When you see members of the Vokey Wedge team armed with a collection of SM6 wedges in hand and on their way to the Titleist Manchester Lane Test Facility, you know something very interesting is about to happen.
And this is exactly what we saw when Kevin Tassistro, Director of Wedge Development and Jeremy Stone, Director of Marketing for Vokey Wedges were looking to conduct some in-depth wedge testing to help shed more light on how groove wear can affect launch, spin and overall short game performance.
Kevin and Jeremy got right to work by putting an array of Vokey SM6 wedges to the test and measuring the effects of three different levels of groove wear. As you'll see in the video above, there's a big difference in the control and stopping power a golfer will experience using a wedge with new grooves vs. a wedge that has been used for 125 or even 75 rounds.
The main takeaway? 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.
This figure will vary more or less, depending on how much 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.
“All wedge grooves wear out over time but we make every effort to always deliver the best performance and quality,” said Stone. “This includes inspecting every groove on every Vokey wedge head, and taking the extra step to apply a localized face heat treatment that doubles the groove durability.”
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.