Pros: Versatile Grind, Great Balance and Consistency
Cons: Some may not appreciate the slightly larger size
At the PGA Show in January 2008, the Dave Pelz - Jesse Ortiz wedges were unveiled. An indestructible milled face insert was unique to this wedge lineup. Jesse Ortiz stated his wedges have a forged like feel even though the head is cast. In 2011, Ortiz slimmed his wedges down, and made them more playable with a versatile grind. His new wedges also arrive with an attractive, black nickel finish.
Bottom Line: These wedges are stroke savers on the course. If you lack consistency in your short game, desire forged-like direct feel on full shots in a cast head with perimeter weighting, the look of a traditional compact blade and excellent spin and consistency, take a look at the Ortiz lineup of (48, 52, 56, 60, 64) wedges with the J Grind that provides sufficient bounce while allowing the golfer to open the face for more versatility on delicate shots around the green.
If you appreciate forgiveness from perimeter weighting in a blade head, enjoy the confidence that a slightly larger head offers, suffer from tempo issues, or get too handsy on delicate shots, and want an accurate wedge, take a look at the Bobby Jones Wedges.
These wedges are made to produce consistently dependable high spin for an extended time due to the milled, rough, hard face.
The overall weight of the club is slightly heavier to assist with better tempo and Ortiz uses a Lamkin Tour Black Midsize Grip - the texture grabs your hands. Lamkins always said "quality" and the midsize grip is consistent with the Dave Pelz philosophy of gripping down on the club for more delicate shots, enabling you to get a full grip on the club. The thicker grip also quiets the hands, helping provide for consistent, high quality shotmaking.
Milled Indestructible Insert, Perimeter Weighting and Weight
The wedge shafts are made by the same company that manufactures KBS Tour Shafts (Femco in Taiwan) and are of a weight comparable to the typical 125-130g heavier wedge shaft.
The head is made of 302 steel, with some hollowing out of the interior to redistribute weight to the perimeter. But the club has the look of a traditional blade.The hitting area is an indestructible milled insert, which uses a 3M product to heat the insert and attach it. The insert is a very hard milled material but the adhesive absorbs vibrations.
The shape of the body is classic, slightly rounded, with flowing lines. The overall weight of the club is slightly heavier and combined with the thicker grip, reduces handsiness, helps smooth out tempo, and aids consistency. The swingweight is the typical D4-D5.
Forged-Like Feel on Full Shots
Even though the head is cast, the feel of the club is soft and direct due to the 3M insert, which softens up the hard insert and eliminates unwanted vibration. On delicate shots around the greens, one might discern the sound/feel difference between forged and cast. On full and have shots, I found no difference.
Spin involves technique, clean contact, and urethane golf balls. The design of the wedge helps get you there. These wedges compare favorably in spin with the major wedge brands. What makes these wedges unique are the overall weight/balance, the thicker grip and the milled insert for spin durability and consistency in spin. Ortiz claims that the insert is so durable that you will not have to replace the wedge due to lack of spin performance.
As to consistency and accuracy, these wedges were more consistent, accurate and forgiving than other OEM wedges on full shots. It feels stable throughout the swing on most partials -- this maybe due to the balance and weight. I could just relax and let the shot go. What you will find is these wedges have a slightly larger head size with more heft and only you can decide if that is your preference. For some it affects playability, for others, it offers confidence. Of course, Bobby Jones makes the decision easy with a playability guarantee.
On the course, I had several 85-90 yard approaches with the 56 wedge that landed 6 and 7 feet from the hole. The ball stopped within 2 feet of its mark. Around the greens, the 56 and 60 wedges were very playable and versatile on half swings, chips and short distance shots. I was able to gain uncanny accuracy on most shots within 50 yards. The overall weight of the club assisted tempo and contributed to a better shot. In the bunkers, the bounce worked well in soft and firm sand.