Tour pro shines a light on one of golf’s biggest equipment myths
With just over 67K followers on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Michael Kim has quietly turned into one of the best follows for golf fans.
In a sea of pay-to-post tweets, the former PGA Tour winner has conducted impromptu Q&A sessions and regaled followers with wild stories from his years on Tour, including the time a fellow pro willingly accepted a two-shot penalty for a ride to the next tee box.
Gearheads have even found Kim to be a great source for equipment insights. After asking followers if they’d be interested in a detailed “What’s in the bag,” Kim provided a detailed breakdown of every component — all the way down to the reasoning behind the shaft model and flex in each club.
The content was a rousing success that further highlighted something most golfers have known all along: Golf clubs are highly personal. Even Kim admitted he “wouldn’t be able to use 99 percent] of other pros clubs very well.”
Kim also busted one of the biggest equipment fallacies during his wedge breakdown when he proclaimed, “It’s a myth that the rust gives you more spin.”
For decades, golfers have been taught to believe that raw wedge grooves somehow generate more spin than their plated counterparts. Some believe adding a layer of rust and removing the plating allows the grooves to grip the cover more effectively, thereby increasing greenside spin.
As much as I’d like to sit here and tell you the claims are legitimate, testing conducted by Golf Laboratories’ swing robot says otherwise. Just last year, GOLF.com’s gear crew ran a head-to-head test between a non-plated 56-degree wedge and a plated version to determine if there was a noticeable difference in spin.
Titleist Vokey SM9 Raw Custom Wedge
Both wedges were hit at 85 miles per hour out of the same center impact location to compare numbers. Even though the non-plated wedge had a rusty face, it still produced nearly identical numbers to the chrome version at roughly 10,000 RPMs. The launch angle, ball speed and total distance were almost the same as well.
“They were within 45 RPMs of each other, which is statistically insignificant,” said Golf Laboratories co-founder Gene Parente. “They look different. But from a launch monitor perspective, from a distance perspective, everything was practically the same.”
It’s true non-plated wedges elicit a softer feel at impact, but there’s nothing to be gained in the spin department. Chalk one up for Michael Kim the mythbuster.
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