Tracker dots on clubface

D-S

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The equipment rules make no possible permission for external attachments on the club face. Period. A club with external attachments on the club face is non-conforming. A club used during a round with the stickers means instant DQ but Rule 4.3a(3) permits their removal and that reverts the status of the club to what it was before the stickers were applied.
Interestingly, if those stickers were applied to the back of the head, not affect performance, not excessively protrude, semi-permanent etc, I see no reason why they wouldn't be pemitted. I'm not aware if anyone has tested these waters for practicality or an RB reaction.
I just looked up 4.3a(3) and it refers to ’Information Gathered Before or During a Round’ - is this the correct rule reference? Shouldn’t it be 4.1a(3)?
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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You keep asking the same question - why aren't they okay because they really don't affect performance. It is nothing to do with performance. No external attachments are permitted - that is the baseline. Then the equipment rules go on to identify some possible exceptions in certain circumstances. And external attachments on the club face are not part of the possible exceptions.
…as in my query of not so long ago about strike spray on the club face (well where else would it be you might ask). As it can give me immediate feedback on precisely where I hit the ball it ain’t allowed…
 

rulefan

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You keep asking the same question - why aren't they okay because they really don't affect performance. It is nothing to do with performance. No external attachments are permitted - that is the baseline. Then the equipment rules go on to identify some possible exceptions in certain circumstances. And external attachments on the club face are not part of the possible exceptions.
I am not querying the rule itself. It is clear in what it says.
I was simply making an observation about the need or justification.
 

Orikoru

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I heard that the stickers could be deemed an extra alignment aid which is why they're not allowed. Same as that Matsuyama one where he'd coloured in some of the grooves with tippex or something.
 

salfordlad

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I just looked up 4.3a(3) and it refers to ’Information Gathered Before or During a Round’ - is this the correct rule reference? Shouldn’t it be 4.1a(3)?
Yes, the rule reference was incorrect (sorry), it should be 4.1a(3).
 
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salfordlad

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I heard that the stickers could be deemed an extra alignment aid which is why they're not allowed. Same as that Matsuyama one where he'd coloured in some of the grooves with tippex or something.
No external attachment is permitted on the face. Period.

Here's something from the USGA F/B Rules site saying marking the face with a sharpie for alignment purposes is not a problem.

Charlie Bollans 24 December 2021

MARKING FACE OF CLUB WITH SHARPIE

Hoping the USGA can clear this one up.

Is drawing a line on the club like this prior to a round legal? (Vertical Sharpie line down middle of iron)

Drawn in permanent marker, prior to playing, not easily removed just with a cloth.

Line is purely on the face and doesn’t extend onto the crown.

Various rules ‘may’ come into play but don’t seem to restrict this in their wording.

decorative markings, temporary substances, modifying performance characteristics,’equipment’ used for alignment.

Equipment rules mention if a substance had been applied to aid the player making a stroke- this is the closest I can find- but that relates to temporary substances

USGA RESPONSE

Why are you putting it there? If you’re doing it to get impact feedback or similar assistance then no go. Purely decorative or even for alignment would be OK.
 

wjemather

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Interestingly, if those stickers were applied to the back of the head, not affect performance, not excessively protrude, semi-permanent etc, I see no reason why they wouldn't be pemitted. I'm not aware if anyone has tested these waters for practicality or an RB reaction.
Surely this would be akin to the age-old practice of applying lead tape, so perfectly acceptable.
 

salfordlad

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Surely this would be akin to the age-old practice of applying lead tape, so perfectly acceptable.
As I said, I don't see anything in the Rules or Equipment Rules that would prevent them going on the back of the club. But lead tape brings different issues I think - it is a structural part of the delivery of specific club specs.
 

Swango1980

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Sure, but how many golfers hit the sweet spot? :)

Is it not more of a case that, rather than having to treat every single thing that could be stuck to a club face separately, it is easier to have a blanket rule regarding the club face? That way, you don't need to argue how performance may or may not be impacted upon. The rule simply says it cannot be done.
 

rulie

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clubchamp98

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Those lines are not "attachments", they are etched into the metal. And I'm very certain that the club manufacturer (and the player) would have confirmed with the USGA, before use, that the club was still conforming to the Equipment Rules.
They look like his child has drawn them at school.
the middle ones not level or straight. It’s not the same colour paint as the others.
They certainly don’t look etched in.
they look like he’s just drawn them on , I am suprized they are legal.
 

rulie

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clubchamp98

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rulie

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It does say several times the lines have been added.??

Still a bit surprising these are allowed.!

Just a thought if others had the dots etched on would they be legal.?
Not sure? You can read/download the Equipment Rules here:
 

cliveb

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Explained by the USGA in post #26.
So...

No kind of "tape or similar substance" can be applied to the face "for any purpose".
But it's ok to draw lines with a Sharpie.
In that case, instead of using adhesive dots, if we draw white dots on with a white Sharpie, presumably that would be ok?
 
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