You walk into a golf shop and you are looking to buy wedges, what are you thinking about? Loft? Brand? Are you thinking about wedge bounce? You may not even know what wedge bounce is but do not fret, this article is going to change that.
Wedge bounce is one of those features of the more lofted clubs in our bag that is hugely important yet many don’t know much about it. This article is here to help shed some light on bounce and what you need to know to make a better decision for your attacking clubs.
Before we get into this properly, there are a couple of factors of your game that you need to consider. There are a couple of types of golfers in this world, there are diggers and there are sliders. These words describe how you strike the ball and refers to your angle of attack.
Think about your divots, do you even take one with your wedges? This is going to be really important during this article so have a good think before we move on from here. Wedge bounce is really important to get right and whether you are a digger or a slider is a vital thing to know.
What is Wedge Bounce?
If you hold a wedge in a normal address position, the wedge bounce is the angle between the sole of the club and the ground. Is this something that you have ever considered when buying a wedge? It really should be.
In an attempt to make this easier to picture in your head, here is another way of thinking about this. The higher the degree of bounce there is on your wedge, the higher the leading edge of your club will be from the ground.
What are the Options for Wedge Bounce?
There are many types of bounce on a wedge and depending on your swing-style, some will make life easier and some will make it harder. The best way to think about this is to think of bounce in three different categories:
For golfers who tend to play on links land or really tightly mown fairways, a low wedge bounce is perfect. This would be a something between four to six degrees and will help you slide the club under the ball without taking much of a divot. This is the kind of set-up that players would opt for during The Master and The Open Championship.
If you play golf on many different types courses and in various playing conditions, mid bounce is the most versatile set-up and should help you most. Wedges that have a bounce angle of between seven and ten degrees fall into this category. This set-up favour a neutral attack angle.
There are some golfers out there who like to take a steep attack at the ball, these are the players that hit down on their wedges. When a wedge has a bounce of more than ten degrees it would be considered as high bounce. It is great for bunkers with soft sand or for very wet conditions. This wedge bounce will help you avoid digging into the ground too much at impact.
What wedge to select depending on your bounce and lie
Before we explain more about wedge selection, it is important that you know what bounce you have on the wedges in your bag. Once you know this, you can start to consider the best wedge for each shot on the course. Your lie and the course conditions are your first consideration.
Is it a tight lie on hard ground? Then you want a low bounce. Fluffy or wet lie? This would favor a high bounce. Don’t over-complicate things, practice and experience will help you with this decision. It is highly recommended that you speak to a pro who can help you with this selection.
What Wedge Bounce do I Need for my Bag?
It is good to have options within your wedges and carrying a varying bounce will help you when it comes to the spectrum of lies and shots that await us on a normal round of golf. You also need to consider your swing style to make sure you have the right wedge bounce set-up in the bag.
Many golfers may not know what kind of swing they have and it would be really helpful to find out. You can speak to your club pro during a lesson who will help you uncover what kind of swing you put on your wedges.
This is something that all golfers should do before buying wedges.
For those who don’t really know if they are diggers or sliders, there are some clues so let’s have a think about your game.
When you hit a wedge, do you tend to take a big divot? If you do you dig and if you barely take a divot then you slide. Now we will go into more detail on these styles.
Diggers – High Wedge Bounce
This describes those golfers out there who aggressively attack the ball with a steep angle as they hit down on their wedges. This golfer will need a higher degree of bounce on their wedges to prevent them from constantly hitting really chunky shots with big divots.
These golfers benefit from higher degrees of bounce most in the bunkers as this will help them glide through the sand and shallow out the bottom of the swing. This wedge set-up can also be of great help in very wet conditions, again these conditions can make it hard not to hit the ball fat.
Sliders – Low Wedge Bounce
If you rarely take a divot and are one of those golfers who “bruise the turf” rather than dig it up, you fall into the category of sliders. You tend to slide the club under the ball and, because of that, you require low wedge bounce to give you that razor-sharp contact at impact.
If you play most of your golf on hard turf like a links course, playing wedges with a low degree of bounce will help you with the clean contact required to maximize spin control. Also, if you are a lover of the spectacular Phil Mickelson flop shot, low wedge bounce will help you make it fly.
What is a Standard Wedge Bounce?
Most wedges will fall in between the two categories mentioned above and will have a bounce of between seven and ten degrees. This amount of bounce will fit most golfers and is especially good for those out there with neutral swing paths.
As most golfers will fit into this category, it is probably the best amount of wedge bounce to opt for if you are unsure what you need. Whilst this is not the recommended way to go about buying wedges, you will, at least, never be too far away from the set-up that your game needs most.
What is Sole Grind?
Wedge bounce is a key factor in how the club will perform in your hands but it is certainly not the full story. Those devoted golf great geeks out there often talk about the sole grind of a wedge too and this is another way that the club can be set-up to make your life a lot easier on the course.
Depending on how the club is presented to the ball, it can be helpful to grind down part of the sole to reduce the interference it may cause. This can be a tricky one to picture so it is good to give some examples of how this works in practice.
Think of a golfer who holds their wedges with quite an upright address, as they come to impact the toe of the club will hit the ground first. These players will want “toe-relief” so they will prefer to have the sole ground down more towards to toe of the clubhead.
On the opposite side, the player who has a flatter club through impact would benefit from “heel-relief”. Tiger Woods, for example, has heel relief so he can hit flop shots. You can also get a grind to give you relief in the leading edge or trailing edge to help with the bounce set-up you have.
If you feel that buying golf clubs is getting more and more complicated, do not worry, you are not alone. This article should help shed some light on the various options that are out there on the market and give you clues as to which set-up would suit your game and your bag best.
The most important thing to do is to take this new knowledge and work with a professional or custom fitting technician to fine-tune the wedges that you choose. If you are looking for new wedges, book a custom fitting session so you can ensure you get the perfect wedge bounce.
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