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PGA Files Counterclaim in Golf-Club Manufacturing Suit

October 2, 1991

PHOENIX (AP) _ Three pro golfers and the PGA tour are suing the maker of a high-tech brand of golf club for $100 million, claiming the irons give players an unfair advantage.

The action by golfer Miller Barber and others is the latest round in a battle over the Ping Eye-2, which the Professional Golfers’ Association is trying to ban from competition.

The clubs, made by Karsten Manufacturing Co. of Phoenix, are said to make it easier for a golfer to put backspin on a shot so the ball will stay on the green rather than bounce past.

A lawsuit by Karsten seeking $100 million in damages and a permanent order allowing the clubs in PGA play has yet to be heard.

The latest lawsuit is a counterclaim by the tour and by players Barber, Terry Dill and Hubert Green. It seeks damages from Karsten for alleged harm to the tour’s reputation and potential winnings by the three players.

Karsten attorney Leonard DeCof had no immediate comment Tuesday.

The clubs, about 2 million sets of which are being used by amateurs and professionals, differ from others in the grooves on the face of the irons. Most clubs have rows of V-shaped grooves; the Eye-2 has U-shaped grooves.

The PGA tried to ban the clubs in 1989, but Karsten went to court to fight back. A federal judge issued a temporary order lifting the ban, and an appeals court upheld the decision.

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