Do all Ping Eye 2 have square grooves?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

All Ping Eye 2 irons made between 1986 and March 31, 1990, do have square grooves. This is due to a unique feature of the Ping Eye 2 irons, which became the subject of controversy in the golfing world.

The square grooves on the Ping Eye 2 irons were initially designed to enhance spin and control on the golf ball. However, in 1990, the USGA (United States Golf Association) implemented a rule change that specified the dimensions and shape of grooves on irons. The new rule stated that V-shaped grooves were to be used instead of square grooves, as it was believed that square grooves provided too much spin and gave players an unfair advantage.

Despite this rule change, a clause known as the “Ping Eye 2 loophole” allowed for the continued use of the square grooved Ping Eye 2 irons. This clause stated that any club manufactured before the rule change date of March 31, 1990, was still deemed conforming, regardless of the shape of the grooves.

This led to a controversial situation where players were using the Ping Eye 2 irons with square grooves, while others had switched to conforming V-shaped grooves. Many golfers argued that the Ping Eye 2 irons gave an unfair advantage, as the square grooves provided increased spin and control on shots from the rough.

The controversy surrounding the Ping Eye 2 irons and their square grooves reached its peak when professional golfer Phil Mickelson used them in a tournament in 2010. Mickelson’s use of the Ping Eye 2 irons sparked a debate about the fairness of allowing clubs with non-conforming grooves to be used in professional events.

Ultimately, the USGA and R&A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews) revised the rules once again in 2010 to ban the use of square grooves on all clubs, effectively closing the Ping Eye 2 loophole. This meant that from that point on, all clubs used in professional events had to conform to the new groove specifications.

All Ping Eye 2 irons made between 1986 and March 31, 1990, do have square grooves. However, it is important to note that Ping Eye 2 Plus irons made after 1990 do not have square grooves and comply with the revised groove rules.