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Wedges - Do grinds really matter?


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Going from set wedges for MANY years back to specialty wedges I did a lot of research on grinds.  I play 46, 52 both f grind as recommended but my short wedges I veered off the path.  Through the Vokey wedge selector t was recommended that I play a d grind for both the 56 and 60 however for the 56 I have the M grind (not suppose to be for steep/digging players like me) and the L grind on the 60 (again, not suppose to be for steep/digging players like me) and I've had great success with the wedges thus far.  I have not run into any issues of digging, no issues with low bounce, if anything my wedge play has gotten better as I use the 60 for almost every shot around the green and the 56 is a dream and as easy to hit from the bunker as it is from the fairway 80 yards and in.

 

This poses the question, Do grinds really matter?  I understand it is just a recommendation and starting point but is there something I'm not getting by playing a different grind than recommended?

Edited by mvhoffman

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Grind (the shape of the sole of the club) and bounce (angle between the ground and the sole when the club is held in the default position) get conflated, in part due to OEMs labeling wedges by a singl

Mid 90s my Ping isi wedges worked,bunkers were a breeze and i didnt know any better.2010 sold Ping,bought cool looking forged Mp t10 mizuno wedges,skull skull and more skulled balls.Found cleveland 58

In general I believe the different in grinds to be overstated and overrated.

Mid 90s my Ping isi wedges worked,bunkers were a breeze and i didnt know any better.2010 sold Ping,bought cool looking forged Mp t10 mizuno wedges,skull skull and more skulled balls.Found cleveland 588ta......and vokey 200s with wider soles.....wedges DO matter 🙂

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5 minutes ago, mvhoffman said:

Going from set wedges for MANY years back to specialty wedges I did a lot of research on grinds.  I play 46, 52 both f grind as recommended but my short wedges I veered off the path.  Through the Vokey wedge selector t was recommended that I play a d grind for both the 56 and 60 however for the 56 I have the M grind (not suppose to be for steep/digging players like me) and the L grind on the 60 (again, not suppose to be for steep/digging players like me) and I've had great success with the wedges thus far.  I have not run into any issues of digging, no issues with low bounce, if anything my wedge play has gotten better as I use the 60 for almost every shot around the green and the 56 is a dream and as easy to hit from the bunker as it is from the fairway 80 yards and in.

 

This poses the question, Do grinds really matter?  I understand it is just a recommendation and starting point but is there something I'm not getting by playing a different grind than recommended?

 

Yes grinds and bounce matter.  But if you are ball first kind of player, then I imagine a lower bounce and a grind with more relief will suit you better.  But if you hit before the ball at all, that combo will be more punishing.  

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In general I believe the different in grinds to be overstated and overrated.

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Yeah, wedges--and grinds--do matter.

I've found some wedges to be horrible in bunkers for me. I reckon I sort of slam the heel sole down into the sand, so if there is no heel relief, I get stuck in the sand. With the right bounce and heel relief, I scoot through the sand and pop the ball up.

 

Also, with wedges that have weight out towards the toe, like the Nike Toe Sweep and Romaro Alcobaca, I found I'd fade them off right on fuller shots. Good on shorter pitches for me, especially from the rough, but not longer ones.

 

For me, the grind matter most from the bunker, then tight lies and thick rough.

 

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Absolutely they matter IMO. Stumble into a grind that doesn't suit you and you'll figure out pretty quickly why that is. It usually makes itself more evident on chips and pitches for me, as well as any time I need to open the club face. I grew up and still play in the midwest where soft turf that likes to grab is more prevalent, some higher bounce and trail edge relief are important. As such I'm a fan of the hated K grind style and have also had success with M and D grinds. I tried a Mizuno wedge a few years back as it looked so good in hand, and I simply couldn't do anything with it, chunk chips, bladed pitches, no up and down ability, so I changed back to normal results. But anytime I travel to locations with firm and fast tight lie conditions I can struggle as I can't dig down as I'm accustomed to.

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I personally find the amount of bounce to be more important that the sole grind but then again I simply want as much bounce as possible because on most wedge shots the objective is not to strike ball first like on a normal shot so I want at much help as possible in all situations and want my wedges as resistant as possible to dig into the turf.  Bounce is your friend in all situations so I want as much as I can get. 

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If you are fortunate enough to attend a full Vokey fitting session, you will very likely say yes, but that (mostly) the optimal bounce depends on conditions and grind on player skill and shot variety.
 

Also, the choices that come from a live fitting very likely won’t be the ones you expected, or that Vokey’s on-line app predicts. The reasons for that, according to my fitter, are that one’s perceptions of their needs aren’t necessarily in line with reality, and that the on-line app tends to be “conservative”, in that if you tell it you’re a mid-capper, it assumes you can’t or won’t make certain shot types and adds bounce, which is generally your friend. Generally.

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It matters as much or as little as many of these things.  I played Cleveland 485/588s for years (the LWs are quite different) and have played both a Glide WS and TS (or various Eye 2 models).  To me, the main thing is to just know how the club is going to go through the turf and what you can/can't do manipulating the face.  I don't want to switch every other round but give me any set of wedges for a couple of weeks and I can figure out what to do.

 

FWIW, I also think personal preference or style/technique are more important than playing conditions.  Some pros never change regardless of whether they are at Augusta, a lush weekly tour stop, or the British Open (others do).

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I believe grinds matter but not to the degree than some think.  Bounce matters more IMO.  The M grind for example is the most common and it fits many golfers IMO.  I don't know too many golfers who absolutely can't play this grind.  The other grinds are specialty grinds IMO.  Depends on how open you want to open the face among other things. 

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Grind (the shape of the sole of the club) and bounce (angle between the ground and the sole when the club is held in the default position) get conflated, in part due to OEMs labeling wedges by a single "grind" letter (which actually denotes specified grind and bounce).

 

spacer.png

 

The above picture gives a good illustration of different grinds.  One way to see how grind matters: on a tight lie if you opened the club face significantly you would be much more likely to skull the ball with the K club compared to the T club (and to a lesser extend M and L).

 

Bounce can be though of a measurement of how much the club resists digging (or literally bounces off the ground).  In the event you hit the ground before the ball, if there too much bounce you will skull the ball and if there is too little bounce you will hit it fat.  The recommendations for soft/firm conditions and steep/shallow swing considerations follow from this. In firm conditions the ground is already providing a lot of "bounce" and in soft conditions the club is naturally going to dig.  If you have a steep swing your misses are more likely to be fat and if you have a shallow swing your misses are more likely to be thin.

Edited by cadoipi
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A lot of it depends on the caliber of the player. A 15+ handicap probably isn't going to notice much of a difference in grinds/bounce because he/she isn't making consistent contact enough to feel the difference.

 

However, low to + handicaps will definitely notice the changes. I play a low bounce in my 60* which is perfect for the bunkers at my club where the sand is a bit firmer. Using a full bounce wedge in those bunkers was always a challenge for me. 

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It’s not just bounce it’s the location of the bounce. More forward, further back, toe side, heel side, more central bounce all contribute to how the grind matches your chipping motion. When you get it right it makes a huge difference in the versatility of your wedge game. 

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I believe that for most amateur players like us, grinds wont make a bit of difference. With that being said, as you get better as a golfer and start to dial in your equipment, then you start to look at grinds and bounce when it comes to wedges. Depends how versatile and what type swing you have. Digger versus sweeper. Although most times, with a wedge, you would come down steep even if you are a sweeper. It becomes a design and performance thing with me. I play two wedges and both have the HT design. Just love being able to open the face without too much affect on the bounce. 

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Most players can learn to adapt to most grinds or even bounce.  I find it matters most when under stress of competition and players tend to revert to whatever technique comes naturally.

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Wedge grinds matter but which one is a process of experimentation.

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6 hours ago, mvhoffman said:

This poses the question, Do grinds really matter?  I understand it is just a recommendation and starting point but is there something I'm not getting by playing a different grind than recommended?

You overlooked another consideration.  Your mechanics and how you use the club head may not be what you perceive.  Lots of people see things one way, but often discover later it's not what they thought. 

 

Maybe grind doesn't matter to YOU because the club head is used in the same way, regardless of grind.  It's been my belief, wedge grinds are often wasted on many people.  They don't practice using the grind, and some grinds may not prove beneficial.

 

I envision the shot first, then create the shot by varying low-bounce "M" grind face angle, from open or flat to closed.  Whether I use LW or SW depends on conditions and distance to target.  I chose low-bounce because I seldom dig, and comfortable opening the face for more bounce. 

 

 

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Bounce matters a ton. The grind matters, but not as much as bounce. I find the grind matters only on bunker shots and when you open the face on a chip. 

 

Bounce...hugely important for turf interaction for all shots.

 

I'm in a callaway 50-10 because I hated the full shot interaction of the vokey 50-08 and I don't like high bounce wedges at all. 

 

I recently moved from a 60-10 to a 60-08 because the 60-10 was bumping into the ball on tighter rye grass that was over seeded until a month or so ago. 

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10 hours ago, Abh159 said:

A lot of it depends on the caliber of the player. A 15+ handicap probably isn't going to notice much of a difference in grinds/bounce because he/she isn't making consistent contact enough to feel the difference.

 

However, low to + handicaps will definitely notice the changes. ...

 

Part of it depends on how you use your wedges. If you mainly hit square-face wedge shots, grind will matter less.

 

In a sense, it's error control. Most of all, you want to avoid grinds you just can't hit.

 

In the previous century, I played MacGregor MT flatsole blades. The set contained a 10i instead of a PW. The 10i was great for shots off the fairway and out of light rough. but it didn't always work well for touch shots around the green. The sharp, iron-like leading edge would bite too much and often come up short. It didn't have much bounce. I found I did better close-in with 7i chips or cut shots with a MacG SW that had a bit of bounce.

 

Another aspect of grind deals with the club you use out of your common bunkers, that can handle your sand. The large flange SWs were designed to handle fine, powdery sand. But many courses are going to heavier sand so the wind doesn't blow it away so much. This means the wide-sole, high bounce may not work as well, may hang up in the sand. Two local pros say they went from W-grind to S-grind because of heavier sand, and I have followed suit.

 

That was the benefit of demo days (gone but not forgotten!) You could test out the recommended wedge grinds and see if they worked or not.

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