Frequently Asked Questions: Equipment

If this section does not answer your particular question, please email your equipment Testing questions here.

How do I submit my design to see if it conforms?
Do chippers conform?
Can I orient the shaft in the club any way I want to?
Do the Ping Eye2 irons conform?
Do laser range finders conform?
Can I attach a piece of tape to my clubface?
Do the suction cups on the end of the putter grip to retrieve the ball from the hole conform?
Can I have two grips on my putter?
Can I place a coat hanger under my grip?
Can I have two shafts, or handles on my putter?
Can the neck be attached to the toe and heel of the head?
How is the 5" maximum length limit for the neck determined?
Do training aids conform?
Can I use a bowler's glove or wrist brace to play during a stipulation round due to my arthritic condition?
Do X-out balls conform?
Do square grooves conform?
Can my long putter have an adjustable shaft for travel purposes?
How rough can the clubface be?
Can I apply a substance to the clubface to either reduce spin or increase spin?
What's the longest ball?
When can you use a Distance-Measuring Device and what devices are permitted?



How do I submit my design to see if it conforms?       top

Click on the following link for information regarding submission: Getting Equipment Tested



Do chippers conform?       top

Yes, chippers are iron clubs not putters, and therefore must conform with the requirements for woods and irons. For example, chippers may not have a putter grip, two striking faces or appendages for aiming purposes. See Rules 1 through 5 in Appendix II.



Can I orient the shaft in the club any way I want to?       top

A player can place a shaft in any orientation to the clubhead provided the desired orientation is not for the purpose of influencing the club's performance (e.g., to attempt to correct for a hook or slice). Additionally, manufacturers of clubs may orientate or align shafts which have spines for uniformity in assembling sets or in an effort to make the shafts perform as if they were perfectly symmetrical (i.e., aligning in a neutral position). However, a shaft which has been manufactured and/or orientated for the purpose of influencing the performance of a club would be contrary to the intent of Rule 2b, Appendix II.



Do the Ping Eye2 irons conform?       top

Yes, they have been grandfathered under USGA Rules. When playing in Europe or Asia and other regions not under the jurisdiction of the USGA, please contact The R&A.

However, please check the conditions of competition for your event to ensure compliance (e.g., Ping Eye2 irons with square grooves that were manufactured prior to April 1990 are not permitted for play at all phases of the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships).
 
 

Do laser range finders conform?       top

Yes, provided that the local Committee (i.e., committee in charge of a particular competition, golf course, Rules of Golf Committee, etc.) has established a Local Rule allowing players to use devices that measure distance only. Use of devices that gauge or measure other conditions that might affect a player's play (e.g., wind, gradient, temperature, etc.) is not permitted, regardless of whether any such additional functions are actually used.



Can I attach a piece of tape to my clubface?       top

No, external attachments to the clubface are not permitted under Rule 1a in Appendix II.



Do the suction cups on the end of the putter grip to retrieve the ball from the hole conform?       top

Yes, it is permitted as an exception to Rule 1a in Appendix II.



Can I have two grips on my putter?       top

Yes, provided they are both circular in cross-section and properly spaced apart (at least 1.5"). See Rule 3(v), Appendix II. These grips do not need to have the same diameter, but the diameter must be no more than 1.75" measured in any direction. See Rule 3(iii), Appendix II. A grip with a reminder rib is not considered to be circular in cross-section.



Can I place a coat hanger under my grip?       top

No, this is not considered to be a slightly raised rib (Rule 3(i), Appendix II).



Can I have two shafts, or handles on my putter?       top

No, Rule 1a in Appendix II states that the club shall be composed of a shaft and a head.



Can the neck be attached to the toe and heel of the head?       top

No, Rule 2c in Appendix II states that the shaft shall be attached to the clubhead at the heel through a single plain neck and/or socket. A putter shaft or neck or socket may be fixed at any point in the head.



How is the 5" maximum length limit for the neck determined?       top

This measurement is made along the axis of the shaft, or the neck or socket, to the bottom of the sole of the club (Rule 2c in Appendix II). See also the illustrations under Figure IV and Figure V in Appendix II of the Rules of Golf.



Do training aids conform?       top

We don't rule on training aids unless they are capable of being used during a stipulated round, in which case they would not conform with Rule 14-3, which prohibits unusual equipment or artificial devices that might assist the golfer in his play.



Can I use a bowler's glove or wrist brace to play during a stipulation round due to my arthritic condition?       top

Braces of this type are generally not permitted under Rule 14-3. However, personal handicap items designed to be used for a specific handicap or ailment, are considered and ruled on individually and requests of this nature should be submitted in writing to the Technical Department.



Do X-out balls conform?       top

All golf balls that are sent to the USGA for conformance evaluation, that are tested and found to conform to the Rules, are published on a monthly basis on the USGA's Conforming Golf Ball List, which can be found at Conforming Golf Ball List.  X-out balls are normally not submitted for conformance and are not considered representative of balls with similar markings that may be on the List.  As a player, you should check to see if the Conforming Ball List is in effect as a Condition of Competition at your club or event. If it is not, a golf ball may be used under USGA Rules of Golf provided it is not obviously non-conforming or advertised as such (see Decision US/5-1/101 - Status of Ball Not on List of Conforming Golf Balls, in the Decisions on the Rules of Golf).



Do square grooves conform?       top

Grooves may be shaped in a variety of ways, including square, "V" shaped or "U" shaped, provided their sides do not converge, they have a symmetrical cross-section and they meet all other specifications under Rule 5c in Appendix II. Also, see figures XI, XII and XIII in Appendix II of the Rules of Golf book.



Can my long putter have an adjustable shaft for travel purposes?       top

Yes, provided the adjustment mechanism is not readily adjustable (see Rule 1b Appendix II). A locking mechanism is required to ensure the shaft is not readily adjustable. An Allen screw placed through the joint of a pool-cue type shaft would suffice. It is recommended that adjustable features for clubs be submitted to the Technical Department for evaluation.



How rough can the clubface be?       top

A decorative sandblasting is permissible however, it may not exceed 180 micro inches in roughness. Very fine milling is also permitted but should be submitted for our inspection.



Can I apply a substance to the clubface to either reduce spin or increase spin?       top

No, Rule 4-2b states that foreign material must not be applied to the club face for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball. Any coating designed to influence the movement of the ball by either increasing or decreasing spin, or to have any other effect on performance is not permitted.



What's the longest ball?       top

You won't find the answer from the USGA; that information is confidential.



When can you use a Distance-Measuring Device and what devices are permitted?       top

Read the Distance-Measuring Devices FAQ.  




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