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Balancing innovation, human elements

Patent applications are pending for equipment in almost every sport

Updated: May 27, 2010, 2:29 PM ET
By Paula Lavigne | ESPN

Dick Rugge remembers being rendered almost speechless when his childhood hero Arnold Palmer turned to him, shook his finger in his face and said, "The biggest mistake the USGA ever made was to allow grooved clubs in the game."

That was in January 2001, just nine months after Rugge came to the U.S. Golf Association. Nine years later, as its senior technical director, Rugge would oversee a rule change banning certain large-grooved clubs that officials felt were making it too easy for ...

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