Although John Daly no longer is the longest driver in the game, his name still connotes distance off the tee, which made his signing of an endorsement deal to use the Vertical Golf driver earlier this year notable. The deal paid dividends last week as Daly, who first put the club in play in January, captured the Insperity Invitational on the PGA Tour Champions for his first win on U.S. soil since the 2004 Buick Invitational on the PGA Tour.
Daly used the club to average 293.8 yards and hit two-thirds of his fairways for the week, despite some wildness on Sunday. The driver features a pattern of 17 vertical grooves that run from crown to sole instead of the traditional heel-to-toe direction. The idea being the grooves will reduce sidespin and mitigate slices or hooks.
The original patent on the idea of vertical grooves was filed many years ago by a man named Tony Antonious, whose name is on hundreds of patents but is most known for his patent on the Velcro closure of a golf glove. Daly led the PGA Tour Champions last year in distance at 303 yards. The 450cc driver he used last week at The Woodlands in Houston was 44.5 inches long with an x-flex Nunchuk shaft with a SuperStroke 81-gram grip and D-3 swingweight.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Vertical Groove, 8 degrees
Irons (2): Ping Crossover; (3-PW): Ping i200
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD