More spin, lower launch, maximum control. That’s what the Vokey R&D team continually strives for as they test different levels of groove wear using their proprietary wedge robot at the Manchester Lane test facility.
The team, lead by Kevin Tassistro, Director of Wedge Development, regularly conducts in-depth wedge testing to help shed more light on how groove wear can affect launch, spin and overall short game performance.
There's a big difference in the control and stopping power a golfer will experience using a wedge with new grooves versus a wedge that has been used for 125 or even 75 rounds. This figure will vary more or less, depending on how often a player practices, how frequently he or she plays bunker shots and shots from sandy turf and even how frequently a player hits range balls.
The main takeaway? Despite taking the extra step to apply a localized face heat treatment that makes Vokey grooves amongst the most durable in the industry, all grooves will wear over time. Keep an eye on your wedges and evaluate the amount of groove wear. The Vokey Team's research shows that control and performance tails off significantly once a wedge's grooves have been worn to a point that's roughly equivalent to 75 rounds of play. Titleist Certified Fitters are also here to provide professional wedge evaluations, helping you maximise spin and stay on top of your game.
“Wedge grooves really do wear out over time, and that affects your spin control”, said Corey Gerrard, Director of Marketing, Vokey Wedges. “Wedges with fresh grooves lead to more precise shots. At Titleist, we make every effort to deliver the best performance and quality, including inspecting every groove on every Vokey wedge head, helping you maximise spin and stay on top of your game”.
How can you tell if it’s time to consider putting some new wedges in the bag? One way is to use the following image as a guide.
As the faces of your wedges start to look like the wedge above on the right, you're going to launch your wedge shots higher (because the grooves aren't grabbing the ball as aggressively and the ball is sliding up the face), you're going to spin the ball less (as much as 1,100 rpm less) and your shots are going to lose nearly half their optimal stopping power.
At this point, new wedges will pay big dividends when it comes to your scores.
As Kevin Tassistro summed it up, “By having a fresh set of grooves, the average golfer is going to have more control, more confidence and in the end, hit the ball closer to the hole.”
For more information on groove wear and how it impacts your short game, visit the Groove Wear & Spin Performance section on Vokey.com.