What Does the New Groove Rule Mean for You?
The U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Club have implemented new rules regarding the size and shape of the grooves in irons and wedges. PGA.com's T.J. Auclair takes a look at the history of grooves, explains what the changes are and lays out what how they affect amateur and professional golfers alike.
CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE NEW GROOVE RULE:
Mar. 8: PGA Tour makes deal with Ping to ban Eye-2 wedges
Square-grooved Ping Eye-2 wedges will be banned from the PGA Tour after Tour officials reached an agreement with Ping. CEO John Solheim agreed to the deal in hopes club companies would get more say in future equipment rulings.
Feb. 11: Ping and USGA meet, no resolution achieved
Officials from Ping and the U.S. Golf Association discussed the controversial status of Ping Eye-2 clubs on the PGA Tour, while there was news on the groove front from both the Masters and the LPGA Tour.
Feb. 3: Mickelson vents anger, next step remains unclear
Phil Mickelson has taken his Ping Eye-2 wedge out of play for now, saying he's made his point about the problematic new rule. But, he stressed, he'll bring it back if officials don't resolve the controversy soon.
Feb. 3: Statement from Callaway regarding groove controversy
Callaway Golf President and CEO George Fellows clarified Callaway's position on Phil Mickelson's use of a Ping Eye-2 wedge.
Feb. 3: Using old wedges 'against spirit of game,' says Watson
Eight-time major winner Tom Watson says "it doesn't look good for players to use" the controversial Ping Eye-2 wedges, and that it isn't "the right thing to do."
Feb. 2: McCarron apologizes about 'cheating' comments
Scott McCarron said he was sorry for saying that Phil Mickelson 'cheated' by using old Ping Eye-2 wedges. Meanwhile, PGA Tour officials met with the players to try to figure out a solution.
Feb. 2: McIlroy wants rule changes to be reconsidered
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is the latest to speak up about the recent groove rule. He believes the rule should be scrapped and the courses should be made more difficult.
Feb. 1: Officials should check clubs for legality, says Westwood
In wake of the groove controversy, Lee Westwood believes that making sure clubs are legal shouldn't be left up to the players. Instead, he says, golf's governing bodies should actively check clubs on a regular basis.
Feb. 1: Solheim warns PGA Tour, McCarron stands strong
Hours after Scott McCarron said he would "not be silenced" over the grooves controversy, the PGA Tour's situation became more muddled when Ping Chairman John Solheim said the tour cannot make a separate rule to ban Ping Eye-2 wedges.
Jan. 30: Mickelson not taking cheating accusation lightly
Phil Mickelson is upset about being "publicly slandered" with accusations of cheating. He is suggesting that unless the PGA Tour steps in, he might let others handle it.
Jan. 30: Mickelson bending groove rules, says Westwood
Lee Westwood believes Phil Mickelson isn't breaking the new new groove rule, but is bending it, and says he wouldn't use an old Ping Eye-2 wedge even though he has played Ping clubs for 23 years.
Jan. 30: Mickelson rejects allegations that he's cheating
Phil Mickelson is defending his use of a 20-year-old wedge in the wake of accusations that he is cheating by using it. Mickelson said it isn't up to him or any player to interpret what the rule is or the spirit of the rule.
Jan. 29: McCarron accuses Mickelson of 'cheating' with old wedges
Scott McCarron says Phil Mickelson and others using Ping Eye-2 wedges are violating the spirit of the law. He used "cheating" in an interview, considered a vicious charge in a sport that boasts of its integrity.
Jan. 27: Mickelson newest player to adopt old Ping wedge
Phil Mickelson has been one of the strongest critics of the new regulation that bans square grooves, so it wasn't surprising that he became the latest player to put the Ping Eye-2 lob wedge in his bag.
Jan. 18: New grooves making difference, good and bad, on PGA Tour
Whether scores will suffer won't be noticeable until more tournaments are played on different grasses in a variety of conditions. But the new grooves at least appear to make the game different, and players of differing styles have a variety of opinions on the change.
Jan. 14: Daly and Wilson using still-legal 20-year-old Ping wedges
The old square-grooved Ping Eye-2 wedges that John Daly and Dean Wilson are using at the Sony Open are acceptable because of a lawsuit Ping filed against the USGA that was settled in 1990.
June 30, 2009: PGA Tour to go ahead with changes for irons and wedges
After a spirited discussion by the PGA Tour Policy Board, Commissioner Tim Finchem said that the PGA Tour will agree to a new rule that changes the grooves in irons and wedges for the 2010 season.
Mar. 3, 2009: PGA of America adopts new equipment rules for competitions
Beginning in 2010, The PGA will adopt new equipment rules governing groove specifications as a condition of competition for the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship and PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Aug. 8, 2008: Shape of grooves in irons to be rolled back starting in 2010
The Royal & Ancient and U.S. Golf Association have announced a rules change that will reduce the size and shape of grooves in most clubs in 2010, the first time equipment has been scaled back in nearly 80 years.