Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GROOVES REGULATION! The Reaction

Geoff Shackelford has a good recap post of reactions in the media room from players at the PGA Championship to the rules change that has been approved by the R&A and USGA.

My favorite reaction, though, is from Masters champion Trevor Immelman.

[Y]ou can change the grooves, but then they're going to have to scale the golf courses back, because you can't give guys no advantage with grooves. Because you got to understand one thing: As soon as we change the grooves, we're probably going to have to alter the ball we use, because if you're not getting as much spin, you're probably going to have to start using a softer golf ball.

In the last few years, we're using harder golf balls because the drivers allow us to launch the ball higher off the tee. So we need less spin, and we have had good grooves on our irons, so we have been able to launch the ball to create enough spin.

So we're going to have to go back and the manufacturers are going to have to go back to the drawing board. And I know Nike has been working on this since the USGA started sending the smoke up that they may be doing this. I had a look at a few prototypes where they have started working on some different groove variations.

And I like I was saying, as we change the grooves, we're going to have to start maybe looking at the way our golf ball is performing. And at that point the R&A and USGA may have to decide how they're going to set the golf courses up. Are we still going to have rough that is this deep (indicating). And like today out there, we have got guys the rough is pretty juicy here but you still got guys with these rakes out there making sure that it stands up this high. It's quite interesting.

But so I think that you're going to have to give and take. So that's where they're going to have to figure out how are they going to give and take. Because they can't just keep taking.
Couldn't be more true. Trevor has the point down, though. This rules change should compel players to seek balls that don't go as far in an effort to gain better control from the ball in the rough. Instead of relying on the club, they'll have to sacrifice something from their golf ball. Immelman also is right that course setups will have to change in response to the rule change.

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