The Mystery Machine

Mystery Machine

If you are keeping a close study of what equipment the best tour players are using, you may notice the surprising frequency at which they are removing fresh shrinkwrap on a new wedge.  With competitive golf being a notoriously mental grind that engenders all manner of quirks and superstitions the profligacy of their wedge consumption seems to defy logic. If some players will use a driver so long that the face finally caves in from impact fatigue after thousands of shots, what can explain players swapping out fresh wedges every 4 to 6 weeks, or even after every couple tournaments?

The solution to this groovy mystery lies in the grooves themselves.  Jinkies, indeed.

What the savvy tour players have learned is wedge spin performance degrades over time.  The best that a wedge will grip the ball is when it is new with freshly cut grooves. Maximum grip, or traction, on the ball generates the most backspin and controls launch, both of which are required to stick shots close to the pin.  Since the margin of victory can be razor thin on tour, these pros can’t afford to lose even the tiniest fraction of performance from their equipment.

(If you are a student of Strokes Gained Theory, you can figure out quickly how detrimental a loss of precision and accuracy can be on a player’s short game.)

What is causing this loss of performance?  Each time you take a divot, hit out of a bunker, or impact the club in any way the face is essentially being sandblasted.  So, the more shots, the more abrasion from dirt and sand is eating away at the face and dulling the leading and trailing edges of each groove.  Dull grooves mean less backspin, higher launch, and less control to place shots tight to the pin.

(We will leave this as an exercise to you, the reader, but a few minutes spent searching the internet will turn up a good explainer video by another famous wedge maker demonstrating the performance loss from worn grooves.)

The typical golfer doesn’t need to replace a wedge nearly as often as the pros do, but eventually, all wedges will see their best days behind them.  Given usage over the average number of rounds a year, a normal wedge will stay lively for about a year. The good news is StingRay comes with deep, square grooves that will take longer than typical grooves to wear out.  Since StingRay starts out with such a major backspin advantage, it should take much longer than the other guys’ wedges for you to notice any drop in performance.

Take a shot with StingRay to improve your short game today…and tomorrow.