One thing I see confusin’ new golfers is the concept of bounce. It’s easy to figure out what flex you need, but bounce can be mystifyin’ and to play your best, you’re gonna need to match your bounce option to your style of play. It is important to have the correct wedges to fit both your swing and the other clubs in your bag. But not to worry Rock Heads, Scratch is here to help! Before you pull the trigger on a new wedge, read below to learn all about bounce!
Wedges can be the most difficult of all clubs to pick out. And since many people choose three dedicated wedges to be part of their 14 allowed clubs that makes the decision even harder. If you are carrying multiple wedges, make sure you keep the gap between your clubs’ lofts consistent and not exceed more than 6 degrees. Start with your pitching wedge to measure this. For example, if your PW is 45*, a popular choice would be GW at 50*, SW at 56* and LB at 60*. Alternatively, you could go with the Sand Wedge at 54* and Lob Wedge at 58*.
Now, most golfers understand that wedges differ by loft, but bounce angle can be harder to grasp. It is not necessarily the amount the ball will bounce, but the angle at which the club head will slide along the ground and impact the ball(in layman’s terms, the curvy bit on the sole of the wedge). Another way to define bounce is the amount of deflection the sole of the club has. Bounce enables the head to ‘bounce’ out of the sand or rough without snagging. The greater the angle between the ground and the leading edge of the wedge, the greater the bounce angle. The greater the bounce angle, the more deflection it takes when you hit the ground.
The best bounce and grind for you depends on your swing and typical playing conditions. Let’s look at swing first. Richie Waldron says to place yourself in one of these three categories:
- If you have little or no divot, you are a slider/ sweeper. You should look for a club with low bounce.
- If you take a regular sized divot, you are a driver/ slider. A medium sized bounce will work for you.
- If you take a large divot, then you are a digger/ driver. A high bounce wedge will work in this scenario.
Choosing the right bounce for your swing will help you hit more consistently. Now let’s look at playing condition. Where you typically play makes a difference as to which type of wedge you need. Think about it, the dry and rocky deserts of Arizona are quite different from the damp course of Oregon.
- On a tight lie (closely mowed, harder surface/ firm turf conditions) you want a Low Bounce Wedge so the club slides under the ball better
- If you’re looking for a versatile wedge, a Standard Bounce is the best all-around wedge for playability in all types of conditions for all types of players.
- If you’re playing a course that is wet, soft turf and the grass is a little longer or you’re playing on sand, you’ll want a High Bounce Wedges to help the club not dig in so much.
One final note, there are three traditional finishes for wedges: chrome, black nickel, and raw or rusty finish. Some golfers like the black nickel and raw finishes because there is no glare from the sun. The raw finishes are so named because they have unfinished faces designed to rust. These tend to be softer to play which is why some golfers prefer the extra feel. Also, don’t worry about raw wedges have more spin. It’s an old-wives tale; they all spin the same.
Still confused about shopping for wedges? Check out Mark Crossfield’s video below for more help!