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Maybe Not 'Getting' the Traditional Wedge Recommendations


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low handicappers please resist commenting
Not sure of the point of this post… guess I just want to share. Being a high handicapper, I have recently come to the conclusion that it is just silly to try and play serious blades in my short clubs… at least to a point (and I am not sure just where that is yet).

Started out playing serious spoons after getting back into golf a year or two ago (Fusion Wide Soles, R7 Draws). Pretty much instant gratification initially, but wasn't so thrilled with the wedges around the green. Current set is X22's which I am much happier with. But after a lot of advice (including my instructor), chose to go with conventional wedges (51, 56, 61 Mizuno MP-T's) with this set. I think this may have been a mistake. I use the 51 a lot, and came up short 50% of the time. On a course with 5 holes with creeks just in front of the greens, and serious trouble long, this club was costing me 2 to 3 balls, and 4 to 6 strokes per round.

A month or so ago I replaced it with the 51° x22 'A' wedge. In my first three rounds with this… no more creeked balls, and even the occasional thin shot is quite a bit more consistent trajectory-wise.

For me, clearly I am lost with the 'versatility' concept of playing a seriously unforgiving blade for my gap wedge. So much so that I just today ordered a 56° 'S' wedge from the x22 setup. I am rarely in sand and am thinking this will be as much of an improvement from 80+ yds or so as the 51 was from a hundred. Who knows… if it is, I may order the damn lob wedge.

With all of the almost universally good things said about the Cleveland Niblicks (even from low 'cappers), and given the fact that many wedges in the GI sets (granted not all) possess similar attributes (wider sole, lower CG, cavity back, less digging, better trajectory on thin shots), consider you may do better with 'some' GI wedges than the 'almost universally' recommended blades (Vokey, Cleveland, Mizuno, etc.). For me, the 51° is a no-brainer. After a few weeks I'll be able to comment on the 56°… which I use a lot around the greens as well… so we'll see if there is a serious issue with short chips and pitches (there wasn't with the 51°, and even the bump and runs were more consistent)). My current 56 is a 14°, and the x22 is a 15° so differences in bounce will not be an issue (nor was it with the 51 as the bounces were 10° and 11°).

Thoughts? And keep in mind we're talking hi-'cappers here: not the ones with a nickel size worn spot in the center of their wedges, starting about 3 groves up from the bottom. :D
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When I got back into golf a few years ago I found that I played MUCH better with the wedges from the matched set. I think sticking with matched wedges is a good idea, especially if it helps you as it seems to.

Now that I've been back playing a few years, I have three different kinds of wedges with wonky lofts and am comfy with just about any brand. You'll get there too. :-)

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I'm a 18 HI currently. I think gap wedge is a no-brainer and even low-handicappers will often game that wedge from their iron set. I play the gap and sand wedge from my irons (Ping G10) though I had a special grind applied to the sand wedge to make it more versatile for chips, pitches, flops. No lob wedge for me currently.

Callaway Rogue 10.5°
Ping G410 2, 3 Hybrid
Ping G410 3, 4 Crossover 
Ping G410 5-UW
Vokey spin milled 54/14
SC Studio Select Newport 2

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[quote name='Solutions Etcetera' timestamp='1280024828' post='2597127']
Not sure of the point of this post… guess I just want to share. Being a high handicapper, I have recently come to the conclusion that it is just silly to try and play serious blades in my short clubs… at least to a point (and I am not sure just where that is yet).

Started out playing serious spoons after getting back into golf a year or two ago (Fusion Wide Soles, R7 Draws). Pretty much instant gratification initially, but wasn't so thrilled with the wedges around the green. Current set is X22's which I am much happier with. But after a lot of advice (including my instructor), chose to go with conventional wedges (51, 56, 61 Mizuno MP-T's) with this set. I think this may have been a mistake. I use the 51 a lot, and came up short 50% of the time. On a course with 5 holes with creeks just in front of the greens, and serious trouble long, this club was costing me 2 to 3 balls, and 4 to 6 strokes per round.

A month or so ago I replaced it with the 51° x22 'A' wedge. In my first three rounds with this… no more creeked balls, and even the occasional thin shot is quite a bit more consistent trajectory-wise.

For me, clearly I am lost with the 'versatility' concept of playing a seriously unforgiving blade for my gap wedge. So much so that I just today ordered a 56° 'S' wedge from the x22 setup. I am rarely in sand and am thinking this will be as much of an improvement from 80+ yds or so as the 51 was from a hundred. Who knows… if it is, I may order the damn lob wedge.

With all of the almost universally good things said about the Cleveland Niblicks (even from low 'cappers), and given the fact that many wedges in the GI sets (granted not all) possess similar attributes (wider sole, lower CG, cavity back, less digging, better trajectory on thin shots), consider you may do better with 'some' GI wedges than the 'almost universally' recommended blades (Vokey, Cleveland, Mizuno, etc.). For me, the 51° is a no-brainer. After a few weeks I'll be able to comment on the 56°… which I use a lot around the greens as well… so we'll see if there is a serious issue with short chips and pitches (there wasn't with the 51°, and even the bump and runs were more consistent)). My current 56 is a 14°, and the x22 is a 15° so differences in bounce will not be an issue (nor was it with the 51 as the bounces were 10° and 11°).

Thoughts? And keep in mind we're talking hi-'cappers here: not the ones with a nickel size worn spot in the center of their wedges, starting about 3 groves up from the bottom. :D
[/quote]

The point of golf to me is part serious, but part fun. If the previous clubs were giving you fits - change them. Games change over time - and if your game changes again later - change the clubs again.

Notwithstanding that - FWIW - it sounds like you're not hitting the ball first with your club face. Hit down on the ball, not forward (unless it's a wood or a driver). But most importantly - have fun.

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I agree with above - forward shaft lean at impact is really helping my wedges. I used to come up short quite often with my gap wedge also because I was 'sweeping' the club under the ball. By concentrating on forward shaft lean and hitting down, I am getting proper distance with great backspin. Just a thought.

But for any wedge that you are usually making full swings - for me the PW and GW - go with the same as the rest of your irons.

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[quote name='Solutions Etcetera' timestamp='1280024828' post='2597127']
Thoughts? And keep in mind we're talking hi-'cappers here: not the ones with a nickel size worn spot in the center of their wedges, starting about 3 groves up from the bottom. :D
[/quote]

I'm a 9 handicap, but your post got me thinking....

I play Wilson Ci7s, which come with a 50* gap wedge--I always kept that in the bag. But currently, I'm playing 54* and 58* TaylorMade TP "Z" wedges. The funny thing is, a couple of years ago, I was playing an older set of Wilson Staffs that had a 55* sand wedge that matched the set....I hit some GREAT shots with that club. But when upgrading to the Ci7s, without really thinking, I just picked up the two TaylorMade wedges just for the sake of having those matching wedges. I've hit some pretty good shots with my 58*, but I think I can count on one hand the amount of truly GREAT shots I've hit with that 54.

Right after reading this thread, I ran out to the garage and pulled out that Wilson 55* that more or less matches my Ci7s and it just looks HUGE compared to the TM Z wedges. The topline is huge, the face is huge, and there's a lot more bounce....BUT.....I swung it a couple of times and it feels GREAT!

My next round, unfortunately, is later this week. I'm gonna try bagging that 55* shovel and see what happens. I used to use that club for almost every shot 90-100 yards and in, even chips from the fringe.

If this thread is still alive, I'll write down what happens. I'm interested in what happens with your new 56* as well. GOOD LUCK to both of us!

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Being a high hdcp'er, I noticed that I never did partial swings with my 50, so I just ordered a gap wedge from my irons. I am actually ok with my blade like Cleveland cg14 50 degrees, but I am more comfy with my, say nine iron, with minimal loss of accuracy. With my cg14 I do feel like I have to be more precise with my swing.

Also a factor is that I now would only have to stock up on my 54 and 58 with nonconforming wedges for play until 2024. ;)

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[quote name='Stuy Pegleg' timestamp='1280097753' post='2598418']
Also a factor is that I now would only have to stock up on my 54 and 58 with nonconforming wedges for play until 2024. ;)
[/quote]

You know, I once tried explaining to my wife the reason I was trying to pick up more wedges....I talked about conforming and nonconforming and groove rules....she looked at me like I was nuts.

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[quote name='mookie' timestamp='1280096748' post='2598382']I'm a 9 handicap, but your post got me thinking....

I play Wilson Ci7s, which come with a 50* gap wedge--I always kept that in the bag. But currently, I'm playing 54* and 58* TaylorMade TP "Z" wedges. The funny thing is, a couple of years ago, I was playing an older set of Wilson Staffs that had a 55* sand wedge that matched the set....I hit some GREAT shots with that club. But when upgrading to the Ci7s, without really thinking, I just picked up the two TaylorMade wedges just for the sake of having those matching wedges. I've hit some pretty good shots with my 58*, but I think I can count on one hand the amount of truly GREAT shots I've hit with that 54.

Right after reading this thread, I ran out to the garage and pulled out that Wilson 55* that more or less matches my Ci7s and it just looks HUGE compared to the TM Z wedges. The topline is huge, the face is huge, and there's a lot more bounce....BUT.....I swung it a couple of times and it feels GREAT!

My next round, unfortunately, is later this week. I'm gonna try bagging that 55* shovel and see what happens. I used to use that club for almost every shot 90-100 yards and in, even chips from the fringe.

If this thread is still alive, I'll write down what happens. I'm interested in what happens with your new 56* as well. GOOD LUCK to both of us!
[/quote]
Well... yesterday I played my first round with the new Call'y x22 56° 'spoon'. Quite different. First off... I was never short (well I was once, but it was an uphill lie with the ball a foot and a half above my feet in real spongey rough and I hit it so fat I am surprised I actually hit the ball :scare2: ).

The trajectory was noticeably higher on both chips and pitches. So much so I found myself comparing the lofts of the two just to make sure they were the same. Distance was so much more consistent on all types of shots... and in fact I was a little long most of the time. I am gonna need to hit the practice area to re-dial in the distance with this pup.

The issue I was most concerned about (turf interaction with the wider sole from a variety of lies around the greens) was pretty much a non-issue. Although the x22 is fatter... it is mostly around the toe. The overall sole width is .980 vs .870 for the Mizuno. The fact is I simply did not have any issues with tight lies or fluffy ones.

Bottom line is that I think the switch was a resounding success and am now starting to think about replacing the 60.

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I got the 50 degree AW with my Burners and love it. I've use a 56 degree no bounce blade wedge and that's it. I find I'm much more consistent learning how to hit multiple shots with one wedge that having say a 54 and 58. Also saves me a club so I can carry 2 drivers.

Bag for 2020,  Big Bertha Fusion with FuJi Ventus Blue 5, Mavrik  Max 5/7 Helium 5 regular, Big Bertha 2019 6 and 7 hybrid recoil esx 460 regular, Mavrik 7-gw,  Mizuno s18 56 aeroteck 125 regular, Toulon Austin 39”, Ball  Bridgestone b rx and Callaway supersoft.

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Matching GW makes sense, and I'm glad the SW is working out. I don't see the logic in replacing the 60* (I don't actually see the logic in an instructor recommending a 60* to a high-capper). The LW is a precision club, and largely a feel club. If you can hit a cavity back LW with the precision required, then you can hit a blade LW just as well. Just my 2 cents.

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[quote name='Hit em' Str8' timestamp='1280027949' post='2597225']I think sticking with matched wedges is a good idea, especially if it helps you as it seems to.[/quote]

I agree with this. I've had better distance control with wedges that matched my set than I ever did with a separate set of blade-style wedges. That said, I still need a bit of relief in the clubs that I use most around the green (SW and LW). My SW and LW are more versatile now with the Tour grind that removed material from the sole, trailing edge, and heel. I'm now able to do what I could with blade wedges but with much more consistency.

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I have matching G15's all the way down to the LW, but the LW has a different grind on it. Consider having one club that's not fat on the bottom, or like I do, I have my 60* Cleveland CG12 for occasions where I play in dry conditions, and my LW for normal/wet. Same length (modified), grip and grip size - so as "matched" as I could get it.

When you're in need of a "muck" club, make sure you have the right thing for your area's "muck". The softer the ground, the fatter the bottom should be. Drier, harder, thinner.

14 Pings. Blueprints are incredibly good. Fetch is the most underrated putter on the market. Don't @ me.

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I love enjoying the game, as I golf. If there's no enjoyment, why do it?

What leads to enjoyment of golf? Hitting "Good" shots. "That'll keep ya coming back!" I always love hearing that.

So, as higher h-cappers, how do we reach this? Find some darn clubs that we can hit W E L L!!! I have a full Macgregor set of blades, 3i all the way down to a 60* lob. They are the cleanest unused clubs you'll ever see.

Just bag clubs that work for you. I hope you don't care what others think of your bag setup. There are very few guys that are truly "traditional" when it comes to this game. As far as equipment that is. If you're good enough to hit a persimmon driver and true flatstick, have it. But it makes no difference to me if I get beat by a guy with a bag full of hickory sticks, or a guy with a $1200 bag of Titleist blades, etc, etc, etc. Either way, I got beat.

I've probably gone overboard a little, but there seem to be a lot of guys who think they have to play blades. . .I wonder, how many of these guys REALLY, REALLY enjoy golfing with their setup?

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Great topic that hits close to home for me. I am a 10 handicap. and I have bought and played dozens of wedges from just about ever major brand out there - Clevelands, Vokeys, Pings, Mizunos, Taylor Mades, you name it, plus a bunch of components as well. I've tried wedges with lots of bounce, low bounce, even one of those stupid "negative bounce" wedges. I don't have a high swing speed, and I don't/can't put a lot of spin on the ball. I envy all you "one hop and stop" guys out there, but I just plain can't do that. So, after years of struggling, I finally resigned myself to the fact that I simply wasn't good enough for those high-end wedges. Then I was looking through the Hireko catalog looking for some other stuff when I came across their Acer XC wedge, which sounded very interesting. For $9, I figured why not, and added a 56* SW head to the other stuff I was ordering. I used an Apollo Acculite 95 shaft, and holy cow, this is by far the best wedge for my game that I've ever tried. Everything about it works better for me than all those other wedges that cost $100 more - more consistent, better trajectory, better distance control, everything. I''m sure those high-end wedges work great for the more advanced players, but for me it's the same thing as the premium golf balls - I just don't get the performance benefits to justify the extra expense, and in fact, they actually work against me. I'm hitting the ball closer to the hole from inside 100 yards, especially on those critical 40-60 yard shots, so much more consistently with this Acer XC than I ever have with anything else, and I've gone from hoping to hitting those shots near the hole to expecting to hit them close. I am so glad I "downgraded" my wedge, as it may be the most effective equipment change I've ever made.

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