to this subject area are also being made available.

Findings from research conducted for topics included in the original Area of Interest (February 2021) for areas that are NOT being further pursued at this time

Please find an Executive Summary of Equipment Specifications Research that has been conducted on a number of the topics described in the original R&A/USGA Research Topics – Area of Interest (February 2021) which are now available.  This summary provides details of equipment changes that, based on the research, are NOT being further pursued at this time.
 
The full report based on the original R&A/USGA Research Topics – Area of Interest (February 2021) as well as pertinent previously conducted research, along with referenced documents therein are available within the Technical Library section at:
https://www.randa.org/technical-library-downloads  A Japanese version of this Notice is available here.

Should you have comments or questions regarding this research, please contact equipmentstandards@randa.org