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Follow up Question: Lob vs more open Sand Wedge


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My question: With exception of bounce and sole design, is there any significant difference in opening up a 55 degree wedge for shots so loft is similar to 60 wedge equivalent?? As part of my short game journey, I have gone back and forth between 60 and 55 degree wedge as my main weapon for non bunker shots. At this stage it is pretty clear I am better using the 55 for most shots. I open the face for almost all short game, and have assumed opening sand wedge 5 degrees or so more then lob would result in identical type dynamic loft etc. The pros seem to use 60 exclusively, so what am I missing?  Thanks. 

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Problem with opening it up that much is the tendency to close it back too fast or trying to scoop it if you're trying to hit it high.

 

I use the 58* primarily as my chipping club  as I have pretty good low point control and hit a bit more aggressive with it. Most ams have a combination of bad low point control, tru to help the ball up and try to baby it because its a chip.

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I use my 54 or my 60 depending upon the lie.  I kind of don’t think about launch on short game shots - I think more about contact.  It’s easier to hit a 54 solidly. 

 

I don’t know that it matters all that much as long as you get the results you’re wanting. 
 

There might be a combination of lie and bounce where opening up a club makes it harder to get good contact vs just having a more lofted club in hand because opening up the face adds more bounce. 

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2 hours ago, iutodd said:

I use my 54 or my 60 depending upon the lie.  I kind of don’t think about launch on short game shots - I think more about contact.  It’s easier to hit a 54 solidly. 

 

I don’t know that it matters all that much as long as you get the results you’re wanting. 
 

There might be a combination of lie and bounce where opening up a club makes it harder to get good contact vs just having a more lofted club in hand because opening up the face adds more bounce. 

K thanks. When I first started playing 25 years ago my instructor was using a 60 degree for most short game, and that’s how I learned. I got ok at it, but as time went on realized the 55-56 is easier, especially if not practicing much. I wonder why the pros use the 60 more? Maybe spin for their fast greens. Since I open the club slightly on all chips and pitches (with 55 or 60), the good strikes seem to have the same characteristics, just less often with the 60 for me.  Mostly a few more slightly fat shots. 

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39 minutes ago, SNIPERBBB said:

Rory explained why he uses the lob more as it’s easier to manipulate the face of the lob because it’s generally lower bounce than the sand wedge.

Thanks. I personally cannot tell the difference opening my 55 sand wedge a hair more than my 60 lob, except for bounce/sole difference. The 55 feels more solid (maybe due to bigger bounce), but excluding bounce I can’t appreciate any significant benefit of the 60. 

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2 hours ago, hackerboy said:

Thanks. I personally cannot tell the difference opening my 55 sand wedge a hair more than my 60 lob, except for bounce/sole difference. The 55 feels more solid (maybe due to bigger bounce), but excluding bounce I can’t appreciate any significant benefit of the 60. 

 

The size of the effect is grind dependent, but opening a lower bounce club will add bounce and raise the leading edge. The more you open it, the easier it will become to thin / skull the shot.

 

To really exaggerate the effect, try opening up an 8 iron so it has around 60 degrees of loft and look how high the leading edge sits off the ground.

 

Lower loft and more bounce offers more face and a greater margin for error when facing fluffy lies e.g. ball sitting up on the rough. Less bounce or opening up is easier off tight lies.

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7 minutes ago, GolfTurkey said:

 

The size of the effect is grind dependent, but opening a lower bounce club will add bounce and raise the leading edge. The more you open it, the easier it will become to thin / skull the shot.

 

To really exaggerate the effect, try opening up an 8 iron so it has around 60 degrees of loft and look how high the leading edge sits off the ground.

 

Lower loft and more bounce offers more face and a greater margin for error when facing fluffy lies e.g. ball sitting up on the rough. Less bounce or opening up is easier off tight lies.

Makes sense.  So per my original question, seems there is no significant advantage except for the bounce/sole difference and effect on things. What I find mind boggling is it’s only 5 degree difference. Just slight opening of club face turns 55 to 60.  And if have grind relief the effect on bounce might be very minimal, if at all, depending on shot and lie. 

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I can't think of any major advantage of using a 60 (vs opening up the 55) - I only use my 58 for specific purposes (hopefully only 1-2 times a round), while my 54 is probably my most used club (besides driver & putter).  Its just a bit more versatile for me (even when I open it up a bit).

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Fairways:  Callaway Paradym 3W & 7W with Hzrdus Smoke Blue RDX 70 Stiff

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Wedges:  Callaway Jaws Raw Plasma 50, 54 & 58

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1 hour ago, ChrisATL said:

I can't think of any major advantage of using a 60 (vs opening up the 55) - I only use my 58 for specific purposes (hopefully only 1-2 times a round), while my 54 is probably my most used club (besides driver & putter).  Its just a bit more versatile for me (even when I open it up a bit).

Good to hear. I’ve been doing the same more and more, which is why I posted the question to make sure I’m not screwing up by moving away from 60 use. I still use 60 for short bunker shots (depending on type of sand) and specialty shots, but my question was more applicable to bread and butter pitches etc. 

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2 minutes ago, hackerboy said:

Good to hear. I’ve been doing the same more and more, which is why I posted the question to make sure I’m not screwing up by moving away from 60 use. I still use 60 for short bunker shots (depending on type of sand) and specialty shots, but my question was more applicable to bread and butter pitches etc. 

totally - I’ve found my 54 to be slightly more forgiving and / or harder to hit far or thin. Good luck with the practice!

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Driver: Callaway AI Smoke 10.5* with Hzrdus Smoke Blue RDX 60 Stiff

Fairways:  Callaway Paradym 3W & 7W with Hzrdus Smoke Blue RDX 70 Stiff

Irons:  Cobra Forged Black 5-PW with KBS Tour Stiff

Wedges:  Callaway Jaws Raw Plasma 50, 54 & 58

Putter:  Scotty Phantom X 7

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3 hours ago, ChrisATL said:

I can't think of any major advantage of using a 60 (vs opening up the 55) - I only use my 58 for specific purposes (hopefully only 1-2 times a round), while my 54 is probably my most used club (besides driver & putter).  Its just a bit more versatile for me (even when I open it up a bit).

I have found that the results of my short game are less bad when I use my 50° or 56° primarily, and use the 60° as a "break glass in case of emergency" club. I've found that the larger the swing I have to make with it, the greater the chance for error. 

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2 hours ago, hackerboy said:

Good to hear. I’ve been doing the same more and more, which is why I posted the question to make sure I’m not screwing up by moving away from 60 use. I still use 60 for short bunker shots (depending on type of sand) and specialty shots, but my question was more applicable to bread and butter pitches etc. 

I have found that, for the courses I play, and the amount I practice, that using lower lofts for the bread and butter chips/pitches usually leads to less bad outcomes. 

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3w- Honma TW-XP1 

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6-AW- Cleveland Launcher XL Nippon Zelos 7

56°- Cleveland CBX Zipcore

60°- Lazrus

P- Odyssey eleven tour lined stroke lab shaft

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17 minutes ago, ShortGolfer said:

I carry two 58 lob wedges with specialty grinds.  If those grinds were available in 56 or 54 i'd buy them!

That’s unusual but I can see it if you love the clubs.  What 58 are you playing?  And have you thought about bending one to 60 and other 56 if feasible. Could pick some up on EBay and have a good club person adjust them if it’s possible. 

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I first put together a Ping Glide 3.0 58/6 TS as I often had the ball sitting on bare dirt or the wet sand out of a washed out bunker.

Then I bought a Callaway Jaws Raw 58/8Z which has the best turf interaction of any of my fourteen wedges.

My last club was a Vokey 56/8M.  I bought it the only wedge in a minimalist Sunday bag when I need to travel with a car full of stuff.

I have a Callway CB 60/12 with my iron shaft that isn't in my bag right now.

 

I have bought clubs on eBay, reshafted them, and taken them for Club Champion for adjustment.

I bought a half set from them and was very pleased with the fitting I received.  Not only did I get a great set of clubs, but Iearned a lot from the fitting as well!

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36 minutes ago, ShortGolfer said:

I first put together a Ping Glide 3.0 58/6 TS as I often had the ball sitting on bare dirt or the wet sand out of a washed out bunker.

Then I bought a Callaway Jaws Raw 58/8Z which has the best turf interaction of any of my fourteen wedges.

My last club was a Vokey 56/8M.  I bought it the only wedge in a minimalist Sunday bag when I need to travel with a car full of stuff.

I have a Callway CB 60/12 with my iron shaft that isn't in my bag right now.

 

I have bought clubs on eBay, reshafted them, and taken them for Club Champion for adjustment.

I bought a half set from them and was very pleased with the fitting I received.  Not only did I get a great set of clubs, but Iearned a lot from the fitting as well!

Sounds good.  As long as your gaps are covered looks like you’ve got all possible turf/sand under control. I keep going back to my 1996 Big Bertha tour wedges, first ones ever done by Roger Cleveland. I have 3 sets of A, S, L and have sent them to Continental golf for refurbishing several times. A 28 yr work in progress. 

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For me it is difficult to drive it low with spin with an open face, and the 60 maximizes spin inside 75 yards. I can also go with a draw feel to take a little off which is harder for me with an open face.

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1 hour ago, TLUBulldogGolf said:

For me it is difficult to drive it low with spin with an open face, and the 60 maximizes spin inside 75 yards. I can also go with a draw feel to take a little off which is harder for me with an open face.


it’s interesting. I’ve hit thousands of the low launch hi spin shot since my obsession to learn this with Hovland’s success last year. I can now do it 80+% of the time with an open club face (prob 10 degrees).  As long as I have a new clean ProV1 or equivalent, and clean club, my 60 and 55 launch low despite face open. Of course I’ve got around 10-15 degrees shaft lean. For the life of me I can’t tell any difference in flight or stopability between the sand and lob. But no question for me, the sand seems to deliver more solid shots (CG issue?) and less unwanted occasional turf interactions presumably a bounce or sole difference issue besides user error. 

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