The Brood and Gloom guys at GolfDigest.com report that the USGA's
pathetic backdoor attempt at not dealing with the real issue elimination of the U-groove is about to be announced, and someone at the R&A seems to have confirmed so.
Still, several industry sources contacted by Golf World believe the ruling is coming sooner rather than later. The R&A's David Rickman commented recently that a rule proposal was in the offing. "We are in the throes of various meetings and wouldn't want to pre-empt their outcome,” Rickman told The Scotsman newspaper. “But all the signs are that we're very close to going out with 'notice and comment.’ ” When asked about Rickman’s statement, USGA senior technical director Dick Rugge did not dispute that a proposal could happen in the near future, although he declined to offer a specific timetable.Bowel and Groin also address how this might affect the average golfer.
The good news for average golfers? You won’t have to buy all new conforming stuff by next year. I’m guessing old stuff will be grandfathered for a pretty significant period of time (minimum five years is my guess). The other good news? It’s either going to make everybody a better golfer (increased pace of play) or half the golfing population quit (plenty of tee times for the rest of us). You start flying greens or having short chip shots run 30 feet by, and you either learn to hit fairways and greens or you throw your clubs in the woods. Whatever you do, though, buy a urethane-covered ball, which is the real hidden gem in the USGA's 180-page report on grooves research.
Okay, they lost me there. Anyone know where we can read up on this urethane stuff in the 180-page report?
Meanwhile, for more on what actually goes on with the grooves and why the USGA sees this is a backdoor approach to the distance issue, check out Mike Stachura's (is he Bulldoze or Gravel?) recent Golf Digest story on grooves.