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Why JoAnne Carner’s 30-year-old wedge was deemed non-conforming at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

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Per Beth Ann Nichols’ of Golfweek, seven of the 20 clubs USGA officials tested on site at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open were deemed to be nonconforming.

“It’s not often that the USGA places someone from its conforming department at registration, but with so many players in the field who are competing in a USGA event for the first time in a long time, it seemed like a good idea,” she wrote.

Indeed. And while we don’t have any information on six of the violations, Nichols related the story of (the legendary) JoAnne Carner, who was told the 55-degree Wilson R-90 wedge she’s had in the bag for nearly 30 years didn’t conform.

This seemed odd. Certainly a three-decade old club wouldn’t feature any of the aggressive, early 2000s grooves that led to the enactment of the groove rule. It’s unclear what year Carner’s wedge was from, but R-90 production (of the style hers is presumed to be) ended in 1992.

When reached for comment Julia Pine, Manager, Championship Communications, told us: “We introduced a new groove condition of competition in 2010 for Open championships. We offer assistance and testing prior to and on site at our championships, and when tested her club was deemed not to comply.”

Asked for more information, Pine indicated the organization didn’t have additional details  on the specific problem with Carner’s grooves.

A quick groove rule refresher.

Rules of Golf, Appendix II: 5c(i)

  • Grooves must be straight and parallel.
  • Grooves must have a symmetrical cross-section and have sides which do not converge (see Fig. XI).
  • *For clubs that have a loft angle greater than or equal to 25 degrees, grooves must have a plain cross-section.
  • The width, spacing and cross-section of the grooves must be consistent throughout the impact area (some exceptions may be made for woods).
  • The width (W) of each groove must not exceed 0.035 inches (0.9 mm), using the 30 degree method of measurement on file with the USGA.
  • The distance between edges of adjacent grooves (S) must not be less than three times the width of the grooves, and not less than 0.075 inches (1.905 mm).
  • The depth of each groove must not exceed 0.020 inches (0.508 mm).
  • *For clubs other than driving clubs, the cross-sectional area (A) of a groove divided by the groove pitch (W+S) must not exceed 0.0030 square inches per inch (0.0762 mm2/mm) (see Fig. XII).
  • Grooves must not have sharp edges or raised lips.
  • For clubs that have a loft angle greater than or equal to 25 degrees, groove edges must be substantially in the form of a round having an effective radius which is not less than 0.010 inches (0.254 mm) when measured as shown in Fig. XIII, and not greater than 0.020 inches (0.508 mm). Deviations in effective radius within 0.001 inches (0.0254 mm) are permissible.

What do you think the issue could be? Grooves worn too deep after 30 years of use? A sweet-spot sized indentation? Surely the R-90 isn’t a non-conforming club, right?

GolfWRX members: What do you think?

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Bob Parson Jr.

    Jul 22, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Another reason why I’m not a member of the USGA. Nothing more than a golf mafia.

  2. Brian

    Jul 14, 2018 at 8:09 am

    As I stated in my email to Ben, the USGA and the R&A are in cahoots with the manufacturers, brown envelopes probably going in loads of back pockets.

    They, (the manufacturers) are running out of marketing ideas as there is very little that can be done to improve the performance of a golf club legally, so to get around it they come up with rules banning old proven equipment that has been “on the wing” for decades, to force the punters to dig deep, and at around £120 a pop they are quid’s in!

  3. Brad

    Jul 14, 2018 at 7:18 am

    The USGA can take most of their “non-conforming” rules they come up with and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine. Such as they one they recently threw at Bryson DeChambeau for the second time in as many years. They do a fantastic job at taking as much fun out of golf as they can. I’m sure that JoAnne’s 30 year old wedge was going to give her a huge advantage over the rest of the field. Oh wait, I thought all of this “new” technology in golf was what was making it easier, not 30 year old clubs? Can’t have it both ways USGA. Perhaps the golf ball from 1992 would be ruled non-conforming as well because they wouldn’t be able to hit it as far (apparently), but it would spin more?

    It’s time for a new world of golf that doesn’t include the USGA…

  4. Dan Retief

    Jul 14, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I have an original Wilson R20 Sand Iron, apparently one of the first ones developed by Gene Sarazen. It has dots/pock marks stamped into the face instead of grooves. Wonder if I could put it back in the bag

  5. Clint

    Jul 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Still waiting for the answer the headline led everyone to believe the article had.

    • Jim McPherson

      Jul 13, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      Misleading for sure…

      Getting very tired of this kind of BS from gwrx when they know they don’t have a real story…

    • Wiger Toods

      Jul 15, 2018 at 2:39 am

      Agreed. There’s too much actual, interesting content for them to be putting up this Trumpy clickbait.

  6. Liberty Apples

    Jul 12, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    No need for the possessive in first reference to “Nichols’”.

  7. Parker

    Jul 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Wr is on his burner account. (He secretely works for the USGA)

  8. Andrew Levy

    Jul 12, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    The USGA is trying to ruin golf for everyone slowly. It is their mission. Has everyone not been watching? Mike Davis and the other blue blazer white guys want america back to the way it was 1910 golf in shirts and ties. Wooden shafts, terrible balls golf course that are so short that you can skip a stone across it.

  9. DJ

    Jul 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    They should list why they fail not just say they do.

    • Is

      Jul 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      They don’t conform to the current rules. Simples

  10. Chris Embardino

    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Jsut the USGA being the USGA is all it is.

  11. CR

    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    A golf buddy of mine has 2 of those wedges and he puts a ton of spin on the ball with them. Maybe they had unusually deep or sharp grooves for the times.

  12. stevez

    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    another USGA PR black eye, worn out R90, my-my played by a legend who likely is there for sentimental reasons not a high choice of winning.

  13. DB

    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I agree, the groove rule was a complete waste of time and money. It accomplished nothing other than making everyone buy new wedges. Now they are busting 70 year-old women playing in USGA golf tournaments. Nice work. LOL

  14. jc

    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    what a load…after forcing people to buy all new wedges, they found out that it made no difference…because they have slightly less spin, they get CLOSER to the hole because they roll out more…..no more sucking back into the bunker like Norman used to do…
    a bunch of stuffed white shirts with ties.

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19th Hole

John Peterson coming out of retirement after being inspired by the Masters

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John Peterson, the former NCAA D-I individual champion, gave up his ambition of making a living on Tour last summer when he failed to keep his PGA Tour card, but inspired by Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters, Peterson is set to make a comeback.

The 30-year-old has been working in a real estate office for the past seven months and announced his decision to return on Matt Moscona’s radio show “After Review” on 104.5 FM ESPN Baton Rouge. The Texan told Moscona about the desire he felt once again to tee it up while watching the Masters earlier this month, with both Patrick Cantlay and Tiger Woods serving as pivotal players in Peterson’s decision.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back to realize what you had. I was in an office for seven months, and it was fine when I started, I was paying the bills. Then the Masters came along and I’m watching this kid Patrick Cantlay, who in 2011 finished second to me in the National Championship when he was at UCLA, and he’s finishing ninth in the Masters, it’s on TV, and I beat him and I beat him a lot and I’m just like man, that could be me.”

“And then Tiger wins, with his story, it was just so inspiring, honestly. And I quit my job, seriously, the next day after the Masters.”

As for where he stands at this particular moment with his comeback, Peterson has no Tour status and will rely on sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifiers, while the mini-tour route is another option for the Texan. Peterson knows he’s taking a risk in his latest comeback, but the 30-year-old sounds ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

“I’m taking a big risk, and I really don’t have any place to play right now 100 percent, so I have to qualify and stuff. I will get back, I know I will. It’s just kind of a regret watching the guys that I played with my whole life finish top 10 in the majors and just knowing I can do it.”

 

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.25.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

New “Never Lag” goodies releasing today from Swag Golf…

…and multiple PGA Tour winner Kevin Streelman has a cover ready for action at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

For anyone still having Masters withdrawal symptoms, here’s some “Augusta green” Raw Apex MBs.

Amazing patchwork from Robert Mark Golf.

A very cool Elements Gold was handed to Corey Conners from UST Mamiya Golf Shafts at this week’s event.

When golf is everything.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.24.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Some cool headcover designs from Robert Mark Golf.

New putters are coming to the Hive from Bettinardi.

How do we like this exotic Tour issue heads from Brute Golf, WRXers?

CJC Golf has created this excellent looking “Frank” putter cover.

Who else can relate?

View this post on Instagram

**hint** @coloradogolfblog knows what’s up #repost

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Michael Martinez is auctioning off his slick looking Hulk head cover creation this Thursday.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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