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19th Hole

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

Peter Kessler lashed out at anyone and everyone on Twitter

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With 140K followers on Twitter and a website as well, No Laying Up have become one of the most popular accounts in the golfing world. However, when the group plugged the second season of their show Tourist Sauce” with a new promo, it provoked a strong response from “the voice of golf,” former Golf Channel and PGA Tour host, writer, and producer, Peter Kessler. (Kessler responded to Green Jacket Auctions, who praised NLU’s work).

Kessler, no stranger to speaking his mind, then spent hours feuding with fellow social media users who defended No Laying Up’s promo. As is often the case in the world of social media, the arguments descended into personal insults, on which Kessler did not hold back.

Consider these tweets representative of dozens more in the same vein.

Although Kessler was firmly in attack mode, he had to be on his guard when @ProV1_iron took aim at his Perfect Club infomercials from back in the day. The spots are largely a humorous relic in the golfing world, but Kessler was having none of the “people in glass houses” analogy.

The responses from Kessler went on and on, and many had been expecting the ex-Golf Channel host cool off after yesterday’s exploits. However, the opposite happened, with Kessler getting right back in the saddle this morning and continuing his tirade against defenders of the show, with Kessler claiming NLU’s promo “is like intro to entertainment in 9th grade and school just started. Surely you’ve seen good movies and tv shows. These aren’t them.”

Despite saying that he has “Gotta run,” Kessler remains locked in a battle of personal insults with other social media users.

What do you make of Peter Kessler’s social media outburst, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?

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According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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