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A driver with vertical grooves is about to hit the market

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Vertical Groove Golf is set to debut a (you guessed it) driver with vertical grooves in December. And the Boston-based company claims the USGA conforming club offers golfers improved distance and accuracy off the tee.

The theory is that the vertical grooves reduce “side spin” at impact. (Yes, we know “side spin” isn’t technically a thing). According to Vertical Groove, the groove pattern leads to a 40 percent straighter ball flight on average.

And another claim from the company: The “array of shorter vertical grooves combined with vertical land areas perpendicular to the club face” contribute to added distance and better forward roll.

In independent testing at Golf Laboratories, Inc., the Vertical Groove driver outperformed market leaders in spin rate and distance, in addition to center, heel, and toe dispersion.

“The performance attributes of the Vertical Groove Driver will benefit all golfers, including low-handicappers and golfers that have a tendency to hook or slice off the tee,” said Rubin Hanan, Managing Partner, Vertical Groove Golf, LLC. “Vertical Groove technology on the club face reduces side spin at impact, while generating more forward spin, resulting in better accuracy and increased distance off the tee.”

Additional specs

  • Available in both right and left-handed models
  • 450 cubic centimeters
  • Offered in 9.5, 10.5 and 12-degree lofts
  • Aldila NV2K series shafts come stock 
  • Flexes include: 45 gram L (Ladies), 50 gram A (Senior), 55 gram R (Regular), 65 gram S (Stiff) and 65 gram X (Extra-stiff)
  • 45.75 inches
  • Suggested retail: $399.99
  • Available in December 2016

Check out the Vertical Groove website for ordering information.

And an interesting side note: An earlier iteration of the Vertical Groove Driver showed up in the forums back in 2015. User JGalls wrote about his experience hitting the club at a demo day and snapped this picture.

post-2519-0-38153900-1436499820_thumb

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Nonymous A

    Nov 28, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I hit this driver many times, and if you think of the physics in grooves, spin increases perpendicular to the groove. The dispersion on a low torque shaft was dreadful. The vertical grooves produce generally low spin, but biiiiiiiig sidespin. As a longish hitter (270-300) at 13 years old, I’ll keep my D4

  2. Wayne

    Nov 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

    My buddy still games an old Killer Bee B-Sting with vertical groves. He’s almost always right down the middle and fairly long.

  3. The Greatest Game

    Nov 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I had the chance to hit the driver this past summer. Just like any other drivers that have a different look on the crown other than the traditional black, it didn’t doesn’t bother me looking down at address. I only focus on the ball with my eyes, everything else gets phased out. The club itself performed exceptionally well compared to my Nike Vapor Pro. I didn’t have a launch monitor at the time, but I could definitely notice an increase in launch angle, and most importantly a much straighter ball flight. I’m looking forward to further testing, and hopefully adding one to the bag.

  4. bradpuma

    Nov 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

    First thing in this thread that is wrong is that the company is Boston based, The company is based in Jupiter Fl. Second this driver was just featured at Ibis Demo day and sold 20 drivers straight from the range anyone who is knocking it before they try it is getting way ahead of themselves almost the entire Ibis staff has put this driver in play already.

  5. Dave

    Nov 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Steve,
    I still have one of those drivers here in the fitting studio. Interesting pattern but unplayable with today’s golf balls. Smiles, Dave

  6. DJ

    Nov 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    if it had a TM, Titleist, or Callaway badge on it, you’d all be lining up to hit it. Price in the stores will drop to $249 – $299.

  7. Scooter McGavin

    Nov 18, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    “more forward spin”….?

  8. Jonah Mytro

    Nov 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Poor pricing model at $399, thats going to be a tough sell to a golfer who can get a TM, Callaway or Ping driver at the same or lower price…Design of the driver isnt appealing at all. I am getting tired of all of these companies telling us their driver is LONGER, STRAIGHTER and MORE FORGIVING than the other guy. I think most of us are smart enough to know most drivers/irons perform the same, its all about the golfer using the equipment.If you slice a TM driver, your probably going to do the same with all of the other OEM drivers..It comes down to the mechanics of your swing..Id rather spend $399 on lessons to fix my hook or slice on my current driver…

  9. Tider992010

    Nov 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I remember several year ago with a drive had no groves. I don’t believe they matter just what the consumer is used too.

  10. John

    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:38 am

    not 460cc …. not interested

  11. Guia

    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I am not convinced that Vertical or Horizontal grooves on a driver have any affect. I have a driver that has no grooves, and it performs the same as those with.

  12. FX

    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Wouldn’t vertical grooves encourage MORE side spin, especially for those who already have issues with that?

    • Yearight

      Nov 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      I am confused by the same thing. Unless it has something to do with the curve of the face (roll and bulge)

  13. Wow.....

    Nov 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve obviously never designed a club a before, this is just total speculation.

    So thinking about iron and wedge grooves only, and thinking back on the whole groove ban back in 2010 or whatever, and the size of horizontal grooves, and then seeing these grooves…..I don’t know…. In my non-engineer and club designing mind maybe it could work to a bit? I’m talking only about the grooves not the head, aerodynamics, CG, ect. Maybe it’s outside the box thinking….

    AGAIN, it could be,and might be complete BS, this is just my ignorant thought on the vertical grooves only.

  14. D. Jenkins

    Nov 17, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Pure gold. Well done Mrs. Smizzle.

  15. ACGolfwrx

    Nov 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Ugly as a hat full of “arseholes”

  16. Bert

    Nov 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Big Deal – does nothing!

  17. Double Mocha Man

    Nov 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Where can I get an Otterbox case for the driver head?

  18. Greg Meyers

    Nov 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I currently have this driver in my bag. Its a pretty solid driver… what I notice most is:
    1: It goes just as far as my Bridgestone J715 on good swings
    2: Bad swings stay between the trees

  19. Cris

    Nov 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

    So less “side-spin” and puts “top-spin” on the ball. Definitely defies the laws of physics. Powered by Antineutrino technology.

    • skip

      Nov 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      “Vertical Groove technology on the club face reduces side spin at impact, while generating more forward spin, resulting in better accuracy and increased distance off the tee.”

      LOL. Forward spin, good luck getting the ball off the ground if that’s the case. Over/Under on how long this new company lasts? haha.

      • blink3665

        Nov 18, 2016 at 10:59 am

        I’m glad someone else saw that. It was the only thing that registered after reading that article. “Forward spin”?

      • creeder

        Dec 8, 2016 at 8:23 am

        could forward spin be speaking towards a gear effect the “reduces back spin”. i am not defending, it is really more of a question if it is bad semantics. depending on construction, there could be a reverse effect on back spin hence more forward spin. i dunno, i could be talking out my butt as much as they are.

  20. Golfbuddy

    Nov 17, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Interesting. Might be fun to hit a few and see what’s up. Could be interesting to see if the vertical grooves help with hitting a draw.

  21. Deacon Blues

    Nov 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Nothing new. Golfsmith had a Killer Bee B-Sting driver with vertical grooves in 2006: http://www.jeffsheetsgolf.com/killer-bee—past-projects (scroll down a bit)

    • Scott

      Nov 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Nice link. Funny that the comments on the link made no mention of the side spin.

    • Shallowface

      Nov 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I knew I had seen this somewhere before.

  22. Feel the Bern

    Nov 17, 2016 at 9:31 am

    certified showstopper.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Three new PXG drivers appear on the USGA conforming list

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Following up its original 0811 driver launch, PXG came out with 0811X drivers earlier in 2017. Now, as of December 18, there are three new PXG drivers that have popped up on the USGA Conforming Driver Heads list. The new heads include all 9-degree models; PXG ZZ, PXG XXF and PXG XX. Based on the placement of its signature screw-like weights, it appears there is a fade-biased head, a draw-biased head and a neutral head.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new PXG driver heads

PXG ZZ (Neutral)

The PXG ZZ head appears to have a slightly more compact shape than the XXF and XX models, and it also has only six weights in the sole that are placed in the rear of the head on the toe and heel. The placement of these weights suggest both high MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) and a neutral trajectory bias.

PXG XXF (Fade-biased?)

The PXG XXF head has nine weights in the sole, with three weights placed out on the toe; this weight placement suggests a fade-bias. And with three weights closer to the face, this suggests a CG (center of gravity) that’s more forward than the ZZ model, possibly to lower spin.

PXG XX (Draw-biased?)

Like the XXF head, the PXG XX head has nine weights in the sole, with three weights forward in the head. The difference is that the XX model has three weights in the heel, suggesting a draw-bias.

What do you think about the new PXG drivers that appear on the USGA conforming list?

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new PXG driver heads

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Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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