Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wedge war is over!

The dark cloud that has been hanging over the PGA tour will finally disappear after an agreement was reached between club maker Ping and the PGA tour. The 20-year-old Ping wedges with square-shaped grooves will no longer be allowed on the PGA Tour starting March 29 under an agreement reached Monday with Ping executives. John Solheim, the chairman and CEO of Ping, said the Phoenix-based company is waiving its right that had kept the PGA Tour from banning Ping Eye2 wedges made before April 1, 1990 that have deeper, wide grooves no longer allowed under new USGA regulations.

Those wedges were allowed through a 1990 settlement from when Ping sued the PGA Tour and U.S. Golf Association. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, John Daly and Fred Couples were among players who used the Ping wedges. It had become such a divisive issue that Scott McCarron accused Mickelson of "cheating" by using the club. The reason some players were getting upset is the square-shaped grooves can generate more spin on the ball, especially out of the rough.

The waiver takes effect the week after the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill (which is in two weeks) and will apply on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.I personally think there has been a big deal made out of a small issue. There were just a handful of people playing these clubs and they were grandfathered into the rules. For the guys who were upset about the rule, they should have gone out and found a pre-1990 Ping Eye2 and put it in their bag. It is a personal preference that some of the players have and since it happened to fit within the rules, I don’t have a problem with it. I have a hard time hitting Ping Eye clubs due to the shape of the club head so if I was on the tour, it wouldn’t have bothered me a bit! Oh well, now the drama is over and we can finally end the conversation of “is it cheating or not!”

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