Five things to consider when buying a new wedgeJune, 2015 Equipment
Five key findings from our wedge testing experiences
1. CLUB FINISH
Make sure you check how you feel with the finish of a wedge before you buy and then put in your bag.
Often the colour/finish will look amazing on the shelf or at address in the club shop or golf shop, but as soon as you get out there on the course the varying head shapes and colours will affect your perception in relation to the ball.
This all will have an effect on your performance.
Something to consider when purchasing your next wedge.
A Titleist SM5 wedge fitting with legendary Bob Vokey
2. TRY AN EXTENDED IRON SET
As you are might be aware, iron lofts have got stronger and stronger in recent years.
That creates a big gap between a pitching wedge and a lob wedge and you need to fill it.
The lofts on game improvement sets are stronger than those on blades and the like.
But if you use a chunky pitching wedge, the transition to a bladed gap wedge can be difficult.
Our suggestion is to consider buying an extra wedge within your irons most of the top brands offer an A or a U wedge that you are likely to find that much easier to use.
Then add something like a 54Ëš and a 58Ëš, or a 56Ëš and a 60Ëš, with specialist wedges for finesse.
3. BOUNCE: PROS AND CONS
Broadly, we think additional bounce is a good idea. It makes your wedges more forgiving and harder to duff.
It also makes bunker shots easier. It really helps when chipping and pitching from rough, too.
Bounce is most helpful in soft conditions where there is a little room underneath the ball.
However, this advice does not necessarily apply to everyone.
Bounce is not as helpful if you play from tight lies and firm fairways most of the time. You may feel that leading edge is a little too far from the ground.
Ask your pro if you can try a high-bounce and a low-bounce lob wedge and see for yourself what difference it makes.
How to play a low wedge shot into the wind
4. BEWARE PRETTY WEDGES
We all aspire to use pretty wedges and it’s easy to think that for short shots it’s all about finesse and soft feel.
But we all play lots of shots with our wedges from distance and nearly all of us appreciate the extra playability that a small cavity is likely to provide.
It’s no fun standing over a 75-yard shot and catching it slightly high off the face or out of the toe, then watching it drop into a front bunker.
A slightly more forgiving wedge might just carry two more yards and get you on the dance floor.
So make sure your wedges aren’t just stylish to look at in your bag, but are actually working for you when it counts.
5. THREE OR FOUR WEDGES?
Don’t be one of those golfers (we all know them) who carry clubs around they never use.
Make sure that all your clubs have a clear function in your bag (and ideally more than one).
For example, ask yourself if you chip with your gap wedge then make sure it looks right to you over short shots.
If you never hit full shots with your lob wedge then there’s no point trying to fit it into your gapping system.
And what club do you normally use from bunkers?
It may be you love options, in which case carry a pitching wedge then, say, a 50, 56 and a 60Ëš.
Alternatively you might do just as well with a 52 and a 58Ëš.