The R&A has announced the publication of a List of Driver Heads that will conform to the new Rule limiting ‘spring-like’ effect to be introduced from 1 January 2008. Driver heads which currently conform to the Rules of Golf, but which will become non-conforming on 1 January 2008 as a result of the new Rule, are not included on the List.
Work began on the development of this List a year ago, after a formal proposal received enthusiastic support from the professional yours, the R&A’s affiliated unions and equipment manufacturers. The List, which has been compiled and refined in close collaboration with manufacturers, will be an essential guide for golfers preparing for the 2008 Rule – whether it be to ascertain the status of their current driver or to help them in their future purchasing decisions. There are approximately 1,700 models, dating back to 1999, on the List at the current time. A club manufactured before 1999 is considered to be conforming and on the List unless specifically ruled otherwise. The R&A already publishes a list of driving clubs that will become non-conforming in 2008.
Commenting on the launch of this List, the R&A’s Director of Rules and Equipment Standards, David Rickman, said, “The publication of this List should help ease the transition towards the 2008 Rule change. We are appreciative of the support that we have received from manufacturers and we are confident that this List will be of assistance to the golfing public.”
The List will be updated weekly and will be maintained jointly with the United States Golf Association. It can be accessed from The R&A’s website www.randa.org by following the links to ‘Rules’, ‘Equipment’ and ‘Driving Clubs’. A publicity campaign to increase awareness of the List is planned for individual golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland and via the R&A’s 125 affiliated unions worldwide.
The decision to introduce a limit on the ‘spring-like’ effect of driving clubs was first announced in August 2002 and the R&A introduced a test in January 2003. Since 2003, the Rules have allowed committees to introduce a ‘Condition of Competition’ requiring driving clubs to comply with the 2008 Rule. Initially, this condition was only used in professional events, but in recent years it has been used in top amateur events. From 1st January 2006 until 31st December 2007, the condition will be revised to allow a committee to require driving clubs to have a head which is detailed on the List of Conforming Driver Heads. For most competitions and all recreational play, the use of this condition is not recommended.