Vokey interview: Can't get up and down? It might be a sole problem

 zakkozuchowski ·  
zakkozuchowskizakkozuchowski GolfWRX EditorMembers  1162WRX Points: 70Posts: 1,162 Platinum Tees
Joined:  edited Dec 28, 2012 in Equipment #1
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Can't get up and down? It might be a sole problem



By Zak Kozuchowski



GolfWRX Managing Editor


It’s not me; it’s the club.




Make that claim in front of experienced golfers and they’ll shy away from conversation with you for a while. That’s because they’ve learned one of golf’s hardest truths – golfers, not golf clubs, cause bad shots.



For the most part, I’ve been in agreement them. Sure, a properly fit driver can result in more yards and more accuracy. And a more forgiving set of irons will be… well, more forgiving. Such improvements can lead to slightly lower scores and more fun, but they’re changes that aren’t going to take a golfer to the next level. That’s because substantial improvement comes from practice, not product, right?



After talking to renowned wedge designer Bob Vokey and going through a wedge fitting at the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif., I was forced to reconsider. I learned that choosing the right wedge is about more than filling in distance gaps – it’s about finding one with the proper sole design. And selecting the right sole can be the difference between chunking pitches and pitching it to a few feet from the cup.



According to Vokey, the sole is the engine of a wedge. If a golfer hopes to play their best, they have to use a wedge with a sole configuration that matches their style of play. This is especially important for a golfer’s lob wedge, the most specialized wedge in a golfer’s bag.


“A large part of the game is working with the player and getting feedback,” Vokey said. “Early in my career, my strength was knowing what the tour liked. I built trusting relationships with each player and that’s what it takes. They’d say, ‘Voke, you know what I want. Make me what I want.’”




When Vokey first opened a business as a custom clubmaker in 1976, sole configurations (also known as grinds) were much more limited than they are now, especially to the general public. But through the years, wedges have evolved from “get out of jail clubs” -- designs that helped golfers escape bunkers and rough -- to scoring tools that give golfers the green light to play a variety of shots from the fairway, rough, bunkers or wherever else their ball ends up.



Vokey gained expertise building equipment for some of the game’s best, such as Lee Trevino and Dave Stockton. After stints with TaylorMade and Founders Club, Vokey joined Titleist in 1996. His first project with the company was as a design assistant for the 975D driver. But his attention to detail and rapport with tour players made him a natural choice to lead Titleist’s wedge department. His sole focus became wedge design, which he mastered through his tinkering with tour players.


"That's how all these grind came about," Vokey said. "Working with tour players and getting the right grind for their particular technique."




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Gold-plated replicas of the Vokey wedges that were used to win major championships.



One of the most important aspects of a wedge’s grind is the bounce angle, which simply put is the measurement of how far the leading edge of a wedge sits off the ground. More bounce means the leading edge rests higher off the ground at address, and less bounce means the leading edge is closer to the ground. Bounce is impacted by several factors such as camber (the curvature of the sole) and sole relief (the shaping of the trailing edge), which makes it complicated to measure. But Vokey made the function of bounce easy to understand:


“The idea of bounce is to let the trailing edge hit and keep going forward.”




Good wedge players have mechanics that allow them to use wedges properly. They know how to use the bounce, which leads to more consistent wedge play because it prohibits the club from digging. Vokey has found that most regular golfers are not so skilled with their wedges. They don’t know how to use the bounce of a wedge, which leads to digging. That’s why more bounce is often better for them.


“There are more positives to a little more bounce than there are negatives,” Vokey said.


Wedge fitting at TPI





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Zak Kozuchowksi being fit for wedges by Kurt Donahoo at Titleist's Oceanside Test Facility



After my interview with Bob Vokey, I headed to TPI Oceanside for a wedge fitting with Kurt Donahoo, a Class A PGA Professional with more than a decade of club fitting experience at TPI. There, the entire line of Vokey wedges was available for me to test with shafts and lengths I liked. And thanks to an outdoor loft/lie machine, there was no guessing involved. The lofts and lies were dialed in, and I hit all shots with my preferred golf ball.



After I warmed up, Donahoo started by having me hit full shots using a 50-degree wedge with 8 degrees of bounce and my favorite shaft to a flag 125 yards away. After a few swings, he changed my target to a flag that was 65 yards away. As I was hitting the less-than-full shots at the new target, Donahoo directed my attention to the large divots I was making. Then he put a 50-degree wedge with 12 degrees of bounce in my hands and told me to hit the same shot. I was pleased to see my divots become significantly shallower.



“You’re always going to be pretty shallow on your full swings, so the bounce doesn’t matter as much,” Donahoo said. “But on your less-than-full swings, you get steeper, so you need more bounce.”




Donahoo was right. I've often been the victim of a good drive spoiled by a fat half-wedge shot. With more bounce, the flight of my less-than-full shots with the 50-degree wedge was more consistent, and it was a lot harder for me to hit a shot fat.



The fitting for my 55-degree wedge was similar. Vokey’s current SM4 wedge lineup is available in two-degree increments, from 46 to 64 degrees. This meant that I had the option of choosing a 54-degree bent 1 degree weak or a 56-degree bent 1 degree strong. Donahoo and I decided on the 54-degree with 14 degrees of bounce instead of the 56-degree with the same amount of bounce, because adding a degree of loft to the 54 also added a degree of bounce, whereas subtracting a degree of loft from the 56-degree subtracted a degree of bounce. As with the 50-degree, the extra bounce helped the trailing edge of the wedge hit and keep moving forward, keeping my divots smooth and shallow.



Donahoo also recommended that I try a different shaft in my 55-degree wedge. Instead of a Project X shaft, which offers a stiff tip section for a penetrating ball flight, he had me try a Dynamic Gold S400 shaft, which plays slightly heavier and has a softer tip.


“You’re going to hit mostly full shots with your 50-degree wedge, so it makes sense to use the same shaft you use with your irons,” Donahoo said. “But most of your shots are going to be less-than-full with your 55- and 60-degree, so a softer shaft makes sense.”




Finding the proper sole configuration in a 60-degree wedge proved to be the most time consuming process. Like the other two wedges, Donahoo and I agreed that the highest bounce options – a 60-degree with 10 degrees of bounce – was the best choice. But unlike my 50- and 55-degree wedges, my 60-degree would be used primarily around the greens and in bunkers.



Donahoo had me hit several different 60-degree wedges from a bunker that surrounded one of TPI’s perfectly manicured practice greens. I liked all of them, but there was one that I felt was slightly better than the rest. Donahoo smiled, and dropped a few balls for me to hit behind the bunker. He wanted me to hit lob shots with the club to a pin that was 15 yards away, tucked close to the bunker’s lip. I chunked the first one into the middle of the bunker.


“I hit it fat,” I said, for some reason feeling the need to explain what I though was completely obvious.

“Don’t change anything,” Donahoo said. “Hit another one.”




The same thing happened again, at which point Donahoo rushed in with another wedge -- the 60-degree with 10 degrees of bounce, an "M" grind.


“Don’t change anything,” he repeated.




So I didn’t, and my next shot came off crisp – it landed high and soft, and landed close to the pin.



Fitting to a miss



The wedge I chunked twice was a 60-degree with 4 degrees of bounce -- an "L grind" -- the same model played by Rory McIlroy. The wedge has very little camber (read flat sole) and a narrow forward bounce section, making it good for players like McIlroy who have great hands and a shallow angle of attack with their wedges. But there’s another reason why McIlroy plays a wedge with only 4 degrees of bounce – he grew up in Northern Ireland, an area of the world with firm golf courses that require low-bounce wedges.



The 60-degree with 4 degrees of bounce was great for me out of the bunker because its bounce is situated in the rear portion of the sole, the part I was using to hit bunker shots. But when it came to hitting pitch shots that brought the leading edge into play, I was sunk.



Donahoo saw that I shifted my weight on pitch shots more than most good wedge players he works with, which is one of the reasons why I require so much bounce. But he also pointed out that I grew up playing courses with very soft conditions in Michigan, which is where I currently reside. Because of where I live, the extra bounce doesn’t hurt me. And even as I work to improve my wedge mechanics, Donahoo said that my wedge needs are not likely to change.


“With wedges, we’re fitting to a miss,” he said. “Most of your good shots are going to be good with most wedges, so we need to find the wedge that helps you with the bad shots. Almost all of your bad shots are going to be steep, so more bounce is going to help you.”




post-59676-0-99751400-1356712688_thumb-300x200.jpg post-59676-0-78765200-1356712860_thumb-300x200.jpg

Team Vokey uses these models to make new wedges for Steve Stricker, who has a very shallow angle of attach with little wrist action. He prefers an "S" grind on his 60-degree wedge, which offers a medium amount of bounce and is available on Vokey models 58-09 and 60-07.



Doing better



One of the most important advancements in wedge design since Vokey’s arrival at Titleist were the aggressive grooves that the USGA and R&A outlawed for professional golfers in 2010. Although the spin of Vokey’s most recent line of wedges is essentially unchanged on dry lies in the fairway, they’ve lost performance in wet conditions and in the rough because of the mandatory reduction on groove volume and sharpness.



Vokey said testing showed that his first conforming models, the SM3 wedges, added 5 degrees of launch angle and lost 3000 rpm of spin out of the rough. The SM4 wedges added three grooves to the face (from 14 to 17) to return the launch angle back to where it was with the now non-conforming SM2 wedges. But the SM4s are still 1500 rpm short of the SM2's spin standard out of the rough.


“We’re always looking at different metals, different shapes and different face textures and patterns to get the spin back,” Vokey said. “But the USGA and R&A did their homework.”




Even though shots hit with wedges with the new grooves have less spin, they react more consistently for talented wedge players. This has forced players to plan their wedge shots with a bias toward trajectory instead of spin, making sole configuration even more crucial.



One way Vokey said his wedges can improve is by offering more lofts and more sole configurations, which will help players further dial in their wedge fitting. He sees more options, not less, as a key for serious golfers to improve their score.


“I would love to design the perfect wedge before I go to the fairway in the sky,” Vokey said. “But I don’t know if I’ll ever make it. Every wedge I look at I say, God, I know I can do better. And I keep trying.”




10 wedge tips from Bob Vokey



Bob Vokey defines a serious golfer as someone who is dedicated to the game.


"You can be a serious golfer and not break 90 or 100," he says.




Here's 10 tips that Vokey offered to help serious golfers. They'll help everyone, whether you're playing to beat your buddies or beat the world.
  • The lofts of your wedges should have gaps of 4 to 6 degrees -- no more, no less.
  • Golfers come in three types: diggers (high bounce), sliders (low bounce) and neutral (medium bounce). When being fit, start with a neutral wedge and go from there.
  • You probably need more bounce.
  • Know what wedges you really need to hit. If you play on courses with fast, elevated greens surrounded by pot bunkers, you probably need a 60-degree wedge. If you play courses with slow, flat greens, you might be able to get away with a 56-degree as your highest loft.
  • Wedges are the only clubs that golfers use in the open position. Choose one that looks good when it sits square and when you open it up.
  • Play a shaft in your sand and/or lob wedge that allows for the proper feedback. Vokey has had success fitting average golfers into True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shafts, which give the right amount of feedback but are firm enough for a full shot for most golfers.
  • Pitching wedge replacements (46, 48, 50) are designed with the loft of a pitching wedge but the versatility of a scoring wedge. They won't go as far as the wedges from your iron set and that's OK. If you want them to go further, opt for less loft.
  • Wedges wear to your swing print. A new wedge will not feel the same as the old wedge because you've got to break it in.
  • Practice more from 125 yards and in. Most golfers will never swing like Adam Scott, but according to Vokey, with practice they can execute the same wedge shots he can.
  • Another reason to practice wedges -- a tour player hits 13 to 14 greens per round. The average golfer hits only 6 or 7. That means wedge play is more important for average golfers than it is for tour players.


Click here to see photos from Vokey WedgeWorks. Photos include custom Vokey tour wedges and the machines used to make them.



Note: This article was edited to clarify that Vokey's SM3 wedges lost 3000 rpm of spin out of the rough when compared to the now non-conforming SM2 wedges. The article previously stated that the SM4 lost 3000 rpm of spin when compared to the SM2 wedges. The SM4 wedges lost approximately 1500 rpm of spin when compared to the SM2 wedges.
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Comments

  • Willie MalayWillie Malay Members  2667WRX Points: 4Posts: 2,667 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 28, 2012 #2
    I got some new Cleveland CG16 irons While they are great clubs from the fairway and about everywhere else, they are not good at all around the green. Why? Thick sole. I bought some Vokeys. Problem solved.
    Posted:
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  • KevCarterKevCarter WisconsinClubWRX  12933WRX Points: 480Posts: 12,933 ClubWRX
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    Great post Zak!
    Posted:
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • Dead Solid PerfectDead Solid Perfect Members  629WRX Points: 1Handicap: 6.1Posts: 629 Bunkers
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    Great read Zak, now if I could just get fitted lol. I change wedges rarely and I wonder if some of the reasons in here are why..
    Posted:
  • ladahlladahl Members  6916WRX Points: 148Handicap: 6.7Posts: 6,916 Titanium Tees
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    Lots of fun to read Zak. Very nicey constructed and super informative!
    Posted:
    PXG Gen2 0811X PX HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60X
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  • endyendy Members  3645WRX Points: 291Posts: 3,645 Titanium Tees
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    Awesome article, very helpful. Thanks Zak!
    Posted:
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    Ping G410 LST 14.5* Fuji Ventus Black 8X
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  • nitramnitram WestOK, on the South Canadian Riviera Members  5776WRX Points: 451Handicap: -.6Posts: 5,776 Titanium Tees
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    Zak, you lucky dog. I know, somebody's gotta do it, right? Great write-up and awesome opportunity to meet Mr. Wedge.



    "Fitting to a miss". I'll have to remember that.
    Posted:
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    Exotics CBX 22* Accra TZ5-95H M5
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  • jedcjedc Members  490WRX Points: 59Posts: 490 Greens
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    Great read, thanks for the post.
    Posted:
    Titleist 910D3 9.25* (Ahina 72)
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    Adams Fast 10 15* (Aldila VS Proto 80s)
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  • mikes919mikes919 Fairway Bunker Aficionado Members  671WRX Points: 67Handicap: 13.7Posts: 671 Bunkers
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    "You probably need more bounce." Ha! Nice article, thanks!
    Posted:
  • Coy MCoy M OG Baby Members  1201WRX Points: 122Posts: 1,201 Platinum Tees
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    I love this.. confirms thoughts I've had for a while. I've had trouble with chunking my 60* w/ 8* of bounce.. think I need more bounce..
    Posted:
  • ALIFALIF ArizonaMembers  2793WRX Points: 355Posts: 2,793 Titanium Tees
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    I've realized why I like my old eye 2 SW and LW so much. Because they have a lot of bounce.
    Posted:
    $$$$
  • mcalettemcalette Members  64WRX Points: 0Posts: 64
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    Thanks for the most informative golf related article I have read all year!
    Posted:
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  • mosesgolfmosesgolf Members  7051WRX Points: 323Posts: 7,051 Titanium Tees
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    Great article and oh so true. I've experimented with 4* bounce wedges and they SUCKED for my game. Dig city under soft conditions. Went up to around 10 or 11 and they flat out work for my digger style of wedge play.
    Posted:
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  • finalistfinalist MASHED POTATO! Members  5411WRX Points: 167Posts: 5,411 Bunkers
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    That was a good Titleist read. Offering various sole grinds seems to have resurged since Scratch moved in to the general retail space. It seems like for years before Scratch came on you had to pick a loft and basic bounce - if you wanted a different sole grind in the same loft you had to search various brands rather than staying within one brand. Just proves Scratch's product models even more.



    I played a Vokey 60-4 for a few years thinking that was the club that allowed for high flops... until I found my PWE 60 with 13° of bounce by Scratch. Learning to use high bounce with loads of heel and toe grind allowed me to attack more aggressively and use the club rather than my hands so much.
    Posted:
    Many Byron Putters
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  • jlt73jlt73 Members  991WRX Points: 35Handicap: 20Posts: 991 Golden Tee
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    Great read!
    Posted:
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  • crazygolfnutcrazygolfnut CrazyGolfNut Omaha, NebraskaMembers  1246WRX Points: 170Handicap: 11.4Posts: 1,246 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 29, 2012 #16
    Well, this has got me thinking. It sounds like I need to "have more bounce" along with a "grind". Not sure what grind would work best.
    Posted:
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    Driver: _________ Ping G400 Max
    Woods: ________ Ping G410 3 & 5 
    Hybrids: _______ Ping  G410 4 & 5
    Irons: __________ Titleist 718 AP1 6-W
    Wedges: _______ Titleist Vokey SM6 52.08F & 56.08M
    Putter: _________ Ping Sigma 2 Tyne
    Ball: ____________ Snell MTB-X Yellow
    Bag: ____________ Datrek Lite Rider
    GPS: ____________ Bushnell NEO Ghost
    Rangefinder: __ Precision Pro NX7 Pro
    GHIN: __________ HCP floats between 10 and 12

    “Never bet against an old man with old clubs that have new grips”
  • scratchswingerscratchswinger Members  16482WRX Points: 358Posts: 16,482 Titanium Tees
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    Nice Zak!



    Kurt did my wedge fitting at TPI earlier this year and it was probably the most informative single golf experience of my life. Anyone looking for new wedges in SoCal I would highly recommend contacting TPI and going through the same experience.
    Posted:
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  • VegamanVegaman Members  1082WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,082 Platinum Tees
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    I got some new Cleveland CG16 irons While they are great clubs from the fairway and about everywhere else, they are not good at all around the green. Why? Thick sole. I bought some Vokeys. Problem solved.




    Did you buy Vokeys irons then or what? Since you are comparing a CG16 iron set to Vokey wedges? Are you also saying all Vokeys have narrow and all Cleveland wedges have thick soles? Confusing post
    Posted:
  • My2DogsMy2Dogs Members  1186WRX Points: 197Posts: 1,186 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #19
    Nice review and I have found that I can use different bounces depending on the conditions of the course (wet, firm, etc) and now I have a few sets to match the conditions. Everything else is the same with them (shafts, lofts, etc) but the bounce is the major difference and it really makes a difference in my scoring.
    Posted:
    Driver: Callaway Mavrik 9*- Ventus Black 6X.  
    3 wood: Callaway Tour Issued Mavrik - Ventus Red 7X
    Hybrid: TM SIM 19*  Gost X-Flex
    4i Cobra 2020 Utility Iron (not released yet) 
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    Vokey SM7 60* LW
    Directed Force 2.1 Reno model putter, 35inches with Stability Shaft
  • Matty TMatty T Keen to give it a pump Members  758WRX Points: 35Handicap: 11Posts: 758 Golden Tee
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    Was really informative read. Confirms my current set up. Thanks Zak
    Posted:
    Titleist 910D3 10.5* VTS Silver 7X
    Titleist 910F 15* VTS Silver 7X
    Titleist 910H 21* VTS Red 100X
    Adams CMB 3-P, SM4 50.12* DG X100's
    54.11*, 58.08* DG S400
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  • KevCarterKevCarter WisconsinClubWRX  12933WRX Points: 480Posts: 12,933 ClubWRX
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    finalist wrote:


    That was a good Titleist read. Offering various sole grinds seems to have resurged since Scratch moved in to the general retail space. It seems like for years before Scratch came on you had to pick a loft and basic bounce - if you wanted a different sole grind in the same loft you had to search various brands rather than staying within one brand. Just proves Scratch's product models even more.



    I played a Vokey 60-4 for a few years thinking that was the club that allowed for high flops... until I found my PWE 60 with 13° of bounce by Scratch. Learning to use high bounce with loads of heel and toe grind allowed me to attack more aggressively and use the club rather than my hands so much.




    LOL



    To your point, there was a respected Professional at a club fitting seminar I attended several years ago. He said he loved it when somebody insisted on buying a 60.04 because he knew within a few weeks he would also be selling him a 60* with more bounce. He said the very low bounce wedges were for "experts" only who really knew what they were doing. I've bought and promoted the highest bounce wedges ever since...



    Those Scratch clubs are gorgeous.



    Cheers,

    Kevin
    Posted:
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • pdaeropdaero Lefty Boomers  6051WRX Points: 185Handicap: 0.3Posts: 6,051 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #22
    Thanks a bunch, Zak! Great review. I've known that loft/bounce are so important to matching your game/swing, and finding the right wedge is paramount. Since I've gamed my TVD 58*, I've been able to be much more confident in my shot selection! Also, the SM4s are AWESOME - great launch and spin. Didn't even try the C-C as I had heard they really messed up the launch and spin.
    Posted:
    Titleist 917D2 9.5* w/ Aldila X-Torsion Copper 60TX
    Titleist 915F 15* w/ Tour AD MJ 8X
    Titleist 915H 18* w/ Diamana S+ 90X
    Titleist 716CB 3-P w/ DG AMT TI X100 SS'd
    Vokey SM6 53.09*, 59.07* w/ DG TI S400
    PING Anser Milled 0 34"
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  • myspinonitmyspinonit Members  2976WRX Points: 202Posts: 2,976 Titanium Tees
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    KevCarter wrote:

    finalist wrote:


    That was a good Titleist read. Offering various sole grinds seems to have resurged since Scratch moved in to the general retail space. It seems like for years before Scratch came on you had to pick a loft and basic bounce - if you wanted a different sole grind in the same loft you had to search various brands rather than staying within one brand. Just proves Scratch's product models even more.



    I played a Vokey 60-4 for a few years thinking that was the club that allowed for high flops... until I found my PWE 60 with 13° of bounce by Scratch. Learning to use high bounce with loads of heel and toe grind allowed me to attack more aggressively and use the club rather than my hands so much.




    LOL



    To your point, there was a respected Professional at a club fitting seminar I attended several years ago. He said he loved it when somebody insisted on buying a 60.04 because he knew within a few weeks he would also be selling him a 60* with more bounce. He said the very low bounce wedges were for "experts" only who really knew what they were doing. I've bought and promoted the highest bounce wedges ever since...



    Those Scratch clubs are gorgeous.



    Cheers,

    Kevin




    Nice to get confirmation sometimes it is just the arrow!



    Kevin, could I impose to ask your opinion on my setup in respect of your suggestion to get the highest bounce?



    I play most of my shots 60 yards in with my Vokey 56/11, that I've come to love. I never liked my 52/08 (that may be the bounce issue) and much prefer my buttery Miura PW for 3/4 shots. Lots of control and plenty of spin. I'm more of a picker than digger style player.



    Later last season I purchased a 60/07, mostly as an option to better get through the hard +/or wet grainy sand I often find on the courses I play. Some lobs and chips, but that's the prime reason. Should I have got a higher bounce? I ask as I am considering replacing my 56 this year, and if do I might go 54/58 for better gaps.

    Something like 54/11 (54/14??) and 58/08 (58/11??).



    Thanks.
    Posted:

    Ping G410 Plus 10.5°  Alta CB 55 R

    Ping G410 5 and 7 Woods Alta CB 65 R

    Ping G410 4 and 5 hybrids  Alta CB 70 R

    Miura PP9003 6-PW Steelfiber i70 A

    Vokey SM6 49.07 F &  54.08M, SM4 58.09 S  Steelfiber i80 R

    Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5  34"













  • KevCarterKevCarter WisconsinClubWRX  12933WRX Points: 480Posts: 12,933 ClubWRX
    Joined:  #24
    myspinonit wrote:

    KevCarter wrote:

    finalist wrote:


    That was a good Titleist read. Offering various sole grinds seems to have resurged since Scratch moved in to the general retail space. It seems like for years before Scratch came on you had to pick a loft and basic bounce - if you wanted a different sole grind in the same loft you had to search various brands rather than staying within one brand. Just proves Scratch's product models even more.



    I played a Vokey 60-4 for a few years thinking that was the club that allowed for high flops... until I found my PWE 60 with 13° of bounce by Scratch. Learning to use high bounce with loads of heel and toe grind allowed me to attack more aggressively and use the club rather than my hands so much.




    LOL



    To your point, there was a respected Professional at a club fitting seminar I attended several years ago. He said he loved it when somebody insisted on buying a 60.04 because he knew within a few weeks he would also be selling him a 60* with more bounce. He said the very low bounce wedges were for "experts" only who really knew what they were doing. I've bought and promoted the highest bounce wedges ever since...



    Those Scratch clubs are gorgeous.



    Cheers,

    Kevin




    Nice to get confirmation sometimes it is just the arrow!



    Kevin, could I impose to ask your opinion on my setup in respect of your suggestion to get the highest bounce?



    I play most of my shots 60 yards in with my Vokey 56/11, that I've come to love. I never liked my 52/08 (that may be the bounce issue) and much prefer my buttery Miura PW for 3/4 shots. Lots of control and plenty of spin. I'm more of a picker than digger style player.



    Later last season I purchased a 60/07, mostly as an option to better get through the hard +/or wet grainy sand I often find on the courses I play. Some lobs and chips, but that's the prime reason. Should I have got a higher bounce? I ask as I am considering replacing my 56 this year, and if do I might go 54/58 for better gaps.

    Something like 54/11 (54/14??) and 58/08 (58/11??).



    Thanks.




    myspinonit, my apologies if this sounds like a copout...



    We all fit using guidelines, but those guidelines are never set in concrete. You have to get what works for you!



    The best advise I can give is to find a serious fitter who has LOTS of demos in every loft and bounce. It may be hard to find. As big as I am on fitting, my club doesn't sell a lot of clubs, and I can't afford to stock a ton of demos.



    IMO, you need to first nail down your pitching wedge and lob wedge, and gap fit from there. You need to decide not only the distance you want out of each wedge, but it's purpose. Will you be using your Lob Wedge as your primary sand club, or your Sand Wedge?



    Personally, I loved the 60* when playing and practicing a lot, but lost confidence with it when I quit practicing. Also, I enjoy 4* gaps now that I don't play or practice as much, but many who have great feel like 6* gaps.



    My advice? Demo all variations and go with the highest bounce you are confident with from all lies. Sorry I can't nail it down more than that.



    Kevin
    Posted:
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • myspinonitmyspinonit Members  2976WRX Points: 202Posts: 2,976 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 29, 2012 #25
    KevCarter wrote:


    myspinonit, my apologies if this sounds like a copout...



    We all fit using guidelines, but those guidelines are never set in concrete. You have to get what works for you!



    The best advise I can give is to find a serious fitter who has LOTS of demos in every loft and bounce. It may be hard to find. As big as I am on fitting, my club doesn't sell a lot of clubs, and I can't afford to stock a ton of demos.



    IMO, you need to first nail down your pitching wedge and lob wedge, and gap fit from there. You need to decide not only the distance you want out of each wedge, but it's purpose. Will you be using your Lob Wedge as your primary sand club, or your Sand Wedge?



    Personally, I loved the 60* when playing and practicing a lot, but lost confidence with it when I quit practicing. Also, I enjoy 4* gaps now that I don't play or practice as much, but many who have great feel like 6* gaps.



    My advice? Demo all variations and go with the highest bounce you are confident with from all lies. Sorry I can't nail it down more than that.



    Kevin


    Thanks, Kevin. Actually my question was probably the "copout", putting you a bit on the spot to generalize for my specific situation. Thank you for good suggestions and the sentences I've bolded are particularly helpful to start my quest.



    Thanks again and Happy New Year.
    Posted:

    Ping G410 Plus 10.5°  Alta CB 55 R

    Ping G410 5 and 7 Woods Alta CB 65 R

    Ping G410 4 and 5 hybrids  Alta CB 70 R

    Miura PP9003 6-PW Steelfiber i70 A

    Vokey SM6 49.07 F &  54.08M, SM4 58.09 S  Steelfiber i80 R

    Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5  34"













  • spartanglfrspartanglfr Members  410WRX Points: 110Posts: 410 Greens
    Joined:  #26
    Interesting point Donahoo makes about wedge shaft flex: same shaft in the gap wedge, and softer shafts in the 55* and 60* wedges. I've been using the standard wedge flex in all of my wedges from gap to lob. Donahoo's advice is worth a try for me in trying to improve my wedge play. I use an R flex Dynamic Gold (or 5.0 in Project X flighted) in my irons.



    Anyone out there doing what Donahoo suggests?
    Posted:
  • KevCarterKevCarter WisconsinClubWRX  12933WRX Points: 480Posts: 12,933 ClubWRX
    Joined:  #27
    myspinonit wrote:

    KevCarter wrote:


    myspinonit, my apologies if this sounds like a copout...



    We all fit using guidelines, but those guidelines are never set in concrete. You have to get what works for you!



    The best advise I can give is to find a serious fitter who has LOTS of demos in every loft and bounce. It may be hard to find. As big as I am on fitting, my club doesn't sell a lot of clubs, and I can't afford to stock a ton of demos.



    IMO, you need to first nail down your pitching wedge and lob wedge, and gap fit from there. You need to decide not only the distance you want out of each wedge, but it's purpose. Will you be using your Lob Wedge as your primary sand club, or your Sand Wedge?



    Personally, I loved the 60* when playing and practicing a lot, but lost confidence with it when I quit practicing. Also, I enjoy 4* gaps now that I don't play or practice as much, but many who have great feel like 6* gaps.



    My advice? Demo all variations and go with the highest bounce you are confident with from all lies. Sorry I can't nail it down more than that.



    Kevin


    Thanks, Kevin. Actually my question was probably the "copout", putting you a bit on the spot to generalize for my specific situation. Thank you for good suggestions and the sentences I've bolded are particularly helpful to start my quest.



    Thanks again and Happy New Year.




    ANYTIME. Happy New Year to you as well!
    Posted:
    I could be wrong
    I've been wrong before
    I'll be wrong again
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • da_boysda_boys Members  511WRX Points: 81Posts: 511 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #28
    Great article Zak. Very informative.
    Posted:
  • dlygrissedlygrisse KansasMembers  13875WRX Points: 1,437Handicap: 8-ishPosts: 13,875 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 29, 2012 #29
    This is a great read, for all those who wonder why Vokeys are played so much on tour this should clarify. For all those who insist having a forged wedge wedge, for the sake of it being forged read this thread. Sole grind and bounce are where it is at....the tour pros and people like Bob Vokey know the real deal, and it is a properly fit wedge.....not the manner in which the metal is formed.



    I use a 58.12 as my go-to wedge, I used an 58.08 for many years and I will use it occasionally if the turf is very firm, but always err on the side of more bounce not less. I have a buddy who is a good player, great striker with the irons and long. He has a 60.04 and will chunk at least 1 or 2 shots a round, he can't get over the fact he needs more bounce.



    It took me many years of trial and error, lots of money and frustration but on my own I came to the same conclusions Bob outlined in this thread, I wish I would have read this 20 years ago I would have gotten better much quicker.
    Posted:
    I pick 14 of the following:
    Ping G400
    Callaway Epic Flash 3w 
    Ping G410 5 and 7 wood
    Callaway Apex 23*
    Ping G 4-U
    Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 54, 58 SS or Vokey M Grind 58
    Grips NDMC +4
    Odyssey Pro #1 black
    Jones Utility
    ProV1x-mostly
    ECCO Biom Hybrid 3
  • crazygolfnutcrazygolfnut CrazyGolfNut Omaha, NebraskaMembers  1246WRX Points: 170Handicap: 11.4Posts: 1,246 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 29, 2012 #30
    In plain English, can someone explain the different sole grinds for Vokey wedges? It looks like the M grind would be a “standard” go to type over some of the others. Maybe the S would work.



    I will be going to a 54 / 58 setup. Looking at

    - 54.11 with the M grind as my primary sand wedge.

    - 58.09 with the S grind as a lob wedge. Mybe I should go with the 58.12 with a M grind.



    The course that I play on is very wet in the spring and dry in the summer and fall. The bunkers usually have hard / wet sand.



    Thoughts on this selection?
    Posted:
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Driver: _________ Ping G400 Max
    Woods: ________ Ping G410 3 & 5 
    Hybrids: _______ Ping  G410 4 & 5
    Irons: __________ Titleist 718 AP1 6-W
    Wedges: _______ Titleist Vokey SM6 52.08F & 56.08M
    Putter: _________ Ping Sigma 2 Tyne
    Ball: ____________ Snell MTB-X Yellow
    Bag: ____________ Datrek Lite Rider
    GPS: ____________ Bushnell NEO Ghost
    Rangefinder: __ Precision Pro NX7 Pro
    GHIN: __________ HCP floats between 10 and 12

    “Never bet against an old man with old clubs that have new grips”
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • tbowles411tbowles411 ClubWRX  25657WRX Points: 826Handicap: GolfPosts: 25,657 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #31
    dlygrisse wrote:


    This is a great read, for all those who wonder why Vokeys are played so much on tour this should clarify. For all those who insist having a forged wedge wedge, for the sake of it being forged read this thread. Sole grind and bounce are where it is at....the tour pros and people like Bob Vokey know the real deal, and it is a properly fit wedge.....not the manner in which the metal is formed.



    I use a 58.12 as my go-to wedge, I used an 58.08 for many years and I will use it occasionally if the turf is very firm, but always err on the side of more bounce not less. I have a buddy who is a good player, great striker with the irons and long. He has a 60.04 and will chunk at least 1 or 2 shots a round, he can't get over the fact he needs more bounce.



    It took me many years of trial and error, lots of money and frustration but on my own I came to the same conclusions Bob outlined in this thread, I wish I would have read this 20 years ago I would have gotten better much quicker.


    Agreed. I could have saved a bunch of money in wedges if I had have known I needed I high bounce wedges with a wider sole. I totally found out by accident while using, oddly enough, Callaway wedges.
    Posted:
    G410 9 Degree - Accra FX 2.0
    G410 3, 5 & 9 Woods - Accra FX 2.0
    G410 4-5 Hybrids - Accra 80i
    G410 6-UW - Accra 80i
    Glide 3.0 54WS, 58WS Accra 80i
    PING Bruzer
    PING Vault 2.0 Craz-E **Backup**
    (MY HYBRIDS, IRONS & WEDGES HAVE BEEN STOLEN BY MY SON)







2

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