This Q&A has been excerpted from Dear Frank…Answers to 100 of Your Golf Equipment Questions
Thank you for the information you provide. It is helpful because I am becoming confused with all the new equipment being introduced and all the technical stuff they talk about. My question is; why do some of the new big drivers not have grooves on the face? – Mark
The reason for this is twofold. First drivers don’t need grooves as these markings play no part in the spin off a clean, dry, low lofted surface. Second and most important is the fact that the face is so thin that cutting grooves into the face will weaken it, especially in the sweet spot area where there is maximum flex during impact.
You will notice that many clubs have a good size area in the center of the face left un-grooved. The durability of even these new clubs depends on how hard you hit them. A head speed of 120 mph is considered a hard impact and at this impact speed, all on the sweet spot, you can expect the club to last for about 10,000 impacts. At this point or earlier the face will start flattening and the COR will start going down, unless it has failed catastrophically because of the weakening of the face because of grooves. You will notice that very few, if any, drivers today have anything more than decorative markings on the face of the club.