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What Clubs & Equipment Are Illegal in Golf?

While there are no clubs that the USGA considered “banned” or “illegal” in that exact verbiage, there are clubs that do not strictly conform to their general rules of acceptability. That means that some clubs simply are not suitable for professional or competitive play and that they are, in essence, illegal. In fact, only several pieces of equipment have been officially banned from competitive golfing. 

For example, besides knowing which clubs are illegal, you need to be familiar with how many golf clubs you’re allowed to play with, as well as know the suitable characteristics of a golf driver you’re considering for purchase.

It also wouldn’t hurt to check out an article or two on golf wedges explained to see what the appropriate approach wedge loft is. However, let’s first take a closer look at the golf clubs and equipment not strictly legal for you to play with. 

Why are some golf clubs illegal?

Rules of competitive play state that professional golfers are required to use golf clubs that conform with the Rules of Golf prescribed by the United States Golf Association. This leads club and equipment manufacturers to submit their clubs to the USGA for testing in order to be completely certain that their clubs are compliant with all the rules.

While there is no specific list of golf clubs that the USGA has banned, this organization does provide a searchable list of clubs that both succeed and fail to comply with their rules. These rules apply to all types of golf clubs.

All this being said, these rules and lists of banned clubs are important for pros, but can be considered arbitrary for enthusiast amateur golfers looking to enjoy the game and have fun with their friends. 

These rules have been designed to provide as level as possible playing field for professional tournaments and to exclude any edge a player could get from using an illegal club. For all the rest of occasional golfers – use the clubs that suit your style of play and that feel good in the hand.

Don’t pay any attention to minor differences between legal and illegal clubs according to the USGA. Just enjoy the game and explore the legality behind golf for interesting information and some fun tidbits. However, do try to switch to completely legal clubs at a certain point in order to advance your game further with adequate golfing equipment. 

What equipment is banned in golf?

Some equipment has been permanently banned from competitive professional golf, while some has been banned but, interestingly and surprisingly, approved all over again. That is why most legal considerations should be left to the pros, while enthusiasts should just focus on enjoying their time on the grass. But, let’s take a quick look at some of the banned equipment, just for the historical side of it.

Anchor putter

Since the beginning of 2016, this weird-looking but surprisingly-effective putter has been banned from competitive golf. The reason behind this decision is that this putter basically eliminates all the inherent difficulties of the putting swing by allowing for a different technique that many considered not to be a swing, but rather a pendulum-like motion.

Steel shaft

At a certain point in history, even steel shafts on golf clubs were considered illegal and were forbidden for more than 15 years. The reason was the perceived lack of quality over the traditional hickory clubs that were used up to that point. That changed when Bristol Steel succeeded in creating a seamless shaft, allowing these clubs to become superior. 

British ball

Until 1990, it was possible to play with two different sizes of a golf ball, the American one and the British one, which was the smaller one, allowing for easier certain maneuvers than its American counterpart. The decision to ban it came in 1990 when the British variant was no longer deemed suitable for any kind of golf competitions. 

What drivers are illegal in golf?

The United States Golf Association publishes a list of drivers suitable for legal play every week. The main consideration behind making a driver illegal is the flexibility of the driver head. These drivers are deemed non-conforming, and, as such, cannot be used in competitive play.

The reason behind drivers with a flexible head being illegal is that the flexibility allows for an additional kick during the swing, with the subsequent pop giving your shot a greater distance. This is similar to the fact that a hollow baseball bat allows a player to hit a home run more easily.

This measurement of this spring action during a swing is called the coefficient of restitution, or COR. USGA uses different tests to accurately measure this coefficient in order to determine whether or not a driver can be freely used for completely legal play. 

What wedges are illegal in golf?

When it comes to golf wedges, there are several rules on golf wedges that explain whether or not a wedge is legal for standard competitive play. The general rule for all clubs states that any club cannot be substantially different from the customary traditional form and make.

A rule that is more important for wedges is the groove rule originating in 2008. This rule affects all clubs with lofts of 25 degrees and more, which basically means it refers to all the wedges. It banned all wedges with U-shaped grooves, allowing only wedges with V-groove design to be officially used. 

Get the leading 52-degree wedge that is perfectly legal and completely awesome!

If you’re looking to play according to regulations, it’s essential to be familiar with the golf clubs that are legal, as well as those that would be illegal to play with on an official circuit. And, well, while all clubs are perfectly fine to train and play for fun with, some are simply not considered legal to play a golf course with. As it should be – rules are there to be bent, but never broken when it comes to sports. That is why you should turn to BombTech for a legal-but-incredible 52-degree golf wedge for sale. 

BombTech is a company founded by a man with a vision – to bring high-quality golfing equipment and top-of-the-range clubs to everyone looking for a competitive edge either over themselves or other golfers. We make top-shelf equipment at an affordable price. How? Because with BombTech there are no middlemen or women. There’s us, there’s our website, and there's a spot where you click to order. And that’s it – no muss, no fuss

By reducing our overhead as much as humanly possible, we ensure we get equipment of impressive quality at an incredibly affordable price to all our satisfied customers. Visit our website, check out our stock, and order what you like. If it’s not what you imagined it would be, which we doubt, you can return your purchase within 60 days. No need to worry!

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