We want your feedback regarding a press release issued by the USGA
At Hireko we make every attempt to make all our models conform to the Rules of Golf. Most people don’t know that submission of product to the USGA (or the R&A Rules Limited) is totally on a voluntary basis. After all this is a gentleman’s game and it up to the manufacturers to follow the rules, just like it is for golfers to follow the rules on the course.
It used to be practice we would only submit product that we thought that might be questionable to a particular rule. But with advent of the rule to test for spring effect and subsequently the need for a Conforming Driver Head list, all that has changed. There is a possibility that in the near future that published lists for fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters may soon exist too. Therefore to be on these lists will require manufacturers to pay the USGA to have their clubs tested.
Stricter rules are now in place for 2010 regarding grooves, along with changes on what can be sent (full sets versus a single or representative sample of an iron set) or assembled in some cases when it used to be just the clubhead. Designing a new golf club now has been longer as a result of all the due diligence in preparing to meet all the testing protocol guidelines.
In a press release just issued by the USGA, the organization will begin charging manufacturers to test their equipment to determine if it conforms to the Rules of Golf. This valuable policy of testing equipment has always been a free service in the past (other than golf balls).
Just going through and adding up how much it would cost for all our new for 2009 clubhead models to be tested; I stopped at $7000. While this might not sound like a huge amount of money, some one must pay it in one way or another. For a large manufacturer with a limited product line, this added cost can easily be absorbed. But for smaller companies with much more extensive products lines, it may require companies to rethink their policies.
Do you think Hireko should continue to send all our products in for testing into the USGA and pay them for the service? If you say yes, then realize that we must pass part of that cost onto you (or your customers).
Or do you think, heck with that, golf equipment is expensive as it is? Most golfers don’t have an established handicap so why should they care, plus we like the fact you have such an extensive product line and don’t want to see it shrink.
Let us know your thoughts…