What is the new wedge rule?
The new rule limits the backspin performance of grooves on lofted clubs. The rule downsizes groove volume and limits edge sharpness for all grooves manufactured after January 1st 2010 so they’re equal to or less than the previously approved V-Groove dimensions.
What are the implications for the Amateur? If backspin is important to you around the greens you’ll know that grooves are an important part of your game. Modern, larger grooved wedges have the ability to channel away more material, such as water or grass. At the same time, sharper groove edges facilitate a better contact between club and ball, even in the presence of debris. Here’s where the USGA has been lenient:
As an amateur (who doesn’t play in Pro comps) you have a choice of which grooves to play until 2024. I.e. if you want to maximise your short-game backspin you can legally play with box or U-grooves (manufactured prior to Jan 2010) until 2024.
If, YOU PLAY WITH A WEDGE MANUFACTURED AFTER Jan 2010, it must have grooves with spin performance at or below V-Groove levels. These grooves will not provide as much spin around the greens.
How is it different for Professional Golfers? Tour Pros must use wedges conforming to the new rule beginning on January 2010. The ruling will decrease the backspin and increase stopping distances pros achieve from grassy lies. This means that hitting the fairways will be much more important, and ‘bombing and gouging’ may become a trend of the past. Could make for more interesting and competitive golf.
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