Phil Collins once said in one of his more questionable songs, “We got a groovy kind of love.” That title fits the over-40 crowd on the PGA Tour. As you likely have heard, the world’s top tours are leaving the square or U grooves and going back in time to V grooves. This is what guys like me, who grew up watching “The Dukes of Hazzard” learned how to play with.
What does all of this mean? Well, it means the V grooves will reduce the amount of spin on a golf ball especially out of the rough. So, guys who just hit Howitzer drives without concern about where it goes won’t have as much control if they land in the high stuff. Scott Hoch told me recently that with the new grooves we are going to find out which players “hit” the golf ball and which players “golf” their ball. His statement means two things. First, the guys who hit the ball in the center of the club more will have success and technology won’t bail players out as much with a mishit. Secondly, game management is much more paramount. Hitting the fairway is now a premium and expect to see more 3-woods off the tee.
For veterans like Kenny Perry, Vijay Singh and Jerry Kelly, going back to V grooves could be like riding a bike. It should be easier for them to adjust back to the clubs they played while growing up. Keep your eye on Steve Stricker. He led the Tour in scrambling in 2009 and from 50-125 yards out, there was no one better. So, the best wedge player in the game grew up playing V grooves and he should be even deadlier this year compared with the competition. Look for this proud product of the cheese state to win twice before the Masters.
As for the young guns, with the groove change they may be firing blanks early. It will take a bit of time for these guys to learn what their equipment and ball will do with less room for error. If you are a fantasy player, take my advice. Don’t pick a guy in his 20’s for at least six months. They may have never played a V groove, until now.