Can V-grooves replicate the performance of U-grooves via golf technology? In other words: How does golf technology compensate for the "groove rule" for golf clubs?
The United States Golf Association (USGA) implemented a "groove rule" for golf clubs effective January 1, 2010.
This rule allows only V-grooves (and similar conformed grooves) to be used in competitions on The PGA Tour, the European PGA Tour, the LPGA, the PGA of America and the International Federation of PGA Tours. U-grooves previously conformed to regulations, but no longer do with this new rule.
A reason for the implementation of this new rule:
"Our research shows that the rough has become less of a challenge for the highly skilled professional and that driving accuracy is now less of a key factor for success," said USGA Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge. "We believe that these changes will increase the challenge of the game at the Tour level, while having a very small effect on the play of most golfers."
Information on U-grooves and V-grooves:
The research undertaken and published by the USGA and The R&A demonstrates that for shots from the rough with urethane-covered balls (the type of ball most used by highly skilled players), modern, sharp-edged U-grooves result in higher ball spin rates and steeper ball landing angles than the V-groove designs used predominantly in the past. The combination of a higher spin rate and steeper landing angle results in better control when hitting to the green. Shots from the rough become more similar to shots from the fairway, creating less challenge for shots from the rough.