Many golfers are interested to know how exactly a wedge fitting works. In this article, we want to share some of the critical things we are looking to accomplish at Pete’s Golf. Check out this video for details, and we’ll summarize some key points below:
Every fitting at Pete’s Golf begins with an interview. We always want to understand a player’s goals and what they are looking to achieve with a new set of wedges. With wedges we’ll want to learn a few different things:
- The kinds of shots a golfer likes to play around the greens (and shots that give them difficulty)
- The conditions of the courses they usually play
- Are there any issues with distance gaps?
Our fitters will test the golfer’s current equipment as a baseline. As always, we’re looking for any tendencies in a player’s swing, and then we start coming up with a hypothesis of different variations of wedges we can test.
In any wedge fitting we’re looking to accomplish several goals:
- Proper lofts for distance gapping
- Give a variety of sole designs to help execute various shots around the greens
- Match a player’s technique and areas they struggle with the right head profile
- Get the correct lie angle and shaft profile
The Right Mixture
With wedges, we want to get the right mixture of lofts to bridge the gap between the shortest club in a player’s bag, which might be a 9-iron or pitching wedge, all the way down to their highest lofted wedge.
The distance gaps are critical, which is why we want to make sure we get the correct mixture of lofts. However, a wedge’s use around the greens is just as important. We want to find the best assortment of wedges for a player to maximize their short game.
In our article on iron fitting, we discussed the importance of lie angle. With wedges, getting the lie angle correct is even more critical. As loft increases, the lie angle has more influence on where the direction of the clubface is pointing at impact.
In other words, if your wedge is too flat or too upright for your swing, it can significantly alter your ability to hit your targets on the course. Using our GCQuad launch monitors, we can measure the dynamic lie angle to make sure we get it right.
Many factors go into wedge design. Bounce, sole width, the radius of the leading edge, and the amount of relief built into a wedge. Often, golfers look at the numbers printed on the wedge to make their purchase decisions, but they don’t tell the whole story. The amount of bounce listed on the club versus effective bounce is often quite different.
Once we get an idea of the types of shots golfers are trying to hit with their wedges, their typical turf conditions, and their technique – we can begin to start building the right mixture of sole designs.
Usually, we like to build a set of wedges that offer a variety of sole grinds. For example, one wedge might be better for you out of the bunker, while another might perform better off a tighter lie.
Shaft preference with wedges is a bit different than other clubs in your bag. Because wedge shots are more about precision, feel, and control, we typically like to offer a shaft that is equal in weight or heavier. We’re not trying to generate maximum speed, but rather a consistent rhythm and tempo that can help with your distance control.
How Long Do Wedges Last?
There is no perfect answer for this one. Some wedges last longer than others because of the materials used. Other times, it is dependent on the conditions you play in. If you’re playing in sandy, rough conditions, the grooves will wear out faster.
If you are looking at the face of your wedge and start noticing worn grooves, that’s a sign that they might need to be replaced. You can still hit great with worn grooves, but you will start to lose consistency, especially in less than optimal lies.