Ping has responded to accusations that its Eye2 irons manufactured before April 1, 1990, are non-conforming.
“Over the last several weeks, we’ve watched with great interest the impact of the Ping Eye2 and its role in the USGA’s 2010 Groove Regulation,” said company president and chief executive officer John Solheim.
“We’ve read and heard numerous inaccurate reports from various sources, including several PGA Tour professionals, about the new groove regulation, specifically that U or square grooves are banned as part of the regulation,” said Solheim, who cited the USGA website to back his claim.
“A common misconception is that V shaped grooves will be required under the new specifications and that U shaped grooves will no longer be allowed. This is not the case.
“This misconception has contributed to Ping Eye 2 irons being characterized as non-conforming or illegal and has created a division among many of the players on the PGA Tour. ”
Solheim also pointed to a statement made by the PGA Tour.
“Under the Rules of Golf and the 2010 Condition of Competition for Groove Specifications promulgated by the USGA, pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons are permitted for play and any player who uses them in PGA Tour-sanctioned events taking place in jurisdictions of the USGA is not in violation of the Rules of Golf.
“Because the use of pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons is permitted for play, public comments or criticisms characterizing their use as a violation of the Rules of Golf as promulgated by the USGA are inappropriate at best.”
The issue of square grooves goes back 20 years when the USGA and PGA Tour attempted to ban Eye 2 irons because of their grooves. In 1993, an agreement was reached to grandfather all Eye 2 irons made before April 1, 1990.
Solheim added that he is willing to discuss a workable solution to the matter.