Grooves--How Jock Hutchison and His Grooved Clubs Changed Golf History!

Grooves CoverGrooves--How Jock Hutchison and His Grooved Clubs Changed Golf History!, by David E. Fountain, © 2010 David E. Fountain, 6x9, 180 pages; trade paper, ISBN: 978-1-935083-16-0, $13.95, Publication date May 2010

 Award-Winning Finalist in the Sports: General category of the "Best Books 2010" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News

 

In the long history of golf there have been many changes to the rules and the approved designs of balls and clubs. Those rules are supposed to keep the game competitive as well as honoring the game’s long tradition. Changes are usually made deliberately and after much debate. Rarely is there a rush to judgment in these matters.

Golf’s history has witnessed only three occasions when the grooves on the face of clubs, especially irons, have been challenged and alterations required. The third occasion was January 2010, when “U” shaped grooves were banned from USGA- and PGA-sanctioned events.

The second time “U” shaped grooves were challenged was in 1986.  Attempts to determine if that type of groove design gave its users an advantage over those who use the traditional “V” shaped grooves proved inconclusive. As detailed in this book, that challenge ended without a ban and permitted use of both club designs.

This book deals with the very first groove controversy in the long history of golf. It involved clubs used by professional golfer Jock Hutchison, who pioneered the use of grooved clubs. He became one of the top professional golfers of his era, even being named as one of America’s golfing triumvirate. At the peak of his career, Jock set record scores from St. Andrews, Scotland, to America’s golfing circuit. During his heyday, on his first attempt, he became the first American to win the British Open. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews banned his grooved club design one week after Jock won the Claret Jug.

 

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