AKRON, Ohio — The winners of the 2009 U.S. Open and
British Open have a lot in common when it comes to equipment. Lucas Glover and
Stewart Cink both use a Nike SQ Sumo² Tour driver, as well
as the same Nike prototype putter and Nike CCi Forged irons.
But Glover told me Tuesday on the driving range at Firestone Country Club that the grooves in those irons will become non-conforming once
the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010.
"I just don't understand it," he said, looking frustrated. "We've been progressive for a hundred years, and now we're
backing up 20. I'm a little confused by it, but it's not my decision."
Both Glover and Cink—like most players on the PGA Tour—have
started the testing process to learn how the new conforming grooves will affect
During the week of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May, both
Glover and Cink made trips to The Oven, Nike's club testing and development
facility in Ft. Worth, Texas.
"There's not much difference when hitting shots from
the fairway," Cink told me on Tuesday. "But you definitely lose a
lot of spin from the rough."
After he completed the testing in May, Cink wrote on Twitter, "New grooves next year mean 10% less spin from the fairway and
60-70% less spin from the rough with short irons. Players will use a softer ball
So much for a quiet, restful off-season for these major champions.
(Photo by Stewart Franklin/Getty Images)