For Lucas Glover, New Groove Rules Are No Big Deal
Despite all the talk about what the new groove rules are going to mean for PGA Tour players, 2009 U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover doesn't seem concerned.
"My irons changed, but it was nothing drastic," he said in a press conference Wednesday, a day before shooting 66 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua to take the first round lead at the SBS Championship.
"I didn't go from a blade to a cavity back or vice versa or whatever. I just tried Nike's new irons with the conforming grooves. The wedges look exactly the same, the paint is just different and the grooves are different. Same ball, same driver."
Glover noted in the press conference that he has switched fairway woods, but because those clubs have a loft of less than 25°, the new groove rules do not apply. He played Thursday with Nike's yet-to-be-released Victory Red Tour STR8-Fit fairway woods (photo).
For the last few seasons, Glover had been playing Nike's CCi Forged irons, but the grooves in those clubs became non-conforming on Jan. 1 as the new rules went into effect. Glover is now playing Nike's Victory Red Forged Half-Cavity irons.
Glover said the wide, sweeping fairways of the Plantation Course might not be giving players and fans a true appreciation of the new rules' impact.
"I think we will see a bigger difference on tighter courses where it's harder to put the ball in the fairway and there is three- or four-inch Bermuda or ryegrass or bluegrass," he said.
But rough was not a problem for Glover on Thursday as he hit 93% of the fairways and 89% of the greens in regulation. Glover carded two eagles and went nine under par on holes five through 13.
Glover noted repeatedly that from the fairway he's noticed little difference in the performance of his irons, but from the rough, the new grooves simply don't spin the ball as much. That makes it tougher for player to judge how the ball will react.
"We used to talk about water balls or dew on your clubface from the ball or whatever," he said "You'll see that a little bit in the mornings, but if you hit it in the fairway, it will not be that big of a deal."
(Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images)