Thursday, 11 October 2007

Conforming Drivers: is yours legal?

When the R&A decided some years ago to declare certain types of driver (or other woods) illegal, they allowed a long lead-in period for this to take effect, so that although professional tournaments have disallowed such clubs since 2005, it’s only in January 2008 that the decision becomes effective as a Rule of Golf. Bigger clubs and county Golf Unions have already implemented the rule in formal competitions, but it remains to be seen how clubs will enforce it on a day to day (or monthly comp to monthly comp) basis.
The R&A site has lists of clubs that have been officially ruled ‘conforming’ or ‘non-conforming’ and they also provide recommended wording to publicise the rule on club notices. But our club has no stewards nor an elected committee, and the shop staff are far too busy to check equipment. (Anyway, what happens when someone turns up with a club on neither the legal or illegal list?)
You could say that our competitions are informal and that no one is going to worry unduly, but I don’t know anyone out there who’s ever happy to lose, and I know how I would feel if my Saturday four ball was won by someone who’s driver I suspected of being illegal!
The same goes for all those society golf days when a group who are members of more than one club (or none at all) take to the fairways for a day of friendly rivalry. Could make for interesting times if the winner of the longest drive has to be told his favourite club is no longer allowed!
(Thanks to garthimage for posting this photo with a creative commons licence on flickr)

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