Shush! Quiet! Do you hear it?
Aw, it’s gone…the predicted uproar from PGA Tour players now they no longer are allowed to play with square or box grooves.
Unless of course your name is John Daly and then you put 20 year old Ping Eye-2 wedges and thumb your nose at the rest of the suckers who follow the rules in form as well as intent. The Ping Eye-2 grooves are conforming not because they are not box grooves but because they are grandfathered as part of the settlement between Ping Golf and the USGA of the original groove issue law suit in the late 1980’s.
Some had predicted a semi-revolt by Tour players over the rule change which effectively makes it more difficult to generate enough ball spin so shots will stop on the green particularly with short irons out of the rough. Exactly what form the revolt was to take was not revealed, refusal of courtesy cars or paying for lunch instead of bellying up to the free buffet, who knows. In any event, it’s a non-issue after the first two weeks of the season.
So did scores balloon, were there more “flyers” or balls skidding across putting surfaces than when the same types of shots were played last year?
From all evidence, no.
No matter how hard the Golf Channel commentators Nick Faldo and Mark Rolfing tried, the scores were about the same both weeks as last year after factoring in what does make a difference, the wind.
This isn’t to say wedge shots stopped dead or spun back every time but as the Tour slogan says,”These guys are good.” They compensated by hitting different types of shots into the greens, started using softer covered balls or added a degree or two loft to their irons. And besides the events are held on courses covered with varieties of Bermuda grass which is notorious for “juicers” or shots with less than the usual spin.
What hasn’t changed though is the USGA has created one set of rules for the good players – toursters and top amateurs – while the rest of us play by another set. This is not reasonable, smart nor effective in the long run.
It detracts from one of golf’s attractive virtues; we play on the same grounds with the same implements under the same conditions as those who are truly talented.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?