The R&A have been testing drivers this week at The Open
Rory McIlroy Suggests TaylorMade “Singled Out” In R&A Driver Checks
The R&A have been testing the drivers of many of the world’s top players at The Open this week. Chief Executive of The R&A, Martin Slumbers, revealed the tournament organisers requested that players submit their drivers for CT (characteristic time) testing – effectively to find out whether, as a driver wears, it breaks the rules that limit the spring-like effect of the face.
The Golf Channel revealed that 30 players had arrived at Carnoustie with letters stating they should bring their drivers to be inspected by 5pm on Tuesday. A reported seven major champions were on the list of 30 names and we know that Rory McIlroy wasn’t one of them.
However, the four-time major winner was speaking to the media on Wednesday and revealed that whilst he wasn’t on the list, many players using his brand, TaylorMade, were.
“No, I wasn’t selected. I did have a look at the board and see who was selected. I think there was one manufacturer that was singled out a bit more than anyone else.
“The one that I’m using,” he said when asked which manufacturer was singled out.
“A manufacturer is always going to try and find ways to get around what the regulations are. It’s a bit of an arms race.
“I understand why they’re testing equipment. If there is some drivers out there that have went a little bit over the limit, then, obviously, guys shouldn’t be playing them.”
“I think the manufacturers are smart enough to know not to try to push it too much. I’d be very surprised if they found anything this week.”
Whilst McIlroy hinted that TaylorMade drivers were the most prominent on the list, that may well be because five of the top 10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour use TaylorMade drivers – more than any other manufacturer.
10 of the world’s top 20 players currently use a TaylorMade driver, with three of them, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, not currently under contract.
Chief Executive of the R&A Martin Slumbers said of the driver testing, “We take our governance role very seriously, not just on the rules of golf and amateur status, but also equipment standards, and we felt it was an appropriate next step to more actively seek to test players’ drivers straight out of the bag.”
Slumbers revealed that the R&A had done the same thing at a Japanese tour event earlier this year and explained why the testing had been done this week.
“It’s driven by us just trying to keep moving the Championship forward and making it more complete and making sure that there is a service provided to ensure that the players are going out there with clubs that are conforming.”
“We wanted to make sure that we didn’t have drivers going out there that are above the CT limit.”