Technical Tips

March 2012

High Loft Wedges
By The Wedge Guy

At EIDOLON, we get the occasional request for wedges with more than 60-61 degrees of loft, which we do not make. So we talk with the golfer who’s calling to see just what they are trying to accomplish with such a club. I should add that when you call us, you’ll be talking with a golfer (other than our accounting manager, we don’t have anyone in the company who can’t play to a single digit handicap). It’s a little quirk of mine that I think real golfers who know the game can do a better job of building quality equipment than an assembly line worker who doesn’t know a bogey from a baseball bat. And of course, our technical support people have to know the game to help people get the right set of scoring tools in their bags.

Anyway, this is about high loft wedges, stimulated by an email from Anthony, who asked:
“I was wondering why you only make your wedges up to 61 degrees. Some companies go up to 73 degrees and some great players like Phil Mickelson have used 64 degree wedges. So why stop at 61?”

Well, Anthony, my experience is that even lob wedges of 58-61 degrees prove difficult for most golfers to master. When you have that much loft on a club, the impact is somewhat of a glancing blow, and requires a very strong technique of the golfer. In order to control trajectories on full-swing shots, you have to be strong with the lead (left) side through impact, and most golfers just are not there. So, they end up swinging harder, and the shots go higher but not further, and they dunk the shot in the front bunker/water, or even worse, skull it over the green into who knows what.

On shorter shots around the greens, these high loft wedges present another set of challenges, as the ball is often sitting up a bit in the rough, and therefore the increased loft causes the ball to make impact with the top half of the clubface, where there is little mass. The shots I observe mostly end up short, again very likely in a worse spot than where the golfer started.

I have had the good fortune to play lots of courses, and I can’t think of one that was do diabolical that you couldn’t hit any shot you needed with a wedge of 60-61 degrees. In fact, now that I’m playing the newer grooves, I find that my 54 degree wedge is a much better scoring club for many shots around the greens. The ball comes off a little lower, and with just as much spin, but is more controllable for distance than even my 57 in many instances.

Rather than look for the “missing shots” from a wedge of more than 61 degrees of loft, Anthony, I’d suggest you spend time around the practice green with your gap and sand wedge to learn more shots you can hit with them. It’s just my opinion of course, but I think your scores will reflect the practice time very quickly.


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