From January 1st 2010 new legislation came into force making high spin, ‘U-shaped’ grooves illegal. The new groove shape reduces ‘bite’ making high spin speeds more difficult to achieve and therefore reducing control of the ball on approach.
This is especially true in the Rough, where grass between the ball and the face will soften groove edges even more and further reduce the amount of spin that can be achieved. The new rules on wedge grooves will mean that players can expect to find: between 30% and 50% less spin; 5% to 10% more launch angle; 9’ to 12’ additional roll (figures based on a comparison between the new Titleist Vokey Vs the current Vokey).
New Groove Illustration
Current ‘U’-Groove Example New Groove Traditional ‘V’-Groove
So what does this mean for that average golfer?
* 2024 is the earliest date where any player of any ability will have to use wedges with the new spec, in all playing conditions. Until then, high spin wedges will still be legal in all but the highest levels of competition.
* Wedges with illegal grooves can still be manufactured throughout 2010, so realistically there will still be illegal grooved clubs available to buy well into the 2011 season.
* The control offered by high spin wedges is available for club players to take advantage for many years to come.
So while some low handicap players may need to become familiar with the playing characteristics of the new wedges, the reality for most players it that – provided they have them in their bag – the extra control available from U-grooved wedges is theirs to exploit for many years to come.