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Notebook: New wedge face from TaylorMade adds 'grab'

By Jennifer Gardner

GPA Equipment Editor

 

Third-place CA Championship finisher Martin Kaymer was one of a handful of players using a new TaylorMade xFT wedge face for the week.

 

TaylorMade's tour department created the new wedge face in response to player requests for a wedge that would "grab" the ball better. The xFT wedges, which stand for Exchangeable Face Technology, allow players to swap out the face of the wedge without changing the entire club. This is especially effective for players who use special or custom grinds on their wedges, so they can keep the same club but have fresh wedges for play.

 

The new wedge face has 14 grooves instead of 16, like the other wedge faces that TaylorMade offers; it also has slightly different plating.

 

Kaymer had a 58-degree wedge with the new face built for him by the TaylorMade tour van staff. Mike Weir, Peter Hanson and Sean O'Hair also had new wedges made, while Retief Goosen replaced the face in his existing club.

 

SCHWARTZEL NEARLY NABS THIRD WIN: Charl Schwartzel came close to his third win this season with a runner-up finish at the CA Championship. Schwartzel, a South African, has two European Tour titles already this year.

 

To finish second at Doral, Schwartzel, who is a Nike Golf staffer, had a new Nike VR Tour driver, SQ fairway woods, VR Blades, VR wedges and a Nike One Tour D golf ball.

 

DROPPING THE 60: Rory McIlroy, who carries Titleist Vokey Design wedges, mentioned at Doral that he has dropped his 60-degree wedge in favor of a 58-degree model, partly due to the effect of the new grooves mandated as of Jan. 1.

 

"I felt that with the 60-degree lob wedge with the new grooves, the ball sort of just popped up in the air too much with not enough spin," McIlroy said. "Not even rolled up the face, but being sort of bounced off the face, so (I) went to 58 degree to keep the flight down and that give me a little bit more spin and a little bit more control."

 

McIlroy made the change a few weeks ago at the Match Play event, and noted that it worked particularly well in Florida at last week's Honda Classic.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2010 Golf Press Association. All Rights Reserved.


The Bag:

Right handed

Cobra King FLYZ+ 10.5* w/ Aldila Rogue 125 R 44.5"

Tour Issued TM M2 10.5 w/ Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue 60S

Tour Issued TM M2 15* w/ GD Tour AD 7S 43"

TM R7 17.5 HFS w/ Tour AD 7S Stiff 42"

Cobra S3 Pro's 4-pw w/ Aldila RIP Tours SLT 115 Reg. 5i 38.5"

Titleist Vokey Proto's

52*,54*,58* all TTDG S-400

TM TP5 X

Scotty Cameron SSS Tiffany 009 350 34.5" or Bettinardi BB1 DASS Proto

GHIN # 5144472

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If I remember correctly, TM was originally going to be a conforming face and a non-conforming face. So is TM now offering a third xft plate that offers more "grab"?


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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If I remember correctly, TM was originally going to be a conforming face and a non-conforming face. So is TM now offering a third xft plate that offers more "grab"?

 

I took it to mean that the 3rd one was a tour only face because it said that their tour dept. created it.

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I took it to mean that the 3rd one was a tour only face because it said that their tour dept. created it.

 

I wasn't really asking if they are going to be offering it at retail, it was more a question of "am I reading this correctly? does a 3rd face exist?" I'm sure if a third face exists, it will be available somewhere, everything is.


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I wasn't really asking if they are going to be offering it at retail, it was more a question of "am I reading this correctly? does a 3rd face exist?" I'm sure if a third face exists, it will be available somewhere, everything is.

I read it like a third face or lots of tour spec 3rd faces. The dropping 2 grooves for more spin is the part that got me. Is the ruling total groove volume so with 14 rather than 16 the individual grooves can have more volume?

 

Laughed at the second part. OMG hurry and buy a 58, Rory dropped his 60. Sad thing is that this probably happened.


Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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I read it like a third face or lots of tour spec 3rd faces. The dropping 2 grooves for more spin is the part that got me. Is the ruling total groove volume so with 14 rather than 16 the individual grooves can have more volume?

 

I believe so, yes. They use a formula that takes it into account.

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I read it like a third face or lots of tour spec 3rd faces. The dropping 2 grooves for more spin is the part that got me. Is the ruling total groove volume so with 14 rather than 16 the individual grooves can have more volume?

 

Laughed at the second part. OMG hurry and buy a 58, Rory dropped his 60. Sad thing is that this probably happened.

 

I've never heard of the rule being about total groove volume, but I'm sure someone more technical will shine a light on this for us.

 

You're right about that second part. Some chopper will blame his lack of spin on playing a 60...yeah, that's why I can't spin it, yeah. Need to switch it out because I play just like Rory.


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Maybe the groove rule video addresses the total volume vs. single groove volume issue. will watch again

maybe 1 big groove is next.


Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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Maybe the groove rule video addresses the total volume vs. single groove volume issue. will watch again

maybe 1 big groove is next.

 

Someone posted a video from Sports Science recently on a different thread, and I think they included the formula that I mentioned. Is that the video you meant?

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Someone posted a video from Sports Science recently on a different thread, and I think they included the formula that I mentioned. Is that the video you meant?

that is the one. it had some of the calculations, I think.


Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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This groove thing is really starting to wear me out. I am so tired of telling 22 handicappers that "No Sir, Your new wedges are not conforming, but it shouldn't matter, unless you are playing in the US open this year." It's fun, but tiring.


What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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This groove thing is really starting to wear me out. I am so tired of telling 22 handicappers that "No Sir, Your new wedges are not conforming, but it shouldn't matter, unless you are playing in the US open this year." It's fun, but tiring.

 

Do average golfers come into the store worrying about stuff like that? I would have guessed that 90% of the golfing public would have paid no mind.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Do average golfers come into the store worrying about stuff like that? I would have guessed that 90% of the golfing public would have paid no mind.

Every day, 5 times a day. that would be 25 times a week, for the last year. 1300 discussions about grooves....


What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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Every day, 5 times a day. that would be 25 times a week, for the last year. 1300 discussions about grooves....

 

Do they all want to play with conforming grooves or are they just asking for an explanation of the rules? If the former, do they say why?


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Do they all want to play with conforming grooves or are they just asking for an explanation of the rules? If the former, do they say why?

They feel the need to play conforming grooves, and look at me like I'm an alien if I suggest otherwise. to each his own i suppose. I am going to play the biggest deepest grooves i can for as long as i can.


What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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They feel the need to play conforming grooves, and look at me like I'm an alien if I suggest otherwise. to each his own i suppose. I am going to play the biggest deepest grooves i can for as long as i can.

 

I'm with you, but I'm pleased to see that my expectations about "regular" golfers hold true. They all want to play what they see on tv whether it fits them or not.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I'm with you, but I'm pleased to see that my expectations about "regular" golfers hold true. They all want to play what they see on tv whether it fits them or not.

This is a true statement. People are still duped by the marketing departments of the major companies. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it.


What I lug around the golf course in my MacKenzie Walker.

Driver -   Ping G410 Plus 9° Tour 65 S
Fairway -  :srixon-small: Z785 13.5° Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 S

2 Iron - :srixon-small: ZU65 18° AeroTech SteelFiber 110icw S

Irons -  :srixon-small: Z785  TTDG IT S400 3,5-Pw 1° flat
Wedges - :cleveland-small: RTX4 Raw 50° 54° 58°  TTGDTI S400 1° flat

Putters -   Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Austin/Nike  Method Converge B1-01 UST Frequency Filter/Odyssey 2 Ball DFX/ TaylorMade Spider
Tour Black / Ping Anser F/ Scotty Cameron TeI3 Sole Stamp Newport 2. All with different grips, weights, and lengths.
 

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This is a true statement. People are still duped by the marketing departments of the major companies. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it.

Zolex?

 

Seriously, have you thought about making brochures that has all the rules and making a display of them next to your wedges?

My gift to you.

 

So Nic, if I am going to the US Open this year do my wedges have to have the new grooves?


Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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This is a true statement. People are still duped by the marketing departments of the major companies. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it.

 

Exactly right. Whenever I'm afraid that people are seeing through the nonsense of golf marketing I go and talk to my friend who runs our Sunday morning group. He always reaffirms my faith in the gullibility of golfers.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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