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Dazza Clarke on the coming groove changes...


AKA.... Obi-Wan Ho-Nobi
Jan 4, 2006
...Whilst watching the Nedbank challenge on sunday, Darren Clarke was a guest in the comentry box. They got to talking about shot shaping and how the course design made for some great golf because it made players 'make' shots like the old days. Clarke then commented that whilst good course design can play a part in bringing the shot making skills back into the game he said that in his view out lawing square grooves and the re-introduction of V grooves only, will bring shot making back to the Tour. He said accuracy from the tee will be of a premium again as hitting the fairway with 180 to the green will be better than in the rough with 120 left as you won't be able to stop it from the rough like they can at the moment. He also said that the golf ball would change because players will demand a softer ball that will spin more (like a Balata) & distance would be sacrificed to achieve this. He said that the rule will have a "Massive affect on the game" lets wait and see.

any thoughts???


Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
Clarke precisely mirrors my feelings on the change. It will be relatively unnoticed by most amateurs, aside from those of us who appreciated the shotmakers of years past, and want that sort of interest back in the professional game.

I'm looking forward to seeing if that notion is true, and if so, which of the current crop can actually make the adjustment in their games to take advantage of it. :)


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2006
I think that while the sentiment is in the right place, this groove change isn't going to pull it off. Read the groove study on USGA's website. The change in grooves does have an effect, just not a very large one. In fact, for 5 irons from the rough, V grooves had more spin than a 5 iron with U grooves.

It is a noble idea -- one I very much support -- but the grooves are not the big factor. It is the modern golf ball. The modern ball can be hit farther than the old ones while still retaining excellent spin for the short game shots. If the governing bodies would reign the ball back in instead of the grooves, I think that Clarke's goal would be much closer to fruition.


New Member
Aug 29, 2007
I think Clarke is spot on with his observations. I've also seen the data on spin rates for U grooves vs V grooves and I think the difference is significant enough that outlawing U grooves on wedges would make accuracy more important than distance.

I for one would love to see a return to the old days of shot making. As good as Tiger obviously is (the best player ever), he's just not as exciting to watch as Seve, Norman, Watson and Co in their heyday of the 80's, especially the recovery shots and ball control that you just don't see with today's equipment. Modern balls, advances in drivers, and U grooves have made the ability to work the ball and vary the height, spin and flight of the ball with talent alone obselete, which is a great shame.

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