A vertical groove driver sounds quite bizarre as a description, but that is what Vert Golf have come up with as a novel alternative to more traditional drivers on the market.
Vert Golf may be a name you’ve never heard of, but the name comes from the whole concept – that being to produce golf clubs with grooves that are vertical rather than the horizontal that are used by every other manufacturer.
Does the unique approach work? Is there performance gains from the design of both the driver and accompanying fairway woods and what can you expect?
John Daly, Kenny Perry and Rocco Mediate have all played the driver on the PGA Tour Champions, prompting a claim that the driver is the “number one for distance and number one for accuracy on the PGA Tour Champions”.
What Vert Golf say about the Vertical Groove Driver:
“The simplest solutions are usually the best, and yet they are often the most overlooked. The Vertical Groove Driver is the first radical change to the face of the golf club in decades – and yet it couldn’t be simpler. Every golf club today uses horizontal grooves. Our patented VGT Technology starts by rotating those grooves 90 degrees.
“Our Vertical Groove Driver has been hit by many professional golfers, teachers and amateurs. Each has marveled at the smooth feel, crisp sound and characteristic ball flight that VGT Technology delivers. VGT was developed by one of the greatest inventors in golf, Tony Antonius. Tony is well known for hundreds of golf patents.”
Vertical Groove Driver Design
The Vertical Groove Driver goes against the grain – quite literally – and turns things around from the horizontal grooves that have always been used down the years.
It is a novel idea to have 17 groove lines, which feature in different sizes in a clearly thought out pattern, and Vert Golf think it is performance enhancing too by producing a straight ball flight.
Distance is more than a match for more established brands with the unique grooves helping produce a low ball flight that runs after landing.
The titanium head is slightly different to most drivers because the crown and rounded sole make it quite shapely. The face wraps around the crown and sole but achieves its accuracy thanks to a special 455 maraging steel alloy which flexes upon impact.
There is a white top with a black section and a lime green line of dotted hexgons with an arrow at the juncture of the club face for alignment. With a black face, the line stands out more than it might on other drivers. When it comes to technology, the club head has hexagon dimples on the crown for aerodynamic effect too.
The interesting thing about the Vertical Groove Driver is that you can create the perfect club via the Vert Golf website. Build the driver yourself as you pick your loft, shaft and grip size.
Vertical Groove Driver Verdict
In some ways, the vertical grooves really got us interested to see what impact they might have compared to more traditional drivers.
What we found was that the performance was actually pretty good, but not enough to think making a permanent move to vertical grooves is going to make a huge difference to our game.
If you are up for trying innovative products, you will get a unique and an impressive performer. It stands up very well against the best there is on the market, but the lack of any significant gains is probably why bigger manufacturers have never bothered trying vertical grooves.