Best New Wedges 2018
Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo explore how to sort through loft and bounce options to select the best wedges for your game.
Released on 1/30/2018
So I see some wedges are offered in
a wide range of bounce options, loft options,
basically all the options.
And then other wedges are offered just in one option.
What's the deal with that?
Yeah, you would think someone's wrong, right?
But actually they're both right.
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There are extremes.
On one extreme you've got lines like Vokey,
or Callaway or Cleveland with it's RTX-3.
And they will have upwards of 20 loft/bounce options.
And that's great because for skilled players,
they know what turf conditions they play in,
they know what kind of sand they play in,
they know kind of how they deliver the club to the ball.
And so they can get dialed in
to the right grind, the right bounce, the right lofts.
The other end of the spectrum though,
one thing we found really interesting
for this year's outlets,
was Cleveland came out with its CBX Wedge.
And what they found was 84-percent of all players
play a cavity backed iron.
So why not give them a cavity backed wedge,
which offers more forgiveness,
and give them a single sole grind
that would fit a wide array of golfers?
Are going to be able to maybe hit that nice little nipper?
No, but you don't hit that shot anyway.
What they're doing is making a mediocre short gain better.
[Ashley] Great, in your mind you hit that shot,
but not in reality.
Exactly right. (laughing)
And so we've talked before about wedge gapping,
and the importance of it,
but what does the everyday golfer
really need to know about it?
Well, I think the biggest thing is that
the gaps don't always have to be equal.
You see a lot on tour someone might go 50, 54, 58
or 52 to 56, 60.
But know what type of shot your hitting.
So say you have a bunch of short game shots
at your club that you need to hit 90-yards,
and then 115, that's not a perfect gap.
So what you might figure out is you need 52 and 58 degrees.
Or you might need,
you know, so figure out the distance
you want to hit these shots.
How often you hit these shots.
And that's going to lead you to know what lofts you need.
Yeah, and because the pitching wedge has gotten stronger,
that's ever more important.
Absolutely, I mean the days
of having a P and an S on the bottom of a club.
Today, that's a 10, 11, 12 degree gap.
That's three clubs.
Yeah, I'm actually in the market for new wedges,
and I've been reading a lot about them.
And one thing that I see more than ever before,
is this term, surface roughness.
What is that?
Well, as companies have gotten better
at their groove technology, and they've gotten great.
But you always want more spin if you can get it.
So, if you think about it,
the rougher the surface, the more friction you create,
the more spin you get on the shot.
So companies have now taken in-between the groove areas,
they're coming up with things like ridges or milled lines
or things of that nature,
which provide that roughness
and give you a little bit more spin.
The next frontier for 'em, is that can wear-off,
you know if you hit a couple hundred sand shots,
that can wear-off.
But, it gives you the spin for that period of time,
and going forward,
they're going to be working on making that last even longer.
I find wedges very dynamic.
Very much so.
I mean people think they all look alike,
and they all kind of are alike.
Anything but, it's very individualized.
Yeah, great, thank you.
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