Ping Resolves Ping Eye 2 Controversy With Tour
It appears that Groovegate is over.
Ping chairman and CEO John Solheim announced Monday that Ping will waive its rights that prevent the PGA Tour from prohibiting the use of Ping Eye 2 irons and wedges that do not meet the Condition of Competition from being played at Tour events.
The waiver goes into effect March 29 and applies to the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. As the request of the U.S. Golf Association, Ping will also apply the waiver to the U.S. Open in June. The PGA Tour will then adopt a Condition of the Competition that does not provide an exception for the Ping Eye 2 irons made before April 1990.
"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.
Said Solheim: “We’re thankful for Commissioner Finchem’s understanding of our position and his role in helping bring about this resolution. We all believe it is 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.”
Ping and the PGA Tour stated the waiver does not take all Eye 2 irons and wedges out of player’s hands as Ping has made versions of the wedges with grooves that conform to the new rule. Those clubs remain eligible for use.