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USGA Amends Clubhead Size, Club Length Proposal
by E. Michael Johnson

The U.S. Golf Association has sent a notice to manufacturers informing them of additions and amendments to the Dec. 2001 proposal on clubhead size and club length.

According to the notice, the USGA is recommending that the proposed clubhead size limit, 470cc (460cc + 10cc tolerance), also include limits on heel-to-toe length as well as clubhead sole-to-crown height.

According to the notice, the proposed limit for clubhead length is 5 inches. The proposed limit for clubhead height is 2.8 inches. The clubhead dimensions will be measured with the head positioned at a 60 degree lie angle. According to Dick Rugge, USGA senior technical director, all clubs submitted to the USGA to date that measure less than 470cc in total volume conform.

"This is just a better way to define size," said Rugge. "You can get some odd-looking clubs just by measuring volume and you can get some odd-looking clubs just by measuring heel to toe and sole to crown. This should keep clubs looking plain in shape. Based on feedback we've received, this clarifies things. It's in response to the comments we've received."

Also amended was the proposed club length limit, to 48 inches from the previously proposed 47. Again, Rugge said the proposed change was the result of feedback.

If approved, the USGA would implement the new rules on Jan. 1, 2004, with a one-year grace period for clubs that would not conform that are already in use. Written comments on the proposals will be accepted by the USGA through July 14, 2003.

Unlike the original clubhead size and club length proposal, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has proposed identical limits.


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