groove sharpeners- are they legal?

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jamielaing

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May be opening up a can of worms here but I have been thinking about sharpening my grooves. Some say this is allowed, some say it's not.

Does anyone know the actual stance according to the rules? If the groove sharpener is sold as rules conforming can we trust that? I obviously don't want any advantage of deeper/wider grooves but want to return them back to how they were when bought.
 

NorwichBanana

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Not sure on this, so of no help I'm afraid.

But while on the subject of grooves, has anyone ever had their grooves checked to make sure they are legal?
 
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If you alter the width, shape or depth of the grooves then you render the club non conforming. The very fact that you are scraping metal off the clubface would indicate that you are altering the club.
 

Twire

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Yes groove sharpeners are legal, after all it's just a tool. It's what you do with it as D4S has stated that can make your club non conforming. All clubs now have their grooves machined to maximum tolerances, if you increase the size of them through scraping your club becomes non conforming. If you use it just to take out bruises that have rolled into the groove, you should be ok. But good luck with that.
 

dufferman

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If you alter the width, shape or depth of the grooves then you render the club non conforming. The very fact that you are scraping metal off the clubface would indicate that you are altering the club.
I understood it that you can adjust / sharpen the grooves, as long as you do not make them illegal. However, as most if not all manufacturers these days make wedge grooves "on the limit" anyway, then any alteration does take them over the legal limit.

Again, no rules expert, but that's what I understood.
 

User101

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My question to you would be why do you want to ? You ain't gonna make them any better, as stated above, these are done through tolerances on probably a million pound plus machine, you scraping at them by hand is just gonna make a mess of them, and your ball.
 

NorwichBanana

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My question to you would be why do you want to ? You ain't gonna make them any better, as stated above, these are done through tolerances on probably a million pound plus machine, you scraping at them by hand is just gonna make a mess of them, and your ball.
But an extra inch of backspin.....Ooooo, Arrrr, so lovely to watch :p!
 

Khamelion

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While groove sharpeners are legal and the how you use them in an attempt to return the grooves to their cutting best as if they were new, the result could be you increase the size of the groove making them illegal.

I'm not condoning cheating, after all this is supposed to be a gentleman's game where we self police the rules, but in the same breath many of us cannot afford to replace wedges like the pro's suggest every 3 months or so, plus the pros get their wedges for free. So if you 2yr old wedge is not stopping the ball as good as it used to, then many will revert to a groove sharpener.

Who is going to check your club is conforming to the rules?

Would you openly admit to fellow playing partners before an open competition for example that you sharpened the grooves in your wedges in the hope you made like they were when new? Would he ask? Have you ever asked?

It's quite possibly a rule that is there to make sure the manufacturers stay within tolerance, but it doesn't really amount to much in the world of the weekend club golfer.
 

Orikoru

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From what I've read it sounds like they're fine as long as you know exactly what you're doing, but you would have to be very careful in using them.
 

duncan mackie

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While groove sharpeners are legal and the how you use them in an attempt to return the grooves to their cutting best as if they were new, the result could be you increase the size of the groove making them illegal.

I'm not condoning cheating, after all this is supposed to be a gentleman's game where we self police the rules, but in the same breath many of us cannot afford to replace wedges like the pro's suggest every 3 months or so, plus the pros get their wedges for free. So if you 2yr old wedge is not stopping the ball as good as it used to, then many will revert to a groove sharpener.

Who is going to check your club is conforming to the rules?

Would you openly admit to fellow playing partners before an open competition for example that you sharpened the grooves in your wedges in the hope you made like they were when new? Would he ask? Have you ever asked?

It's quite possibly a rule that is there to make sure the manufacturers stay within tolerance, but it doesn't really amount to much in the world of the weekend club golfer.
I think you need to look at the section in the rules regarding the grooves on irons.

Making them wider is the tip of the iceberg; every grove is required to be radiused to specific tolerances - there are no sharp edges on new clubs (that conform).

It is impossible to 'sharpen' a grove such that it conforms to the rules (as d4show stated). It was discussed with the Callaway tour workshop who don't touch them for this reason, despite having phenomenal equipment available to them.

So I completely agree with d4show, if you remove metal it's going to be non-conforming - the end.

Will you get 'caught - of course not. But the whole point of golf is that you are your own ref; so obviously you wouldn't do it because you would DQ yourself if you did.
 

duncan mackie

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From what I've read it sounds like they're fine as long as you know exactly what you're doing, but you would have to be very careful in using them.
What have you read?

You are able to comply with the following in any alterations you make are you?

i) Grooves

Grooves must be straight and parallel.Grooves must have a symmetrical cross-section and have sides which do not converge (see Fig. XI).

*For clubs that have a loft angle greater than or equal to 25 degrees, grooves must have a plain cross section.The width, spacing and cross-section of the grooves must be consistent throughout the impact area (some exceptions may be made for woods).The width (W) of each groove must not exceed 0.035 inches (0.9 mm), using the 30 degree method of measurement on file with the*R&A.The distance between edges of adjacent grooves (S) must not be less than three times the width of the grooves, and not less than 0.075 inches (1.905 mm).The depth of each groove must not exceed 0.020 inches (0.508 mm).*For clubs other than driving clubs, the cross-sectional area (A) of a groove divided by the groove pitch (W+S) must not exceed 0.0030 square inches per inch (0.0762mm²/mm) (See Fig. XII)

Grooves must not have sharp edges or raised lips*For clubs that have a loft angle greater than or equal to 25 degrees, groove edges must be substantially in the form of a round having an effective radius which is not less that 0.010 inches (0.254 mm) when measured as shown in Fig. XIII, and not greater than 0.020 inches (0.508 mm). Deviations in effective radius within 0.001 inches (0.0254 mm) are permissible.
 

CliveW

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Has anyone actually used one of these groove sharpeners successfully? I bought one a while back and found it nigh on impossible to use. It was like drawing your nails down a blackboard! :eek:
 

moogie

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I'd say they're good for cleaning the grooves
Don't see much sharpening going on.......

If somebody had used one
Then
A) I more than likely couldn't tell
B) I couldn't care less......

Most club golfers wouldn't have the skill necessary to take advantage anyway
 

jim8flog

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From a usage point of - My own experience, many years ago was that it really a waste of time the club only lasted an extra few weeks before it was obvious the club needed changing. When you do it your are also removing the heat treated surface by which many club faces may have been hardened and the club wears even more quickly than before.
 

mikejohnchapman

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Has anyone actually used one of these groove sharpeners successfully? I bought one a while back and found it nigh on impossible to use. It was like drawing your nails down a blackboard! :eek:
I used one to repair a Mizuno wedge that had been damaged by a stone. There was a chunk taken out of the face which went across a groove so I used the tool to remove the burr caused by the stone.

My logic was the club had been damaged during play and I was restoring it to its previous condition.

Looked pretty awful so replaced it with a Vokey shortly after.

Never occured to me this was illegal as I have know lots of players who have had clubs repaired due to stone hits.
 

J55TTC

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Has anyone actually tried to use one? I got one to repair a bruise on a wedge, perhaps its a cheap piece of junk but it did nothing...
 
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