Hillerich and Bradsby has decided to end its suit against the USGA after the golf association agreed to give partial approval to the Bionic Glove. The USGA has approved the glove for use by arthritic golfers if local tournament committees agree.
A year ago, I predicted that this thing would never go to court, and that the USGA would ultimately back down.
I don’t believe that the USGA—or its sometime opponents—really want to find out the legal status of the golf association’s self-appointed ability to dictate the worthiness of golf equipment.
I have in the past compared it to the War Powers Act passed by Congress back in the 1970s. Its never been challenged, because neither side wants to find the answer. If the President won a challenge to the Act, he would gain tremendously. And if the Congress won, the President’s power in other areas would be seriously curtailed. Neither side can afford to take a chance on losing. So they sidestep the problem by coming to an agreement every time.
I think that the same tenuous agreement exists between the manufacturers and the USGA. The USGA can’t take a chance on finding out that it doesn’t have the power to dictate equipment. And the manufacturers don’t want to find out that it does.