October 1st, 2009 by Brad
Some of the miraculous par saves may disappear from your television screens during PGA Tour events next year. Starting January 1, 2010 the PGA and USGA will start enforcing the new groove rule. This rule will effectively roll back technology and make it much harder to spin the ball from the deep rough often found during tour events. Players have begun testing the new clubs and the Tour has started testing during tournaments so players can become accustomed to the procedure.
Many have fought the rule change, including PGA players and golf club manufacturers. The new rule essentially makes roughly three quarters of the irons and nearly all of the wedges currently on the market illegal for professionals and top amateurs. It will not affect the average golfer for years to come in local tournament play but will have another impact. The equipment companies release from this point forward will most likely conform to the new rule. So the next time the average golfer buys a set of irons or a new wedge they will most likely have the new grooves. This is causing many amateurs to plan ahead and buy several wedges with the current grooves. Many companies are releasing clubs that are very similar to the current offerings but with the adjustment to wedges.
It remains to be seen exactly what impact the new wedges will have on tour. So far players have stated that it will be significant out of heavy rough. Add to that the speed of the greens that they will be playing to we may see some less than stellar shots on tour.