A groovy kind of love for golfers

2009-12-09 00:00

FROM January 1, golf club manufacturers will not be permitted to produce clubs with what are called U grooves. Also known as square grooves, they have been around for about 25 years.

The grooves that are produced in future will have the old V shape just as they were before the square grooves were developed.

So what is all the fuss about and who is affected?

Firstly, it’s only professionals who will  be required  to play  with  new V- groove clubs in tournaments in the new year.

The date that amateurs will be required to play with the V-groove club is 2014. The rest of us won’t have to worry until 2024.

The United States Golf Association (U.S.GA) has introduced these changes for professionals­ because there is too much backspin being imparted to the ball, especially from the rough.

The spin these days is prodigious with the combination of U grooves and the modern ball, which has a multilayer­ urethane cover.

Exhaustive tests have been carried out by the U.S.GA and it is hoped that less spin will translate into less ability to hold the green.

The new grooves will reduce spin by about 45% and they will therefore be similar to the old-style V grooves with the wound Balata­-covered ball.

Since the mid-nineties driving accuracy has declined rapidly as an indicator of success. Metal-and-wood drivers plus the modern ball have meant that current professionals can just smash the ball as far as they can without much concern that the ball is in the rough.

U.S.GA studies show that most amateurs­ will hardly be affected because more than two-thirds of the balls that are sold are not urethane-covered and average golfers hit the green with an approach shot from the rough only 13% of the time.

So the clubs that you are currently using will become nonconforming in 15 years’ time, but the new clubs that you buy in the future will not, in theory­, perform as well as those that you now have.

It sounds crazy, but that’s how it is.



Maritzburg Golf Club held the Bedstore monthly mug on Saturday

A division: 1. J. Patrick net 64. 2. B. Woods net 67.

B division: 1. L. Nel 68 net. H. Horsley net 69.

C division: 1. G. Dowie net 70. A. Ghareeb net 70.

Victoria Country Club held

the Old Mutual monthly mug on Saturday.

A division: 1. R. van Niekerk 67 net. 2. Z. Pelzer 68 net.

B division: 1. K. Naidoo 69 net. 2. Griesel 72 net.

C division: 1. B. Martin 72 net. 2. A. de Valence 75 net. From the 19th hole

There is rarely time for frivolity in actual play in the Ryder Cup because emotion is running too high. Off-course activities do, however, provide the odd moment.

In 1987, the European team flew to the United States on a Concorde to play against the U.S. at Muirfield Village, Ohio, under the captaincy of Tony Jacklin.

On the flight, Sam Torrance announced his engagement, which was celebrated in the normal fashion. On their arrival at the course, the happy couple disappeared to their room from which Torrance emerged only occasionally for the odd practise round before disappearing again.

At the eve of the match team talk, Jacklin turned to Torrance and said: “Sam, I’m resting you tomorrow.” As the patriotic­ Scot’s face dropped, he then added: “You’re playing.”

Europe won the Ryder Cup that year.

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