Unlike the current test, which must be administered at the USGA Research and Test Center and requires the club to be taken apart, the portable test will require only a low speed strike to the clubface by a small weight on a pendulum.
''We are optimistic about the advantages of this new measuring technique,'' USGA senior technical adviser Dick Rugge said. ''It is both portable and accurate.''
USGA executive director David Fay said there were no plans to use the portable test at any of its championships.
What remains to be seen is whether it will be used at PGA Tour events.
Some players quietly question whether drivers that meet USGA standards are the same ones used in competition.
''They send one club in to get it tested, then come out with another club with a little more pop,'' David Toms said. ''They're all pushing the envelope.''
He recommends an on-site test every week, noting that a NASCAR victory isn't official until the car passes an inspection.
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