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Not hip to be square

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Prior to the final round of last week’s PGA Championship, we were talking with a top-100 player when the subject of next year’s new grooves came up. “I’m not changing until I have to. What’s the point?” the player said, echoing the sentiments of many Tour types.

Perhaps as a response to the memberships’ collective indifference, the Tour has released a “Q&A: New specifications for grooves” document urging, among other things, players to change sooner rather than later.

Among the interesting highlights of the “Q&A,” was a veiled acknowledgement that the Tour may dial back golf course set up if the new grooves have the desired impact on golf ball performance from the rough.

“In addition to adjusting hole locations, tee placements, and agronomic set-up as necessary, rough heights at many venues have been lowered in the past year and Tour staff are prepared to continue that process as necessary,” the document stated.

According to the “Q&A,” all of golf’s ruling bodies will adopt the new rule – including Augusta National, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the European Tour, although the Challenge Tour will not adopt the condition because of logistical concerns – and the U.S. Golf Association plans to have a field test available by the end of August.

The Tour plans to have the new equipment in place starting at next week’s Barclays and will be on site at the Turning Stone Classic, Las Vegas, Disney and Q-School.