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USGA Proposes Clubhead Controls

FAR HILLS, N.J. - The United States Golf Association has distributed to manufacturers an updated proposal to limit the head size and length of golf clubs. After receiving pertinent comments from manufacturers and considering them, the USGA may alter this proposal. If adopted as outlined here, these limits would become effective at the next quadrennial update to the Rules of Golf that will take effect on January 1, 2004.
This proposal updates previous ones made by the USGA in December of 2001 and January of 2002. It also reflects the results of discussions held with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland during the past 18 months. Through these consultations, the two governing bodies have joined together to formulate identical proposals in their respective jurisdictions.
The USGA proposes to limit clubhead size volume to 460 cc plus 10 cc for measurement tolerance as well as enact two dimensional controls on club heads.
The first dimensional control will limit the length between the clubhead heel and toe to 5 inches. The second dimensional control will set a limit of 2.8 inches on the height between the sole and the crown of the clubhead. Both dimensional controls will be measured with the clubhead at a 60-degree lie angle and include an allowance for measurement tolerance.
Based on clubs already submitted to the USGA, all clubheads measuring less than the 460 + 10 cc volume limit also have length and height dimensions less than the proposed limits.
'The USGA believes the use of both volume and dimensional controls will effectively define the size limitations,' USGA Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge said.
The USGA also proposes to limit club length to 48 inches. The measurement method would likewise be made with the club in a 60-degree lie angle. Putters would be the only clubs excluded from this length limitation.