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It’s Official: USGA Proposing Groove, Club Adjustability Rules

Feb. 27, 2007     By     Comments (2)

As we surmised a couple days ago, the USGA is officially proposing a change to club grooves. If you're a "skilled" player and play in competitions, say goodbye to your irons and wedges in two years.

Groove CloseupThe USGA today announced it is proposing two new rules changes. The first will revise grooves, the second will relax rules on adjustability so clubs can be better fitted to players.

The proposed groove revision would require all clubs to be made to this standard after January 1, 2010. However, the USGA will recommend a "Condition of Competition" go into effect January 1, 2009 that would allow committees to require newly conforming clubs in events for "highly skilled players."

The new adjustability rule would go into effect January 1, 2008. Right now the rule only allows changes in weight. Thus, the new rule would likely make adjusting lofts, lies, or shaft flex possible, just not during a "stipulated round."

If you'd like to discuss this, you can do so in the comments of this post, in our forum, or in the comments of this week's Bag Drop on the grooves issue.

Discussion

  1. Interesting to see what club designers will come up with to take advantage of the new adjustibility rule. As for the grooves, this is actually a pretty good way to make a change that will impact highly skilled players (eg, the Tour) without hurting average players (who can't control or generate that much spin out of hte rough anyway).

    I'd much rather see them change the grooves than roll back the ball or impose more limits on drivers. Maybe this will put a little more of a premium on accuracy off the tee (or maybe not).

  2. Jack Waddell says:

    Interesting to see what club designers will come up with to take advantage of the new adjustibility rule.

    And that's indeed an interesting point. It would seem the proposed adjustibility rule may be something of a compromise or quid pro quo offer by the USGA to club makers.

    On the one hand, they're saying to manufacturers, "you're going to have to change your tooling and manufacturing process at great expense" and on the other hand saying, "this new adjustability rule would let you dream up all kinds of nifty ways to design and sell new products."

    It's going to be extremely interesting to see the industry's reaction to these proposals.

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