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WHOA, BERTHA: USGA WILL WALK SOFTLY ON THE BIG STICKS

          The USGA "eased fears" yesterday by announcing that
     "virtually all" clubs now in use or on the market should
     conform to a proposed new testing procedure that will
     measure the "spring-like" effect in club heads, according to
     Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST.  At a press
     conference at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, the USGA
     said that it will release to manufacturers over the next two
     weeks the specifics of its new procedures, based on the
     "rebound velocity" of a golf ball off a club face.  It will
     convene a meeting this fall to get further input from the
     industry on testing protocol, "then hold a final meeting of
     its Exec Committee to approve a specific set of standards." 
     USGA Exec Dir David Fay said that the organization "was not
     influenced by the possibility of litigation from [golf]
     manufacturers," but Shapiro adds that public opinion, "may
     have played a role" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18).  In Dallas,
     Brad Townsend reports that instead of "attempting to scale
     back technology, the USGA in effect wants to cap it" (DALLAS
     MORNING NEWS, 6/18).  In Chicago, Len Ziehm reports that the
     USGA considered more radical legislation, including limiting
     golf ball technology, reducing the number of clubs allowed
     in a player's bag and limiting the length of the club shafts
     and size of clubheads, "but instead attacked a poorly worded
     line in the Rules of Golf.  The rule states that 'the
     material and construction of the club shall not have the
     effect at impact of a spring'" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/18).
          E-LYING LOW: Callaway Golf Chair Ely Callaway, a critic
     of any potential USGA ban, said yesterday's decision was "a
     welcome change in attitude from what we understood it to be
     in the middle of May.  They felt they had a charter to roll
     the game back equipment-wise and ban certain clubs.  That
     was not the impression we got today" (WASHINGTON POST,
     6/18).  Callaway stock climbed $1.25, or 6.7%, to close at
     $19.81 yesterday on the NYSE (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/18).
          BABY STEPS: In Atlanta, Glenn Sheeley said the USGA
     announced "a relatively conservative plan," although future
     standards "are expected to be tougher" (ATLANTA
     CONSTITUTION, 6/18).  In Akron, Micheal Weinreb calls the
     plan a "modest proposal. ... The question, however, is
     whether it will restrict future technology" (BEACON JOURNAL,
     6/18).  In N.Y., Luke Cyphers wrote that "doomsday seems to
     have been averted" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/18).  Also in N.Y.,
     Dave Anderson writes that "sanity, if not sympathy, has
     prevailed" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18). CNN's Jim Huber called the
     move "much ado about very little" ("Sports Tonight," 6/17).
          
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Callaway Golf, Time Warner, USGA

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