How many times have you tried different models of putters?? Or Drivers?? How many times have you changed golf balls?? How many times have you changed the type of grip you use to get a different feel in your hands?? If you are at all serious about the game (and if you want to take lessons to get better you are) then no doubt you have tried to find some silver bullet for your equipment that will take strokes off your game. If you have ever gone through a club fitting then you’ve taken a step in the right direction. But have you ever gotten fitted for your wedge?
Most players will go through countless models of putters yet they will blindly stick a few wedges in their bag and not think twice. That means very little consideration is given bounce and the decision is primarily based on loft and appearance. If this is the case you are not doing yourself any favors.
The bounce on a wedge is defined as the angle created between the sole line of the golf club and the ground line at address. It’s not important to know the actual definition however it IS important to know its effect on the wedge. Bounce serves to help reduce digging as the club interacts with the turf. It does this by elevating the leading edge off the ground.
Bounce is measured in degrees typically and is the second number listed next to the loft of the club. Bounce can be as low as 4 degrees and as high as 14 degrees. What do the different numbers mean though? The lower the bounce angle, the lower the leading edge is to the turf, and the higher the bounce angle the more elevated the leading edge is. This is important because you want your bounce angle to work with not against your swing type and turf condition.
There are primarily two different swing types, a slider/sweeper and a driver/digger. The slider/sweeper tends to have a shallow angle of attack with very little ground contact at impact. The divots are very shallow with minimal sand displacement in the bunkers and the player has the ability to slide the wedge underneath the ball. If this player typically plays in very dry conditions where the ground is very firm or the course that is played has fairway cut around the greens, he or she would benefit with wedges that have a lower bounce angle. If the conditions are softer or have more rough around the greens a mid bounce club would be the preferred selection.
The driver/digger has a very steep angle of attack and takes a full divot. There is a lot of sand displaced in the bunker and the player typically relies on a square clubface position through impact. This player would benefit from wedges that have a higher bounce angle. If the playing conditions are a little softer, then a mid bounce would work as well.
The bottom line is that you need to know what that second number on your wedge means and how it affects your ability to hit the shot you want. One bounce angle is not better than the other, nor is there a preferred bounce angle for skilled players. The best bounce angle is the one that fits YOUR swing and YOUR playing conditions. If you need help getting fit for the proper wedge, give me a call. I’ll be glad to help.