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johnclayton1982

Why Don't More Good Players Use Their Iron Set Wedges?

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Speaking only for myself, I look at 125 and in as controlled distance shots. Forgiveness for better players (of which i am not) is not needed as much as knowing a 1” choked down 50 degree is going to fly x yards. Or that a 3 to 9 o clock trap low draw with a 56 is going x yards with a known amount of rollout. Those different shots, too many to count, with sold wedges that offer no help are hard to hit with clubs that have any number of helps. 

 

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2 hours ago, allenc said:

Yep, my dad's not a professional, but he shoots under his age (he's 78) and carries only one "specialty" wedge, an old 60 degree Hogan that he's had for twenty years... oh, and a chipper, too.  Otherwise, basic set wedges from Cally Apex-14.

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I don't use iron set wedges for two reasons:

1) Non-iron set wedges let me choose the grind and bounce I want since I have different preferences for the different wedges I carry. 

2) It's easier to replace the non-iron set wedges when I wear them out. I replace my lob wedge every other year or so (I'd do it every year if money was no object), and then my sand and gap wedges every 3 years or so. My irons get replaced about once every 5 years, just because no one iron experiences as much wear as my wedges do. If I were to use iron set wedges I'd often be unable to replace them with anything but a used club towards the end of my time using the irons. 

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On 8/22/2014 at 11:32 PM, WUTiger said:

 

Why do so many avid golfers and certainly tour pros go with specialty wedges vs. stock iron set wedges? In part, because they spend more time practicing on their game. The extra practice means they can develop the kind of shots that you can get more reliably with special grind wedges.

 

 

  • Vokey offers lots of wedge choices. The SM4 model group had 21 different loft/bounce combinations, each matched with one of the six different sole grinds available.
  • Cleveland: The 588 RTX and the earlier 588 Forged models offer 18 different loft/bounce combos each / the RTX CB (cavity back) offers eight different combos.

 

Does anyone have personal examples of why they chose specialty wedges over stock wedges?

First reason is simple enough.  Nothing lower than PW is offered in the set.  Such is the case with the Titleist 716 CB I have played for the last two years,    

For the sets that do offer AW, I would not play the offering in one particular set because they cannot match the overall performance needed to begin gapping down from PW.  Example:  I played 6 months with Callaway Apex Pro (which did have a AW/GW offering).  Issues:  PW loft was 46* and AW dropped to 51 degrees.  So, an immediate 5 degree gap.  (Yes, loft could be bent to 50).  Next I was unable with fitter and club pro assistance to get a definitive answer as to what bounce the Apex Pro 51 degree AW was.  Lastly, the head of the AW did not perform at a consistent distance on shots around the green.  So the solution was simple, choose a wedge that I knew for certain allowed me 10-12 degrees of bounce in a 4 degree gap (50 degrees).  Then continue to gapping to the end of the bag.  In my case 54, 58.  Each of the 3 wedges (50, 54, 58) could all be chosen with the exact grind, bounce, loft needed to play shots.  Not to play all the shots because I'm not a pro and can't hit the all.  But to increase my ability to play the shots I am good at. Apologies for the long-windedness but that would be the example I could give. 

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A speciality wedge is designed to hit partial swings and chips (and can still hit full swings), while an iron set wedge is designed mainly just for full swings.

If you look at a speciality wedge head, it is heavy, chunky and spinny with grind for turf interaction, and the shaft is usually softer than an iron's.  These characteristics are optimized for a partial swing/chip, not the full swing.

Good players usually use the sand wedge and lob wedge not for full swings but for partial swings for better control.  Some also do this with the gap wedge and maybe the pitching wedge.

If you got speciality gap/sand/lob wedges and calculated all your gapping under 60 yards with a partial swings instead of using full swings, you may have more control around the green.

   

 

Edited by GOATee

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 I have a Cleveland forged gap wedge & prefer the Mizuno cavity backed version that matches my set for full shots and especially greenside chipping (the leading edge of the cavity backed  gap wedge isn't as sharp as a blade style wedge - doesn't dig in nearly as much for greenside chipping = not as many chunkers).     I do use the Cleveland sand and lob wedges, as my set didn't come with either.   Lastly, having bounce options makes sense for GOOD players - but is dramatically overblown for lesser players who don't often manipulate the club face.

Edited by inthehole

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I guess good players need a bounce that matches their around the green game. Also, from what I have observed they rarely hit full swing shots with wedges. 

5 hours ago, inthehole said:

 Lastly, having bounce options makes sense for GOOD players - but is dramatically overblown for lesser players who don't often manipulate the club face.

Agree. I can play anything including my iron set wedges (if it was available) with a 14 deg bounce and wouldn't make more than a half shot diff.

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I have used Ping irons since 1986, and have always used the SW from the set. I like my irons looking and feeling alike. I'm a pretty good player, not a great player.

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