Starting with Thursday's U.S. Open at Inverness, the U.S. Golf Association will put into effect a rule requiring a golfer to play the same "brand, model and compression of golf ball with which he started the round."

If one hits a black-lettered Titleist off the first he cannot put a Top Flite into play, say, on a par-3 hole against the wind.

"It's going to raise hell with some guys," said PGA player Andy Bean to an Associated Press reporter last week at the Kemper tournament, where the PGA also adopted the rule.

"Some of them have downwind balls, crosswind balls and upwind balls."

A solid ball with the more durable Surlyn cover (like a Top Flite) goes farther when struck with an iron. Hubert Green reportedly used a solid ball on some par-3s in winning the U.S. Open two years ago. Joe Walter won the Worsham at Bethesda a few years ago using a one-iron and a Top Flite off most tees.

Balata-covered wound balls, like Titleist or Hogan, spin more, fly higher and bite on the greens better.

A few years ago, stories circulated that when Bean lost his temper, he bit into golf balls in frustration. Some wag worked up enough nerve to ask, "Which do you prefer, Surlyn or balata?"

Former touring pro Howard Brown and fromer Middle Atlantic Open champion Joe Flowers, Al Jenkins and Herb Summers are among 25 pros in the Capital pro-am golf tournament today at Langston.

Jim Thorpe, who scorched the Lee Elder-operated layout with 64 to win last year, is in the Atlanta Golf Classic PGA event this week.

Al Green, money and point leader in the Middle Altantic PGA, was to play but canceled because he wanted to be with his daughter, who is trying out for the Junior Olympics.

Green resigned as head pro at Langston May 26 to take a job in public relations with Anheuser-Busch, Inc., which will cut back his tournament schedule.

Proceeds from the pro-am will go to the Joe Whitfield Scholarship Fund, providing money for college tuition for inner-city youth.

Ernest Andrews of Virginia State and Robert Clements of Johnson C. Smith, beneficiaries of past tournaments, are among 144 amateurs entered.

Caroline Country Club, two miles south of Denton, Md., still is considering applications for head professional, to replace Tom Smack, who resigned at the end of May.

Smack, one of the top Middle Atlantic PGA players of the last decade, leaves next week for Bermuda to kick off an international pro-am venture.

In an era when PGA players are considered a booming success if they earn $1 million in a lifetime, Tom Watson threatens to make half that sum in one season.

Through the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village, Watson had won four tournaments and finished second in four others for $353,874, second only to the $362,429 he won last year, with three "majors" yet to come.

Lanny Wadkins is second, about $180,000 behind.

Watson still has a way to go to match Isao Aoki's total last year on the Japanese PGA circuit, $446,900.

Baseball player Sadaharu Oh, who eclipsed Hank Aaron's all-time home run mark, earned $1,378,900 last year in Japan.

Sonny Jurgensen, Larry Brown, Harmon Killebrew, Joe Theismann, Willie Wood and House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) are among 270 golfers entered in the Lombardi Memorial golf and tennis tournament June 25 at Indian Spring.

Lee Trevino on the lightning-fast greens at Muirfield Village: "They're so slick that if you mark your ball, your dime better have spikes."