Every golfer wants to be the one that hits the perfect wedge shot like one of the PGA Tour pro golfers.
Everyone stops breathing in anticipation as the ball lands on the green just past the hole, skips forward and then whizzes directly into the hole.
This is when the applauding starts.
You are allowed to feel proud because not many golfers can do this. Very few actually understand what is needed to create the perfect spin.
In this article, we are going to have a look at various aspects that will help you to improve your wedge spins shots and impress your friends.
If you have been playing golf for some time you already know some of the things we are going to explain.
But, for all intent and purposes, we want to look at this from every angle so that those starting out will also understand the sport and terms better.
Once you hit the ball, the resulting amount of spin is referred to as the spin rate. The height and distance of the shot are strongly influenced by the spin rate on solid contact of the club and the ball.
Conditions Affecting Spin
It is important to understand what conditions will affect the spin. Some things you cannot control so keep expectations real in terms of the shot. Try to adjust your shot accordingly and if possible.
· Downwind shots are tricky in obtaining good back
· Higher spin is caused when the wind is blowing against you
· Backspin on wedge shots are more difficult to achieve when the greens are firm
· This applicable as well when playing as shot from deep roughs
Golf Equipment and The Spin
It is necessary to look at what is needed to achieve the desired spin using a wedge.
· The compression of the golf ball will directly affect the spin of the ball of wedge shots
· More spin when the compression of the ball is high and less so at a lower compression
· It is advisable to invest in premium balls if possible
· The lie of the ball is important
· Ensure that there is little or no grass behind the ball
· Higher spin is created by more surface of the ball exposed to the clubface
Wedges are intended for hitting the ball as high as possible so that it lands softly on the green. They are not meant for shots that require distance. It is recommended to choose a versatile wedge.
Features of the wedge:
· Made of iron
· Heaviest club head
· Highest loft
· Shortest shaft
They usually come in two different versions. The first is a wedge that is part of the manufacturers iron range set. and the second are specialty wedges.
As the name suggests, these wedges are specifically designed for a particular use. Sole grinds and grooves of the specialty wedge that increase spin and are ideal for partial shots around the green.
What Affects Spin Most on Wedges?
There are various things in regards to your wedge that can impact the spin.
· Optimal spin requires grooves to be fresh
· The newer the wedge the more spin is created
· Top edges of the groove that come into with the ball most to the amount of friction
· Friction is lost due to wear and tear making grooves left effective
· Frequent players will need to replace their wedges every season or two
· If you participate in tournaments, do not use groove sharpening tools as your wedges can be disqualified due to non-conformity
· Like tire grooves, grooves on wedges channel debris away from face
· Grooves may bite into the ball but it is not at all as extensive as believed
· For many golfers more spin will be created with a higher loft
· This is true for up to 56* using average angle of attack
· Angle of contact must be calculated
· Shots must be within a certain spin loft range to be most effective
· Example: A 56 degree sand wedge creates more spin than a 60 degree lob wedge
· Rule of thumb is to clean your wedges between shots even when practicing
· Spin will be reduced if there is dirt or grass on your wedge face and grooves
· Same applies to other debris like Vaseline, oil or dust
· Sand from a bunker shot is the exception as it actually aids spin
· Ensure that your wedges remain as dry as possible in wet conditions
· Decreased friction is caused by moisture which results in low spin rate
Common Misconceptions In Regards to What Affects Spin Most on Wedges
There are many things that players think affect the spin rate that don’t. Here are the myth busters.
· A common misconception is face milling improves spin when in fact it only evens out the face
· Milling the edges roughen the face
· Uneven edges from castings can be flattened out
· Face Milling can be very fine or very deep
· Wedges that are forged do not require milling as flatness is pressed in the face
· This has no effect whatsoever on spin
· Simply used to reduce glare
· Cosmetic – Improves the appearance of clubs
Here we will have a look at techniques during play that will aid you in obtaining maximum spin.
· The faster you swing the club head the more friction you create upon contact with the ball
· Left Position – Lean left and positioned weight on front (left) leg
· Lean in towards your target with your upper body – encourages steep swing
· Open Stance – Steep swing odds can be improved through an open stance and precise contact. This will also decrease lateral movement and restriction of length of back swing
· Swing upright during back swing in Left Position as described above ensuring restricted body motion
· Don’t let your arms swing behind or around you – keep to front
· Finish off strong – On impact, your trailing arm (right) go around your leading (left arm)
· Prevent this and scooping by swiveling your entire right side which also increases velocity
Good for: Those who spend a lot of time in the bunkers.
Many has said that this is an excellent performing sand wedge, so much so that they begin to look forward landing in a bunker. This wedge will put a good backspin on the ball and help you shoot straighter and farther.
Another wedge we have been raving about for a solid six months now. Boasting a striking blue finish, the S5 sticks out among its competitors.
Varying depths of grooves through the set provided superb spin rates, whether we were hitting full or partial shots.
Its mid-size profile was to our liking, and we enjoyed the buttery forged feel on offer. As always, nothing feels like a Mizuno.
Nike Engage wedges
Wielded by Rory McIlroy, the Engage wedge comes in three sole grinds. We particularly enjoyed its performance around the greens and we felt it got through the turf with ease, while also offering us control.
The only slight negative for us was its appearance behind the ball – it is a little chunky in comparison to some of the others. Definitely worth consideration though.
The latest wedge from TaylorMade features the brand’s most aggressive grooves, which offered us heaps of spin on all shots. It proved one of the longer wrenches in our test, but not quite as consistent as some of the others.
We love the headshape and its chic aesthetic, though, and we felt as though we could manipulate the trajectory with ease.
Titleist Vokey SM6
“These are the best wedges we’ve ever made,” said Bob Vokey. You heard the man. The centre of gravity (CG) has been realigned behind the impact position, and this aided our control, trajectory and distance.
From all surfaces and lies, we felt in complete control of our Pro V1 and we were able to manipulate our spin rates with ease. We also salivated over its darkened finish and traditional head shape.
Available in a large variety of grinds to suit every golfer, the SM6 is a nailed-on gold star.
Williams Double U Wedge
Making the most of Formula One technology, the new Williams wedge offers distance and soft feel when struck from the sweet spot. Its spin rates on full and partial shots remained consistent throughout the test.
It is a little on the chunky side of things which was not necessarily to our taste, and if you stray from the sweet spot, there is not a great deal of help.
A little bland in appearance and headshape in comparison to the more established wedge makers, but a decent opening wedge from Williams.
Sole Designs: Thanks to Micro Spin Lines, there is heaps of spin on offer in the FG Tour PMP wedge. There are up to 95 options available through custom fitting, with three grinds on offer and a sexy blue finish.
It has a naturally high ball flight, thanks to its KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft – something we adore – and it also produces buckets of feedback.
Perhaps a tad heavier than the others, but a strong performing wedge from Wilson. Definitely worth a closer look.