For the love of the sport

What Makes Illegal Golf Drivers Unfair To Use In Tournaments?

What kinds of advantages do illegal golf drivers give you on the course? Here's a closer look into the reasons why they're banned from competitive play.


You’re going to find that there are some pretty strict rules regarding what types of clubs you can actually use if you’re going golfing, and you’re going to be doing so in an officially sanctioned tournament.  Whether you’re playing in something to do with the PGA or other local branches, you have to make sure that you’re not using illegal golf drivers if you want to play fairly and adhere to the rules. But there are a lot of standards that dictate which types of clubs are actually illegal so it can be hard to figure out what you need to avoid.

While you don’t have to become an expert in the sport, there are plenty of ways that you can feel out whether or not a particular type of driver is going to be illegal or not.  There are just a few things you want to look at in the construction of the clubs, as well as with the actual settings for your loft and how the club is set up for you to hit the ball.  Adhering to these standards is a necessity, otherwise you’re using illegal golf drivers and that just won’t do.

1) What are some factors that can eliminate a club?

The USGA determines the standards that will limit what type of club you can actually use, and they formed their last revisiting of those rules in 2004 in which it was investigated as to what standards golf equipment would have to adhere to.  You’ll find that this includes several factors, but here are some that tend to be the biggest issues when you’re choosing golf gear:

-Club spring

You’ll find that illegal golf drivers are going to offer a lot more spring, usually because normal types aren’t allowed to do this. Any type of spring from the driver itself is considered an illegal advantage, because then the driver is doing a lot of the work for you.

-Loft

Currently 10.5 loft is banned because of the angle at which it allows you to play the ball being too advantageous.  This is why you have to go with clubs that conform to the rules instead, and you have to choose those that have lofts that are not on the non conforming list.

-Size

You’ll find that a lot of drivers for beginners are made with especially big club heads so that it’s a lot easier for you to hit the ball with them.  However, these usually are not legal drivers because of that, as they have to conform to certain size standards if they are going to be considered legal for use on the course.

2) Who makes non conforming golf drivers?

You’ll find that these are actually made by just about everyone, as they are commonly used for private purposes, or they just come out being ignorant of a rule only to be adjusted later.  But a lot of the time illegal golf drivers can be fun, and a lot of people like to use them in their personal lives just to get that bit of a boost, and there’s no problem when you’re not playing seriously.

That’s where you can actually find a non conforming golf driver from just about any major manufacturer.  Whether you’re going with companies like Titleist or King Cobra, they both make quite a few models that are not conforming with the USGA’s standards.  But you will fin that if you try out USGA non conforming drivers from these companies and you find you really like them, they usually do have conforming versions for sale as well.  This way you can split the difference, and go with something that still feels familiar, even if you have to get used to the difference performance.

3) How can you keep on top of illegal golf drivers?

Of course, new drivers come out all the time that do not conform to the standards of the USGA and staying on top of this when you’re a serious competitor is a necessity.  That’s where you can always count on having an updated list right at USGA.org.  They provide you with listings on the golf clubs that you’re not able to use as sanctioned events, as well as the markings on the clubs that you can use to determine if you have a non conforming version.

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