2013 Buyer's Guide Wedges

Labels: EquipmentWedges
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By Jeff Johnson, PGA

When you're near the edge of the green, you have a good lie, and there's plenty of room for the ball to roll, you want to chip with the 6-iron. It will keep the ball low so that it's in the air for 20% of the time and rolling 80% of the rest. As you already likely know, it's much, much easier to control a ball that's on the ground than one that's in the air.

To ensure that you make the proper contact, place the ball in the back of your stance and your hands forward. This delofts your 6-iron even more, ensuring that the ball stays low. By placing weight on your forward foot, you also help to make a downward strike into the back of the ball. That descending blow pops the ball up and onto the green and gets it rolling right away. A narrow stance encourages less lower-body movement and thus better contact.

Once you have all those setup keys, all you have to do is swing the club back and forth by rocking your shoulders and keeping your wrists firm. Don't hinge your wrists! Don't lift up or feel the need to help the ball into the air by flipping your wrists. Simply rock back and forth while keeping your left wrist firm and let the club do the work.

THE LATEST IN WEDGES is a mixed bag. Not that any of it's bad, it's just that there are so many options to choose from, it's hard to know where to start. To help you, first look at what type of wedge shots you normally hit, which are more difficult/easier for you, and then find a loft/bounce configuration that's best for your skill set. Then, experiment with different styles, sole grinds, whether it's forged, cast, etc. You'll see that wedges, although they may look similar, have subtle differences in shapes and features. Again, start with what's right for your game and then move on from there.

Golf Tips Legend

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.
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.
Wow Factor: Picking it clean has never been this easy.
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.
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.
Wow Factor: Bye-bye chipping yips!
Specs: Comes in five lofts (52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°) with TT Dynamic Gold steel shafts (with counterbalancing).
boccierigolf.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 for easy open-faced shots.
Who It's For: Golfers who like to hit a variety of shots with or without open faces.
Wow Factor: We love that gorgeous copper-color finish.
Specs: Six lofts from 52° to 64° in a Copper or Dark
Chrome finish with TT Dynamic Gold shafts. (LH available)
callawaygolf.com | $120
558 RTX
Key Feature: Generates tight backspin, due to the large U-shaped face grooves that are especially effective from rough, sand and wet grass. Surface roughness is milled into the clubface in a pattern that also induces spin on square or open-faced shots. The sole is wider near the heel, narrower near the toe for more playability.
Who It's For: Anyone who wants a blade-style wedge.
Wow Factor: The milled and laser-milled Rotex face is the best wedge innovation we've seen in years.
Specs: 18 different loft/bounce configurations. (LH avail.)
clevelandgolf.com | $119
558 RTX CB
Key Feature: This wedge has the same gnarly laser-milled/milled Rotex face as the above wedge, but in a more friendly cavity-back shape. The undercut cavity adds some perimeter weighting for more forgiveness on mis-hits.
Who It's For: It's really a matter of personal preference. Some better players like cavity-back designs in wedges.
Wow Factor: We love everything about this wedge. It rocks.
Specs: Eight lofts from 46° to 60° in a Satin Chrome or Black Pearl finish, with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. (LH available)
clevelandgolf.com | $119
Trusty Rusty
Key Feature: Phil Rogers is back with an awesome new design that features a tri-bounce sole for versatility and control. But, really, what gets us excited is the rusty finishes (you can actually buy one with rust on it) and the oversized Big Rusty Trusty version.
Who It's For: There's something for everyone here. Higher-handicappers can't miss with the Big model.
Wow Factor: The oversized model is sheer awesomeness.
Specs: Three finishes (Rust, Black PVD, Satin) that all rust in 50°, 55°, 60° models with black TT Dynamic Gold shafts.
cobragolf.com | $119


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