PGA Tour Teleconference Today


PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has scheduled a noon teleconference today, at which time it's expected he will decide whether the Tour will adopt or push back the January 2010 implementation date of the USGA's new groove rule policy. Finchem and the PGA Tour Policy Board will meet this morning, and the groove regulations – designed to limit the effectiveness of grooves on shots from the rough – is sure to be a hot topic.
Perhaps anticipating that a decision from the Tour would come down today, Ping Chairman and CEO John Solheim released a statement on Monday from the company's Phoenix headquarters adamantly opposing the change. Solheim went as far as to suggest that delaying the date by a year is not enough.
'The new groove rule harms the game and golfers and should be dropped. The recent uproar about it from the PGA Tour players demonstrates this fact,' said Solheim. 'However, the PGA Tour's proposal to delay implementing the rule is not a solution. You can't turn a bad idea into a good one by waiting an extra year to adopt it. We hope everyone who cares about the future of this game keeps that simple concept in mind.'
Ping even released a summary of the points it made in opposition to the groove rule when the USGA and R&A were deciding whether to adopt it. The rule would require new groove cross-sections (limiting the sharpness of the current groove edges) for all clubs with lofts of 25 degrees or more. It would apply to all clubs manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010, although those purchased prior to this date would be considered conforming until at least 2024 – provided they weren't used in certain professional (PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European PGA Tour) and USGA competitions.