Getting the shaft: Clubmakers find ways to combat grooves rule
Before the Tiger Woods pandemonium hit the golf world, it was the biggest story in the game. Grooves. Those long, narrow indentions on the face of your golf clubs, were making headlines around the world.
From the moment the debate over U-grooves versus V-grooves hit the sport, players, club makers and journalists were debating the most obvious question surrounding the first equipment rollback in 80 years: how will it affect the game?
When asked prior to the start of the 2010 season, it was apparent that players’ opinions regarding the club change were all over the map. Some thought it would even the playing field; others figured it was going to really force players to hit more fairways, thereby keeping the ball, and the chance of a flyer lie, out of the equation; while most fell somewhere in between both lines of thinking.
Phil Mickelson was of course the first one to really bring the issue to the forefront of the spot. When he showed up Torrey Pines with an outdated wedge Ping-Eye 2 wedge, some players cried foul — even though all Mickelson did was find a loophole in the new rule, and exploit it.
Since then, Mickelson’s resumed play with conforming wedges, and the sport has been talking about Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods and, you guess it, Tiger Woods. The grooves debate is a mere afterthought — or so we thought.
I was searching around the internet recently and came across a link on the GolfWRX forums that really piqued my interest. “Dynamic Gold New Spinner Shaft Spy Pics!!!” the headline proclaimed. Seriously? A golf shaft that allows you to spin the ball pre-grooves rule?
Here’s what Dynamic Gold had to say about the shaft:
The recent USGA groove modification has significantly increased launch angles and reduced spin rates on both full and low impact wedge shots.
DG Spinner has been specifically designed with a revolutionary section just underneath the grip that creates the optimal bending profile to offset the impact of the groove change by decreasing launch angles as much as 2-3 degrees while increasing spin rates by as much as 500+ rpm. The result is a more penetrating trajectory that descends sharply for greater stopping power.
I kept searching and found a video of Rory Sabbatini trying out the shaft recently. I’ll be honest, I never really expected the golf club manufacturers to take the new role laying down. You knew they’d find a way to bend the rule for the pros.
What’s so genius about this shaft is that IT makes the difference here, as opposed to having to make a tweak on the club itself. To be honest, it’s a pretty genius idea if it ends up working out. I guess for now it’s still a prototype in the making.
Regardless, it’s good to see the industry coming up with new products to stay up with the current rules of the game. I for one can’t wait to see the shaft in action on a week-to-week basis.