The flap over illegal grooves means a headache for the United States Golf Association. The USGA is the ruling body of golf, pro and amateur, in this country. Probably the amateurs, like the pros, have been using illegal clubs. That means the USGA must check all clubs for the qualifying trials for the U.S. Amateur and for the championship itself, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, at Newton Square, Pa.

Max Elbin of Burning Tree Club, former national PGA president, remarked here: "This whole business has given us (the PGA) a black eye. It makes us appear that we were negligent in the past in checking a player's equipment. The integrity of golf has been questioned and yet to my knowledge, none of the pros has tried to cheat. Golf has been conducted on the honor system since it was invented but this latest publicity about illegal clubs must make the public cynical."

Elbin got a coiuple of PGA tickets for an old friend, Johnny Majors, last year's college football coach of the year at Pittsburgh who has taken the head-coaching job at his alma mater, Tenesse. "Everybody expects me to have a national champion the first year," Majors said. "It's going to take a couple of years, just as if did at Pittsburgh." Besides, Majors has to come up with a Tony Dorsett at Tennessee.