Ultimate Long Drive – Club / CT Testing Policy

United States Golf Association

CT Testing Pendulum

What Is CT Testing?

The test procedure and device for testing the flexibility or spring-like effect of a golf club was developed by the USGA. The USGA is the sole owner of the technology.

The measurement called Characteristic Time is most often referred to as CT Testing. The technology measures the length of time the golf ball remains in contact with the club head in microseconds. The specification is 239 microseconds with a tolerance of 18 microseconds. 

Why Club Testing Is Necessary

In effort to maintain fairness among players, CT Testing is a necessary process. It is a known fact that some clubs become “hotter” with use. They may be within spec when received from the manufacturer and go out of spec with varying levels of use. Higher swing speeds put more stress on the clubface technology and may create an out-of-spec situation. This situation is not unique to long drive. It is being experienced on the PGA Tour. In short, driver club heads have a life expectancy that varies with speed and use. A player with 120 mph club head speed compared to one with 145 mph club head speed will affect life expectancy differently. 

Who Can Test Clubs?

CT Testing is the sole responsibility of the USGA. No other entity is currently licensed to test clubs for competition. The USGA is the only organization qualified to ensure testing is done uniformly avoiding issues related to calibration, user error, and misuse. 

Ultimate Long Drive Club Testing

The USGA will attend random Ultimate Long Drive events each year to do random club testing. No announcement will be made regarding specific events. 

More About The USGA CT Testing Procedure

You can read more about the USGA procedure for CT Testing HERE.