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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Wedges  »  Hands On - Wedges 2009
Hands On - Wedges 2009
By Tom Landers | Published  10/25/2009 | Wedges | Unrated
Our Readers Test The Newest Wedges

How About a Little Respect for the Wedge

It’s difficult to argue that the putter is not the “money club” in any player’s golf bag. But how about a little respect for that very important first cousin of the putter, the wedge.
Whether it is from 120 yards or 10, the wedge sets up the work the putter finishes. No great golfer has ever been a poor wedge player. To score well and make more putts it is imperative to use the wedge skillfully from a variety of distances and lies.
Where once equipment companies offered wedges in perhaps two or three lofts, the options are now are plentiful and refined to allow for exceptional shot making. The first professional player to draw attention to having more than one or two wedges in a golf bag was Tom Kite, who stuck four in his to give himself the best club for the work that had to be done, whether it was a full shot from the fairway, a mid-range approach to the green, a delicate chip over a bunker, or a shot from the sand.
An improperly used wedge can turn a promising hole into bitter disappointment. How many of us have either fluffed or rocketed a chip shot across the green and wound up having to get up and down to save bogey! Or played a par-five well up until the third shot from inside 100 yards, thus throwing away a birdie opportunity. Having the right wedge in our hands to pull off the shot needed will help us execute properly.
The technology used to mill the face and grooves of wedges is far superior to processes of the past, and allows golfers to spin the ball with consistency and control shots, even from the rough. Golfers now have the freedom to fly the ball further to the hole and make it stop at the target rather than hitting it short and letting it run onto the putting surface, an inexact science at best.
Today’s wedges come in a large variety of styles and lofts, the latter ranging anywhere from 47 to 64 degrees. There are pitching wedges, sand wedges, gap wedges, and lob wedges, each of which is capable of pulling off a different kind of shot. While most of us don’t need to go to the extremes of Phil Mickelson and carry four or five wedges in our bags, having three at all times would allow for much more creativity around the green.
If you putt for dough then you certainly need the wedge to get you to the bank on time.

1Tester Comments: Slides through sand easily, great feel … Great in rough around the greens … Could really control the finesse shots near green and from away from green.

Lofts: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees
Adams Puglielli 418 Tour
www.adamsgolf.com • $100

Unique Features:
The clubhead, made of 8620 forged carbon steel, features a high-density polymer weight chip in the back to dampen vibration and improve feel. Sound and feel are also controlled through an insert in the rear pocket cavity of the clubhead, which features multiple thicknesses. The head shape of the wedge is angular in lower lofts and rounded in higher lofts.

 


Tester Comments: This wedge has excellent feel. It is however a little strong and takes a lot to get used to on short pitch shot and chips around the green … really good off tight lies … Extremely versatile. Worth trying

Lofts: 52, 56, 60, 64 degrees.
Bobby Jones Pelz
www.bobbyjonesgolf.com • $150

Unique Features:
A face insert in the wedge is made from Carpenter 440XH steel, an alloy that is wear resistant and typically used in industrial bearings and valve assemblies. The insert allows the grooves to last for years instead of months, says the company. A 3M structural bonding membrane is slightly spongy to give the clubhead a shock-absorbing component.


Tester Comments: Easy to look at and the feel and playability are excellent … Clubs hit and feel great; able to spin the ball regularly … The feel of the club as it strikes the ball is great.

Lofts: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 degrees.
Callaway X-Forged
www.callawaygolf.com • $110

Unique Features:
Material has been removed from the heel and toe of the sole to improve playability. The design is a result, says the company, of input form Tour players who wanted more versatility on a variety of lies and turf conditions. The wedge comes with tighter angles on the lead-edge radius, and “mack daddy” grooves have been added to the 52-, 54-, and 56-degree models.

 


Tester Comments: Great look and wonderful feel. Only drawback is that the zip grooves do take a little ‘bite’ out of the ball … The wedges spin great on full shots even on a very hard and dry course.

Lofts: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 64 degrees
Cleveland DSG
www.clevelandgolf.com • $110

Unique Features:

“Dynamic sole grind” technology enhances the company’s classic CG 12 wedge designs. The leading portion of the sole on he DSG is narrow and comes with a high bounce angle, while the wider trailing edge has a low bounce angle. The result? A square face delivers the performance of a standard bounce yet a lower leading edge when the face is open offers greater playability.


Tester Comments: You have to play it to appreciate it! … CG14 has a more consistent ball flight and better distance control than anything else I tried … Soft feel and the ZIP grooves really ZIP! Hit it close all the time.

Lofts: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 64 degrees.
Cleveland CG14
www.clevelandgolf.com • $110

Unique Features:
The company says “gelback” material has been placed behind the hitting area to improve perimeter weighting, diminish vibration on miss hits and provide greater feedback to the player. The club’s “zip grooves” are designed to have the most volume and sharpest edge of any groove in company history.


Tester Comments:A must for anyone who thinks the short game is important … I never performed so well from bunkers, I should start aiming for bunkers … Better than any wedge I tried, hands down.

Lofts: 48, 52, 56, 60 degrees.
Eidolon V-Sole
www.eidolongolf.com • $139

Unique Features:
The V-sole of the clubhead offers control for chips and short pitches close to the green, while CNC-milled grooves provide optimum spin rates for stopping ability on longer shots from the fairway. Each wedge is custom built to order, allowing golfers to select the correct shaft and flex.


Tester Comments:This FEEL wedge gives you just that...feel. It’s very easy to control the distance because of the weight and balance … Great club, absolute control of the distance, and looks like the higher end clubs.

Lofts: 52°/9°, 56°/6°, 60°/3°, 64°/10°, 73°/7°
FEEL Golf Satin
www.feelwedges.com
• $100

Unique Features:
The FEEL Golf Satin wedge is all about delivering soft feel to the golfer. These patented wedges have a longer hosel that results in more stability at impact and a better feel. The proprietary frequency matching makes every Feel wedge play and “feel” the same regardless of loft. Feel has introduced a second generation of the 73˚ which features a new USGA and R & A conforming “Circular Milled Face” for a big increase in spin, forgiveness and control.


Tester Comments: Theses forged wedges have a great feel to them … Classic look with a really nice thin top-line … Bounce allows you to play from a variety of lies and really open up the face.

Lofts: 52, 56, 60 degrees.
KZG TRS
www.kzg.com • $149

Unique Features:
The TRS (Tour Relieved Sole) is double forged and handcrafted to insure the finest quality and maximum performance. The edges of the club have a dual relieved sole at both the heel and toe, allowing the player to open or close the clubface without altering the bounce.


Tester Comments: Great balance and feel. Very accurate … Wedge is very controllable. Ball stops on a dime … Classic appearance, excellent feel

Lofts: 47, 51, 53, 56, 58, 60 degrees.
Mizuno MP-T
www.mizunousa.com • $100

Unique Features:
The company used a grain flow forging process on a special billet of 1025E pure select mild carbon steel to create the wedge. Deep square grooves are computer-milled to create maximum spin for greater control. The C-grind sole helps improve overall playability from various lies and turf conditions.


Tester Comments: Spin and control are second to none. You won’t be disappointed with this wedge … Nike wedges are now on par with the best wedges on the market … The grind is the best I have seen in quite sometime.

Lofts: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees.
Nike VR Forged
www.nikegolf.com • $110

Unique Features:
The wedge is made from 1025 forged carbon steel and was designed with input from Tiger Woods. The club is said to perform well from a variety of lies, and a heel grind allows for an opening of the clubface to let players hit a variety of shots from very different lies.


Tester Comments: The low bounce on the one I tried really helps me get under and through the ball on firm fairways … Is more like a blade than other Ping Wedges but is soft, good feel off the club, and has a good compact look … Spin is fantastic.

Lofts: 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees.
Ping Tour-W
www.pinggolf.com • $110

Unique Features:
The club is made of 17-4 cast stainless steel. It has a tungsten toe weight and a small cavity designed to increase the moment of inertia for a solid hit and improved feel. A polymer insert in the cavity optimizes swing weight, dampens vibration and pushes the center of gravity low and slightly forward to control clubhead rotation.


Tester Comments: I expected a disconnected look at address because of the exchangeable face but the fit and finish are so tight you can’t tell … The wedge feels incredibly soft … I can’t wait to get the grind I like and for $39, just keep changing faces as needed.

Lofts: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees.
TaylorMade New TP with xFT
www.taylormadegolf.com • $129

Unique Features:
These new wedges with xFT are highly innovative and feature the company’s exchangeable Face Technology (xFT) that allows golfers to easily change a worn clubface. Now there is no need
to replace a wedge you are used to, just change the face. A thin urethane layer behind the clubface ensures the face fits precisely into the milled pocket while promoting soft feel.


Tester Comments: Really improved my chipping and bunker play … Very consistant from a variety of lies … Great look and feel... These are versatile enough for any short game situation

Lofts: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 degrees.
Titleist Vokey Spin Milled
www.titleist.com • $110

Unique Features:
Deeper, precision-made scoring with tighter groove-edge radius increases the volume of the grooves to help players retain spin from the rough. The grove angle is steeper on higher lofts for more spin on short shots and less steep on lower lofts to prevent excessive backspin from being imparted to the ball on full shots.


Tester Comments: Can’t beat these for the price … Good weight for getting through greenside rough for those critical up and downs.

Lofts: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees
Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Spin
www. exoticsgolf.com • $129

Unique Features:
A hollow face is filled with thermal plastic elastomer (TPE). The TPE filling allows the 1025-milled carbon steel face to be made only 1.5mm thick. The TPE and the super-thin face compresses allowing the milled grooves and face to grip the ball and generate the spin you need to land the ball close. Removable weight screw allows golfers to adjust the swing weight for the preferred feel, weight, and performance. Each Xtreme spin wedge comes standard with a weight kit that includes a wrench and 2, 4, and 6-gram screws.


Tester Comments: Great solid feel and longer than most I tried … Fantastic address, amazing how the club goes through surface, straight as an arrow … If you want accurate irons, you need to try these.

Lofts: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees.
Wilson Tw9 Tour Milled
www.wilsonstaff.com • $149

Unique Features:

Tour Edge’s top-of-the-line player’s iron is a purist’s dream. Forged from 1025 CNC-milled carbon steel, the Exotics Forged gives low handicappers just what they need—tremendous feel, the ability to shape every shot, and the spin control of a precisely milled clubface—and nothing they don’t. The clean, uncluttered look these irons present at address is nothing short of beautiful.


Player’s Choice Awards WEDGES

Best Appearance
Mizuno MPT Series
Titleist Spin Milled

Best Playability
Eidolon V-sole
TaylorMade New TP with xFT
Titleist Spin Milled

Best Feel
Cleveland CG14
Nike VR Forged
Titleist Spin Milled

Best Spin
Bobby Jones Pelz
Ping Tour W
TaylorMade Z TP

Best Value
Wilson TW9
Feel Satin

Best Overall
Nike VR Forged
TaylorMade New TP with xFT
Titleist Spin Milled