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Dirty Clubs


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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

OK so the basic idea with your description is that the grooves effectively act like the tread on a car tyre and squeeze water/debris out of the way when the ball comes into contact with the face I believe?

There's definitely an element of that in the grooves but in my mind it's not the primary reason for the grooves. If it was the primary reason then I don't understand why people sharpen their grooves when they get dull or why the USGA changed groove sharpness rules to stop grooves spinning the ball so much or why Cleveland invented Zip Grooves to give more spin or why wedges are Spin-Milled to add extra grip to the face to increase spin etc?

There's definitely an element of what you're saying but to me it's not the primary reason for them.



THATS THE ONLY REASON CLUBS HAVE GROOVES! lol.  The USGA didn't necessarily change groove sharpness, they changed volume AND sharpness.  Reason being, the less volume, the less "junk" the groove can hold before its not doing its job and a dull edge cuts the grass less, making it even less effective.  Clevelands zip gooves are their way of adding more volume to channel debris away.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

why do you think that Titliest and other wedges have spin milled faces?  The majority of a balls spin comes from face contact. The grooves help to keep that contact as dry and clean as possible so that there is more friction.  There would be only very minor, if any, spin added by the edges of the grooves.  You want the edges sharp so that grass is cut instead of just mashed against the club.


To be clear, the "spin milled" refers to how the grooves are cut, not the slight texturing of the face. That's also "milled" and in a circular pattern, but the true "spin milled" refers to the grooves. That's straight from Bob Vokey. Consider the logo: a saw. Turn it on its side, spin it, and use it to cut the grooves. That's what it is.

But yes, the grooves act like the tread on a tire. From a fairway you could use "racing slicks" and get nearly identical grip. The grooves will "dig into" the ball a little bit at higher lofts (like your PW, SW, LW) but they still only account for a small addition to the spin in that case, too.

Grooves funnel away water and debris and allow the metal of the clubface to interact with the cover of the golf ball. Those who are saying that are right.

P.S. I'm not sure about "grass being cut..." :-)

Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

There's definitely an element of what you're saying but to me it's not the primary reason for them.


It's the primary reason.

Originally Posted by Paradox

THATS THE ONLY REASON CLUBS HAVE GROOVES! lol.  The USGA didn't necessarily change groove sharpness, they changed volume AND sharpness.  Reason being, the less volume, the less "junk" the groove can hold before its not doing its job and a dull edge cuts the grass less, making it even less effective.  Clevelands zip gooves are their way of adding more volume to channel debris away.

Yep.

The USGA has said, too, that performance from the fairway is nearly identical, but spin from the rough drops significantly with their rules change.

Grooves funnel away debris.

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Tire analogy --> you got it.

As Paradox says, the "groove" part of Cleveland's zip groove technology isn't actually "grasping" the ball. With the sharp edge of the zip groove, the grass is cut and full lodges inside the groove rather than just lying on it, thus keeping the face clean of grass (see link). If the grooves are blunt or rounded, the grass isn't severed and just stays on the face of the club, thus limiting contact with the ball. When people sharpen grooves, they are allowing grass to be cut and not remain idle on the clubface.  The diagram on the cleveland website shows this best...

"The technology of Zip Grooves creates a larger groove volume which channels more debris than traditional grooves to improve contact with the ball." - Cleveland Engineer Nerds. The say nothing about the grooves themselves.

http://www.clevelandgolf.com/US_zip_grooves.html

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Authors of The Search For the Perfect Golf Swing tested smooth-faced irons and grooved irons for distance of travel and roll after landing. A pair of 5-, 7-, and 9-irons were tested. They found few significant differences between the clubs in either measuerment. The smooth club sent the ball a little bit farther, and possibly [their italics] with a little less backspin. See pages 152-56 in the book.

I never hit a ball with a dirty clubface, though. Be nice to your clubs and they'll be nice to you.

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Authors of The Search For the Perfect Golf Swing tested smooth-faced irons and grooved irons for distance of travel and roll after landing. A pair of 5-, 7-, and 9-irons were tested. They found few significant differences between the clubs in either measuerment. The smooth club sent the ball a little bit farther, and possibly [their italics] with a little less backspin. See pages 152-56 in the book.

I never hit a ball with a dirty clubface, though. Be nice to your clubs and they'll be nice to you.

The job of the grooves is to funnel away dirt, water, grass etc. If you get something like that stuck between the clubface and the ball, it can change the ball flight. If you got a clean ball and clean, smooth clubface, the difference will not be too big.

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Originally Posted by Zeph

If anything, dirt in the grooves will cause the ball to spin less, ie. slice less.



No.  It won't have anything to do with slicing.  The ball will have less backspin out of the rough, but that's about it.  Unless you have crap mashed all over the face, then you won't have a clue what the ball is going to do.

To the OP:  Why do let them get that way?  It's so easy to keep a damp towel on your bag and wipe them clean after every shot.  I can't stand to let my clubs go even 2 shots without cleaning them.

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No.  It won't have anything to do with slicing.  The ball will have less backspin out of the rough, but that's about it.  Unless you have crap mashed all over the face, then you won't have a clue what the ball is going to do.

To the OP:  Why do let them get that way?  It's so easy to keep a damp towel on your bag and wipe them clean after every shot.  I can't stand to let my clubs go even 2 shots without cleaning them.





I didnt say it had somthing to do with slicing. I simply pointed out that if dirty grooves will affect a slice at all, it will most likely cause less amount of spin, which means the ball will curve less. Not that you'd probably be able to spot a difference without a launch monitor. It could cause a similar effect to smearing vaselin e on the clubface. The face is more slippery and will create less spin.

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Most of the stuff I've read about grooves had to do with them channelling debris and improving contact as a result. I don't recall ever seeing anyone play with their clubs caked with crap.
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All kidding aside....as a whole, my clubs look very dirty.  IE...I've never once sat on my front porch with a bucket of water to give them a thorough scrubbing to shine them up so to speak.....  With that said, my clubfaces are immaculate before every shot....

I don't always necessarily clean them after every shot.  if you looked at my bag, you might think....day'am...some of those grooves are dirty!!  LOL......it should go without saying that I clean them 'before' EVERY SHOT.......It really makes a difference in control whether it be a full shot.....or a chip/pitch from around the green.

The one thing that I really notice with beginners is they tend to play with mud-caked clubs.........it makes me cringe every time I see it.

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