6 ways your golf gear could be illegal (without you even knowing it!)

There’s a variety of advantageous print with reference to gear guidelines, however realizing these six can prevent from breaking them and getting disqualified.

Ryan Barath

In the case of gear and golf equipment within the Guidelines of Golf, it’s lower and dry — one thing is both conforming or not. Relying on the kind of spherical you’re taking part in the results can fluctuate: a two-shot penalty, lack of gap, and disqualification are all prospects, and we don’t need any of these issues to occur to you.

That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile the commonest methods your golf golf equipment and kit might be unlawful, so that you don’t make the identical mistake others have made prior to now.

1. 14-club restrict

There isn’t any restrict to how few golf equipment you’ll want to play a spherical of golf, however there actually is a most and that quantity is 14.

This rule got here into play again in 1938, after the USGA and R&A had been bored with seeing some golfers use as lots of 25-30 golf equipment throughout aggressive rounds. Some of the well-known gamers that generally used an outrageous variety of golf equipment was Lawson Little (winner of the 1940 U.S. Open), who would typically have upwards of 30 golf equipment in two luggage earlier than the foundations modified.

As for the penalties for breaking the rule (4.1b), it’s two strokes per gap with a most of 4 strokes in a stroke-play occasion, and lack of gap with a most of two holes throughout match play. So if you happen to’ve been training with an additional wedge or two earlier than your subsequent spherical ensure that to depend them earlier than you tee it up. Talking of tees…

2. Most tee top

A golf tee can’t be longer than 4 inches otherwise you’ll be breaking the foundations.


We’ve all heard “tee it excessive and let it fly,” however due to the Guidelines of Golf there’s truly a restrict to how excessive is just too excessive, and that measurement is precisely 4 inches.

Though it may be tough to search out any tees over 4 inches anyway, if you happen to do occur to make use of one it could be thought of a non-conforming piece of apparatus and would end in disqualification.

3. Don’t make your driver too lengthy

Do you know 48 inches is the utmost membership size for a full-swing membership?

Ryan Barath

Everyone is trying to find slightly further distance off the tee, and it wasn’t that way back when Bryson DeChambeau was threatening to deliver a 48-inch driver to the Masters in hopes of utilizing it to hold extra hazards and provides himself shorter pictures into the tough greens.

Now the chance of you having to fret about bringing an extra-long driver to the Masters is kind of low, the strict restrict of 48 inches does apply to all golf equipment for all golfers, besides the putter. (Enjoyable reality, there’s additionally a restrict set for minimal size at 18 inches.)

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So in case you are in search of some further distance and wish to begin with an extended driver, be sure to get your measurements proper to remain inside the guidelines so that you don’t get dinged for having a non-conforming membership.

Vital observe: The USGA and R&A have very clear exceptions for golfers that require modified gear due to a incapacity, so in case you are making modifications to a membership for the aim of serving to a golfer with a incapacity make a golf swing, you do not need to fret about any further size added to the golf equipment.

4. Watch these grooves

Most wedges made earlier than 2010 now have grooves which are non-conforming.

Ryan Barath

It doesn’t appear that way back, however again in 2010, the brand new guidelines for groove conformity went into place for golfers on the highest ranges {of professional} and beginner golf. This meant any golf equipment, together with irons and wedges, hybrids, and even fairway woods with lofts of 25 levels or extra that had older spec groves had been thought of non-conforming.

The rule went into full impact for any golfer trying to play in USGA and R&A championships in 2014, and it’s scheduled to enter full impact for leisure golfers on Jan. 1, 2024.

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Ryan Barath

There are a few issues to notice right here, with the primary being that in case you are utilizing golf equipment — extra particularly wedges that predate 2010 — there’s a actually good likelihood you’ve already misplaced a variety of efficiency, and it’s most likely value an improve anyway. Secondly, regardless that the rule must be going into impact on Jan. 1 of subsequent 12 months, I anticipate most leisure golfers taking part in of their weekly leagues aren’t actually involved if a taking part in companion remains to be utilizing a set of irons or wedges from 2005.

I’m not saying you don’t have to fret about this, however when you have some guidelines sticklers at your membership or in your common foursome when taking part in for a couple of bucks, you may wish to check your grooves here.

5. Don’t have a screw free

Each a part of your driver should be correctly hooked up to be thought of conforming.

Ryan Barath

Trendy golf golf equipment are filled with adjustability, and with the assistance of a useful torque wrench, it’s straightforward to maneuver loft up or down in addition to transfer weights round to assist dial in ball flight, however simply be sure to put the whole lot again the place you discovered it.

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Ryan Barath

The rationale you wish to ensure that all of the weights are again in place on any membership that’s hole is as a result of if the pinnacle is just not absolutely sealed the golf membership is taken into account non-conforming. The easy take a look at for that is if a string can move via any a part of the membership and are available out of one other space it’s a no-no. Vital observe: Putters are exempt from this rule.

If this occurs since you overlook to place the weights again in your driver earlier than you tee off, you may nonetheless put them again in with out penalty. The identical goes for if a weight or hosel turns into free throughout the course of regular play, you may tighten it again up with out penalty so long as you don’t change the settings within the course of.

6. Sorry, however no bulge

There are limitless quantities of grip choices within the market at the moment, and it doesn’t matter what dimension, texture or materials, there’s something on the market for you — simply be sure to set up them correctly or you might get into hassle.

A full-swing grip should be spherical and never have a bulge or waist.


In response to the Guidelines of Golf: “The grip could also be tapered however should not have any bulge or waist. Its cross‑sectional dimensions measured in any course should not exceed 1.75 inches.” Meaning you may’t create a big reminder utilizing tape underneath your prime or backside hand in your full-swing golf equipment, or create a number of bulge areas to create a recessed waist both.

Vital observe: As soon as once more with reference to grips, the USGA and R&A have clear exceptions for golfers that require modified gear due to a incapacity, so in case you are making modifications to a membership grip for the aim of serving to a golfer with a qualifying incapacity make a golf swing you do not need to fret about modifications made to assist that golfer.

An instance of that is using Velcro on a grip to assist a participant with restricted hand mobility safely maintain the grip to make a swing.

So maintain these guidelines at the back of your thoughts for the subsequent time you’re able to tee it up in a contest setting, as a result of each shot counts and also you don’t need further ones added to your rating due to an gear problem.

Wish to overhaul your bag for 2023? Discover a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Journal and’s senior editor for gear. He has an in depth club-fitting and -building background with greater than 20 years of expertise working with golfers of all ability ranges, together with PGA Tour gamers. Earlier than becoming a member of the employees, he was the lead content material strategist for Tour Expertise Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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Revealed : 2023-07-25 14:44:29

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