Do worn-out grooves decrease spin?

Old Faithful may be doing your short game more harm than good.
Schecter Lee

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 years—it’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.