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wedges,wedges,wedges oh my!


b-man777
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hi all:have a few wedge questions.first when looking fo a new wedge witch of these factors is most important loft,bounce,sole grind or sole with?also i"ve heard that there should be no more than a 5 degree loft gap between wedges.also good wedge players like a narrower sole while a poor wedge player should use a wide sole am i correct in assuming this?thanks for the hlep :)
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Many better players have a 48* PW, 54* SW, and 60* LW, myself included. In fact, until you learn how to use all those wedges, restricting yourself to a <=5* gap is just plain stupid.

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When considering an entirely new wedge setup, the first thing you probably want to consider is how many you want to stick in your bag. Do you want to go with a 4 wedge arsenal or 3? The next thing to then decide is what lofts you want to play. A typical 4 wedge setup is generally 48°, 52°, 56° and 60° whereas your 3 wedge is 48°, 54° and 58°. There's no right/wrong answer for what you decide to stick in your bag...do whatever works for you.

 

In regards to grinds/bounce, that's more of a personal preference depending on your swing as well as the course conditions you normally play. You may want to experiment with a few different options to find one(s) you like or settle on something basic for the time being.

 

There's so many unique characteristics to wedges these days and, as I mentioned before, it's more of a personal preference than anything.

 

Hope this gets you started in the right direction.

 

Good luck!

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First, you need to decide what you want your wedges to do and whether you want them for different conditions or just for the courses in your area - firm or soft sand?

 

Second, you need to ask yourself "where do my wedges start?"

 

A PW at 46-47 is not a PW - a PW stops and drops. The new PW is more of a 9i. My wedges start at 50 - even though my 46 deg club says PW - it's not my PW.

 

Third, I go 50, 54, 58-59. My wedges each do something different.

 

The 50 is just a PW designed to stop on full pitches. It also can stay low in the wind. It's lower bounce and narrower sole is nice around the greens on tight lies.

 

The 54 is my all out sand wedge but it's more than that - it has a medium-wide sole and 10-13 deg of bounce (depending on which SW I'm using) but it's great from the FW, playing it back in the stance around the greens to keep it low, dead hand shots, bunker shots, rough (the med-wide sole is good), etc.

 

 

The 58-59 is more of a trouble club and usually has 8-10 deg of bounce but has lots of grinding to make it versatile and play with less bounce - has a trailing edge grind, heel and toe grind and medium sole - so it is still useful in greenside bunkers while allowing one to open it up on flops. It's good in the fairway and rough. It must be versatile.

 

I like to keep my shafts the same as my irons shafts, but will softstep the 54 and 58 to give them a softer feel.

 

As to narrow v. wide - it all depends - it's best to have one wedge or at least a SW that has some width for sand play. A narrower sole in the gap is fine. I like a medium width in the 58-59 so it still gives you confidence in the sand. The more narrow the sole, usually the more a mistake will be emphasized in the bunkers - you may get dig on mistakes because you'll lose your bounce.

 

That's why you have a SW and LW that are complimentary instead of the same.

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Two important questions to ask are:

 

Do you have enough slots open to carry 3 or 4 wedges? For many people this comes down to a trade off between a 2i/hybrid/5w or another wedge. This is a personal choice. For me, I use the hybrid more than I would use another wedge.

 

Do you feel comfortable either using a gap/low loft SW out of the sand or using a lob wedge with bounce for shots around the green? If yes, then you can probably get to 3 wedges easily. I personally like to use a 48/53/58 combo with pretty low bounce on the 53 to hit full shots and low spinners and the 58 with bounce mostly for lobs out fluffy lies and the sand. The downfall of this is that I have no club to hit a lob off a tight lie (like you could with a low bounce lob wedge), but I don't think most non-pros should try that shot anyway.

 

The 48/53/58 gives me reasonable gap for full shots, but I am at a bit of a loss in the 125-130 range. I really like the 53 from around 120 but the 48 is more like 135. I would rather get to 4* gap between wedges, but then I am stuck with a 56* SW where I would prefer something more like a LW.

 

 

It all boils down to tradeoffs like the others said.

 

Many better players have a 48* PW, 54* SW, and 60* LW, myself included. In fact, until you learn how to use all those wedges, restricting yourself to a <=5* gap is just plain stupid.

 

Follow up to iqonoqlast: Not sure I follow your logic here wrt gap. I see a greater loft gap in 3 wedges requiring more shotmaking skill than less gap. With a 6 degree gap, you will have greater yardage gap on full shots requiring more control of trajectory and spin than just taking a normal swing at letting the club do the work.

 

Not trying to debate, just understand where you are coming from.

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When I am purchasing a new wedge I look at the overall look of the club first. If it looks odd to me at address it won’t inspire confidence. The I look at the sole and grooves, the details depend on the wedge in question.

 

I play 4 or 3 wedges depending on the course.

 

My four wedge set-up is PW-52-54-60. I 54 is an interesting little fellow. It’s a 56 bent to 54, so it’s got very little bounce. Its great from tight fairway lies and it really spins the cover off the ball because the lack of bounce lets the ball climb up higher on the clubface. I hit it about 115 with a smooth swing, I can get it to 125 if I need to but then my contact starts getting questionable. The problem is I seem to have a lot of shots that are 120-130. What I found was that I wasn’t able to stop the ball with a light PW and I had to swing too hard with the 54 to be reliable. One day I stumbled across a 52* vokey raw in the bargain bin that matched my other two wedges to I picked it up. I couldn’t be happier with the yardage.

 

For my three wedge set-up I pull the 54 for a hybrid. There are a couple of courses I play with extremely long par 3s, like 230 yards. The one in particular has a creek fronting the green so a 3I is a risky proposition. I am liking this set-up more and more. If I can find a hybrid that I like I would consider making this my permanent set-up.

 

How do I pick the wedges…

 

My 60* is my all-round chipper. I have learned to hit a multitude of shots with it around the green. It’s also my go to club for green-side bunker shots. Because of this it has to be able to sit open real nice. I like just a little bounce with a relieved heel so I can still manage to pop it up with some spin off the apron. Because this club is usually used for half shots the grooves are important in getting some good spin on it.

 

My other wedges I really don’t need any special grinds or grooves because its usually being used for a full shots and get plenty of spin as is.

 

Good luck in finding something that works!

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