Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Dick Rugge, you dog you! I had a feeling something was up when Dawson let the cat out of the bag at the Open Championship, but we have grooves regulation from the R&A and USGA announced today.

First, from the USGA site:

The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced revisions to the Rules of Golf, placing new restrictions on the cross sectional area and edge sharpness of golf club grooves.

The 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 and will have little impact on the play of most golfers.

Much better worded than what the R&A had to say:
The R&A has today announced revisions to golf’s equipment Rules, which are designed to enhance the benefits of accuracy by making playing from the rough a more challenging prospect in future.
Translation: We love rough and we want to keep using it as much as we want!

Now, about implementation:

The rules control the cross sectional area of grooves on all clubs, with the exception of drivers and putters, and limit groove edge sharpness on clubs with lofts equal to or greater than 25 degrees (generally a standard 5-iron and above).

The rules apply to clubs manufactured after January 1, 2010, the same year that the USGA will enforce the new regulations through a condition of competition for the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open and each of their qualifying events. All USGA amateur championships will apply the new regulations through the condition of competition, after January 1, 2014.

The PGA Tour, the European PGA Tour, the LPGA, the PGA of America and the International Federation of PGA Tours have all indicated their support for the new regulations on grooves. Each of these organizations, as well as the Augusta National Golf Club, have told the USGA and The R&A, the game’s governing bodies, that they intend to adopt the condition of competition, applying the rules for their competitions, beginning on January 1, 2010.

We have a phase in approach which gives amateurs about six years to get their clubs in order. That seems pretty fair.

The announcement also has links to a PDF sent the manufacturers and a good pictorial of what grooves are good and which aren't.


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