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Update on 2010 Equipment Changes Related to Grooves

By Rob Ockenfuss, USGA

| Jan 16, 2024 | LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.

When the USGA and The R&A announced changes to groove and punch-mark specifications as part of the 2010 Equipment Rules, an implementation period was provided to give golfers, manufacturers and the game ample to time to adjust.

While the updated Rules required all new models of clubs (except drivers and putters) manufactured on or after January 1, 2010, to conform to updated specifications, implementation also included the creation of a Model Local Rule. This allows the new specifications to be applied by competition organizers, and also allows golfers who don’t play in competitions with the Local Rule in place to continue using clubs conforming to the Rules in effect in 2009 until at least 2024.

While we have continued to review whether these updated Rules will apply to all golfers, it will remain effective only through use of the Model Local Rule (G-2). Any decision to apply the January 1, 2010, specifications to all golfers, which would impact the conformance of many clubs available and conforming in 2009, will not become effective until at least four years from the date of that decision. As a result, the earliest that a change would occur is January 2028.

The Informational Club Database continues to be a resource to assist golfers in determining whether their irons, wedges, hybrids and fairway woods comply with the Model Local Rule. Clubs appearing in this database have been submitted to the USGA and/or The R&A and evaluated to determine that they meet the requirements of the updated Groove Rules.

For more information, please visit our Groove Resource page at or contact the USGA at 908-234-2300.