What if I told you that roughly 80% of your current handicap is a direct result of how well you play inside 100 yards? Playing with wedges that have been properly fitted for your swing and course conditions is the easiest way to lower your score.
Whether you are planning to replace your old wedge or perhaps buying one for the first time, selecting the right wedge may seem rather confusing. Terms like loft, bounce and grind can leave you baffled. Hence we at Golfoy are here to simplify it all for you to make an informed decision before investing in your next wedge.
To begin with, there are typically four main types of wedges, each serving a different purpose:
- pitching wedge,
- gap wedge,
- sand wedge and;
- lob wedge
- Typically has a loft between 44 to 48°.
- Used primarily for hitting full shots into the green or longer chip shots.
- Mostly comes with the set of irons.
- Typically has a loft between 50 to 53°.
- Fills in the gap between pitching wedge and sand wedge.
- Also known as Utility wedge.
- Suited for full shots or varying pitch shots around the green.
- Typically has a loft between 54 to 58°.
- Used for bunker shots and chips around the green.
- Offers versatility in chipping and pitching.
- Highest lofted club with 58 to 64° of loft.
- Produces more height and spin in the shot.
- Used more for pitches, flop shots and bunkers than full shots.
For most players, this is usually the only factor that they consider while buying a golf wedge.
A club’s loft is the angle at which the club face lieson the ground relative to the shaft. It dictates the trajectory and distance of the shot. Wedges have the highest lofts of any club hence resulting in higher shots with more ball spin.
Most professionals carry three or four wedges in their bag to offer variation and selection to their short game. The key in choosing a set of wedges is to make sure that there are no big gaps in loft between the lowest lofted iron in your bag and the first wedge, further also between each wedge. It’s recommended to have four degree of difference between each wedge. For example, if your pitching wedge has a 48° loft then you should have a 52° gap wedge, a 56° sand wedge and a 60° lob wedge.
All the magic in the wedge can be found in its sole. Bounce is simply the angle created between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole or trailing edge. This is the part of the wedge that hits and moves through the ground or bounces off when you hit the ball. It’s what helps you achieve proper contact, control and spin on your wedge shots.
There are three types of bounces to be found in the wedges: low, mid or high.
Choosing the right bounce comes down to your swing type and the turf conditions you normally play on.
Low bounce wedges generally have 4 to 6° of bounce and are best suited for firm turf and bunkers with harder or more coarse sand to prevent the club from skipping off the ground.
Golfers with a shallow angle of attack that take very little to no divot should opt for a wedge with low bounce. Apart from the tight lies, they are also useful in hitting high flop shots.
Easily the most versatile of them all, mid bounce wedges usually fall in the bracket of 7 to 12° of bounce. A great choice for players who usually play on courses with firm to normal turf. They offer great control hence if you are someone who likes to play around and create shots around the green, a mid bounce wedge would definitely be your ally.
High bounce wedges have more than 12° of bounce which prevents the club from digging in too much into the ground. If you tend to hit down on the ball too steep and take big divots opting for a high bounce wedge would help you achieve cleaner contacts. They are great for softer turfs and bunkers with softer sand.
Wedge grind is the manipulation or removal of the material from the sole of the club to improve club’s interaction with the ground. The area which gets grinded off can vary from the heel, toe, leading edge or trailing edge each offering a unique benefit. For instance, a heel grind will remove material from the heel of the sole to allow the face to sit lower to the ground so it is easier to open the face at address.
Choosing the right grind which suits your swing type (steep or shallow) and the turf you play (hard or soft) will help the club do more of the work even on difficult lies.
Every company has their unique line of grinds. Talking of Titleist and Callaway they offer the following grinds:
The right combination of loft, bounce and grind can make all the difference in your short game giving you the confidence to execute the shot without doubting or blaming your technique.Posted on: 2022 Jun 14 Tue