I don't need a specialist wedge.......... January 20 2015

So there is this story going around that specialist wedges are a marketing invention to get you to spend more cash on equipment.  The story goes that companies like TaylorMade and Callaway worked out that a full set of 3-SW was not maximising the income they could make and that by cutting the set to 3-PW they could then sell the average punter 2 additional wedges for £90.00.  

The people who pedal this story couldn't be more wrong.  It's not even how the specialist wedge was born.

The biggest sellers in the wedge world are Titliest and Cleveland.  They were the innovators that showed that wedges need different stiffer shafts and proper pear shaped heads to get ball flights and spins we need.  They worked out that the club could have a stronger level of bounce to help us launch the ball from different lies and they worked out that grooves and their sharpness were critical to close short shots.  They also allowed us the punter to change wedges once every 2 years without replacing our entire set of irons.  They actually saved us money.

So think about this - if you are trying to hit a 1/3 pitching wedge shot from a tight lie you are basically trying to hit a shot that the club is not designed to produce.  Seve could do it but can you?  Consistently?  No other good player we know even tries.

So what does work?  

Two wedges at perhaps 54 degree and 60 degree might suit - or if your course has lost of shorter par 4s go for 3.  Make sure they are all the same make and go experiment.  How far does a 1/2 52 degree wedge fly?  Does it stop - they usually do.  The top players all know to within a yard how far each club flies and by having the correct equipment they don't have to manipulate silly little 1/4 shots.