The R&A has announced a change to the Rules of Golf regarding additional forms of club adjustability, effective from 1st January, 2008. All new forms of adjustability must be approved in advance by The R&A and adjustments during a round will continue to be disallowed as at present.
The Rules of Golf currently state that woods and irons must not be designed to be adjustable, except for weight. In March 2005, The R&A first indicated an interest in allowing more types of adjustable features on woods and irons and in February 2007, a proposed Rule change was published for review and comment. The R&A has decided to adopt the proposal after careful consideration of comments from manufacturers and other interested parties.
“We believe that the Rule change regarding club adjustability will create opportunities for both manufacturers and golfers alike, without diminishing the challenge of the game,” said David Rickman, R&A Director of Rules and Equipment Standards.
“Top professional golfers have long had the opportunity to have their clubs adjusted or modified quickly and often. This has allowed them to ‘fit’ their clubs to their swings as they wished. By changing the Rules to permit greater club adjustability, all golfers will have the opportunity to enjoy similar fitting benefits” added Rickman.
The new Rule will state the following:
“All clubs may incorporate mechanisms for weight adjustment. Other forms of adjustability may also be permitted upon evaluation by The R&A.
The following requirements apply to all permissible methods of adjustment:
(i) the adjustment cannot be readily made;
(ii) all adjustable parts are firmly fixed and there is no reasonable likelihood of them working loose during a round; and
(iii) all configurations of adjustment conform with the Rules.
During a stipulated round, the playing characteristics of a club must not be purposely changed by adjustment or by any other means (see Rule 4-2a).”
There is no change to the Rules for putters, which are already permitted to incorporate other forms of adjustability as well as for weight.
An announcement on the 2008 Rules of Golf, including the principal changes to the “playing Rules”, will be made at the end of October / early November.