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August 05, 2009

Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink preparing for big equipment changes

Posted at 10:57 AM by David Dusek | Categories: Grooves, Lucas Glover, Nike, Stewart Cink

Lucas-Glover-Akron_450x600 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 their games.

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 I believe."

Cink, who switched this season to the Nike One Tour D ball from the Nike One Black, told me that he'd likely need to make another ball change next season too.

So much for a quiet, restful off-season for these major champions.

(Photo by Stewart Franklin/Getty Images)

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