GOLF NEWS -
Wedges The Rage - At Least Until 2009
Singh, known for sticking new golf wedges in his bag before
each major championship to take advantage of fresh
grooves, was a trendsetter.
The reality of 2007: Many touring pros are doing the
same thing. Singh, who uses Cleveland golf wedges, has become
even more of a wedge-aholic. He now replaces his wedges
every two or three weeks during the season.
U.S. Open, equipment companies were busy building golf wedges
for many other players. "We are doing an awful lot of
new wedges," said Roger Cleveland. the chief wedge
designer for Callaway Golf. Popular among the Callaway
players were X-Forged wedges, a new line that will be
introduced to consumers this fall. As part of the
X-Forged line, Callaway will offer a standard 64-degree
golf wedge for the first time."There
is a lot of wedge activity this week," said Bob Vokey,
designer of the Titleist wedges that carry his name.
"It's typical for a major golf championship. Guys want more
spin. I've also taken some bounce off quite a few wedges
(to confront tight lies around the greens)."Keith
Sharboro, vice-president of tour operations for
TaylorMade agreed: "Wedges were by far the busiest thing
wedge-hopping trend will persist for 2007 and 2008. A
major change, however, is expected in 2009 on the PGA
Tour when groove legislation proposed by the U.S. Golf
Association includes a provision for an important, if
somewhat overlooked, condition of competition. Any
tournament or sanctioning body will be able to enforce
new USGA groove restrictions that are expected to be
aimed at square grooves and sharp groove edges. With the
expected restrictions, new wedges will no longer provide
a big spin advantage over used wedges.
Probable changes leading to the Jan. 1, 2009 condition
of competition for grooves:
>> The USGA will accept comments on its proposed groove
legislation until Aug. 1.
>> Sometime later this year, the USGA will announce its
final decision on grooves. The clubface surface area
occupied by grooves will be reduced so that today's
configuration of full U grooves won't be permitted, and
sharpness of groove edges will be limited.
>> Current wedges will be grandfathered for everyday use
and tournament play for 10 years, although the condition
of competition will allow golf tournaments for "elite
players" to require the new golf wedges in 2009. That's
what the PGA Tour is expected to do.
Because of the grandfather period, amateur golfers may
flock to golf shops and retailers to horde the old golf
wedges. The USGA will require manufacturers to switch to
the new regulations on Jan.1, 2010. Wedges today can be
made entirely with full U grooves, or box grooves. The
new wedges, because of restrictions, will contain
modified U grooves or even a combination of U grooves
and V grooves.
grooves take up roughly half the area of U grooves. USGA
studies have shown that U grooves provide more spin out
of the rough and wet grass, and this is the essence of
the groove legislation - that skill, not equipment,
should be the predominant factor in golf competition.
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