Why Are Ping Eye 2 Irons Illegal in Golf? Exploring the Controversy!

Ping Eye 2 Iron is one of the most popular golf clubs used by many golfers for several years. But there is a debate about this club. Some pieces of golf equipment have been deemed illegal for use in competitions. Ping Eye 2 is one of those. You may be wondering why it’s illegal.

The main reason this club is illegal, despite its popularity, is its ability to provide an extra and unfair advantage to its users. However, it surely doesn’t match the requirements provided by USGA.

In this blog, we will dig further into this controversy and find the reason for this irons’ illegality. So, stay with us till the end while we unfold more on this.

Why Are Ping Eye 2 Irons Illegal

What Makes Ping Eye 2 Irons Illegal?

Ping Eye 2 irons were marked illegal by the USGA because the club has a controversial groove design. This design was deemed non-conforming to their rules.

Ping Eye 2 irons have square-shaped grooves with sharp edges. This design can produce more spin on the ball than any other clubs with round grooves. This extra spin allows the players to have more spin and control over their shots.

But USGA wanted to make the game fair and equal for everyone, and they didn’t want anyone to have the extra privilege. That’s why in 2010, they changed their rule and banned the square-groove design.

So, any Ping Eye 2 iron manufactured before April 1, 1990, with a square-groove design has become illegal to use in competitions.

why are ping eye 2 irons illegal

                                              Image: Ping Eye 2 Iron

Although USGA had a regulation in 1990 about using round-grooves to reduce the spin, Ping Eye 2 irons were allowed to operate in professional tours.

That’s why USGA changed its rule again in 2010, specifically targeting the Ping Eye 2 irons.

So, the reason is clear Ping Eye 2 irons’ illegality – a square-groove design that doesn’t conform to the regulations of USGA.

Can You Use A Ping Eye 2 Iron For Casual Golfing?

Can You Use A Ping Eye 2 Iron For Casual Golfing? 

Ping Eye 2 is an iconic, game-changing club that became popular among professional golfers.

Although the iron is no longer in production due to the ban, many golfers still use them, and they are often available on the secondary market.

USGA regulations only apply for competitive play, so there’s no reason you cannot use it for casual golfing.

Because of the regulations, you must limit the use to casual golfing only and not in professional tournaments.

When Did Ping Stop Making Ping Eye 2?

Ping stopped making the original Ping Eye 2 irons in March 1990 due to the concerns of USGA and R&A about their grooves.

But keeping the popularity of this iron in mind, they continued to offer a slightly updated version of the Ping Eye 2.

After 1998, Ping didn’t continue producing the Ping Eye 2 line of irons altogether. But you can find the used ones, as we mentioned earlier.


As golf continues to evolve, it is essential to maintain a balance between allowing for innovation and maintaining the integrity of the game. Fair and consistent equipment regulations can do it.

So many golfers may love Ping Eye 2 because of its’ high spin and more control, but these irons are marked illegal because they are not conforming to the rules given by USGA.

However, we suggest you not use these irons in professional tournaments; otherwise, you may be disqualified or have to pay penalties.

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