Ten Drivers

Frank,

We have had a lot of discussion about long putters lately. My question is what about the new drivers? A player can adjust his club while playing. His lofts, shots left to right or right to left. Is this not an advantage over his opponents? Is this the way the game is meant to be  played?

–Art

Art,

Appendix II 1 b. Adjustability  states in part “During a stipulated round the playing characteristics of  club must not be purposely changed by adjustment or by any other means. (See rule 4-2a)”

I think that adjustability is a good thing for fitting purposes but in some cases golfers do more harm than good by continually tinkering and adjusting their driver.

Art, the game is not meant to be played by adjusting your clubs during a round as it will reduce the challenge and contribute to slow play. In fact, you would be in violation of the rule limiting us to 14 clubs – adopted in 1939 –  if you were able to adjust for any occasion. Just imagine, if could adjust your driver to ten different positions you would have the equivalent of 23 clubs in your set.

When I was Technical Director of the USGA I resisted allowing adjustability for some time because an adjustable club invites the golfer to adjust it during a round even if he knows the rule, which does not permit adjustment.

Today there are ingenious socket designs, which make it obvious, when a golfer decides to mess with his clubs on the course during a round but at the same time make it easier for the club fitter  to do his thing more effectively.

I am still concerned that the rule not permitting anchoring is ambiguous but pleased to see that the USGA has at last turned to the integrity of the golfer to monitor himself  enforce this rule.

Hope this clears things up a little.

Frank