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Ask Cory Armstrong for a golf ruling: Groovy new rules for 2010

A lot of people don't quite know what to make of the new condition of competition that the PGA Tour and other elite organizations will implement in 2010, which reduces the groove volume and edge sharpness for clubs with lofts greater than or equal to 25°. Here are a few Q&As on the topic

QWhy were the Rules changes made?

AThe changes are designed to reduce spin on shots played from the rough by highly skilled golfers, and thereby restore the challenge of shots played from the rough to the green. This should result in an increase in the importance of driving accuracy.

QWhat is the effect of the new grooves on me, the average player?

AThe changes are expected to have little impact on the general golfing population for three reasons. First, USGA research shows that average golfers playing from the rough hit the green in regulation only 13 percent of the time. Second, two-thirds of golf balls sold are surlyn-covered balls which show little spin effect from different groove designs.

Finally, all existing clubs that presently conform to the rules will continue to be deemed conforming through at least 2024, when the condition of competition is expected to become a permanent equipment specification. Consumer research shows that only 2 percent of irons are in use for more than 15 years.

QHow can I determine if my club or set of clubs conforms to the new specifications?

AVisit www.usga.org/InfoClubsDB/intro.html, scroll down, and use the search tool

After the beginning of the year, the complete text of the new condition will be found in Decision 4-1/1.

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