How often to you change your wedges? I’d say for most people they would probably be on a similar life-cycle to irons – about two and a half to three years.
There’s never really been any definitive guidelines on when you should change your equipment.
Often new purchases are made in a bid to start hitting more fairways or to get a bit more consistency with iron play.
But they are not based on any particular deterioration of the current equipment – some people just love spending money on golf equipment.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. If golf is your thing why not treat yourself every now and then?
But it would be good to know when your equipment stops performing as well as it should.
We all get our cars serviced after a certain number of miles.
With wedges I guess we can think of the grooves a little bit like the tyres on our cars. When the tyres get worn, the stopping distances increase.
It’s exactly the same for wedges…
How did the Vokey Wedges team carry out the test?
Using a wedge robot at their Manchester Lane testing facilities in Acushnet, Massachusetts, the Titleist Vokey team used three different SM6 wedges for an experiment.
One had played 125 rounds, one 75 rounds and the other had fresh grooves.
Using a wedge robot hitting full shots, each wedge was hit to a 100-yard long green that is perfectly flat.
The wedge that had 125 yards of play launched at 35 degrees, spun at 6,500 rpm and rolled out about 24 feet.
Next up was the wedge which has played 75 rounds where we saw a launch angle of 34 degrees, 7,770 rpm of spin. The ball rolled out for 18 feet.
Finally the fresh grooves resulted in 33 degrees of launch, 8,500 rpm of spin and 10 feet of roll out – or stopping power.
So Titleist say you should start think about fresh grooves – read: new wedges – after 75 rounds as that is where you’ll start to notice a significant drop in spin.
Watch the video here:
[skylab_video id=”111130″]Vokey grooves[/skylab_video]
What does this mean for the club golfer?
OK. Let’s do a bit of maths.
Your average golfer who plays once a week should probably start thinking about new wedges after roughly 18 months.
Casual golfers who play once or twice a month should get decent performance for about three years.
Jordan Spieth changes his 60-degree wedge every few tournaments and his other three wedges get replaced every couple of months.
Why? Because as this test has shown, wedges with fresh grooves result in more spin, more accuracy and more control.
The new grooves stopped 12 feet closer to the hole than the ones which had played 125 rounds. You’d have to putt as well as Spieth to account for that.
It was actually more surprising to me how good the performance was after 75 rounds. I had actually expected them to deteriorate a bit quicker than that.
The Vokey SM6 wedges, for example, are heat-treated to make them last longer.
For more information visit the Vokey website.