USGA president questioned on new groove policy


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – In a press conference today at the 109th U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park, USGA president Jim Vernon was asked if the USGA and the PGA Tour might push back the implementation date of new groove regulations designed to limit the effectiveness of grooves on shots from the rough. A delay would give manufacturers more time to fit their players and get their clubs in compliance with the rule.
“The new groove regulations include a condition of competition for elite play, such as the PGA Tour,” said Vernon. “The PGA Tour will make its decision at some point as to whether they will implement that condition of competition for 2010. It is likely that if they were not to adopt it for 2010, we certainly would not adopt it for the U.S. Open (at Pebble Beach Golf Links next June) either.”
The condition of competition Vernon spoke of above becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2010, and would require new groove cross-sections (limiting the sharpness of the current groove edges) for all clubs with lofts of 25 degrees or more. Recreational golfers will be allowed to use clubs made prior to the implementation date until at least 2024.