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8G
Restrictions on Use of Specific Equipment
8G
Restrictions on Use of Specific Equipment
G-1

List of Conforming Driver Heads

Purpose. To remove any doubt that drivers being used in a competition are conforming:
  • A Committee can choose to require players to use only drivers whose clubheads have been evaluated and approved as conforming under the Equipment Rules.
  • A List of Conforming Driver Heads is found at RandA.org.
This Local Rule is recommended for use only in competitions limited to highly skilled players (that is, professional and elite amateur competitions). Model Local Rule G-1 "Any driver the player uses to make a stroke must have a clubhead, identified by model and loft, which is on the current List of Conforming Driver Heads issued by The R&A. This list is regularly updated and is found at RandA.org. Exception - Pre-1999 Driver Heads: A driver with a clubhead that was made before 1999 is exempt from this Local Rule. Penalty For Making a Stroke with Club in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification. There is no penalty under this Local Rule for carrying but not making a stroke with a driver that is not on the List of Conforming Driver Heads."
G-2

Groove and Punch Mark Specifications

Purpose. Effective 1 January 2010, the Equipment Rules were revised to provide new groove and punch mark specifications for all clubs other than drivers and putters. Until at least 2024, clubs made before 2010 are not required to meet these specifications. But a Committee may choose to adopt a Local Rule requiring players to use only clubs that meet all the specifications included in the current Equipment Rules. This is recommended for use only in competitions limited to highly skilled players (that is, professional and elite amateur competitions). An Equipment Database can be found at RandA .org to assist in finding which clubs may be used. Model Local Rule G-2 "In making a stroke, the player must use clubs that conform to the groove and punch mark specifications in the Equipment Rules that took effect on 1 January 2010. An Equipment Database of fairway woods, hybrids, irons and wedges which have been tested for conformance to the current Equipment Rules is found at RandA.org. Penalty For Making a Stroke with Club in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification. There is no penalty under this Local Rule for carrying but not making a stroke with a club which does not conform to these groove and punch mark specifications."
G-3

List of Conforming Golf Balls

Purpose. To remove any doubt that the balls being used in a competition are conforming, a Committee may choose to require the player to use only balls which have been evaluated and approved as conforming under the Equipment Rules. A List of Conforming Golf Balls is found at RandA.org and is updated monthly. Even if this Local Rule is not in place, any ball used must be a conforming ball. Model Local Rule G-3 "Any ball used in making astrokemust be on the current List of Conforming Golf Balls issued by The R&A. This list is regularly updated and is found at RandA.org.Penalty For Making a Stroke with a Ball Not on Current List in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification."
G-4

One Ball Rule

Purpose. To prevent a player from using balls with different playing characteristics depending on the nature of the hole or shot to be played during a round, the Committee can choose to require that a player use only a single type of ball that is on the List of Conforming Golf Balls. Each individual listing on the List of Conforming Golf Balls is considered a different ball . Golf balls of different colours with identical markings are considered different balls. This Local Rule is recommended for use only in competitions limited to highly skilled players (that is, professional competitions and elite amateur competitions). Model Local Rule G-4 “During an entire round, each ball at which the player makes a stroke must be the same brand and model as found in a single entry on the current List of Conforming Balls. If a different brand and/or model is dropped, replaced or placed but has not yet been played, the player may correct the mistake by stopping use of that ball, without penalty, under Rule 14.5. The player must drop, replace or place a ball of the same brand and model as used at the start of the round. When the player discovers he or she has played a ball in breach of this Local Rule, he or she must stop using that ball before playing from the next teeing area and complete the round with a ball of the same brand and model as used at the start of the round; otherwise the player is disqualified. If the discovery is made during the play of a hole, the player may complete play of this hole with the ball played in breach or place a ball of the correct brand and model on the spot where the ball played in breach of this Local Rule was lifted from. Penalty for Making a Stroke at a Ball in Breach of Local Rule The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which he or she is in breach of this Local Rule.”
G-5

Prohibiting Use of Distance-Measuring Devices

Purpose. Although Rule 4.3 allows players to use equipment to measure distance (subject to certain requirements), a Committee can choose to prohibit the use of any electronic distance-measuring devices. Model Local Rule G-5 "Rule 4.3a(1) is modified in this way: During a round, a player must not obtain distance information by using an electronic distance-measuring device. Penalty for Breach of Local Rule - see Rule 4.3."
G-6

Prohibiting Use of Motorized Transportation

Purpose. A Committee can choose to prohibit players from using any type of motorized transportation such as a golf cart during a round. This is appropriate when the Committee views walking as an integral part of playing in the competition or when it believes that the use of motorized transportation would be unsafe or might damage the course. In adopting this Local Rule, the Committee can allow motorized transportation in limited ways, such as to take players from one hole to another when those holes are far apart or allowing members of the Committee to give a player a ride when he or she will play, or has played, again under penalty of stroke and distance. If a player accepts a ride without the permission of the Committee, the Committee can waive the penalty if it would have authorized the player to ride in that situation had the request been made. For example, if a player who had lost a ball and needed to return to the teeing area accepted a ride from a volunteer when there was no Committee member available, the Committee could waive the penalty if members of the Committee would have given the player the ride if asked. But, when motorized transportation is not allowed by Local Rule, it is a principle of the Local Rule that players should walk the entire course, so authorization should not be given if a player has been given a ride forwards when he or she has not already walked that distance. For example, if a player stops to buy a refreshment after playing his or her tee shot, and then accepts a ride forward to his or her ball from a volunteer, the penalty under the Local Rule should not be waived. Model Local Rule G-6 “During a round, a player or caddie must not ride on any form of motorized transportation except as authorized or later approved by the Committee. [A player who will play, or has played, under penalty of stroke and distance is always authorised to ride on motorized transportation.] [Players and caddies may ride on the shuttle between holes [identify hole] and [identify hole].] Penalty for Breach of Local Rule: The player gets the general penalty for each hole during which there is a breach of this Local Rule. If the breach occurs between the play of two holes, it applies to the next hole.”
G-7

Prohibiting Use of Certain Types of Shoes

Purpose. To protect the course from damage, the Committee can prohibit the use of shoes with metal or traditionally designed spikes. The Committee also may prohibit the use of shoes with other features that may cause undesirable damage. Model Local Rule G-7 "Rule 4.3a is modified in this way: During a round, a player must not wear shoes with:
  • Traditional spikes - that is, spikes having single or multiple points designed to penetrate deeply into the surface of the ground (regardless of whether made of metal, ceramic, plastic or other materials); or
  • Spikes of any design that are entirely or partially made of metal, if such metal may come in contact with the course.
Penalty for Breach of Local Rule - see Rule 4.3."
G-8

Prohibiting or Restricting Use of Audio and Video Devices

Purpose. Rule 4.3a(4) permits a player to use equipment to listen to audio or watch video of matters unrelated to the competition being played. But the Committee can adopt a Local Rule prohibiting the use of audio and video devices altogether during a round. Model Local Rule G-8 "Rule 4.3a(4) is modified in this way: During a round, a player must not listen to or watch content of any nature on a personal audio or video device. Penalty for Breach of Local Rule - see Rule 4.3."
G-9

Clarification: Local Rule G-9 Replacing Club that is Broken or Significantly Damaged

Clarification added - 4/2019 Model Local Rule G-9 "Rule 4.1b(3) is modified in this way: If a player’s club is “broken or significantly damaged” during the round by the player or caddie, except in cases of abuse, the player may replace the club with any club under Rule 4.1b(4). When replacing a club, the player must immediately take the broken or significantly damaged club out of play, using the procedure in Rule 4.1c(1). For the purposes of this Local Rule:
  • A club is “broken or significantly damaged” when:
    • the shaft breaks into pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when the shaft is only dented)
    • the club face impact area is visibly deformed (but not when the club face is only scratched)
    • the clubhead is visibly and significantly deformed
    • the clubhead is detached or loose from the shaft, or
    • the grip is loose.
Exception: A club face or clubhead is not “broken or significantly damaged” solely because it is cracked. Penalty for Breach of Local Rule - see Rule 4.1b."
G-10

Clarification: Local Rule G-10 Prohibiting Use of Clubs Longer than 46 Inches

Clarification added - 12/2021 Purpose. To limit the maximum allowable club length, a Committee may choose to adopt a Local Rule which restricts the maximum length for clubs, other than putters, to 46 inches. A measurement tolerance of 0.20 inches is allowed above 46 inches. For an explanation of the measurement of a club, see Figure 3 under Part 2.1c of the Equipment Rules. This Local Rule is recommended for use only in competitions limited to highly skilled players (that is, professional competitions and elite amateur competitions). For the avoidance of doubt, when this Model Local Rule is in effect, the application of the physical need exception allowing a player to use clubs longer than 46 inches is not available. Model Local Rule G-10 "In making a stroke, the player must not use a club, except for a putter, which exceeds 46 inches in length. Penalty for Making a Stroke with a Club in Breach of this Local Rule: Disqualification. There is no penalty under this Local Rule for carrying but not making a stroke with a club which does not conform to these length specifications."
G-11

Clarification: Local Rule G-11 Restricting Use of Green-Reading Materials

Clarification added - 12/2021 Purpose. Rule 4.3, and specifically Interpretation 4.3a/1, puts limitations on the size and scale of detailed green-reading materials. But to ensure that players and caddies use only their eye and feel to help them read the line of play on the putting green, the Committee may further restrict the use of green-reading materials by requiring that players are limited throughout their round to using only the yardage book that has been approved for use in the competition. This Local Rule is intended only for the highest levels of competitive golf and, even then, only to competitions where it is realistic for the Committee to undertake an approval process for yardage books. When introducing this Local Rule, the Committee is responsible for approving the yardage book that players may use, and the approved yardage book should contain diagrams of putting greens with minimal detail only (such as significant slopes, tiers or false edges that indicate sections of greens). Players and caddies may add handwritten notes to the approved yardage book to help them read the line of play on a putting green, so long as those notes are allowed under this Local Rule. Model Local Rule G-11 {"Rule 4.3a is modified in this way: During a round, the player may use only the yardage book(s) approved by the Committee. This restriction also applies to any other maps of the course, including hole-location sheets. Additional restrictions apply to handwritten notes and any other materials used by the player that could help read the line of play on the putting green:: color_lightBlue}
  • Handwritten notes may be added to an approved yardage book or approved hole-location sheet before or during the round by the player or the player’s caddie only and are limited to information gathered by the player or caddie only.
  • Handwritten notes may contain information gained only through personal experiences of the player or the player’s caddie from the course or by watching a televised broadcast, but are limited to information gained:
    • While observing a ball that was rolled or played (whether by the player, caddie or someone else) or
    • Through the player’s or caddie’s feel or general observations of the putting green.
These additional restrictions on handwritten notes or other materials do not apply to such information when they could not help the player read the line of play on the putting green (such as handwritten or printed information containing swing thoughts or listing carry distances for the player’s clubs). During a round, if a player uses:
  • A yardage book, other maps of the course or a hole-location sheet that has not been approved by the Committee,
  • An approved yardage book or approved hole-location sheet that contains a handwritten note or information gained in a manner that is not allowed, or
  • Any other materials that could help with reading the line of play on the putting green (whether a specific putting green or greens in general),
the player is in breach of this Local Rule and the penalty statement under Rule 4.3 applies. “Use” means to look at:
  • Any page of a yardage book or other maps of the course or a hole-location sheet that has not been approved by the Committee, or
  • Any of the following when doing so could help the player or caddie read the line of play on the putting green:
    • a page in an approved yardage book or an approved hole-location sheet that contains a handwritten note or information gained in a manner that is not allowed, or
    • any other materials."
{Additional Guidance:: color_lightBlue} To view a document detailing the language of this Model Local Rule and additional guidance, click here[Link not available in App.]
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Section 1The Role of the Committee
The Rules of Golf define the Committee as the person or group in charge of a competition or the course. The Committee is essential to the proper playing of the game. Committees have the responsibility of running the course on a day-to-day basis or for a specific competition and they should always act in ways that support the Rules of Golf. This part of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf provides guidance to Committees in fulfilling this role. While many of the duties of a Committee are specific to running organized competitions, an important part of the Committee's duties relates to its responsibility for the course during general or every day play.
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