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Bounce question


aquapig
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Ok so I know what bounce is, but nit exactly how it works in regards to sand play. 

 

I was playing Friday and the course had some bunkers with little sand and hard pan underneath. 

 

I had some disastrous bunker shots where I could feel the could skipping off the hard sand and sending screamers over the green.

 

My caddy told me I should ditch my sand wedge (Jaws 58 degree 10s)

and get something with more bounce.

 

Would more bounce help with that issue? In my mind, more bounce seems like it would make that shot even worse. 

 

Thanks for any input

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Tricky one here.

 

There are lot's of people who like to use clubs with bounce on firm lies and others who don't. Ultimately it comes down to technique and practice. Your angle of attack with your wedges plays a big role here.

 

For me I generally use my higher bounce wedge in softer sand and my low bounce wedge in firmer conditions. The main reason there is the extra bounce helps prevent digging when I get too steep.

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2 minutes ago, jvincent said:

Tricky one here.

 

There are lot's of people who like to use clubs with bounce on firm lies and others who don't. Ultimately it comes down to technique and practice. Your angle of attack with your wedges plays a big role here.

 

For me I generally use my higher bounce wedge in softer sand and my low bounce wedge in firmer conditions. The main reason there is the extra bounce helps prevent digging when I get too steep.

I know my angle of attack is steep and maybe its more a technique issue than bounce, but still curious if he's suggestion makes sense. 

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No. The amount of bounce will not help with shallow bunkers, at least not adding bounce. Really any amount of bounce will be far less important compared to technique in these situations.

 

I would suggest lofting down in these situations to a club with less loft allowing for a shorter swing. Hopefully that would allow you to make more precise contact with the sand.

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I think you also need to consider whether you are talking bounce or effective bounce and the sole width.  If you have a wide sole and open the face, it is going to be very hard to get the leading edge under the ball (if there is little sand / rock hard ground underneath).  

 

I play on a course with several holes running right along the ocean.  Eventually, these bunkers always have little sand in them (until the course adds more).  I tend to play the shot with a square face and either try to hit very close behind the ball or just chip it out (depending on how much sand I think is underneath the ball).  It takes a little bit of practice and some shots are not doable but I'd say one can become reasonably proficient at it.

 

I've tried opening the face with all types of wedges and the margin for error is just so small I don't think it's worth it.

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I am in the more bounce the better club BUT that doesn't exclude the player from having to figure out how much of it is needed or not needed for any given shot.  If the sand or lie is hard packed then bounce doesn't need to be exposed and the leading edge should be used to help the club dig into the turf. Almost as if you were hitting a ball of a cart path where the bounce isn't necessary because the club will glide along the ground regardless of the angle of attack and bounce isn't necessary.  That is one extreme whereas powder sugar bunkers are the other extreme where bounce is definitely needed to help reduce the amount dig.  All shots fall in between these margins and thus any given shot will have a certain amount of bounce that can be used and the golfer will have to figure that out by  getting reps.  I personally love max bounce and wide sole clubs for that reason.  

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As a caddie on a course with notoriously hard-pan waste areas, I usually tell guests the opposite, with a caveat. I know of two ways to hit out of that stuff. One is to scalp it, and most people need low bounce and/or a specific grind in order to slap it along the ground underneath the ball. The other way to play it is to essentially slam the heel down and force a chunk/explosion type shot. I personally rarely play it that way, and neither option is very similar to how you'd play soft or normal sand. I've played low bounce lob wedges going all the way back to a Tommy Armour W4 wedge and my home course in PA had clay under the sand so I really like to scalp it out of that stuff. The chunk shot was shown to me by a former touring player and it was amazing, but you've got to give it enough oomph to break up the surface.

 

My sand wedge is higher bounce and my lob wedge is low bounce, so between them I like my options. 

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A lot of the time I'll use @bnperrone's "forced explosion" shot to bust through the hardpan. Most of the time, it works for me. I typically use my low bounce 60* for this shot. I think a high bounce wedge in this situation is more prone to skipping.

 

That said, when it doesn't work - e.g. when the hardpan is super concrete hard, then you can still get the disastrous skipped wedge. Usually, this only happens to me on courses I'm unfamiliar with. 

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There are three main components to a wedge sole. Their actual function for whatever reason, tends to be poorly explained.

1. Bounce angle. The angle between the leading edge and lowest point of the sole. Effectively, bounce is similar to buoyancy. It resists submersion into the playing surface

2. Sole area. Unlike bounce, which is a resistance function, sole area acts to resist change in your degree of attack.

 

Examples - A high bounce, wide sole combination is useful in very soft sand or rough, but difficult or disastrous in firm conditions. A low bounce, small sole area club can provide proper impact depth, but only if the player judges the surface correctly and can deliver the club head with great accuracy.

 

3. Relief - The function of relief areas are often considered mainly as providing the ability to open, or manipulate club face angle. The other important aspect is that relief can act to modify the effective bounce angle. In other words, you get an initial amount of penetration resistance, but increasing depth doesn’t increase the required force linearly. That means that your wedge is less likely to be “rejected” by firm surfaces like wet sand or close cut lies on normal soil. An excellent example of this approach is the Vokey D grind, which you might find useful in your situation.

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