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The Changing Wedge, Maybe

Updated: Oct 16, 2014

Published: May 24, 2010

As many of you who follow golf closely may already know, the USGA is changing the rules of golf as far as your wedges are concerned. The new wedges will not be allowed to have squared edges on the ends of the grooves and the cross-sectional groove area is going to have to change as well. So, the first question to answer is what does that really mean and why the change? First off, the change has been made because the USGA doesn’t want technology in golf to overshadow the skill and ability of the players. The USGA decided that these wedges that added amazing spin and additional control out of the rough, were doing just that and not giving the players a chance to display their skill while keeping the sport interesting and more challenging. What this means is that the three Open USGA events, as of January 1, 2010, do not allow the old groove design to be used in competition. This new rule is already in effect and making a difference around the golfing world.

Now that we know how this is going to affect the professionals, the only question left is how it will affect you as a golfer. Do you need to go out and get new wedges? If you do, when do you need to have them?

All of those questions can be answered very easily. The great part about this rule is, assuming you will not be playing in any of the top amateur events or any USGA tournaments, it will not affect you at all until 2024. If you are playing in the top amateur events or any USGA tournaments then you will have to have your wedges switched out by 2014. The only catch with this whole situation for you is that these splendid wedges will only be sold for the rest of 2010 and then manufacturers will no longer be allowed to distribute them. What that means for all of you out there who are now excited about using these wedges for the next 14 years or so is that you need to go out and get some this year! There will not be another chance to do it after the end of 2010.

The wedge will change forever after this year and no one wants to be the one left in the dust trying to win without the best technology available. So don’t wait, go out and get the best there is now, before it is too late.

Will only wedges be affected?

The answer is no, your irons will be affected by this rule as well. No one is paying close any attention to this aspect of the rule, simply because spin is typically thought to be more crucial with a wedge than with your irons. But, as a player looking to get the most out of your clubs, why would you not give yourself every advantage possible? The truth about the new groove rule is that it will affect all clubs that have more than 24 degrees of loft. That means that every iron, 4-iron through pitching wedge, will be affected by this rule. Just as with wedges, manufacturers also cannot produce anymore of the square-grooved iron sets after the December 31, 2010. So, if you want to take advantage of a great club that you will be able to use for about 14 years, and there is no reason not to, you need to get out and buy soon. The best way to give yourself every opportunity to hit great shots more often, is to go out and buy the best, most user-friendly equipment possible. The clubs affected by this ruling have deeper, sharper grooves that provide more spin, and thus, more control, so it stands to reason that getting these clubs is an easy decision. Don’t let anyone beat you simply because of technology, with these clubs you will be prepared to play your best.

Article written by
Logan Byman
Global Golf

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