Don’t Neglect the Scoring Zone
Any of us golfers who are vaguely familiar with the custom fitting process will have been reeled off the benefits of getting your sticks measured up for you. Optimised spin, ball speed, strike location, launch and all the rest. All of this is true and vitally important for optimum performance for your full swing clubs, like your irons and woods, however what is often overlooked is the clubs that you’re going to use to get yourself close to the hole under 100 yards, your wedges! Your wedges are the clubs that you change the use of the most, full shots, knock downs, chips, bunker shots maybe even a flop shot if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Mickelson, however so often we just buy wedges off the shelf or match them with our irons for the sake of ease. Have you considered the shots that you play with them and the way that you deliver the club? Have you made sure you get the right shafts in each wedge? What about the ground conditions at your home course? This is where wedge fitting comes
What Wedges are Right for Me?
What wedges you end up being fitting for will depend on a multitude of things and once you dive into them, you’ll realise why the fitting process is so important. A couple of terms that you’ll often hear being thrown around are bounce and grind, this is the way that the sole of the club is constructed and affects how it interacts with the turf. If you deliver the club steeply and/or play on softer ground conditions, then a club with higher bounce will often help the club move through the turf without delofting and digging too much. Conversely a wedge with less bounce will generally be better suited if you sweep the ball and play on harder conditions such as links courses. When we fit for wedges, we use tools such as launch monitors and impact boards we can see how you deliver the club and how the sole interacts with the turf to get the best wedge for you.
Grind is where a lot of wedge nerds get really excited. The grind is essentially the shape of the sole and opens up possibilities in terms of what shots you’ll be able to play, so if you need to open the club up as you like to present more loft with your lob wedge for example, you’ll need a club where the heel is ground away to allow the club to sit as flush to the ground as it can. Playing that kind of shot with the wrong wedge is a recipe for a skuller.
The importance of optimising your shafts doesn’t change in your wedges either. In fact, with your wedges, it’s a vital conversation to have. Let’s say you’re looking for a new set of wedges, gap, sand and lob. You may play full shots with your gap wedge but don’t with your sand and lob, do you need different shaft flexes in your wedges as you use them for a different shot? Should you match your shafts to your irons for a consistent feel through the bag? These are all options that are opened up when you get fitted.
If you hadn’t gathered by the last 550 words wedge fitting is important, it opens up a plethora of shots to add to your arsenal, mitigates your misses and essentially improves your chances of better shots near to the green. So, if you’re thinking about picking up some new wedges with fresh grooves, make sure you don’t miss out on that potential.