Five new wedges designed to enhance your short-game control.
New regulations on
take effect next
January for pros like Phil Mickelson (it'll be 2014 for high-level
amateurs and 2024 for "casual"
players). Specifically, the cross sectional area must have a
smaller width and depth, and
groove-edge sharpness must be
rounder than current U-grooves.
So how does it affect you?
Starting in 2011, companies
must only make clubs with the
"new" groove. (Firms can sell an
existing model next year until
it's out of stock.) Casual players
should consider the following
options: Stick with your current
wedges; stock up on wedges
(like the ones here) that feature
existing U-grooves; or switch
to wedges with new-for-2010
grooves that produce less "bite"
on shots from the rough.
2 of 7Schecter Lee
Adams Idea a30S Chipper
$89, steel; adamsgolf.com
Tim Reed, VP of R&D:"Our
goal with this is simply to make
it easier to get the ball on the
green and consistently closer
to the hole. It's about adding
a versatile club to your bag that you can
rely on every time you play."
How it works: Obviously, this isn't your
classic wedge. We suggest you stroke it
like a putter to tackle an array of greenside
shots. The hybrid-like head has a broad
cambered sole to help it glide across the
ground with little disturbance. The club comes
in a single loft (37°, similar to an 8-iron). A
bright white alignment aid, extra-long Winn
grip (choke down without grabbing the
steel shaft) and the firm's "Boxer" weighting
technology add to its user-friendliness.
3 of 7Schecter Lee
$109, chrome finish; $119, vintage finish; callawaygolf.com
Roger Cleveland, Chief Designer, R&D: "X-Forged wedges
feature our 'C-Grind' sole, a popular grind on Tour that relieves
the heel, toe and trailing edge. Our 'Mack Daddy' grooves are
also the biggest, nastiest ones out there."
How it works: The forged carbon steel heads have material
shaved away in the heel, toe and back edge to produce a "C-shaped"
sole. This limits turf interaction and enables you to lay the face open while
keeping the leading edge snug to the ground. "Mack Daddy" grooves have
the maximum permissible depth and width, for optimal spin, trajectory
and distance control (in 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 62° and 64° lofts).
4 of 7Schecter Lee
Nike Victory Red Forged
$109, steel; nikegolf.com
Tom Stites, Director of
for VR Forged comes from years of
designing wedges, as well as what
we learn from Tiger and our Tour
staff. We put these things together and marry them with the craftsmanship we have from 20-plus years of experience."
How it works: Better players will appreciate the look and feel of these forged carbon steel heads. Aggressive "high rev" grooves are milled to the Rules limit for increased shot control. The versatile, Tour-inspired heel grind allows for plenty of shotmaking from various lies.
5 of 7Schecter Lee
Ping Tour-W TS
$109, steel; pinggolf.com
Mike Nicolette, Senior
Tour-W TS plays like our
current Tour-W in the
square playing position.
Performance differences occur,
however, when you rotate the
clubface open. On these shots,
the leading edge of the Tour-W TS
stays tighter (closer) to the ground,
for more consistent contact."
How it works: The TS (for "thin
sole") gives you more freedom to
play finesse shots. (At the same
time, however, thin-soled clubs
require greater shot precision.)
A 13-gram tungsten toe weight
combines with the tall, heavy hosel
to shift weight farther to the heel and
toe. The net effect is increased inertia,
which allows the head to remain
steady through impact. The black
thermoplastic plug (3 to 28 grams)
is used to control swingweight.
Comes in 58°, 60° and 64° lofts.
6 of 7Schecter Lee
$149, steel; scratchgolf.com
Ari Techner, President and
CEO: "Our forged wedges (made
from 1018 carbon steel) are the
softest in golf. We custom-fit based
on swing type (sweeper/slider,
driver/slider or digger/driver) as determined by your angle of attack and divot."
How it works: Scratch Golf offers two sole grinds for each swing type. One grind is for lower-lofted wedges that typically aren't laid open. A second grind, for higher lofts, allows you to open up the face on bunker or flop
shots. (The fitting process pays little attention to turf conditions.) Driver/slider swings, for instance, produce small to medium divots,
require moderate bounce [see the club pictured below], a medium sole and moderate camber.
7 of 7
Our exclusive research partner, Hot Stix
Golf, robot-tested the five models in this
article, with the clubs making the same
consistent backswing (comparable to
one-quarter swings). Results show the
measured backspin (in revolutions per
minute) for each 56° wedge. Note: We included the Adams Idea a3OS Chipper
despite its lower (37°) loft.
Hot Stix Golf is the largest independent
clubfitting lab in the country. It provides
Tour-level club fitting services to
professionals and amateurs of all abilities.
To learn more, visit hotstixgolf.com or call 877-513-1333.
• Buyer's Guide: Wedges
• Iron & Wedge Home Page
• The Shop Blog
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