John Daly to play Vertical Groove driver on tour this year

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John Daly to play Vertical Groove driver on tour this year

John Daly has been synonymous with the long ball since his massive drives helped him tame Pete Dye’s Crooked Stick and win the 1991 PGA Championship as the ninth alternate.

The two-time major champion’s latest connection to the tee ball came today with the news that he will play a Vertical Groove driver this season in his professional events.

From the press release:

Two-Time Major Champion and the #1 driver on the PGA TOUR Champions, John Daly, has signed a multi-year deal with Vertical Groove Golf, LLC, and will now tee off with the Vertical Groove Driver when competing on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and other professional golf tournaments in 2017 and beyond.

“The Vertical Groove Driver, which conforms to the Rules of Golf, is the only golf club innovation to enter the market featuring vertical groove technology on the club face. The Vertical Groove Driver technology reduces side spin at impact, leading to 40% straighter ball flight on average, while also generating greater energy at impact, resulting in a stronger forward roll and increased driving distance.

“I’ve been hitting the ball further and straighter off the tee since putting the Vertical Groove Driver in my bag,” said Daly. “I’m hitting more fairways since switching to this driver and the sound of the club at impact is terrific."

Vertical Groove says its driver conforms to USGA rules. Here's a closer look:

Daly became the first PGA Tour player to average more than 300 yards off the tee when he hit it 302 per drive in 1997, ahead of Tiger Woods at 294.8. Daly led the Tour in driving distance from 1991-93 and again from 1995-2002.