Best New Wedges
Find a new club to shave strokes around the green: Golf Digest equipment editor E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo discuss the award-winning wedges on the 2017 Hot List.
Released on 1/30/2017
Mike, there are loft options, finish options,
outlie options, bounce options, wedges can be
so overwhelming, how can you enlighten us?
Well, they are overwhelming, I think the main reason
being, unlike other full swing clubs,
you can't get fit for them very often.
And it's really mind-boggling to me that they don't,
because when you think about it,
they're more of a precision club than any
other club in your bag, save maybe your putter.
So what you need to understand first
is what kind of golfer are you?
Do I have a steep angle of attack, am I more of a sweeper?
That's gonna help you determine your bounce.
If you're a little steeper you're probably
gonna want more bounce, if you're more of a sweeper,
you're probably gonna want less bounce.
Companies though, they're offering so many things.
Cleveland has a muscle-back wedge and a cavity-back wedge
if you want a little more forgiveness.
Titleist Vokey SM6, they have five different grinds for you.
Callaway's Mack Daddy line has a number
of different options for you,
and they have different grooves for different lofts.
It's figuring out what you need out of your wedges,
and more to the point, what kind of swing you have,
then either go to a fitter, a golf pro,
or just someone who's versed in this,
and they can help steer you in the right direction.
And I also hear that the region of the country
that you play in, or the region of the world
that you play in, you have to take that into consideration.
Absolutely, turf conditions play a big role.
Again, firm turf, less bounce.
You see a lot of tour players, when they go play
the open championship, that they are asking
for wedges with less bounce than they normally play.
A little more lush turf, you want more bounce,
it's gonna help get in there and get out
of that turf a little bit faster.
Talking about composition and wedge composition,
I hear a lot of grumblings about a new kind of setup
that includes a 50, 54, and 58, right?
Yeah, if you think about it, if you're an everyday player,
say you're a 15 handicap, you're gonna hit
two or three greens around at most.
That means you are hitting a lot of shots inside 100 yards.
You need some wrenches to help you make that adjustment.
So if you just have a pitching wedge and a sand wedge,
you're kidding yourself, it's just futile
to try to play golf that way.
I think a good rule of thumb is a four degree gap.
So if you have a pitching wedge which is around
46 degrees most of the time, a 50, a 54, and a 58,
it's gonna give you a lot of weapons inside of 100 yards.
Great, and if I'm kind of toiling with my whole setup,
my bag, and I have to make a decision,
do I take out a wood or do I take out a wedge?
How do I go about answering that?
I think it's a very simple math equation.
You look at your bag and say, how often do I use
this club during a round and how valuable is it to me?
And you're gonna come to a conclusion pretty quickly
that probably an extra fairway wood.
If you have a three and a five wood,
take them both out, put a four wood in the middle,
you've saved yourself a club
and you really haven't hurt yourself at all.
So more attention with the short game,
and less attention to the long game.
As much as humanly possible, 'cause the short game
is where you're really saving on the strips.