Grooves are extremely important for a golf club. The quality of grooves actually determines how much control one may have on a shot. If you have an old club and wondering if you can renew it by regrooving it then you are in the right place. So Golf club groove sharpener do they work well? Actually Yes but is it significant? This is a more important question.
WHAT IS SIGNIFICANCE OF GROOVES
Before we get into the main question, let’s do a quick check on how important actually are grooves? For chip shots, ball control is extremely important. Most people struggle in stopping the ball near the hole.
Upon viewing a chip shot on an ultra slow-motion camera, it is quite visible that the ball and the club face have a significant collision time. If this time is large enough and the clubface has the right surface structure, the club will grip the ball and induce spin on it.
For shots which require straight trajectory, such as the drive shots do you see any grooves on the drivers? No, because the idea behind those shots is to hit straight without imparting any angular momentum. Any grip on the ball is not required, the only goal is to pass on the maximum energy in the forward direction on to the ball in the form of topspin. So club heads are designed based on the need of how much grip is required on the ball at the time of impact. A good driver will have no grip while a wedge would have a lot.
WHAT IF WE PLAY WITHOUT GROOVES
Now that it is clear that grooves are a necessity for some shots, what if you play the ball control shots with a grooveless wedge. The answer is pretty clear, you will struggle a lot in controlling the ball on the green. It is quite necessary to have backspin on the ball. It helps the ball to stop near the hole. If there is no backspin and you are playing with a grooveless club then you can only save your day by playing the shot at a very steep angle.
HOW MUCH SHARPENED GROOVES HELP?
So not what we have some basic concept understood. Let’s get into the main topic of how much sharpening the grooves on a club head will help. Can deepening the lined depressions on the face really have any significant impact. The answer is No.
Consider your pitch wedge which you have been using for quite some time has a spin rate of 10000 rpm with your swinging technique. If you take a sharpener and rub that vigorously on the club linings making sure that the grooves become sharper. Now, what do you think, your rpm will go from 10000 to 12000? It is very unlikely that you will achieve such a significant increase in the ball angular momentum. The most you can get is another 100-200 rpm.
DISADVANTAGES OF SHARPENING GROOVES
a) Cuts Your Finger
Do not slide your fingers over a sharpened club face even when clearing grass. Keep a thick cloth or a towel to do this now. While sharpening the grooves, the metal shards may get filled and stuck on the lining. Also, the lining itself will become sharp. You can get cuts from just a slight slide.
Even while cutting the grooves, the small metal particles can easily cut through your skin. If you plan to do this experiment, make sure that you have thick gloves and eye protector in place. A sharpened club head is not worth an injured eye or finger.
b) Damages The Ball
Sharpened grooves will not add any significant spin on the ball but they can actually reduce if used on the same ball. Golf ball aerodynamics are extremely important. By a strong impact with razor sharps, grooves can scuff the ball outer covering. As the ball goes into the flight it will face the increased drag. It will decrease the spin induced on the ball. Balls such as superhot bold can survive the beating because of the relatively outer hard shell. But the softer ones such as the chrome soft won’t stand much.
If you are reading this post after sharpening your club face I urge you not to practice with an expensive set of a golf ball. If you want to still try it out then buy recycled or old balls you don’t care much about.
c) Makes Club Illegal
There is a limit to which the manufacturers can make the grooves sharp. If there were no limitation, then there are loads of more ways to add in backspin onto the ball. Instead of a series of grooves, two to three ultra-sharp grooves can induce more spin on the ball. In order to keep the game fair, it is not allowed to alter the grooves on your club head.
Altered club heads beyond the set limits can disqualify you from any tournament. If you are playing with friends or you have an old wedge then it should be ok.
WRAP UP: Golf Club Groove Sharpener Do They Work
Yes, it does help in increasing the spin but it does not increase it to the significant level. There are more disadvantages especially the damage of the golf ball. Damaging aerodynamics of the golf ball will simply make it useless.
There are both pros and cons of doing this experiment. The cons are a lot in terms of weight if you compare it to the advantage of the addition of just another hundred revolutions per minute. If you don’t care about an old club or you want to do an experiment with proper safety gear then go for it. Otherwise, the benefits are not worth getting into this mess.