Will Golfers Buy "Illegal" Equipment?

By now you've likely heard the re-ignited rumors that TaylorMade or its Adams Golf brand is coming out with "illegal" clubs -- those that don't conform to the USGA's Rules of Golf.

I don't know if this is happening or not, but assuming it does...

Do you think they will sell? 

The argument is people will like how these clubs make the game easier and more enjoyable.

The counter argument is, despite how closely or not players treat golf's other rules, "illegal" equipment is a line most simply won't cross.

Keep in mind, this is not an entirely new idea. Callaway began marketing its nonconforming ERC II driver in the USA back in 2001, but it didn't exactly break any sales records.

That was then, though, and this is now. Technology has taken over.  And so has TaylorMade.

What do you think? Is nonconforming equipment an idea whose time has come?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Commented on

is the Hammer putter a conforming club?

Commented on

I blame the reason most people stop golfing is all the courses are to long when they but them in now.It's ridicules to hit a nice 255yd drive and still be almost 200yds for your second.Make all the clubs so people can play for christ sake its for fun ,non of us will ever be tiger Woods

Commented on

I've been playing golf on an off for 50 years. When I was in my twenties I hit my drives about 220 with persimmon woods. I used blade irons, a bulls eye putter and balata balls. I rarely broke 90. I'm 63 and I driver hit my rocketballz driver with Srixon 2 piece balls 210-230. I haven't shot over 90 in three years and break 80 several times a year, still playing from the white tees. I'm not stronger, faster or better than when I was 25. It's all about the new equipment. I play more now because it's FUN, not frustrating. It's still challenging.

When I can't drive the ball past 200 I will either quit or try an "illegal" driver.

Commented on

I invented the new Polara Golf ball that corrects hooks & slices - did so to help golfers have more fun and suffer less embarrassment. One of the strongest traditions of golf was the technological innovation and advancement of the equipment over time; until the USGA got involved and decided to regulate the game for the good of the game. The fact is traditional golf is a recreational activity, and serious USGA competitive golf is a commercial activity. The two are not connected and shouldn't be. For hundreds of years recreational golfers decided on the rules on the first tee - it should stay that way. For hundreds of years golfers tinkered with their clubs and even invented new types of clubs - it should stay that way. The average USA male golfer shoots 106 and can't drive the ball past 195 yds - why should these guys have to play the game according to the same rules that apply to the Pros? R-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s
Have more fun, play more golf, invite a friend to learn and play golf with you for life.

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I don't compete in golf tournaments, I play recreational golf with friends and family. So basically I couldn't care less if anyone has a problem with me hitting a non conforming driver. Some of you take the game very seriously and wouldn't play with someone like me. In the same regard I do and have turned down several free rounds of golf because I refuse to play with serious, highly competitive golf nazi's...... My driver of choice is a 47" Tom Wishon .90. I love my 400 yard drives and they make the game a LOT of fun.

Commented on

I hope everyone realizes there is a section of golf I'll call Japan only. Non-conforming drivers is the norm. Calaway made clubs for it, as did taylormade, mizuno and Cleveland. In that section is a group of people known as "pros" who play tournaments and hope to be on one of the tours. In a much larger section(the other 99%) is a group of people know as amatuers where conforming to the limitations placed on equipment is not important. They use true game improvement clubs. Not those designed for tour players than watered down or up rather, to a larger size and lighter weight so they can hit them with any decency. They do however still play within the spirit of the game counting strokes, taking penalties as needed(non-club related) and hitting from whichever tee is allowable. So my question is are we so prideful as to turn against one another simply for using a more relaxed set of rules. Amatuers aren't pros. As a side note:the RandA did not agree with the USGA ruling until almost 3 years after it was placed.

Commented on

The USGA has ruined golf in many ways. The ball is out of control and goes much too far. courses become longer, maintenance becomes more extensive, water becomes stressed and the game takes much too long to play.
The assignment of handicaps has changed to be as complex as some of the rules. It seems the make changes for the sake of change. It seemed to start with the PING EYE 2 and now goes through grooves and spacing and the long putter.
I don't use a long putter, I don't use balls of questionable origins (who has to , they are all hot now.) and the grooves in my wedges are what they are. I bought them when they were legal and will use them until i tire of them or wear them out. The former will probably come first. Speaking of rules. is the 14 club rule still relevant. Think how many more clubs could be sold with a number like 15 , or 16 or even 20.
The USGA needs to take a rest.

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I've been learning this game for four years now, and still trying to improve. Am always open for tips, suggestions and advice (appreciate what's given, and discard a lot). My library to date is 82 read books (Swinging into Golf - Ernest Jones, Ben Hogans - Five Lessons, Power Golf, Short Game Simplified, Secrets of Hogans Swing, Jack Nicklaus - Lesson Tee, Hal Irwin - Better Golf, Harvey Penick, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Tom Watson.....etc. etc). Once ball is teed off, no touchy touchy, feely feely until your: on the green. To me that's what is the essence of Golf we have so many different companies producing golf equipment, 3 or 4 clubs a year. It is o wonder the door is open for all these non-conforming clubs. I hit a root with my sasquatch 3 wood cracked my shaft put a replacement I-Drive shaft on it, swings nice and goes well. Don't know if that would be considered a non conforming or not. Any suggestion?

Commented on

Serious sportspeople who play in competitions every week should only play with a legal set of clubs. For the golfers who enjoy going out for the excercise, the scenery and the enjoyment of a social group of golfers like I do every week can use the the illegal clubs. If a set of clubs makes it easier for golfers to enjoy better scores then so be it. It encourages them to keep playing and support the local clubs who depend on green fees. I do not know what all the fuss is about, it only matters what clubs you use if you play in club comps or professionally. Amatuers need all the help they can get.

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I've been building clubs for over 20 years and in the clubhead clone industry there have been a fairly small number of "illegal" clubheads. Even though these clubs are perfectly fine for your average weekend golfer not playing in a league or in a tournament, I've found that almost none are willing to put out the money for clubs that they couldn't use in league or tournament play.

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Will Golfers Buy "Illegal" Equipment?
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