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There are grooves on the face of clubs for a simple reason, to control the flight of the ball by imparting spin especially out of long grass or in wet conditions and they are cut horizontally across the clubface. However, on a driver which is almost always hit from a tee making grass unlikely to get between the club-face and the ball, there’s no need for grooves or score lines and in fact they could be called traditional or merely cosmetic.

 

It’s also true though modern drivers do have score lines that look like grooves but don’t cover anywhere near the entire face area and many models have none in the center where the ball is supposed to impact. Add to that, according to Frank Thomas former Technical Director of the United States Golf Association, “The reason why we do not find grooves on the thin-faced drivers today is that the face is so thin that grooves will introduce unwanted stress points weakening the face, which may lead to early failure.”

So grooves on the face of a driver are not needed and in fact may actually cause problems to the structural integrity of the club-face.

On the other side of the ledger is a new driver from Vertical Groove Golf that has, you guessed it, lots of grooves running vertically on the face. Though not the first driver to have vertical grooves the VGG ($400) is being promoted as the “first radical change to the face of the golf club in decades.”

grooves

Vertical Groove Golf

The idea patented by the late Tony Antonius (who also gave us Velcro closures on golf gloves), according to the company moves shock waves away from the shaft for a clean feeling at impact and helps added forward rotation compared with clubs having horizontal grooves.

Vertical Groove Golf asserts the net result is a straighter more accurate drives which could be a major improvement for players with higher handicaps.

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