Most golfers change putters and drivers like they do socks. But chances are if you have a sand wedge you like then you've stuck with it for yearsit's tough to give one up when you know it works. There's also a good chance that its grooves are practically worn away due to years of ballstriking. Do worn grooves actually hurt your game? Hot Stix Golf, our exclusive research partner, ran the following test to find out.
Testers hit a worn Wilson Staff sand wedge, circa 1987, and a brand new Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedge. Both clubs have the same loft (56°) and lie angle. We captured ball data using a Trackman launch monitor on a 25-yard pitch off of a Bermuda-grass fairway.
Worn grooves are a detriment to your game. The wedge with fresh grooves produces twice the backspin and loads more control on our designated short touch shot. In addition, the ball slides up the worn face (and launches higher) rather than being grabbed by the grooves, thus reducing spin.