"The USGA has more important things to worry about than thinking about changing the groove configuration"

Over at the Golf Channel's web site, former USGA technical director Frank Thomas was asked about grooves and spin and reiterated what he wrote (and what we discussed here) in Golf Digest.

I really do enjoy your column and I know that you will be able to answer my question about grooves on wedges. Do new sharp grooves make a difference to the spin on the ball when I hit the ball from a tee? -- Jim, N.C.

The answer is NO they don’t. If you have a sandblasted face this will probably do as much or more to increase the spin than a grooved face. When you are hitting out of the rough then grooves do matter and the better defined they are the better off you are to get some spin on the ball. The rough condition will always reduce the spin from a wedge when compared to a dry condition but from deep (4 to 6 inch) heavy rough it doesn’t matter what ball you play or configuration of grooves you have on your wedge.

Again, it will be interesting to see if the USGA will claim otherwise in the coming months. Let me guess: "Our rough is 3 1/2 inches."

And again, Frank offers up a perfectly wretched solution for the game:

The USGA has more important things to worry about than thinking about changing the groove configuration because some pros are able to get out of the rough relatively easily with out too much concern about being there. My proposal is to lengthen the rough for those situations where this is important. The upheaval of changing groove specifications is not worth it.

I wonder if ever occurs to people that rough has only been introduced into golf as a method to combat distance gains that begin to outdate architecture? 

After all, what caused Augusta to go from its roughless golf course to one with a silly looking "second cut?"

Sudden distance gains they couldn't keep up with.

And we've also learned that even when courses do catch up via lengthening, the fairways never get widened back out...

So I suppose the good news is that at 20-25 yards, they can only narrow so much more before rough harvesting and narrowing is no longer an option.