Deee-lite taught us that groove is in the heart but is it also in the hole? Following decades of horizontal groove hegemony along comes a big stick pulling off a radical about-face by making traditional face lines take a 90-degree turn. The unique upright design even bisects the sweet spot.
It’s an intriguing aesthetic statement and the design about face certainly catches golfers attention but is there anything more to going vertical than meets the eye?
According to Vertical Groove’s marketing propaganda, they purport that their driver hits balls 40% straighter, while also encouraging greater forward rotation than the horizontally lined hoi polloi.
The idea for going vertical with the grooves is to aid in sidespin reduction on impact while hexagonal dimples on the top of the crown are there to reduce airflow across the head, an aerodynamic trait shared by golf balls. While any golf equipment wonk will tell you clubface angle on impact is the chief determiner of “shot straightness,” the vertical groove still has performed remarkably well against leading brands in head to head distance tests even against ones with bigger price tags. But as far as the straighter claims, if marketing machinations enter your swing thoughts and add confidence than that’s great. A couple big names on the Champions tour have hopped on the Vertical Groove bandwagon with long John Daly and Rocco “remember me from the 2008 U.S. Open playoff facing off against Tiger” Mediate both are playing the Vertical Groove.