Just like any other sport, Golf also has its own rules, formulated to promote fair play and to maintain the discipline of the game. The USGA and R&A have formulated various rules with reference to the clubs, golf course, golf ball, golf course gloves, etc.
Since the topic is too broad and it’s difficult to discuss everything in a single article so we’ll limit our discussion only up to the Putters.
Related Post: Standard Length of A Golf Club: USGA Rules
The putter is a golf club that you would use the most frequently than any other club. The USGA rules with reference to a putter come under the following heads:-
- Club Face
Let us understand each of them in detail…….
All images and information shared in this post are only for educational purpose and sourced from USGA rules book
USGA RULES: CLUBS
In the game of golf, the golf clubs are the devices designed to hit or strike the ball. Each of these clubs has its own design and specialty that is needed by a golfer at a particular point in the game. Broadly, golf clubs types can be divided into the following three categories:-
- A Wood
- An Iron and
- A Putter
A wood in golf is a club that is designed to hit the longest shots. It is also the longest club which you can keep in your golf bag. The Wood has a long shaft, large hollow head, and with the least loft. 1-Wood is called the driver, 3-Wood is called a fairway wood while the woods with higher degrees loft such as 7,9 and 11 are called utility woods.
Iron in golf is the club with a sleek head. Generally, made of steel or alloys of steel. These are used to hit shots from 100up to 150m. Irons come in a number from 1 to 9 and even in color dots(in case of Ping irons). Iron can be further divided into wedges and wedges into four types— pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. The
Another club is the hybrid which is the combination of a Wood and Iron.
As per the definition, the putter is a club whose loft cannot be more than 10 degrees. However, the negative loft is permitted but it should be strictly within 15 degrees.
The Equipment Rules in golf do not differentiate much between the Wood and Iron but for Putters, the story is not the same. The maximum flexibility is given in rules to Putters and there are many rules for which Putters are the exception.
USGA RULES: LENGTH, SHAFT, and ALIGNMENT
As per the USGA rules, the length is defined as “the distance from the point of intersection of two planes to the top of a grip.” Here the point of intersection between two planes means the point where the putter touches the ground.
The process of measurement of length for putters varies as per the design of a putter. There could be two possibilities:
We can understand the process by the following diagram:
- A Putter with the shaft attached to the clubhead: When the shaft of the putter is attached directly to the clubhead then the length is measured along the axis of the shaft(the line at the top of the grip) to the sole.
- A Putter with the shaft attached to the hosel(neck): When the shaft of the putter is attached to the neck, the measurement does not follow the axis of the bend but will be taken by extending the straight-line extension of the shaft.
Rule for Length
In general, the maximum length of a golf club should not exceed 48 inches and the minimum length should be 18 inches but there are no such restrictions for the length of putters in particular.
- I) The rule for alignment is that when the club is positioned normally the projection of the straight part of the shaft should diverge 10° from the vertical plane through the sole of the club. If the putter’s design is such that a player plays with it nearly close to the vertical position then, in that case, the shaft has to be diverged by 25°.
- The projection of the straight part of the shaft must not diverge from the vertical by more than 20° forwards 10° backward along the intended line of play.
USGA RULES: GRIP
A grip is any material that is added to the shaft to have a firm hold over the club.
Golf Ruling for the Grip
The grip should be fixed, plain, extend up to the end of the shaft, and shouldn’t be molded for any part of the hand. The minimum length of the grip is 7 inches.
The non-circular grips are not allowed for any club except putters. Even in the case of putters, the grip can be non-circular but shouldn’t have any cavity or bulge, must be symmetrical and similar throughout the length of the grip.
Two grips are not permitted for any club except putter. The putter with two grips must meet the following conditions:
- The two grips must-have circular cross-sections. One circular and another non-circular is not permissible.
- The two grips must be separated from each other by at least 1.5 inches otherwise they would be considered as a single grip.
- If the two grips are touching each other then the transitions between the two-sections must smooth. No bulge or overlapping is allowed.
USGA RULES: CLUBHEAD
The clubhead is the lowest part of a golf club which is used to strike the ball. Clubhead head is the only part that comes in direct contact with the ball.
Golf Ruling for the Clubhead
Plain in shape
The clubhead must be plain in shape and it must not resemble any other object other than the golf club. However, some flexibility is allowed for putters. Clubhead with a shape resembling other objects will be considered as non-conforming.
Holes Through the Face
Holes through the face is not allowed for any putter.
Holes Through the Head
Holes through the face are not allowed for wood but it is permissible for irons and putters with some conditions.
Furrows and Runners
Furrows and runners are allowed for putters as long as they do not have a depth of more than 0.25 inches.
USGA RULES: CLUB FACE
The club’s face must be rigid and hard. The face must not impart any more or less spin to the ball than a standard iron face. There are some exceptions for a putter in this category as well. The club must have a smooth face except for such markings which are allowed in the rule booklet.
The general specifications related to roughness, marking and the material do not apply for a putter but a putter must be free from such markings that have sharp edges and elevated lips.
To read the complete rules of USGA and R&A related to equipment kindly, to through the following link
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