Wedges play an important part in our bag set-up.
They are classed as our scoring clubs but do we really know what that means and do we pay enough attention to what options are available that will help our game?
When we are looking at a new wedge set there are some considerations we need to think about beyond which lofts to go for if our wedge game is to become a real asset.
For example, think about:
- Which type of golf courses do you play consistently.
- With your iron game, do you take divots or barely touch the grass at impact?
These are important questions to answer.
Are the courses you play regularly fast and bouncy links courses with fescue and deep bunkers or parkland courses with lush, thick rough?
In addition to this, what type of a lie are you likely to get if you miss a green and don’t end up in a bunker?
Understanding your ball-to-turf interaction and the type of divot you take (if any) can also be an important indicator of how your wedges should be set up.
What these elements get us to focus on is what type of bounce is ideally suited to us and the types of golf courses we play.
For this article, we are going to break down not only what bounce is but help you make the right decision on what bounce you need on your wedges.
What is bounce?
Looking at wedges, there are certain numbers that are prominent and we need to pay attention to them.
The first is one that most of us are familiar with - loft.
When we are building our wedge set having lofts with consistent gaps between them lessens the chances of having big distance gaps.
But the other number that needs attention is the bounce number.
So what is bounce?
Bounce refers to the angle created between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole or trailing edge and is measured in degrees.
The bigger the difference is in the angle the more bounce your wedge will have on it.
Now that we know what the bounce is we can start to group wedges into different categories.
A low bounce wedge will generally feature between 4 and 7 degrees of bounce.
Low-bounce wedges can be the hardest to hit consistently well as the leading edge can be prone to “digging” into the ground or sand so if your timing is marginally off the results won’t be good.
Low-bounce wedges are best suited more for approach play than bunker play.
This is what you are most likely to see if you walk into any golf shop that has a range of wedges available for sale.
Featuring between 8 and 10 degrees this bounce profile is best suited for most types of golfers.
Mid-bounce wedges start to offer more flexibility in shot types you can play and won’t be prone to the same risk of “digging” as low-bounce wedges.
Offering the biggest angle between the leading and trailing edge high bounce wedges fall between 10 and 14 degrees.
Having a high degree of bounce can be useful for things like bunker shots where the sole can move through the sand more effectively without the leading edge digging in.
Understanding the various degrees of bounce that are available and what constitutes a low, medium or high bounce wedge is one part of the puzzle.
The next part of working out the right bounce is understanding your angle of attack on the ball.
We can help you understand what your angle of attack is via a fitting session on our launch monitors but again we can roughly break this down into three categories.
The steep angle of attack
A steep angle of attack is likely to lead us into taking big divots with our irons.
If your angle of attack is steep choosing wedges with medium to high bounce might be more beneficial as the leading edge of the wedge is less likely to get “stuck” in the ground.
The shallow angle of attack
If you hardly take a divot having a wedge with a lower bounce might help with ball contact and turf interaction leading to crisper, more precise wedge shots.
Medium angle of attack
Given what we know about steep and shallow attack angles as the name suggests if you have a medium angle of attack you are likely to sit somewhere in the middle of the bounce spectrum.
Adding the next piece of the puzzle we can now take the knowledge we have learned and factor this into the types of golf courses we play.
If you play more on links-style courses you know the ground can get exceptionally hard, especially during the summer months.
Wedges with lower bounce will be more favourable for these types of conditions because the sole is less likely to skid on the hard turf bringing in the option for a thinned shot.
In missing a green, the ball may come to rest in a hard-packed area where there is little grass under the ball.
A lower bounce wedge will help to nip the ball off this type of surface.
The opposite can be said if we play more inland/parkland-style layouts where generally the ground is a little softer.
We are not looking for a wedge where the leading edge will dig into this softer ground, therefore, having more bounce will aid the ball/turf interaction.
If we miss a green we might end up in thick, juicy rough where we might want to play more of an explosion shot or flop shot.
Having more bounce will help achieve this shot more effectively.
Are there any other factors to consider?
The answer to this is yes.
Some manufacturers will create different types of grind effects on the sole of their wedges to aid with better turf interaction and to allow you to play a variety of shots.
These don’t affect the bounce and these manufacturers will still offer varying grinds with varying degrees of bounce.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the correct wedge makeup for your game.
Spacing the lofts correctly in your wedges cuts down big distance gaps but also having the correct bounces will aid ball and turf interaction helping you maximise your wedge potential.
What our angle of attack is into the ball and the types of courses we play regularly will also help determine which type of bounce will help us the most.
Changing the profile of the golf shaft can impact delivery of the wedge into impact and therefore how your chosen bounce design will perform.
Many of the variables our club fitters are trained in and will help each golfer find the most optimised equipment for their game.
We have a wide range of wedges with different lofts and bounce angles available for custom fitting to your game’s requirements.
If you would like to organise a fitting session we can help you determine your angle of attack via our launch monitors or if you already know your angle of attack you can customise your wedge selection via our website.