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Sand Wedge for High Handicappers


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Getting the best sand wedge for you involves more than just hunting for some all-occasions Magic Club.

To be a decent bunker player, you need a SW with a head and grind which matches your normal turf conditions, and proper technique.

The Right Bounce

Traditional wisdom (above) says that if you play out of very firm sand, you want a SW with lower bounce. This means the clubhead will cut through the sand and not get hung up in it. If you play in fluffy or powdery sand, you want a high bounce wedge that will glide through the powder without digging in too much.

BounceDia_Words.jpg.b217d90313da42e20adb5e6387e7aa74.jpg

@iacas explains additional aspects of bounce in his forum Edel Wedges (or "Super Bounce")

Then there is technique. For starters, access @mvmac's forum on How to Hit Sand/Bunker Shots.  An excellent video begins the thread.

If you have a history of bad experiences in the sand, you take a bunker lesson. A good instructor could help you incorporate the basics into your swing.

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2 hours ago, WUTiger said:

Getting the best sand wedge for you involves more than just hunting for some all-occasions Magic Club.

To be a decent bunker player, you need a SW with a head and grind which matches your normal turf conditions, and proper technique.

The Right Bounce

Traditional wisdom (above) says that if you play out of very firm sand, you want a SW with lower bounce. This means the clubhead will cut through the sand and not get hung up in it. If you play in fluffy or powdery sand, you want a high bounce wedge that will glide through the powder without digging in too much.

BounceDia_Words.jpg.b217d90313da42e20adb5e6387e7aa74.jpg

@iacas explains additional aspects of bounce in his forum Edel Wedges (or "Super Bounce")

Then there is technique. For starters, access @mvmac's forum on How to Hit Sand/Bunker Shots.  An excellent video begins the thread.

If you have a history of bad experiences in the sand, you take a bunker lesson. A good instructor could help you incorporate the basics into your swing.

Thanks, WUTiger. That is quite interesting. I never thought of using a different sand wedge depending on the conditions. I always thought of adjusting the technique with the same wedge. Makes sense. I'll check out the other threads, too. Thanks, a bunch. SG

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29 minutes ago, Piz said:

Great post @WUTiger.  I would add that learning how to play out of the sand, which is not difficult, is often over-looked.  

The beauty of playing out of the sand, greenside, is that you get to hit the shot "fat" and be rewarded.  How easy is that?!

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4 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

The beauty of playing out of the sand, greenside, is that you get to hit the shot "fat" and be rewarded.  How easy is that?!

Then this should be easy! 

I played with the 1 out last weekend. I hit some great shots. My miss was a thin shot, sailing across the green. These comments are great and needed. But, if anyone has played with the Smart Sole, 1 out, sure out, Alien and made some adjustments, I would love to hear your comments too.

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3 hours ago, Sandhills Golfe said:

Thanks, WUTiger. That is quite interesting. I never thought of using a different sand wedge depending on the conditions. I always thought of adjusting the technique with the same wedge. Makes sense. I'll check out the other threads, too. Thanks, a bunch. SG

Most golfers select a SW for the bunker conditions they face most often. Then, you can make adjustments for the odd course you play.

If you normally have firm sand and play a course with soft sand, you can still get it out if you have good technique - you may not get it as close. It's about trade-offs.

Not that many amateur players have a second SW with different bounce.

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As a beginner, I found I would be in all KINDS of trouble on the course. Rough, hardpan, sand, etc... anywhere where you didn't usually want to be is where any beginner ends up. You learned early on to play those shots. As you improved, you might find yourself in those spots less and less, but still visit them occasionally. Even better players end up in there. But because you've been there before and learned how to recover, it isn't really an issue anymore and there is no panic. Sure, there is is always the downhill, sidehill, cabbage lie to a short sided pin with water on 3 sides that might give some pause...

But what I see today a lot of the time is that a beginner is told: "Hey pick that up and move it, you're out here to have fun, not kill yourself". So... they pick it up and move it to mat like lie with no trouble. Or, they take a swipe in a trap and fail to get out and his friend says: "just drop it outside". There is no incentive to learn how to do it properly, and so they need the "magic pill" when they get 'better'. Beginners generally don't practice bunker shots. It's a few warmups with a 7 iron, then blast away with the driver for the next 100 balls in the bucket.

Let beginners take their lumps in those spots and learn how to escape properly and specialty clubs will go away... HAHAHAHAHAHA... sorry, couldn't keep a straight face.

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One additional thing to look at is the size of the sole. Some wedges have a narrow sole which is nice from the fairway, firmer conditions and full shots. A wide sole can help people who have an issue with digging but can be tough on tight lies or hard pan.

 

All of these are generalities and need to be fit for the specific swing.

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I have the 1 out. It was a throw in with some other wedges that I purchased. I didn’t try it for about a year. At first I didn’t like it. Once I realized that all I had to do was hit it a little fat and don’t decelerate I started getting out of bunkers no problem. I also love using it for that short shot from just behind the bunker. I rarely end up short in the bunker anymore. 

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23 hours ago, Rip62 said:

I have the 1 out. It was a throw in with some other wedges that I purchased. I didn’t try it for about a year. At first I didn’t like it. Once I realized that all I had to do was hit it a little fat and don’t decelerate I started getting out of bunkers no problem. I also love using it for that short shot from just behind the bunker. I rarely end up short in the bunker anymore. 

Thx, for sharing. Yes, it is awesome for a short high shot from the rough too, when trying to go over the bunker. 

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  • iacas changed the title to Sand Wedge for High Handicappers

I have the Smart Sole S AND a Callaway 58 C-grind 8 bounce. Yes I know they're both 58. And yes I use both of them. The SS S for deep rough and soft sand, and the Callaway for hard pan, tight lies, and firm sand. All of which exist on the same course. I don't carry a FW so I have room in my bag.

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13 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

I have the Smart Sole S AND a Callaway 58 C-grind 8 bounce. Yes I know they're both 58. And yes I use both of them. The SS S for deep rough and soft sand, and the Callaway for hard pan, tight lies, and firm sand. All of which exist on the same course. I don't carry a FW so I have room in my bag.

Cool, DrvFr, As I said, playing a different club for firm sand is new to me. I used to just close down the S wedge and pray. Do set up or play the 58 c-grind any differently? 

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On 9/22/2019 at 5:36 AM, Sandhills Golfe said:

Cool, DrvFr, As I said, playing a different club for firm sand is new to me. I used to just close down the S wedge and pray. Do set up or play the 58 c-grind any differently? 

I open the face on the 58 c-grind and thump it hard about an inch behind the ball. You can get the idea trying to play a flop shot off a mat with it. It can be done.

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On 9/18/2019 at 10:34 PM, Rip62 said:

I have the 1 out. It was a throw in with some other wedges that I purchased. I didn’t try it for about a year. At first I didn’t like it. Once I realized that all I had to do was hit it a little fat and don’t decelerate I started getting out of bunkers no problem. 

And that, boys and girls, is exactly the secret to playing just about any greenside bunker shot, regardless of the club...

Most people struggle out of the sand, because they decelerate. They understand that they need to hit a bit behind the ball, and need to do so with a certain degree of speed, but their lack of confidence causes them to decelerate because they’re unconsciously afraid that they’re going to blade the ball into the next county.

Open any high-bounce sand-wedge and do the same thing, and you’ll be successful.

 

*  and this is coming from the guy who’s not afraid to recommend a specialty club like a chipper!   ;-)

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13 hours ago, David in FL said:

And that, boys and girls, is exactly the secret to playing just about any greenside bunker shot, regardless of the club...

Most people struggle out of the sand, because they decelerate. They understand that they need to hit a bit behind the ball, and need to do so with a certain degree of speed, but their lack of confidence causes them to decelerate because they’re unconsciously afraid that they’re going to blade the ball into the next county.

Open any high-bounce sand-wedge and do the same thing, and you’ll be successful.

 

*  and this is coming from the guy who’s not afraid to recommend a specialty club like a chipper!   ;-)

Agreed but I got a lot better using the 1 out of the sand instead of a traditional sand wedge so I think I’ll stick with what’s working.

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1 hour ago, Rip62 said:

Agreed but I got a lot better using the 1 out of the sand instead of a traditional sand wedge so I think I’ll stick with what’s working.

If that works don’t change it. All Dave was saying in there’s no need to overpower the club. Just don’t decelerate...

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