In announcing Tuesday's U-groove ban, the USGA and R&A accomplished something truly spectacular, unprecedented and frankly, impossible: they had people feeling sorry for the PGA of America.
I'll get to the good stuff about this rule change in another post, because for fans of strategic course architecture there could be some very exciting developments from this news. But momentarily, let's sit back and ponder at the utter lack of respect our fine governing bodies have shown their friends from Palm Beach, who have one week a year to shine and who have suppported the decision to ban U-grooves starting in 2010.
After dragging their feet so long, with R&A lollygaggery largely responsible for missing the initial announced timeline, how could anyone in these organizations say, oh, we must announce this on Tuesday of the PGA Championship?
Let's forget the disrespect shown to the PGA of America and consider this strictly from a practical perspective: you want to announce one of the biggest changes in the history of the rules at a time when people can digest the ramifications and give it full attention. With dwindling space devoted to golf in major media outlets, who in their right mind would want to compete with the year's final major?
Oh that's right, the R&A and USGA. Brilliant.