What Is Golf Wedge Bounce: Demystifying The Bounce Factor
(Last Updated On: March 27, 2019)
Most golfers do not have much knowledge about the right specs of a wedge. With the optimal specs and characteristics in your wedges, you will be able to boost your performance and keep your scores under control.
Wedge fitting is important because it turns the odds in your favor when you enter the 150 yard scoring zone in the golf green.
With a consistent hit into the hole in under three shots, it is incredible to see the scores drastically reduce.
When it comes to wedge selection, the length and flex of the shaft and lie angle are mostly considered, but not the sole width or bounce.
One of the many things that average players do not know is, ‘what is golf wedge bounce’.
Due to differences in the way a club is hit among different players there is a need for different specifications for particular swings. Here is a detailed round up about bounce angle and its influence on wedge performance.
What is golf wedge bounce angle and why is it important?
Bounce angle denotes the lower extent of the sole’s trailing edge when compared to leading edge of a wedge. Wedges are built to minimize resistance to sand when they hit a bunker shot.
Without swing manipulation or opening of the club face, you will notice the club digs into sand and gets stuck. However this does not happen when you use the sand wedge.
The bounce helps to reduce resistance encountered by the club head while striking in the sand. The width of sole also minimizes resistance.
The sole width in a sand wedge is much wider than the soles in other wedges. Therefore the bounce is more magnified resulting in improved resistance with a shot driven through sand.
Factors influencing bounce
To decide on the right sole width and bounce, you need to first determine the attack angle of your swing. This is the angle that is formed between the club head and ball at address.
The angle is best decided by knowing about divot. If you use a divot with the short irons the attack angle will be steep.
This is called as digger. If you don’t use a divot, the angle will be a shallow one and is referred to as Picker.
When you know about your divot, it is easy to decide on the bounce and sole width. Diggers for instance will find a wider sole and increased bounce more advantageous.
Pickers on the contrary will require minimal bounce and narrow sole to be successful. If you are unsure about which of the two types you belong to, here are a few factors to help:
You will require low bounce in your wedge, if you make scull shots in the fairway. This is because the wedge’s trailing edge will touch the ground and cause leading edge to hit the ball above or at equator of the ball.
Other instances where a low bounce is helpful include hard pan course or a dry and firm base. Shallow base and coarse sand bunkers also require narrow sole and minimal bounce.
The clubs that have low bounce include the pitching, gap and lob wedges. A bounce angle that is below 8 degrees comes under low bounce category. Such wedges are used for wet sand, hard turf and tight lies.
With a low bounce you have minimal opportunity to hit a thin shot as the sole needs to sweep over surface instead of plunge into it. The bounce degrees for wedges in general include
Pitching wedges – 2-5 degrees
Lob wedges – 0 to 10 degrees
Gap wedges – 5 to 12 degrees
If your shots meet flat with the ball and the club is sticking in the turf you will need to use a wider sole and high bounce.
Courses that are wet with spongy and soft base also require higher bounce and wider sole
Bunkers with fluffy and fine texture need high bounce and wide sole.
Bounce angle of over 10 degrees are termed as high bounce angle. Sand wedges and certain other specialty form of gap wedges generally have a high bounce.
This makes them ideal for deep rough, shaggy fairway and light sand areas.
Due to the steep angle of the swing, the club will slide on the surface resulting in better opportunity for clean impact and more height of shot.
Sand wedges have the highest bounce angle ranging from 10 to 15 degrees. Gap wedges, especially the specialty ones have 12 degree or lower bounce angle.
When you know about what is golf wedge bounce, you can specify the appropriate bounce you need in your wedges.
While the regular golf club set is designed with a predetermined bounce angle for each club, you can get more leverage out of the bounce when you customize it.
In case you have very firm sand or making shots from tight lies, a low bounce is appropriate.
Players with too steep a swing also find the low bounce suitable. For flatter swings, soft sand bunkers and soft lies, the high bounce is ideal.
When you are ignorant about the nuances involved in bounce angle and the role it plays in improving your game, you are bound to choose the wrong bounce angle for your wedges.
Further the numerous choices manufacturers display now can overwhelm you beyond imagination.
The above details give a good idea about what is golf wedge bounce and how you can use it to lower you scores and play great shots.
At times factors such as the course condition or weather can influence the specifications that are routinely used.
By having wedges that sport varied bounce angles as well as sole widths you can increase the options you have and choose the best one for your game.
Purchasing wedges based on the indicators above will help you choose the right one no matter how overwhelming the choices before you may be.