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|A new USGA rule means most duffers will soon be using clubs with modified V grooves. (Courtesy photo)|
In regard to the WorldGolf.com column "Golf club manufacturers, with help from the USGA, are getting their grooves on" by Kristen Williams:
Golf Chick, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you this time. You can check out the USGA website (http://usga.org) for the specifics of their proposal, but in a nutshell the USGA is proposing to restrict specs on the grooves of golf clubs manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010.
The key for most of us is the fact that they're going to enforce the change in competitions only involving "highly skilled players." I would take that to mean competitions such as the U.S. Amateur, which a golfer must have a handicap of 2.4 or lower to even enter. For the rest of us "hackers" (read that as "not highly skilled"), "for golf clubs already in use and/or manufactured prior to the proposed rule implementation date ... the USGA proposes to allow their use for a lengthy period of time (at least 10 years)."
So that would put us out to beyond 2020 before we "not-so-skilled players" have to really worry about spending the big bucks to buy our next set of clubs. Now, I'm just a golfing hacker, but I for one endorse the change. Why, you ask? I guess I'm just a purist at heart. Hardly a pro golf tournament goes by without a measured long drive of more than 400 yards.
The pros are hitting the golf ball farther than ever, with decreasing accuracy in terms of fairways hit. In other words, they're letting it all hang out, knowing that even if they miss the fairway they can get bite on the ball with their "U" grooves and get it "up and down" from the rough (unless the rough is U.S. Open length).
Now, if a player can hit a 300-plus-yard drive down the middle, more power to him (or her). But if that same drive strays off the fairway and into the rough, there should be some penalty. And at this point, if you're still asking why I would endorse the proposed change, you need to drag out your Merriam-Webster and look up the meaning of "purist."
Ron the Hacker
March 16, 2007
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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