SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It’s been all quiet on the grooves front since the USGA and Karsten Co., makers of Ping equipment, met in Dallas on Feb. 11.
It would seem like a no-brainer that with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem in town for the Waste Management Phoenix Open he would schedule a visit to Ping headquarters, only a short drive to Karsten Way, to iron out a resolution regarding pre-1990 Ping Eye2s, which represent a glaring loophole in the new groove rules. (Do we need to get President Jimmy Carter involved in these peace talks?)
But Finchem said he hadn’t met with Solheim, nor was he planning to do so during this trip. In fact, Finchem suggested the Tour didn’t have a role in the negotiations.
“We actually are not at the table in discussions with John Solheim,” Finchem said. “Those discussions are between Karsten Manufacturing, John Solheim and the USGA.”
Finchem reiterated if the language in the antitrust agreement between those two parties were to change, it would permit the Tour to adopt a different rule for the Ping Eye2s and make them ineligible for use.
“It’s really up to John Solheim,” Finchem said. “As I said back in Los Angeles, he has a terrific opportunity, in my view, to do something very positive for the sport here. I hope he does.”