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There is some growing sentiment that the PGA Tour may elect to defer an upcoming change in equipment rules. The potential maelstrom centers around a change in the volume size of grooves found in irons. In August of 2008, the United States Golf Association (USGA)
announced revisions to the Rules of Golf, placing new restrictions on the cross sectional area and edge sharpness of
golf club grooves. The difference is
literally the equivalent of splitting hairs to
the naked eye. The USGA’s position
regarding the impending revisions are
designed to restore the challenge of
playing shots to the green from the rough
by reducing backspin on those shots.
The initial focus of the new rules will be
competitions involving highly skilled
professional golfers, in other words the
Tour, and would have little impact on the
play of most golfers, according to the
USGA. However, the PGA Tour policy
board is expected to deliberate whether
it will move forward with the changes
which are slated to take place on January
1, 2010. The basic premise for the
potential push back, should it be
successful is that Tour players haven’t
had time to experiment with the new
design since they are in the midst of
season long campaign and its unlikely
many of them are aware of how this may
affect their game once its been mandated
to be implemented. The policy board is
expected to decide whether it will
proceed forward as planned next year
within the next 24 to 48 hours.
However, in the meantime one equipment company that has experience with the topic is speaking out in advance of the
Tour’s decision. PING Chairman & CEO
John Solheim, who has adamantly
opposed the USGA