Royal & Ancient Golf Club sets COR limit at .830 for British Open

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced Oct. 1 that it will limit the spring-like effect on drivers at next year’s British Open to bring the tournament in line with the other three majors.

The R&A said the move is designed to achieve some uniformity after complaints that improvements in technology, such as thin-faced, so-called “hot” drivers, were giving some players an unfair advantage (Golfweek, Aug. 17).

The R&A said it had introduced a condition of competition limiting the “coefficient of restitution” – how quickly the ball springs from the club face – to .830. Any player not abiding by the rule will be disqualified.

This condition will apply to all stages of next year’s Open Championship, including the regional and final qualifying competitions.

However, the R&A decided not to introduce such a condition at any of its amateur events in 2003. Therefore, there will be no spring-like effect test or COR limit at R&A amateur championships (i.e. the Amateur Championship, the Seniors Open Amateur Championship, the British Mid-Amateur Championship and the Boys Amateur Championship) and R&A-run international amateur team matches (i.e. the Boys Home Internationals, the Jacques Leglise Trophy and the Walker Cup).

“The decision to introduce the COR limit on driving clubs at next year’s Open Championship is an important step towards achieving a return to uniformity in the equipment rules at the highest level,” said Peter Dawson, secretary of the R&A.

“However, such a limit is not thought to be appropriate at this time for our amateur events.”

The British Open will be July 17-20 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England.

The R&A makes the rules of golf for everywhere in the world except the United States and Mexico, which fall under the jurisdiction of the USGA.

Until the previous R&A ruling, players could use the thin-faced drivers at the British Open and World Golf Championships events held overseas, but not on the PGA Tour or at the three American majors – the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

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