At a recent PGA Education Seminar I had the opportunity to hear Bob Renegar speak regarding the spin effect of the new groove requirements. Bob is a design engineer who has worked with companies including Titleist and Callaway Golf and holds several design patents. He also serves on the USGA Technical Board and is considered a leading expert on wedge design and performance.
Bob explained that basically the new designs will result in a 40% reduction in groove volume. We will continue to see a variety of designs that will include versions of V and Square grooves.
After extensive testing between new and old grooves these were the results on full swings:
Good Lies from the fairway - No Change
Heavy Rough - No Change
Explosion shots from bunker - No Change
Light to Medium Rough - Yes
Partial Shots (Chips and Pitches) - Yes
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) can continue to sell old groove irons through 2010. Beginning in 2011 OEM's can only make and sell new groove clubs. Effective Jan. 1, 2010 PGA tour players and competitors in USGA events must play new groove conforming clubs. Otherwise you will be allowed to play with the non-conforming clubs until 2024.
Check with your PGA Professional if you are in the market for new irons and have questions regarding the groove design.