Because golf can be such a difficult game to master, players are always on the lookout for ways to make it easier and some have resorted to tampering with their clubs in order to gain extra distance or extra spin. The R&A and the USGA have regulations in place that govern the construction of clubs and those who wish to adhere to the rules and the spirit of the game, play golf according to these directions. This precludes using golf clubs considered illegal or tampering with golf clubs to gain an unfair advantage.
The regulations cover the materials used, the construction of the club and the kind of grooves that are used on the face of clubs. There are numerous illegal golf clubs out there and many recreational golfers will happily use them because they are not involved in club or amateur competitions of any kind. For those who play golf seriously and participate in tournaments or club competitions, it is imperative that they use only legal golf clubs.
Some want to use drivers with forbidden materials in order to get more spring off the face, giving them added distance off the tee. Others opt for irons deemed illegal due to the groove pattern, designed to impart more spin on the ball. There are also some chippers that are illegal in competition, clubs that are more like putters with extra loft. Illegal clubs are either manufactured as such or are adjusted in some way to make them illegal.
Making adjustments to standard, legal golf clubs can turn them into illegal clubs and some do this again to give their club head more weight in order to gain extra distance. When all is said and done, the key to good golf is the swing and if we feel we need to tamper with clubs or buy illegal ones, it may reveal we need to spend more time on our game. Resorting to the use of illegal clubs reveals a flaw in our golf game and would perhaps indicate that we do not have too much confidence in our own ability to play well.
Illegal clubs may be acceptable within our little golf group where there is nothing at stake. However, when we choose to play in some kind of tournament golf or club competition, we need to conform to the rules of the governing bodies who determine which clubs are illegal. Rather than seek an unfair advantage, we would be better served trying to improve our overall game, ensuring that the scores we post after eighteen holes are genuine. Play by the rules and enjoy!