2012 Buyer's Guide Wedges

This year, get up and down...every time

Labels: EquipmentWedges
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By Bobby Hinds, PGA

Why? Simple. Keeping your weight predominantly on your forward side with the ball back in your stance (toward the target) helps to ensure a steeper downward blow into the ball. This prevents fat and thin shots and helps you make consistent contact with the ball. Also, keeping your weight leaning toward the target helps maintain a consistent impact position, which will help you better control your shots and gauge different distances. As for the ball position, I like to play my shots just off the inside of my back toe. But you may prefer it slightly farther back or slightly farther forward. It's okay to be flexible, but try to keep it consistent. And stay away from placing the ball too far forward in your stance. If you move it forward, you'd better be ready to hit a flop or lob shot—which is a different lesson for a different day.

VIRTUALLY EVERY NEW WEDGE FOR 2012 promises to help you improve your short game and get up and down more often. While we don't disagree, we think finding wedges that suit your game is critical. Stick with the right lofts, bounce angles, even shafts that are best suited for your swing and you'll already be ahead of the game. And like new wedges for this year, look for a handful of forged wedges that promise a soft, buttery feel. If that's not your forte, there are wedges for distance (yes, there are), forgiveness and, frankly, all the above. Read on and take note of our favorites.

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Black Magic
Key Feature: A unique "no hosel" hybrid design that eliminates shanked shots and makes it a piece of cake to extricate the ball from the sand. No need to hit behind the ball and dig into the sand before the ball. With this wedge, picking it clean is as easy as can be.
Who It's For: People who want to eliminate shanked shots and who tend to be too steep in the sand. This wedge makes it easier than ever to get up and out of the sand and from the deep rough.
Specs: Four lofts (48°, 52°, 56°, 60°) in steel shafts.
blackmagicwedge.com | $99
Heavy wedge
Key Feature: The counterbalancing raises the balance point up the shaft by 37%, making it easier to make a smooth, fluid swing through the ball. And hey, feel is no-where as important as it pertains to the short game. These wedges can help smoothen out your chipping yips.
Who It's For: Golfers who want a wedge that not only looks and feels great, but fixes their swing at the same time. It's impossible to not swing these wedges smoothly.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°) with TT Dynamic Gold steel shafts (with counterbalancing).
boccierigolf.com | $109
Key Feature: A variable-bounce sole, that has a lower bounce angle toward the heel and toe. This makes it eas-ier to hit crafty shots with open and even closed clubfaces. We love the two finishes (Black Oxide and Satin), and can't help but marvel at the craftsmanship found in this simple, smooth wedge design.
Who It's For: Better players who want a wedge that has a lot of versatility, but retains a soft, forged feel.
Specs: Five lofts (52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°) with TT Dynamic Gold Spinner shafts.
bridgestonegolf.com | $109
Key Feature: Twenty-one tightly spaced grooves generate a ton of spin (within conforming rules, by the way), and the classic shaping by Roger Cleveland lends all the shotmaking playability one could ask for. The C-Grind sole reduces surface contact near the sole, making it a cinch to hit open-faced shots. And, wow, we love the copper finish.
Who It's For:
Golfers who like to hit a variety of shots with or without open faces.
Six lofts from 52° to 64° in a Copper or Dark Chrome finish with TT Dynamic Gold shafts. (LH available)
callawaygolf.com | $120
Key Feature: Holy Schnikes, these are nice! The new, forged 588 wedges incorporate a classic shape with milled Tour Zip Grooves in what, no doubt, are the best wedges ever from Cleveland (and they know wedges, by the way). 
Who It's For: Golfers who want a versatile, beautiful wedge that also yields a penetrating ballflight.
Specs: Available in a huge variety of lofts (46° through 64°) in three bounce options. Also, the 588 can be customized with a personalized look and feel. How cool is that? Hop on to mycustomwedge.com to order online.
clevelandgolf.com | $139
GG Black
Key Feature: Need a boost in distance and forgiveness with the shorter shots? The CG Black wedge might be just the ticket. The Ti face enhances the perimeter weighting, and the deep cavity makes these as long and easy to hit as any wedge we've tried. Add the fact that they're lightweight, and you have a wedge that bombs the ball.
Who It's For: Players who need a boost in distance, trajectory and forgiveness and who like graphite shafts.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (48°, 52°, 56°, 60°) with Miyazaki C. Kua 95 graphite or Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH steel shafts.
clevelandgolf.com | $139/$149


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