There’s a New Driver in Town
There’s a new driver — and brand — on the market. It’s the Vertical Groove driver ($400) from Vertical Groove Golf. As its name implies, clubface grooves run north and south instead of horizontally. The company claims this helps significantly tighten shot dispersion. I took it to the range Saturday for a testing session, comparing it to some new name-brand models. My thoughts: It looks good at address, with a dimpled black crown and thick white perimeter banding. The clubface is deep. Loft isn’t adjustable — mine came with 12 degrees standard. I expected a high ball flight and got it, no problem. Impact sound was nice and loud, with a slight metallic hint to it. Feel was solid. And I thought distance was pretty good. As advertised, dispersion for the most part was tight — although I typically don’t have issues spraying my tee shots. In-between shots, however, I pulled out the Callaway GBB Epic and Mizuno JPX 900 (both 10.5 degrees) to hit. And those drivers felt much more solid to me, with similar trajectory and dispersion but probably slightly more carry. While I think the Vertical Groove is more than adequate, I personally would rather pay a little extra to play a familiar name model. But you may feel differently, like John Daly and Rocco Mediate who are both playing it this year. It’s worth a look, if you’re in the market.
Veteran golf writer Scott Kramer has covered the golf equipment market full-time since 1990. His career has spanned senior editor positions at both Golf Pro Magazine and GOLF Magazine. He now works on a freelance basis for many consumer and trade publications, including the SCGA’s FORE magazine.