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56 v 60 from greenside bunker

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

56 degrees seems to be the standard for a sand wedge although plenty of people have other lofts (54 seems to be popular). Most teaching I've seen shows how you should take your 56 degree, open your stance, open your clubface and use this added loft to give you more height out of the greenside bunkers. Fair enough.


Thing is, if I open my 56 the loft would probably become about 60 degrees, and I have a 60 degree lob wedge anyway. Wouldn't it be easier to just use the 60 degree lob wedge and hit it with a square stance and square clubface? This would give me the same height/trajectory and give me a larger club face to hit whilst allowing more room for error? Also the grooves of the club would be straight on allowing more backspin once it hits the green.


Is there some benefit to opening a 56 degree that I am not aware of?

post #2 of 14
Opening the club adds bounce, and bounce is your friend.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok I get that as I like bounce in my wedges. I have Cleveland 588 RTX wedges in 56/14 and 60/12.


12 degrees is the standard bounce for Cleveland's 60 degree wedge although the average bounce for other companies seems to be about 8 degrees in their 60s. Seems then that my 60/12 is a higher bounce than other lob wedges.


If I hit the 60 degree square then would you think my 12 degrees of bounce is about right or is that still not enough for a greenside bunker shot?

post #4 of 14


As seen in the video above Not only does opening the face expose bounce it also helps promote spin. But i think this video will help describe the reasons of why it would be beneficial to use more loft in a green side bunker. 

post #5 of 14

I've used my 48 degree on short bunker shots simply because I didn't feel like switching. I've used my 3 iron opened way up to try and splash it out on a shallow escape. If you use the right technique, and the shot isn't too demanding, you can use anything.


I suggest you consider the fact that almost no manufacturers make sand wedges in random lofts; it may not indicate that's the best design, but you get the best selection among lofts 54-56.


There are some who use a higher loft like a 58 or 60 on their sand club, but I prefer my highest lofted club to have low bounce for specialty shots where you need the most height, around the green. I have no trouble generating height when I need it out of sand.

post #6 of 14

The consistancy of bunker sand varies considerably and shouldn't be overlooked.  The fluffier it is, the more bounce you will likely want to keep from digging too deep.  In a trap with moist compacted sand the higher loft / lower bounce lob wedge is probably just the ticket.

post #7 of 14

To me it depends on what the shot calls for. If you are short sided, you want to pop the ball up fast and high to land soft, and that's the lob wedge's job. But if the pin is at the back and you need to fly it 25 yards onto the green, I'd rather have less loft because I don't want to have to hit it too hard. With decent bunker technique, a 2 degree difference in bounce angle shouldn't be make or break and 14/12 is a sensible setup. Now, if you were one of those hairy-chested fellows who insist on 60 with 4 degrees of bounce ...



post #8 of 14

Honestly you can use as much bounce as you want on a hard pan lie, doesn't matter. You could take a high bounce sandwedge and not have a problem hitting it off a cart path. 


For me it depends on the shot. I honestly like trying to fly the ball to the flag, i am not a big fan of having the ball roll out, unless i have the green running away from me. So i'll either use my sandwedge or pitching wedge. Have them really open or square, and vary how far back behind the ball i hit it. But i never try to chunk and run the ball. i always try to slide the club under the ball, hearing that thump sound. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sounds to me that if we assume a 56 degree opened is about 60 and my other club is a 60 degree wedge, then it comes down to a battle (for my personal playing style) of more bounce v more clubface to hit. So if I find that if the 12 degrees of bounce in my lob wedge is enough bounce for greenside sand shots then if I want a high trajectory then the lob wedge is the way to go.


Better go and experiment.

post #10 of 14

I more or less employ the Stan Utley method in my short game so my SW is 58* with 12* of bounce. I use it for most basic greenside sand shots or if I have short sided myself to the pin. Utley suggests using the 58* for about all short game shots but for basic chip shots I prefer my 52* with 8* of bounce gap wedge.


Keep in mind that there is no true standard of what a sand wedge or gap wedge has to be as far as loft or bounce. I do believe it's smart to match your bounce with your normal course conditions in that in soft fairways or fluffy sand it is better to use higher bounce versus harder fairways and firmer sand requiring less bounce.  Following these basic guidelines just make the short game easier.


As far as your initial question of just using a 60* with a square face as others stated your not utilizing the bounce to it's maximum effect and you would tend to dig into the sand to deep leaving the ball either in the bunker or well short of the pin.

Edited by Parker0065 - 4/4/13 at 1:50am
post #11 of 14

I like using my 60 from the sand for most bunker shots. One of the biggest reasons I went with the 60 years ago was that it I could swing a little harder. I had a tendency to decelerate especially with the short shots. Years later, I don't often decelerate, but I am used to the 60 so I keep it as the primary. If there is a shot over 15 yards, I will pull out the 54. 

post #12 of 14

Many years ago I read an article that interviewed Greg Norman, he had a theory that hacks like us should use a 60 with as much bounce as they could find and use that for getting out of sand.  And I could see that, along with what TourSpoon said, swing hard. 


Personally, I don't find that to work for me in the kind of sand I play, it's not the white powdery stuff like you see in FL, it's river bottom sand and it can pack down and bake out and be pretty much like concrete.  In that sand, I like very little bounce.

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

I've used my 3 iron opened way up to try and splash it out on a shallow escape.


Hold the presses.  Whaaat?  A 3i opened up?  That sounds crazy.  

post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post


Hold the presses.  Whaaat?  A 3i opened up?  That sounds crazy.  

Got it to stay on the green because there was a bit of green to work with and a low lip. I don't recommend it. I did it because I'm a fairly good sand player but I've lacked bunker practice this winter. Needed to exaggerate my bunker setup by opening the face and slicing/splashing it out to get the feel of the proper technique. But I can hit most of my greenside bunker shots with any of my 3 wedges I prefer, almost never failing to get within 10 feet. Only a few will actually require the bounce of the SW or the loft of the LW. It's mostly technique and a little bit of lies/conditions.

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