Tour pro's 30-year-old wedge deemed non-conforming by USGA

But there doesn't appear a valid explanation...

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 13 Jul 2018

Seven of 20 golf clubs tested by the USGA at this week's US Senior Women's Open have been deemed non-conforming with the rules of golf. 

While six of the violating clubs were unnamed, JoAnne Carner was told her 55-degree Wilson R-90 wedge that had been in the bag for nearly 30 years no longer conformed.

"We introduced a new groove condition of competition in 2010 for Open championships," said Julia Pine, manager of communications at the US Senior Women's Open. "We offer assistance and testing prior to and on site at our championships, and when tested her club was deemed not to comply."


The ruling would appear a strange one given the club does not feature any of the aggressive grooves of the early 2000s that led to the enactment of the groove rule. 

While no more information was provided by officials, the R-90 failed to comply with at least one or some of the requirements of Appendix II: 5c (i) which highlights the following:

> Grooves must be straight and parallel.

> Grooves must have a symmetrical cross-section and have sides which do not converge

> 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 of a groove divided by the groove pitch (W+S) must not exceed 0.0030 square inches per inch (0.0762 mm2/mm)

> 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.