Riviera is no stranger to grooves disputes
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – History repeated itself at Riviera Country Club. At the 1948 U.S. Open, the grooves on the MacGregor irons, played by the likes of Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret, had to be buffed down. It made no difference. Hogan shot 276 and broke the tournament record by five strokes.
After that incident, John D. Ames, chairman of the USGA Implements and Balls Committee, published a one-page explanation titled, “How to Test Iron Club-markings” in the August 1948 issue of Golf Journal that ended with this insightful observation: “It seems too bad that it has been necessary to get down to such fine points in order to insure fair play. Wouldn’t it be nice if, as in the old days, we could just go out and play golf?”