Wedge selection has become very complex and is hardly manageable for ordinary mortals. Not only that there are several manufacturers, they also offer wedges in different variations. Mostly with different grinds, which is more or less the shape of the sole and, of course in different lofts and bounces. We will take a look at everything in this overview and you will see: The choice of the wedge is either very easy or extremely difficult.
The point is this: With this variety extensive testing is not possible. Even though we have many different wedges in stock, we cannot possibly offer everything that is available. And so you often have to rely on the recommendation of your clubmaker – or on the manufacturer who knows which configuration makes sense for the respective target group and therefore only offers this option. But one after the other:
The loft should be known to every player. Interestingly, most players don’t even know their lofts with the irons but they pay attention to every half degree on the wedges… It is very important how many degrees the pitching wedge or even the 9 iron has. This is the only way to seamlessly move to higher wedges like gap, sand and lobwedge. First of all you have to figure that out.
But the problem is also: even if you have searched out the manufacturer’s data, they don’t have to be correct. The big manufacturers are known to have quite a large tolerance and so it is rather the rule that the clubs fluctuate at least 1 degree up or down. A 47° pitching wedge then quickly becomes a 45.5° wedge and the gap to the 52° gap wedge would then be quite large.
Therefore the recommendation is to clarify the iron lofts first.
If the last iron is fixed at 47° the question is which range of loft you want to have and how many wedges you can afford. Affording in regards to 14 clubs in the bag. There are players who need at least one wedge with a lot of loft and there are players who are overstrained and like a maximum of 56 or 58°. That would be the range. If you have only two wedges left and want to play a maximum of 56°, you take another one between 56° and 47°, so actually 51°.
Such wedges are rarely offered as standard. However, on ExactGolf you can only buy wedges made of soft steel which can be easily adjusted by up to 2 degrees. So every 52° wedge can be transformed into a 51° wedge for instance.
However, this changes the bounce to the same extent and therefore this aspect should not be neglected. The bounce is anyway a value on which even good players pay too little attention. They just trust to have the right one already.
The bounce is the angle between the leading edge and the ground when the wedge is placed neutrally. It indicates how much “air” you have between the ground and the clubface. The more air the better the clubface bounces off the ground and the less the sooner the club “digs” into it. At least that’s the short explanation.
Without making a science at this point:
You take a wedge with a lot of bounce in the bunker and a wedge with little bounce in lobshots where the aim is to get the clubface as far under the ball as possible.
A wedge with little bounce is also helpful when playing on dry and hard left courses. Much bounce again on rather wet places with higher grass.
Most wedge manufacturers limit the choice of bounce. That means for a classic sand wedge with 56° they rather offer a high bounce. For gap and lob wedges, i.e. approx. 52° and 60° rather little.
The subject of grinds has also become a science. The aim here is to give a wedge the best possible grind for its application. For example, there is a grind that takes away a lot of material in the heel area so that you can open the face better without adding bounce. It’s normal to give the wedge more bounce the more you open the face. A special grind can counteract this. Then there are grinds that are especially designed for bunkers, so they can interact as well as possible with sand. Then again for gap wedges which are also used for approaches from over 100m out of the semi rough. And so on and so forth.
Which selection is the right one?
Anyone who plays at a certain level will inevitably have to think about which setup to use for his wedges. And this isn’t just about the lofts. Bounce and Grind are two important factors that can strongly influence the game. The best thing is to get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you.
Why Japanese Wedges?
The advantage of Japanese wedges on ExactGolf is that they are all made of extra soft steel. Currently we only have one wedge that is cast, the Honma Tour World 747 Wedge. All other wedges are forged. Forged wedges are even softer and give an unbelievable feeling at impact. This is good because wedges are also a matter of feeling. In the end you want to be able to work well around the green – because that really brings low scores.
However, if wedges are forged from soft steel, they can also be adjusted accordingly. This means we can bend them by a few degrees without affecting the club negatively or leaving “traces”. For example, if you have a 60° wedge and want to have one or two degrees less, this is no problem. If you buy a hard steel wedge that is also cast (like 95% of all wedges on the market) this is not possible.
This also applies to the lie which can be adjusted at any time. Also this is not to underestimate as with all other irons and can influence the trajectory massively.
The following photo shows how precise Japanese manufacturers like Vega work. We get club heads that are weighed to a tenth of a gram. This allows us to select clubheads whose weight fits exactly to the customer. That sounds like bean counting, but it’s not. The weight in the head is absolutely crucial for the swing weight because of the leverage effect. And that in turn is decisive for your performance.
Individual and customized wedges
Apart from the Honma Tour World, we create all wedges from the individual components. This means that we source the club head from Miura or Vega and install it with the shaft and grip of your choice. Then we make individual adjustments such as changes to loft and lie. Putting these wedges together takes a lot of work and considering that we only use the best forged soft steel clubheads handcrafted in Japan, it is understandable that these wedges have their price. But with tailor made quality, that’s just the way it is and these wedges are also very durable and can be played many seasons without losing performance. We can also adjust them at any time, for example if you suddenly need other lofts or lies for any reason.
Miura currently offers four different wedges: The Standard Wedge, a Tour Wedge, a High-Bounce Wedge and the K-Grind Version. All of them are very similar, but differ significantly from each other. The “Miura Wedge Series” is our recommendation for most players. On the one hand it is the cheapest Miura Wedge and on the other hand it is very classic. The other Miura Wedges have certain features that are not suitable for every player. The only disadvantage of the Standard Miura Wedge is the choice of lofts and bounces. It is only available in the loft versions 51°, 55° and 59°. The good thing of course is that we can still bend the Miura Wedge easily. So it is no problem to achieve a loft setup of 52°, 56° and 60°. It also comes in two different finishes: Chrome and Raw.
The Tour Wedge has a milled face and delivers significantly more spin. However, this spin will wear off over time. The spin will still stay better than wedges with an untreated clubfaces, but you have to accept that the effect will wear off. The Miura High Bounce Wedge is designed for those players looking for a wedge with a lot of bounce. The Miura K-Grind Wedge is a wedge with a very special sole which develops its strengths especially in difficult situations like sand.