PGA EuroPro Tour adopts groove rule

PGA EuroPro Tour adopts groove rule

January 21st, 2014

The PGA EuroPro Tour has fallen into line with other leading tours across the globe by adopting the rule relating to grooves.

Guidelines issued by the R&A, the game’s ruling body, recommended the Condition of Competition, take effect from January 1, 2014, for organisers of satellite tours, including therefore the PGA EuroPro Tour.

The rule has been in effect on major worldwide tours such as the European Tour, Ladies European Tour and European Senior Tour since January 1, 2010.

By adopting the recommendations and introducing the Condition of Competition on its ‘Hard Card’ for 2014, all events administered by the PGA EuroPro Tour from 15 April 2014 will require professionals to use clubs which conform to these rules.

PGA head of tournaments, Simon Higginbottom commented on the adoption of the Condition of Competition.

He said: “The PGA EuroPro Tour has taken the step to adopt the Condition of Competition in order to support the level playing field that exists at this level of competition and higher and to ensure that PGA EuroPro Tour players are as well prepared as possible as they progress in the game.

“By ensuring their equipment conforms over the next few weeks and months PGA EuroPro Tour members will have certainty that they will not be in breach of the Rules at any events going forward, regardless of where that event may be staged.

“Equally, if any changes of equipment are found to be necessary there is sufficient time before the 2014 playing season to ensure the transition is as manageable as possible and that any testing can be carried out in a timely fashion.”

PGA EuroPro Tour members must ensure that the equipment they use from 15 April 2014 onwards conforms to the Condition of Competition. To that end there are several key facts to keep in mind:

1 – If you have clubs manufactured before 1 January 2010 you will be able to conduct an on-line search at This should highlight whether the club has been tested for conformity by the R&A or USGA and give the results of that test under the “Meets 2010 Groove Specs” column:
i. Yes’. This means the club has been tested and does conform to the Rules. Use of this club is safe and it will not be tested in the future.
ii. ‘No’. This means the club has been tested and does not conform to the Rules. Use of this club would result in a breach of the Condition of Competition.
iii. ‘ATR’. This means that ‘Additional Testing is Required’ to determine conformity. The club should be tested or left out of the bag.
iv. Not listed. The club(s) should be tested or left out of the bag.
Further guidance on how to interpret the database results can be found at

2 – Manufacturers have been generally making new models of clubs which conform to these Rules since 2010. Therefore, new models of clubs manufactured after 1 January 2010 should conform but will not be listed on the database above since this is only for pre-2010 models.

3 – All clubs, excluding the driver and putter, will be subject to the Condition of Competition. This includes individual 1 or 2 irons and wedges, as well as hybrids and fairway woods.

4 – The responsibility for having clubs which conform to the new specification lies with each competitor. In keeping with the self governing spirit of golf, PGA EuroPro Tour Staff will not check your clubs unless this is requested but will investigate any questions raised about conformity, regardless of when such a question is raised.

5 – The penalty for a breach of the Condition of Competition could be disqualification. The same penalty applies in a situation where the conformity of a club used by a competitor is questioned during competition and the club subsequently fails a conformity test.

6 – PGA EuroPro Tour staff will not have the ability to conduct a test for conformity at events, although they are available to help with database searches if required and to facilitate communication with R&A staff.

7 – It is strongly recommended that any doubts about the conformity of clubs be raised well in advance. It can take several days to perform tests.

8 – Higher Ranking events and all stages of their qualifying rounds are likely to be played under this Condition of Competition.

9 – Please be aware that the PGA EuroPro Tour reserves the right to have any club tested at any time, even if this involves the club being sent to the R&A.

When conducting an on-line equipment search, PGA EuroPro Tour members must be sure the club being investigated matches the club referred to in the test data. Additional information to help identification can be found under most entries in the database by clicking ‘Identification Markings’ under the club name.

If a test is required or sought on any club(s), PGA EuroPro Tour members should contact Claire Bates at the R&A at for further guidance. In some instances it may be necessary to send clubs to St Andrews for them to be tested.

Please note this ruling comes into effect on April 15 and therefore does not apply to PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School.

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