Change to the Rules of Golf book 2008 – 2011 in Appendix ll – Design of Clubs, 1b. Adjustability

Following on from my previous blog on the most significant changes to the Rules of Golf, effective since 1st January 2008, I would now like to draw readers’ attention to another change relating to the design of clubs.

Whereas, previously woods (metals) and irons could not be designed to be adjustable, except for weight, the R&A and USGA have now opened the door to permitting other forms of adjustability upon evaluation by these two ruling bodies.

This change has been under consideration for some years and there is no doubt that
there has been pressure from manufacturers and other interested parties, who stand to benefit commercially from the change. It is argued that the changes regarding adjustability can help many golfers obtain clubs that are well suited to their (changing) needs. There is no amendment to the rules regarding putters, which already allow weight and other forms of adjustment.

The change to the Rules of Golf book 2008 – 2011 is in Appendix ll – Design of Clubs, 1b. Adjustability, which now reads;

All clubs may incorporate mechanisms for weight adjustment. Other forms of adjustability may also be permitted upon evaluation by the USGA. 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).

Watch this video displaying a new interesting innovation in adjustable junior shafts, now allowed under the 2008 Rules of Golf. ( does not endorse this product.)

Of course, the last sentence is important. Even if he is carrying a club that is capable of adjustment a player cannot do so during a round of golf. However, it is easy to see how these new clubs could really take on. For example, I am sure there are many players who would like to be able to adjust the balance of their drivers to cope with different wind conditions that they are likely to experience on any given day. It will be interesting to see what the manufacturers come up with.

Barry Rhodes

Visit here for more Rules of Golf questions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this information on the Rules of Golf I am human and have been known to be wrong! Neither I, nor anyone connected with, shall be held responsible for any losses caused by reliance upon the accuracy or reliability of such information. Readers should refer to the full text of the rules and decisions as published in the official publications of the R&A and the USGA, The Rules of Golf 2008-2011 and Decisions on the Rules of Golf 2008-2009.

Leave a Reply