Ping has waived its rights that prevent the PGA Tour from prohibiting the use of pre-April 1990 Eye2 irons and wedges that do not meet the 2010 Condition of Competition rules, effective March 29.
The Ping decision goes applies to the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour and, as a result of a request by the United States Golf Association, will also apply to the U.S. Open in June.
“(Company chairman and chief executive officer) John Solheim and Ping had a terrific opportunity to do something very positive and significant for the game of golf and we very much appreciate his willingness to take this action,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
Solheim said the decision was in the best interests of golf.
“It levels the playing field on the PGA Tour and resolves a very unfortunate situation that we predicted would happen when the USGA first proposed the new groove rule more than two years ago,” said Solheim.
“It keeps in place all of our other rights established in the 1993 PGA Tour settlement and the 1990 USGA settlement, including ensuring amateurs will continue to be able to play their pre-April 1990 EYE2s at all amateur events played under the USGA Rules of Golf,” he added.
The tour and Ping also said they were pleased with an announcement by the USGA that it will be conducting a forum this fall in an effort to find ways to improve its equipment rulemaking process.
“Today’s announcement by the USGA that it intends to review its rulemaking process and consider the input of all stakeholders in the game of golf demonstrates the USGA’s commitment to our great game and its obligation to develop and implement rules for the game that are in the best interests of all concerned,” said Finchem.
“The PGA TOUR will actively participate in the forum and will offer its own views on how the process may be improved,” he added.
Solheim is also encouraged by the USGA’s announcement that it will share more information with and seek more input from a variety of sources including manufacturers in the rulemaking process.
“I’ve been consistent in voicing my concerns over the last several years about the challenges of the current rulemaking process and the need to improve it to the benefit of golfers,” said Solheim.
“I am hopeful this will be a significant first step in realizing this goal. We’re looking forward to the forum and will be an active participant when it convenes sometime this fall. Our goal is to help ensure innovation remains an important part of golf’s tradition,” he added.