I love wedges. No, not wedgies, wedges. As in sand wedges, lob wedges, pitching wedges, and gap wedges. I've probably used 30-40 since I started playing the game… and I'm only 26. Yes, I might be just a bit crazy.
My obsession began because when I was younger, chipping was the only way I could practice. Since I couldn't always get a ride to the golf course, I spent a lot of time chipping in the front yard. To the detriment of my parents, I learned how to hit flop shots in the backyard, trying to lob golf balls over the house (breaking only a couple of windows). Heck, I've went so far as to build a make-shift bunker in my parents' backyard. Maybe I'm weird? But I've always had an unhealthy obsession with wedges.
Believe it or not the Feel Golf Company has a line of wedges I haven't tried, so yes, I picked up two of their wedges, the 56- and 60-degree models in the Gun Metal finish. Then I give 'em a whirl away from my parents' backyard.
The Feel Golf Company was started in 1985 by Dr. Lee Miller (a.k.a. "Dr. Feel") based on Miller's inspiration to produce the most "player sensitive" golf clubs in the world. According to Miller,
The correct "feel" comes from the various club components functioning as a "whole" in order to bring the club square at impact. During the swing, each club component acts on its own, according to the laws of physics. The challenge is to coordinate the moments of force of these components so they fuse precisely at impact, providing optimum trajectory for maximum distance and accuracy. Feel Golf's system, with key club components such as head weight, center of gravity, shaft flex and swing weight are all assigned specific numeric values.
Feel Golf Wedges have received numerous awards, including Golf Digest's 2004 "Hot List," PGATour.com's "Best Equipment of 2003" Award, and Rankmark's "2003 Best of the Best" Award.
Look and Feel
Feel Golf wedges have a round shaped clubhead. For whatever reason, I've always been adverse to trying one. It's not that I dislike the look, I'm just not accustomed to it. In fact, once I took a couple practice swings with it, I really enjoyed the look. They had a sleek black finish which looked incredible.
Just as the brand states, these wedges have great feel. I think a lot of it has to do with the weight of the club. The wedge is fairly heavy, which I like. That helps with the feel and knowing where the club is at all times. The ball comes off soft and I felt I had control of the trajectory and distance of my shots. For the most part, when I'm around the greens, I use a sand wedge to chip. I hit little skid shots, pitches and flop shots with them.
I use the 56&dg; to hit the little skid shots. Those type of shots are where the ball bounces once, skids, spins and then goes into a roll for a few feet. I love that shot and use it often; however, when using the 56, the ball did not spin or check as I am accustomed to. I was finding myself six to eight feet past the hole after I tried that shot.
Additionally, I hit some pitch shots with the 56. Normally, when I hit a pitch shot, my ball has a lower trajectory and will bounce once or twice and then spin. However, with the 56 I wasn't getting same spin. The trajectory was still as I like it - lower - but when it was supposed to spin it would bounce again or roll a little bit further. It only took a quick adjustment in my target landing area to offset the additional roll.
With the 60° wedge, I hit some of the best flop shots and bunker shots I have hit in years. I think a lot of it had to do with the shape of the club head. It seemed like the leading edge really made it easy to pull that shot off. In fact, I think I might switch out my 58° wedge that I currently carry to incorporate a more round shaped clubhead. It felt smoother during contact, almost as if I had more of the club face available at impact.
The 60° out of the bunker was excellent. I was able to hit soft, high explosions and hit some low runners. I really enjoyed using the 60 out of the sand. I was able to take a shallow and long divot and didn't have a problem of the wedge digging into the sand.
Feel Wedges can be picked up in a variety of specifications that include degree, material, swing weight and shafts. These wedges have a 65 Drag Co-efficient and can be purchased with a swing weight of +/-2. They come in a men's length of 36" (Steel D-8; Graphite D-5); women's length 35.5" (Steel D-5; Graphite D-2), and lofts of 46°, 52°, 56°, 60°, and 64°. Each wedge they've made for the last 20 years has the same swing weight, same frequency, same balance point, same total weight, and same length. This allows for your short game to have the same feel on every shot regardless of your chosen loft. It also makes replacing your wedges a breeze.
On "normal" wedge grinds, your hands must lead the wedge at impact, due to the bounce angle being at the leading edge Typically, you'll lead from 6-22° relative to the bounce angle to prevent "Chili dipping" or "sculling" the shot. With Feel Golf you can either lead with the hands or have your hands lay back like on a flop shot and never worry about the bounce angle interfering.
I'm not going to lie, the grip is a little weird. It's basically a traditional grip, but with the fat end at the bottom and the thin end at the top. It's supposed to encourage a better release of your hands through impact, hence the name "Full Release Grip". It took a little while to get used to the feeling of it when I was chipping, but after a while it didn't feel as weird, and I felt like I had just as good of feel as when I used my old wedges (with traditional grips).
I put a Full Release grip on an old 2-iron of mine to see how it would feel taking a full swing and it did help release my hands through the ball. I equated the feeling of holding and swinging a baseball bat, which aids in getting the hands through the ball, so in that respect, it does what it's supposed to.
The Full Release grip can be purchased in the X-line, X-Wrap or Designer Wrap styles.
I recommend Feel Golf wedges. I hit all shots well with them, but like I said, I didn't get the spin action I'm accustomed to on chips. I'll definitely get the grips switched and the only difficulty I have with these wedges is that they didn't generate as much spin as I am accustomed to. But I wouldn't let that get in the way of giving these a try. They're reasonably priced at $139 and have exceptional feel. I plan to give the 60 degree a chance in my bag.
So, if you're in the market for a wedge, I'd give Feel Golf Wedges a try.