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amac

Do I need custom wedges?

11 posts in this topic

After reading through the Edel thread and then the warm welcoming to Hopkins, I have been researching the wedge market. I've played Vokeys most of my golfing life and feel as though my short game is pretty solid. I spent about 30 - 45 minutes on the phone this morning talking with my nearest Edel fitter and he said their product will make my best green side shots easier and stop quicker! Great sales line or truth? I asked all the common sense questions about "why" custom wedges would be better. I'm not sure he convinced me, but I'm intrigued enough to spend $50 to learn more. Then, I went to Hopkins website. They have a great product and marketing program - money back guarantee! What's missing for me is the personal custom fitting process offered by Edel. How do I know what I want is what I need? When ordering online, you have no one to walk you through the benefits of one bounce and grind style vs another. In addtion to Hopkins, I looked into Scor wedges. I am sure there are others I didn't find, but the tour-like, custom grind wedge is making a push into the market. There are lots of good reasons to purchase one of the many custom, small production wedge lines. But why not customize an "off the rack" Vokey? Or Cleveland? Or what ever your favorite brand is? So, I visited the Voke.com website. Bob Vokey knows a thing or two about custom wedge design. More Tour players use his product than any other wedge maker. My pockets aren't deep enough to spend $350 for a hand ground wedge, but the mass produced wedge of today is different from what I purchased five years ago. With the introduction of multiple groove types, four head models, mutliple bounce and grind design, you get an "almost custom" wedge OFF THE RACK. I am in the market for new wedges. As stated, I've got over five years on my current SM wedges. I place a high importance on my wedge game to save par more times than I like. : ) That being said, I want to make sure I have the right wedge in my hand. I am willing to pay a little extra, but do I need to? I rate my up-and-down success at better than 70%. I've done that with non-custom wedges. Should I expect that to go up with custom wedges? Have the major manufacturers made enough advances to improve the performance of their product to negate the advantage of a custom fit wedge? My final question... Since I don't fully understand bounce and grind and how that affects my shot and how my swing is affected by different configurations of each, should I forget custom? Or is this all the more reason to get custom fit to learn the why's and how's of wedges? Thanks for your input. amac
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After reading through the Edel thread and then the warm welcoming to Hopkins, I have been researching the wedge market. I've played Vokeys most of my golfing life and feel as though my short game is pretty solid. I spent about 30 - 45 minutes on the phone this morning talking with my nearest Edel fitter and he said their product will make my best green side shots easier and stop quicker! Great sales line or truth? I asked all the common sense questions about "why" custom wedges would be better. I'm not sure he convinced me, but I'm intrigued enough to spend $50 to learn more.

Then, I went to Hopkins website. They have a great product and marketing program - money back guarantee! What's missing for me is the personal custom fitting process offered by Edel. How do I know what I want is what I need? When ordering online, you have no one to walk you through the benefits of one bounce and grind style vs another. In addtion to Hopkins, I looked into Scor wedges. I am sure there are others I didn't find, but the tour-like, custom grind wedge is making a push into the market. There are lots of good reasons to purchase one of the many custom, small production wedge lines. But why not customize an "off the rack" Vokey? Or Cleveland? Or what ever your favorite brand is?

So, I visited the Voke.com website. Bob Vokey knows a thing or two about custom wedge design. More Tour players use his product than any other wedge maker. My pockets aren't deep enough to spend $350 for a hand ground wedge, but the mass produced wedge of today is different from what I purchased five years ago. With the introduction of multiple groove types, four head models, mutliple bounce and grind design, you get an "almost custom" wedge OFF THE RACK.

I am in the market for new wedges. As stated, I've got over five years on my current SM wedges. I place a high importance on my wedge game to save par more times than I like. : ) That being said, I want to make sure I have the right wedge in my hand. I am willing to pay a little extra, but do I need to? I rate my up-and-down success at better than 70%. I've done that with non-custom wedges. Should I expect that to go up with custom wedges? Have the major manufacturers made enough advances to improve the performance of their product to negate the advantage of a custom fit wedge?

My final question... Since I don't fully understand bounce and grind and how that affects my shot and how my swing is affected by different configurations of each, should I forget custom? Or is this all the more reason to get custom fit to learn the why's and how's of wedges?

Thanks for your input.

amac

"Do I need custom wedges"

Like most of us amateurs...........probably not. There is a great selection of std wedges out there from all different manufactures at various price points.

Hit as many different wedges that you can, decide on the one you like the look and feel of the most and then get properly fitted for the club. This will make a world of difference to your game.

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You might check out this link by club designer Ralph Maltby that helps decode the different aspects of wedge design.

http://www.ralphmaltby.com/50

One of the things he explains: The difference between actual bounce (staticly measured and often engraved on the clubhead) and effective bounce (how the club interacts with the turf).

The OEMs offer quite a bit of variety in "off the shelf" wedges. Vokey has six different sole grinds, and up to 18 different loft/bounce combinations. Cleveland offers the 588 family: RTX CB (cavity-backed), RTX, and Forged - each model has its own sole grind. The new Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges offer S sole grind, with C and U grinds in the lob wedges.

If the average golfer finds the right general-production wedges and have them tweaked (lie angle and grip thickness), chances are they will work out well. Also, it depends on available practice time. If you can practice only modestly, reliable standard wedges will probably serve you best.

Since you're a 10 HDCP, you might find special order ALMOST CUSTOM wedges that would help your game. So, how do your current Vokeys hold back your short game?

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I just did an Edel fitting myself and have been playing with my wedges for a couple weeks now.  I will do my best to answer your questions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by amac View Post

After reading through the Edel thread and then the warm welcoming to Hopkins, I have been researching the wedge market. I've played Vokeys most of my golfing life and feel as though my short game is pretty solid. I spent about 30 - 45 minutes on the phone this morning talking with my nearest Edel fitter and he said their product will make my best green side shots easier and stop quicker! Great sales line or truth?.

They will make green side shots easier, no doubt.  I am not sure about green side spin. I do feel like people put too much weight on green side spin.  I cannot tell much of a difference in green side spin with different balls or clubs.  That is just me being objective.  Maybe I will notice a difference with the Edel wedges and spin around the green but not as of yet.  Where I notice a difference in spin is on partial wedge and full wedge shots.  That is really where you are swinging hard enough to actually create a lot of spin.  They do amazingly well there.  I am not saying that they are not above other manufacturers with green side spin, I just don't think people generally are hitting the ball hard enough next to the green for it to really matter.  And people talk about it as a difference maker too much.  What does matter is the way the club and bounce works to help you hit the shots by the green and offer the forgiveness that is needed there as well.  This is what Edel excels at.  There will be times where you will feel like you just made a terrible swing but the result ends up much better than what you were expecting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by amac View Post
But why not customize an "off the rack" Vokey? Or Cleveland? Or what ever your favorite brand is?

Because it is not fit to you.  With Edel you have a professional fitter who fits the club and shaft to you!  One of the thing I liked most about the fitting is you also get to find the right shaft. I hit a bunch of different shafts, we narrowed it down to a couple.  With one of them I took three swings, tried to hit one standard shot, one low shot and a high shot and it did exactly what I wanted each time.  I knew that was the one.  I continued testing it a bit more, but this is not really a luxury you have with off the rack wedges.

Quote:

Originally Posted by amac View Post
I want to make sure I have the right wedge in my hand. I am willing to pay a little extra, but do I need to? I rate my up-and-down success at better than 70%. I've done that with non-custom wedges. Should I expect that to go up with custom wedges? Have the major manufacturers made enough advances to improve the performance of their product to negate the advantage of a custom fit wedge?

70% seems very high.  That is any time you miss a green?  At any rate, if you have wedges not ideal for you now and then you get fit for ones that are made to your swing, then yes you should improve.

Quote:
My final question... Since I don't fully understand bounce and grind and how that affects my shot and how my swing is affected by different configurations of each, should I forget custom?

Simply put, No.  Learning about it can make you better.

Quote:
Or is this all the more reason to get custom fit to learn the why's and how's of wedges?

Yes! :-D

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If you are getting up and down 70% of the time, I would say what you are using is working just fine. I may want to take the Vokey design and tweak it to suit the course conditions/shots that I face most often. I fell into the TVD model by accident but found that they really allow a lot of creativity with the trail relief provided. If you tend to be more vanilla with your short game then you probably don't need it. The Hopkins Golf deal is probably the best thing going at the moment with a 100% money back guarantee.

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One of the things he explains: The difference between actual bounce (staticly measured and often engraved on the clubhead) and effective bounce (how the club interacts with the turf).

The OEMs offer quite a bit of variety in "off the shelf" wedges. Vokey has six different sole grinds, and up to 18 different loft/bounce combinations. Cleveland offers the 588 family: RTX CB (cavity-backed), RTX, and Forged - each model has its own sole grind. The new Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges offer S sole grind, with C and U grinds in the lob wedges.

If the average golfer finds the right general-production wedges and have them tweaked (lie angle and grip thickness), chances are they will work out well. Also, it depends on available practice time. If you can practice only modestly, reliable standard wedges will probably serve you best.

Since you're a 10 HDCP, you might find special order ALMOST CUSTOM wedges that would help your game. So, how do your current Vokeys hold back your short game?

I've been playing Vokey's forever. I like the look and feel of the club. They were ordered from my local Edwin Watts. The only custom option is that these are 2* upright to match the rest of my clubs. The sales guy didn't know any more than me about bounce. However, I haven't had any issues using them as is, as far as I know. Recently, I had another golf shop guy swap the shaft to a KBS C-Taper. So, how are they holding me back? I don't know what I don't know. Until I read the Edel theory, I was unaware what a custom fit wedge could potentially do for my game. Perhaps I've adapted my shot and swing style to fit an unproperly fit club? My current handicap is 7 and dropping. I am looking to get the most out of my equipment. I don't like to make changes and thus am willing to pay a little extra if it truly helps. I am merely attempting to vet out the need and benefits of custom fit wedges. Thanks for your reply. amac
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Thanks for the reply cipher. Your input is very appreciated since you have the clubs I am considering. Another poster somewhere mentioned he struggled with fuller/three quarter type swings. Did you find your distances changed with the Edel's? I would expect different turf interaction on fuller shots and I don't want to re-learn to hit my SW's. To be direct, I fear the Edel method will tell me I should be using wedges with much higher bounce and that my swing style has adapted to improper bounce. Therefore, if my swing does "this" with the proper bounce, then your results will be "that". Did you experience anything like that? As a junior golfer growing up, I spent hours upon hours working on my short game. This is one area where I have no fear and believe I have Mikelson like touch! LOL. I played yesterday and hit 6 greens. Of the 12 I missed, I converted on 8. Add four bogies, two three putts, a double and a birdie, and you get a colorful 79. Some days it doesn't go as well, others, I have more tap ins. I don't keep running stats. Maybe I should. Might not get better on the good days, but possibly on the bad? Can a properly fit wedge send confidence up to my head? At this point, I feel certain that I will at least do the fitting and hear the Edel fitter out. For $50, I think the lesson is worth it. Thanks again for the insight. Amac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amac View Post

Thanks for the reply cipher. Your input is very appreciated since you have the clubs I am considering. Another poster somewhere mentioned he struggled with fuller/three quarter type swings. Did you find your distances changed with the Edel's? I would expect different turf interaction on fuller shots and I don't want to re-learn to hit my SW's. To be direct, I fear the Edel method will tell me I should be using wedges with much higher bounce and that my swing style has adapted to improper bounce. Therefore, if my swing does "this" with the proper bounce, then your results will be "that". Did you experience anything like that?

As a junior golfer growing up, I spent hours upon hours working on my short game. This is one area where I have no fear and believe I have Mikelson like touch! LOL. I played yesterday and hit 6 greens. Of the 12 I missed, I converted on 8. Add four bogies, two three putts, a double and a birdie, and you get a colorful 79. Some days it doesn't go as well, others, I have more tap ins. I don't keep running stats. Maybe I should. Might not get better on the good days, but possibly on the bad? Can a properly fit wedge send confidence up to my head?

At this point, I feel certain that I will at least do the fitting and hear the Edel fitter out. For $50, I think the lesson is worth it.

Thanks again for the insight.

Amac

That is some crazy good short game.  Very impressive.  My distance is longer, after getting fit for wedges.  However that is more due to the changes in my swing that happened at the same time.  All my clubs are longer, so I cannot really help  you much there.  You already seem to have a ton of confidence around the green.  I have never seen a 7hc with the short game your describe.   I am not sure if the added bounce will help you with that or not.  I don't think it could hurt.

Quote:
Therefore, if my swing does "this" with the proper bounce, then your results will be "that". Did you experience anything like that?

With this, what I have noticed is just the flexibility of shots you can play.  With the combination of the shafts and added bounce it just makes it easier to play the shot you want, partial ,full, or by the green.

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Unfortunately the end for my Cleveland Tour Action REG. 588 Gunmetal Wedges: (51°/6), (57°/10), (64°/8) is approaching. I have gotten a lot of use from all of them but they are close to the point of retirement. I really like Cleveland name and the gunmetal/black finish. Anyone else out there playing a Cleveland gunmetal/black wedge that they really like? Thanks.
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What does matter is the way the club and bounce works to help you hit the shots by the green and offer the forgiveness that is needed there as well.  This is what Edel excels at.  There will be times where you will feel like you just made a terrible swing but the result ends up much better than what you were expecting.

This is the biggest difference I've experienced with my Edel wedges. I've hit some delicate short pitches (15 - 20 yds let's say) that I've caught a bit fat and have been amazed at how well the club still glided under the ball and produced pretty good results. I'm certain my Cleveland wedges would have just taken a good chunk of earth on these swings and the ball would have flown woefully short. There's something about the higher bounce and the grinds that makes them so much more forgiving on partial shots. Before I got the Edel wedges, I only used my 60* wedge for shots that I could take at least a half swing or more with it (45 to 85 yds). Anything more delicate than that, I just couldn't develop the confidence with that club. The possibility of skulls and chunks were just too great. Now, I have confidence in those delicate ones. I also now have the option of the 56* or the 60*, whereas before, it was the 56* every time.

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Thanks. I'm going to have a tough time lowering my handi hitting only 6 greens per round. I hit 11 fairways that day and with 9i or less in my hand, only hit 5 greens. Thanks again for your input. I wll be making the drive for my Edel fitting ASAP. I'll be sure to report back. amac
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