Club / Groove Restrictions

Frequently Asked Questions

Conforming Golf Club List

Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB) will not be implementing any restrictions on the types of grooves, or the cross sectional area and edge sharpness of golf club grooves, used by players for any of its championships in 2014.  

Players wishing to compete in the Canadian Men’s & Women`s Amateur Championships, must be aware that restrictions WILL apply and should review the following information released by Golf Canada;

The Golf Canada Rules Committee has reviewed our initial position with regard to the new groove regulations for clubs (2010 position on next page). Over the past months, this Committee has collected and reviewed information from others to determine their plans to implement the new groove specifications for elite amateur events in 2014 (USGA, R&A, NCAA Men's and Women's, state organizations). The Rules Committee recently approved the following:

Introduce the groove condition of competition for the 2014 Canadian Men's Amateur and the 2014 Canadian Women's Amateur. This does not include the qualifying events for these Amateurs (provincial amateur championships).

Introduce the groove condition of competition at all other championships (Canadian Men's Mid-Am, Canadian University/College Championship, Canadian Men's and Women's Seniors, CN Future Links, Canadian Women's Tour) beginning in 2016.

Golf Canada will use the conforming club lists prepared by the R&A and USGA for clubs manufactured prior to 2011. We will not be testing on site.

Position on the New Groove Regulations for Clubs (Released in 2010)

Golf Canada in affiliation with the R&A and the United States Golf Association are revising the Rules of Golf, placing new restrictions on the cross sectional area and edge sharpness of golf club grooves. The revisions are designed to restore the challenge of playing shots to the green from the rough by reducing backspin on those shots. The initial focus of the new Rules will be competitions involving highly skilled professional golfers and will have little impact on the play of most golfers.

The Rules control the cross sectional area of grooves on all clubs, with the exception of drivers and putters, and limit groove edge sharpness on clubs with lofts equal to or greater than 25 degrees (generally a standard 5-iron and above).

The Rules apply to clubs manufactured after January 1, 2010. Clubs manufactured prior to January 1, 2010 that conform to current regulations will continue to be considered conforming to the Rules of Golf until at least 2024. This includes clubs purchased after that date from manufacturers' existing model ranges. So long as these clubs continue to be conforming they may be used for establishment and maintenance of a Golf Canada Handicap Factor.

It is intended that the new Rules will be introduced as a Condition of Competition at top professional-level events from January 1, 2010 and at top amateur level and in other professional events from January 1, 2014. In accordance with this schedule, beginning on January 1, 2010, Golf Canada, in conjunction with the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour, will enforce the new regulations through a Condition of Competition for the RBC Canadian Open, CN Canadian Women’s Open and each of their respective qualifying events. The Condition will not be in effect at CN Women’s Tour events prior to 2014. It is anticipated that Golf Canada amateur championships will apply the new regulations through the Condition of Competition, after January 1, 2014.

A summary of this phased introduction – and how it affects each category of golfer – is included below:




Jan 1, 2010

New specifications introduced on club-face markings.

All new models of clubs launched after January 1, 2010.  Existing models of clubs will continue to conform to the Rules of Golf.

Jan 1, 2010

Condition of Competition will be available to Committees requiring players to use clubs with markings which conform to the new specifications.

Strongly recommended that this Condition should be introduced only on the major Professional Tours. 
All other golfers, playing in competitions where this condition has not been introduced, can and should be permitted to continue to use old model clubs which do not satisfy the new specifications.

Jan 1, 2014

Condition of Competition will continue to be available to Committees.

Strongly recommended that this Condition should be extended only to lower level Professional events and expert level amateur events.
Club level golfers can and should be permitted to continue to use old model clubs, which do not satisfy the new specifications.

Jan 1, 2024

Earliest date that the Rules will be applied to clubs manufactured prior to 2010.  This date will be reviewed in 2020 and may be extended.

All players, all abilities, all forms of play.