From January 1st 2008 new rules come into force for all golfers regarding “driving clubs” – which means drivers in normal parlance. These rules have already been operative since January 2005 for UK County and National events, and in the USA for all competitive golf. These are rules of the R&A, approved by the RFEG, and as such must be imposed.
A large number of drivers, mainly manufactured between 1999 and 2004, fail to conform to the new rule regarding the “spring effect” of the clubface. Since the announcement of this new Rule in August 2002, golfers have been encouraged to check the conformance status of their drivers, and of any driver they may buy in the future, in preparation for the introduction of the rules.
This means that from January 1st 2008 players may not use these clubs in any competition – stroke play or match play – and the penalty for doing so is disqualification. The penalty applies to the side, i.e. both players, in fourball competitions. (Rules 4.1, 30.3 and 31.7).
It is clearly impractical for the Competitions Committee to check that players are using conforming clubs and it is the player’s responsibility to ensure their club is legal under the rules of golf.
For non-competition play we would also recommend that non-conforming drivers are not used, and, out of courtesy to your playing companions, you should advise them if you are using one.
How to check whether your driver is conforming.
This can be done by going on to the R&A website (www.randa.org) and following the links to non-conforming drivers. Then you need to look through the long list of manufacturers for the exact specification and markings for your driver. Alternatively you can follow the “conforming” driver heads links and put the details into a search facility. You will find that a particular make and model may have both conforming and non-conforming versions, with very minor differences such as a single letter on the end of the model number and/or different markings on the clubface.
If your driver was marketed before 1999 and does not appear on either of the lists then it can be assumed to be conforming (R&A ruling).
We have looked at the practicality of printing out a list and making it available in the clubhouse but this is not really feasible as it runs to about 150 pages and there is often a need to cross-reference a picture. If it is impossible for you to access the internet then please bring your driver to our Golf Professionals who will check your club for you.
For further information contact:Alfonso Castiñeira
Telephone: +34 670 613 900