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Thursday, May 24, 2012
Thinking Man's Guide To Finding Your WITB: Part VI
a look at my wedges:
Golf Driver Grinds
LOFT: 52°, 56° and 60° LIE ANGLE:
64° SHAFT: KBS Tour C-Taper LENGTH: 36”, 36”,
35-3/4” Swingweight: D-8, D-8, D-9 MOI: 2,725
How important are wedges? At my level of play I believe they
are more or less, moderately important. My statistical research shows that wedge
play is vastly overrated on the PGA Tour. The idea that Tour golfers ‘get up an
in every time they have a wedge into the green’ is patently false. In reality,
the better Tour player may get up an in with a wedge in their hands (full swing)
about 10-20% of the time. Also, Tour players do not get a lot of approach shots
from the Birdie Zone (75-125 yards) in a round of golf. Some golfers, even the
longer hitters, will not get an attempt from the Birdie Zone all tournament
long. And one of the popular misconceptions is that long players are in the
Birdie Zone more often. The Birdie Zone usually gets most of its attempts from
the shorter players because they wind up in the Birdie Zone more often on
par-5’s than the longer player, like a Bubba Watson, who goes for par-5’s in two
shots about 75% of the time.
As I’ve said in my 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis,
it’s not about labeling a part of the game as irrelevant. If you improve any
part of your game, over time it will affect your scores. It’s about determining
the level of importance and figuring out what you need to improve upon.
With wedges, I’m actually much more concerned with their performance
around the green than on half swings, three quarter swings and full swings.
That’s because statistically, the shots from 0-20 yards from the edge of the
green mean more to your scores than a full swing wedge.
I believe that
the best wedges will help you perform well on the basic shots around the green.
Like the chip, pitch (all trajectories), flop, lob shot (vertical hinge type
shot), bunker blasts, etc. Where one can really start to see an advantage is on
the more difficult shots around the green, like thick rough lies, hardpan, tight
muddy lies, long bunker shots, etc. Those are usually the shots that get golfers
of my skill level and can absolutely kill a good round for a higher handicap
CLUBHEADS (EDEL DRIVER GRIND)
biggest trend in equipment today is customization. Everything from the specs and
components down to engraving,finishes and paint fills. I think the one part of
the game that is still untapped is the wedge market and with companies seeing
some of the success that Scratch Golf and Miura have had, if Edel Golf has
success as well I believe other companies will start to follow suit and come up
with their own customization and fitting for wedges.
starts with finding the right head grind and bounce angle combination for the
golfer. Edel utilizes a fitting cart with all sorts of wedge heads that have
different grind and bounce angle combination. The idea is to find the right
combination of grind and bounce so that the golfer can hit it ‘flush’ without
taking a massive divot. The main idea came from Mike Adams’ research that
golfers would ‘hang back’ on the downswing with wedge shots because if they
didn’t, they would stick the clubhead into the ground. I believe one of the
greatest advantages that this system has is that it allows for better distance
control because my divot pattern and size of the divot is more consistent and
very small. So I don’t have to worry about losing clubhead speed if I catch one
heavy or worry about the launch angle due to the clubhead and turf
For those non-Edel wedge golfers, I will say that growing up
playing golf, bounce was often overlooked and usually the adage was that better
players needed less bounce. I think that if you want to become a better wedge
player, you need to understand bounce better and not be afraid to experiment
with higher bounce angle wedges. A lot of this depends on your swing and the
turf you are playing off of.
When I came to Florida, I was usually told
that a golfer needs less bounce to deal with the thick Bermuda grass. But in the
end, I noticed that to the opposite case. Now, I can hit Edel wedges really well
off of hardpan as this video shows.
If you’re hitting off of
dry, hard ground more often, like you may see in Texas or Arizona, then you may
want to seek a lower bounce angle because some of the higher bounce angle heads,
may not have the grind design to help hit shots well from those type of
LOFT (52°, 56° and 60°)
Each loft is
designed to change how far the golfer can hit the ball. As I have mentioned in
the previous parts, I typically like to
that begs whether or not I ever use the 52° wedge. My feeling is that the 3-iron
is more important to me than the 52° wedge because if I’m ever in a position
where I don’t have a 3-iron and I need it, that will potentially be more
hazardous to my score than needing a 52° wedge when I don’t have it.
It’s MUCH more difficult to get the distance right and still hit an
accurate shot when I have to either step on the gas with a 4-iron or take
something off my hybrid than it is to either choke up on a PW or step on the gas
with a 56° wedge. Also, many times with wedges you’re better off on focusing
more on leaving yourself with an uphill putt than you are trying to have the
right distance into the flag. As I’ve shown with AimPoint, many times a 10 foot
uphill putt can be easier to make than a 5 foot downhill putt.
my philosophy is simple when it comes what to bag, the 3-iron or the 52° wedge.
If I do not believe I will use my 3-iron in a typical round of golf at a certain
curse, I’ll bad the 52° wedge. Secondly, I use the 52° wedge almost exclusively
for full swings.
Many golfers will bag a 54° SW and a 58° SW. I think
those golfers are more concerned with their full swing performance with those
clubs than their shots around the green. I feel that is a bit backwards thinking
because the shots around the green are statically more important to your score.
It is usually easier to de-loft a wedge shot around the green than to hit it
higher and still control the roll. What often happens is good golfers can add
loft to the wedge around the green, but the ball will not roll as much and they
have a difficult time calculating how much roll the ball will have. Thus, I find
the 54° and 58° lofts to be a bit disadvantageous.
However, if you feel
good about your shots around the green and like the yardages you hit them on
full swing, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
I feel that this is mostly about personal
preference. I will say that with Edel’s wedges, those short shots that you are
likely to catch off the toe will come out better because the CoG is moved
further away from the hosel and they extend the grooves out towards the toe, so
you don’t have to worry about those knuckleball shots.
I know many
golfers like all of their wedges the same length as their pitching wedge. I
think that makes some sense from a full swing perspective, but it can mess up
the MOI matching of the wedges. And I think some golfers may have a problem with
the extra length on short shots around the green.
have hit the KBS Tour C-Taper shaft before in a 6-iron and while I liked the
feel and felt it brought the trajectory and spin down, I wound up hitting it too
short. I think that’s because the static weight of the 6-iron was noticeably
more and it made it a little more difficult to swing at a high speed for me.
With the wedges, there is no difference in distance. When you get into
differences in distance, you usually see a greater difference in the longer
clubs like a driver, 3-iron, etc.
I was fitted for the C-Taper shaft
because it brought my trajectory down a touch
There’s a lot that goes
into a wedge shaft. With the grooves rule changes, many golfers have gone to a
higher spinning shaft. However, the counter to it is that it may spin too much
and if you need to hit a lower shot, it may be very difficult to do.
SWINGWEIGHT & MOI (D-8 & D-9 & 2,725
Some clubfitters believe that MOI matching is not
necessary with wedges. I’m actually inclined to agree with them on some level.
This is mainly because wedges are fairly easy to hit on full swings and the rest
of it is just short shots around the green, where it’s difficult to discern the
difference in the feel of the club swinging. However, my feeling is ‘what’s the
worst that can happen?’
One of the beauties of MOI fitting and matching
is that if you don’t like it, you can always remove the weight from the head and
go back to whatever weight the clubs were before they were MOI matched.