High-Spinning Davis Love weighs in on grooves issues
"I'm trying to hit it lower, and with less spin, on everything," he told me recently.
For that reason, Love uses a classic muscle-back blade, the Titleist Forged 680. The old-school clubs are about as forgiving as a Rottweiler, but they give the pure-hitting Love the ability to shape shots and control his ball flight effectively.
"I test stuff for [Titleist] all the time because they want my feedback," he said. "But the guys are honest, and don't say to me, 'Hey Davis, we could sell more AP2s if you would play them.'"
Like every other pro on Tour, the looming rule changes on grooves are on Love's mind these days. He has started testing clubs to see how his game will be affected, but the winner of the 1997 PGA Championship is in a unique situation.
"I'm going to lose less [spin] than a lot of other guys," he said. "I don't play with the Vokey Spin Milled wedges, I play the regular wedges. And in fact, Vokey grinds mine down to make the edges less sharp. My wedges produce about 20% less spin than in most guys'."
For this reason, Love will not have to make as large an adjustment as lower-spinning players who have relied on U-grooves to help them.
"It'll be like when I first came out, when everybody had V-grooves," he said. "It's hard for the USGA to look back, but what we're doing is going back about 20 years."
Because Love spins the ball so much, it might seem odd that he chooses to carry a 17° hybrid club. Hybrids and rescue clubs typically launch shots higher than irons. But Love said that his Titleist 909H is the first hybrid that he can hit either high or low, so it has earned a spot in his bag.
Here is a complete list of Davis Love's golf clubs:
DRIVER: Titleist 909D3 (8.5°) with UST ProForce V2 X 76 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist F305 Prototype (13°) with UST ProForce V2 X 86 shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H (17°) with UST ProForce V2 Hybrid X 104 shaft
IRONS: Titleist Forged 680 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design (55°, 60°)
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist 009 Newport
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x