PGA Golfers Adapt Golf Equipment to New Groove Rules

by JL Lewis on January 19, 2010

Interview: PGA TOUR TaylorMade Golf Equipment Representative Paul Loegering

The USGA enforced a new rule, put into effect in January of this year.  The rule puts restrictions on the shape of grooves in irons and wedges for professional competitive golf. Visit the USGA’s website for more details about this rule change. Paul Loegering, a TaylorMade representative for the PGA TOUR discusses the changes in his company’s clubs and gives his opinions on how the golf marketplace will change in response to this new rule.

TaylorMade Representative Paul Loegering with John DalyQ:  How does the new equipment groove rule change effect your company’s production of golf clubs?

A: In reference to general production, it’s like starting over. We have to spend research and development time as well as marketing and production dollars to put a new product in line. March 2009 is when we started making changes. For anything that’s done in reference to changing a product line, the research and development team is working a year to a year and a half before the new products are released.

Q: How are you going to adapt or have already adapted your equipment to the market place and on the professional golf tours?

A: The new groove rule change will be grandfathered in for competitive amateur play in 2014. Since the groove rule change is in place for the professional golf tours this year, selling new grooves in irons is what we’re doing now. We are trying to refit every PGA TOUR player for irons.  That is my goal. We are also selling our new irons, called R-9 to the public beginning in March 2010. Also, we have a great technology in our wedges. They have an interchangeable face, so the face can be taken off just where the grooves are. These new wedges will create less spin.  So to keep grooves fresh when  they wear down, just change the face.  These new irons are in play this week at the Sony Open.

Q: Will golf equipment companies modify equipment for professional golfers only or for the general golfing community also? How will this new groove rule change effect the amateur golfer?

A: It is too soon to tell how the clubs will affect the amateur.  My focus is to make sure PGA TOUR golfers are ready to play products.  Their new products will go into retail stores in March 2010.  We will know then how amateurs will accept the new clubs.

Q: Will golfers have to change golf balls because of the new groove change? Will this effect golf ball sales?

A: From a Taylormade standpoint, yes, golf ball sales will be effected 100% on the pro level.  Within the industry everyone is designing new golf balls to accommodate the less aggressive grooves. TaylorMade’s new ball – Penta – is adapted for the new grooves. Penta stands for five layers.  The cover is softer, and the additional layer underneath the cover is to make the ball softer also.

Q: Does the rule change help or hurt your business?

A: It is a double-edged sword. And it’s too early to tell.  Obviously there are a lot of overhead and research and development costs that go into any new product. Having to change the entire iron line costs a lot of money.

Q: Do you expect any other equipment rule changes in the near future?

A: Like with any governing body the USGA creates the rules. There will definitely be changes. If you go back five years the biggest changes were limiting the rebound affect and Momentum of Intertia (MOI) on drivers, and limiting what technology you can put on the golf ball to create distance. I hope it’s not the case that there will be more changes in the future.

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PGA Golfers Adapt Golf Equipment to New Groove Rules | JL Lewis … · Golf Courses
January 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

manfrotto strumento a fiato September 15, 2011 at 5:11 am

Hi, great post! Thanks..

amplificatori a valvole September 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hi, this is a great post! Thanks..

Dylan Bogan January 20, 2012 at 7:27 am

I don’t ordinarily comment but I gotta state thankyou for the post on this special one : D.

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