Is Japan firing the first serious shot at the U.S. Golf Association and Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, in regards to those associations’ grip on golf equipment rules?
At first glance that might appear to be the case, but in true golf industry style, the Japan Golf Goods Association’s stance is a bit muddled.
The JGGA this week issued a statement supporting the distribution of non-conforming golf equipment. Non-conforming golf equipment basically is any piece of equipment – club or ball – that does not meet USGA and R&A specifications in the Rules of Golf.
“JGGA believes that it is desirable for the stimulation of the golf market to have a wide variety of golf equipment available in the market from which all types of golfers may choose in order to find one that really fits their respective purposes and needs, hoping that more and more golfers will enjoy playing golf as a result of such improvement in the golf equipment market,” the statement said.
Here’s where it gets ambiguous.
“From this point of view,’’ the statement said, “JGGA has left it to the judgment of each member company whether to manufacture and/or sell golf equipment that doesn’t fully conform to the specifications set forth in the Rules of Golf promulgated by R&A.”
Sounds pretty much like business as usual.
But judge for yourself. Here’s the complete text: