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Test for illegal equipment does not completely satisfy Woods

Published Sep. 1, 2005

Don't tell Tiger Woods there are not players on tour using "hot" drivers. He knows better.

The PGA Tour's decision to start testing for illegal equipment is a good first step, Woods said Wednesday. But he wishes more could be done.

"The PGA Tour has taken a step in the right direction and I'm happy about that," Woods said after a pro-am at the Western Open. "It's just a matter of making sure that the game is preserved, it's policed.

"It's the greatest game in the world, and I want to see it stay that way."

Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced Tuesday that beginning in January, a portable device will be available at all tour stops so players can measure the springlike effect of their drivers, letting them know for sure if they are "hot" or not.

Thanks to technological advances, golf has seen monstrous leaps in distance in recent years. But some _ Woods included _ are worried technology is crossing the legal line.

At issue is a physics term called the "coefficient of restitution" (COR), which measures how quickly a ball springs off the face of a club at impact. When the face is ultra thin, it allows for more of a trampoline effect.

Golf's ruling bodies last year set the limit at 0.83 for pro tours.

For now, the only way to tell for certain if a driver is "hot" is to send the club to the USGA Research and Test Center, where it is taken apart and analyzed.

"I don't think any player would willingly use an illegal club, I honestly don't," U.S. Open champ Jim Furyk said. "But if they are and that gets found out, their career is done, it's over, from a respect issue. I don't think players would do that."

Woods said he knows one player who uses an illegal club. He has not reported the player, but has talked to him about it.

"Just watching his ball come off the face, you can just tell," he said.