Posted August 10, 2023 in Play Better Golf by Trevor Cigich
We have gone over how important it is to get custom fit for your clubs to get the most bang for your buck. With wedges being one of the easiest ways to eliminate strokes from your game, it becomes just that much more important to ensure that you’re getting a golf wedge fitting to ensure your wedges are suited to your golf swing.
Unlike most other clubs, being able to take distance off of your shot in a precise and predictable way is a vital aspect of a good wedge. For that reason, there are some unique specs that you get fit for when doing a wedge fitting alongside some more familiar ones.
|The angle of the clubface relative to the turf at address
|The angle between the club shaft and the ground at address
|The angle between the leading edge of the club and the lowest point of the sole, typically measured in degrees
|The shape of the sole of a wedge, and how it impacts turf interaction
|The material and flex of the shaft
|The size and material of the grip
Let’s go down the line and discuss each, and how you will get fit for them.
One of the first things you’ll be looking to determine is the loft of your wedge(s). This usually starts with the fitter asking if you have wedges in your bag currently, if you’re looking to keep them, and what irons you have/what irons you plan to buy. This is because most iron sets come with at least one wedge– the pitching wedge. Different manufacturers will make their pitching, gap, and A-wedges in different lofts, so it is important to know what loft yours are to determine what gaps need to be filled by your shorter wedges.
After determining what lofts you already have covered in your irons set, the fitter will ask you if you have used wedges before, and what lofts you tend to like in different situations (near the green, from the bunker, 80-90 yard shots, etc.). Then, you will take a few swings on a simulator from different distances to see your shot tendencies (draw/fade), your yardages at different lofts, and the height you reach at the shot apex and amount of spin you generate. Those who struggle to get the ball higher, or tend to get a lot of distance out of their wedges, will likely want a high-loft wedge option, like a 58/60-degree.
They may also want another wedge that sits close to the middle between that wedge and whatever the lowest wedge in their irons set is. So, if your pitching wedge is a 48-degree, and you get a 58-degree wedge for short shots, you’ll likely want a wedge between 52 and 54 degrees to fill the gap.
Lie angle refers to the angle between the club shaft and the ground at address. Ideally, you should have a lie angle that allows the clubhead’s leading edge to sit fairly flat across the grass when you position the club at address in your natural stance. If the toe of the clubhead sits too far above the ground, it will create an upright lie and pull the ball to the left (for right handed golfers). If the heel is higher than the toe, it will create too flat of a lie and push the ball right (for right handed golfers). A fitter can usually determine this by watching your shot path tendency and strike location, and looking closely at where your clubhead sits both at address, andat impact.
The bounce of a wedge is the angle between the leading edge of the club and the lowest point of the sole. Increasing bounce will keep the leading edge higher above the grass at address, which helps create better contact on deeper/softer turf and sand. It also helps increase forgiveness for golfers that tend to take deep divots, or have a steeper angle of attack when swinging. Lower bounce can make it easier to hit flop shots off of flatter turf closer to the green, and can help get more spin if your angle of attack is shallow.
Determining the right bounce will include both some swing analysis by the fitter, and some questions about the conditions at the golf courses you play most frequently. Bounce is one of the two measurements that are wedge-specific.
Another wedge-specific measurement during a fitting is the grind. The grind of a wedge refers to the shape of the sole of a wedge, and different grinds manipulate or remove material from the sole to improve contact with the surface you are hitting from. Bounce and grind typically go hand-in-hand, and the same measurement techniques and questions will usually be used to determine both. Grind shapes vary widely between manufacturers, and it isn’t measured universally the same way. Each manufacturer will have their own names for each of their grind profiles.
Shaft material and flex matter for the same reasons with wedges as with most other clubs. Stiffer shafts create stability for faster swing speeds, while more flexible shafts help create a “whip” effect that will improve distance at slower swing speeds. Most golfers will likely want to match their shafts to their iron shafts for full shot wedges, and a shade lighter in weight and flex for wedges you aren’t often hitting with a full swing, but a fitting will help them decide if their swing differs enough on the wedge they use for shorter shots to justify a different shaft material or flex.
Grip size for wedges generally follows the same guidelines as other clubs as well. Usually, the grip size that works on your irons will work well for your wedges. If you haven’t been fitted for irons yet, a fitter will usually take a hand measurement and tell you what the best grip size will be for you, and then have you take practice swings with it to ensure that it works out in practice.
Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. Each of our brick-and-mortar brands offers free golf wedge fittings, and fittings for every club they are interested in purchasing. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to beginners and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele. Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of all of the following:
At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!
Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing | Worldwide Golf Shops
I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.
For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.