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Devices and Other Equipment
Devices and Other Equipment
The following paragraphs prescribe general regulations for the design of devices and other equipment, together with specifications and interpretations.  They should be read in conjunction with Rule 6.2 (Teeing) and Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment) of The Rules of Golf.

Tees (Rule 6.2)

A tee is a device designed to raise the ball off the ground.  A tee must not:
  • be longer than 4 inches (101.6 mm);
  • be designed or manufactured in such a way that it could indicate line of play;
  • unduly influence the movement of the ball; or
  • otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.
Note:  As an exception for difficult turf conditions, tees tethered together or to an anchor may be used during the round provided that the player does not align the tees or tether in such a way that could indicate line of play or otherwise assist the player in making a stroke.

Gloves (Rule 4.3)

Gloves may be worn to assist the player in gripping the club, provided they are plain.  A “plain” glove must: 
  • consist of a fitted covering of the hand with a separate sheath or opening for each digit (fingers and thumb); and
  • be made of smooth materials on the full palm and gripping surface of the digits.
A “plain” glove must not incorporate: 
  • material on the gripping surface or inside of the glove, the primary purpose of which is to provide padding or which has the effect of providing padding. Padding is defined as an area of glove material which is more than 0.025 inches (0.635 mm) thicker than the adjacent areas of the glove without the added material;
 Note: Material may be added for wear resistance, moisture absorption or other functional purposes, provided it does not exceed the definition of padding (see above).  
  • straps to assist in preventing the club from slipping or to attach the hand to the club;
  • any means of binding digits together;
  • material on the glove that adheres to material on the grip;
  • features, other than visual aids, designed to assist the player in placing his hands in a consistent and/or specific position on the grip;
  • weight to assist the player in making a stroke;
  • any feature that might restrict the movement of a joint; or
  • any other feature that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.

Shoes (Rule 4.3)

Shoes that assist the player in obtaining a firm stance may be worn.  Subject to the conditions of competition, features such as spikes on the sole are permitted, but shoes must not incorporate features: 
  • designed to assist the player in taking his stance and/or building a stance;
  • designed to assist the player with his alignment; or
  • that might otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.

Clothing (Rule 4.3)

Articles of clothing must not incorporate features:
  • designed to assist the player with his alignment; or
  • that might otherwise assist the player in making a stroke or in his play.
Use of Compression Clothing:  Compression clothing has been available for many years and its use is widespread in both the winter and summer for temperature regulation and sun protection. Compression garments are not considered unusual equipment and consequently are permitted under Rule 4.3. Use of Posture Garments (e.g., shirts):  Posture garments, as currently available (2012), are considered to be a type of compression garment and should be permitted under Rule 4.3. These include: Posture shirts, Posture/sports bras, Girdles, and Shaping undergarments. Clothing incorporating features designed to or which have the effect of: Storing and releasing energy, or Inhibiting or enhancing movement, are considered unusual equipment in breach of Rule 4.3.

Use of Tape, including Kinesiology Tape (Rule 4.3)

In general, tape or similar coverings (including kinesiology tape) may be used for medical reasons, provided it is not used in an excessive manner and the Committee is satisfied that its use does not give the player any undue advantage.  However, if the adhesive tape or similar covering is used for other than medical reasons and in a manner that might assist a player in gripping the club or making a stroke it would be considered use of equipment in an unusual manner in breach of Rule 4.3.

Distance Measuring Devices (Rule 4.3)

The allowed usages of Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) are identified under Rule 4-3a(1), (2) and (3).  More detailed information and examples can be found on either the R&A’s or USGA’s websites.

Definition of Alignment Device and Treatment of Ball-Markers (Rule 4.3)

The following criteria are used to determine when an object manufactured to mark the spot of a ball is an alignment device.  Features include, but are not limited to: 
  • The object incorporates features designed to measure, gauge or interpret slope, green speed or other conditions, or includes optical or electronic components or,
  • The vertical height of the object, in any configuration, is greater than 1.0” or,
  • The maximum dimension in any horizontal direction exceeds 2.0” and incorporates any of the features noted below (or similar features):
    • the object incorporates painted, etched or inscribed line(s) or similar features greater than or equal to 2.0” in length (“line” includes any line, arrow or other straight marking that could be solid or broken, but has a defined start, a defined end and whose length can be measured),
    • the object has an appendage(s) or an extended feature(s) greater than 2.0” in length or that extends a feature of the object to a length greater than 2.0”.
Note 1:  An object is an alignment device if it exceeds the dimensional specifications listed above and advertising, marketing or intellectual property descriptions or claims related to the object indicates that it is primarily for the purpose of showing the line of play.    Note 2:  An object is an alignment device if it is modified in any manner that would satisfy any of the above provisions.