Looking for ways to improve your short game? Wedge bounce has a significant effect on your short yardage shots.
In this blog, we’ll explain why wedge bounce is so important to your short game and how to find the right bounce for you.
What Is Wedge Bounce?
Wedge bounce refers to the angle that is created between the lowest point of the trailing edge or sole and the leading edge. This area is where the club contacts the ground as you swing and hit the ball.
As the degree of wedge bounce gets higher, the leading edge also gets higher off the surface at impact. Optimal wedge bounce and grind ensures the best ball spin, contact, and control through a shot. Having the ideal wedge bounce also offers a degree of forgiveness if you are slightly off when you strike the ball.
Low Bounce Vs Medium Bounce Vs High Bounce
Here’s a quick glance at low bounce wedges:
- Usually between 4 to 6 degrees
- Ideal for bunkers with coarse or hard sand
- Good choice for firm, tighter turf conditions
- Intended to help produce clean ball contact
- Allows for precise, controlled shots in your short game
- Helpful for players with a sweeping swing style that leave minimal divots
- Good for shallow attack angles
Quick facts about medium bounce wedges:
- Between 7 and 10 degrees
- Typically used for normal to firm turf
- Often used for shots near the green
- Good for achieving trajectory control and precise distance
- Versatile and good for a high variety of course conditions
- Works well with most swing types, especially neutral swing styles with a moderate angle of attack
- Good for a wide range of golf courses
Quick facts about high bounce wedges:
- More than 10° of bounce
- Ideal for fluffy lies and softer turf
- Help prevent the club’s leading edge from dragging in the sand, making high bounce sand wedges ideal for bunkers with soft sand
- Good for golfers with a digger swing style who tend to leave deep divots
- Good for steep attack angles
- Generate a good deal of spin, offering more short game control
What Is Wedge Grind?
Wedge grind refers to the contouring around the heel, toe, and sole areas on the wedge. Wedge grind influences how the leading edge rests on the ground at address and its behaviour upon impact.
Bounce and grind have a significant impact on how a wedge feels and performs and what kind of conditions it is ideal in.
How to Choose a Wedge
When choosing a wedge, it is important to consider your swing style, attack angle, course conditions, and other key factors.
Ask yourself these questions to help choose the best wedge for your short game:
- What does the rough look like? Is it short, fluffy, or long?
- What type of course do you typically play?
- What is the angle of attack on the ball?
- Are you a digger that tends to leave divots? Balance your tendency to leave divots by going for a high bounce wedge (10 to 14 degrees) with a wide cambered sole that tapers as it nears the trailing edge.
- Do you tend to sweep the turf rather than dig divots? As a sweeper, you’ll want to select a wedge with low bounce (4 to 6 degrees) to complement your swing style and allow you optimal control.
- Not sure if you are a sweeper or a digger? For neutral golfers that avoid aggressive grind and choose a wedge with medium bounce (7 to 10 degrees). This versatile wedge will give you good control over most shots, including chipping, pitching, and bunker shots.
- Are the sand bunkers soft or hard?
- Soft – Spongy ground paired with fluffy bunkers usually benefit from the use of a high bounce wedge. Look for one with cambered sole ground to help prevent chunky strikes near the green and simplify bunker shots.
- Firm – For a firm fairway with coarse bunkers, opt for low bounce and flat, short grind treatment. This will help you get out of bunkers and easily hit the ball off short grass.
- A Mix of Soft and Firm – For mixed conditions, a wedge with small grind and a medium-width sole is usually a safe choice.
Can’t decide between a low bounce wedge, high bounce wedge, or medium bounce wedge? You can opt for two wedges: one with a wedge with a lower bounce and one with a higher bounce. – For mixed conditions, a wedge with small grind and a medium-width sole is usually a safe choice.
How Many Wedges Should I Carry in My Golf Bag?
While golfers can carry as many wedges as they prefer, some golfers — especially seniors — like to leave more room to carry hybrids, irons, and fairway woods.
As a general guideline, your wedge setup may look like this:
- 46/48 Degree Pitching Wedge
- 50/52 Degree Gap Wedge
- 54/56 Degree Chipping Wedge
- 58/60 Degree Lob Wedge
This setup featuring four wedges in increments of 4 degrees offers a good variety and allows 10 other spots to fill with your putter, hybrid, driver, several irons, and fairway wood.
How to Gap Your Wedges
Knowing how to gap your wedges is key to a successful short game. As a general guideline, aim to have a good understanding of how far you hit each wedge. This ensures you’ll always have the right wedge for the job, regardless of conditions. For a more in-depth guide, check out our detailed blog on How to Gap Your Wedges.
Want More Ways to Improve Your Short Game?
Inside 125 yards, accurate wedge play is key for ensuring your best score. Choosing the right wedges and understanding how they affect each shot is critical to improving your overall game.
If you would like to learn more about improving your short game, I offer personalised video analysis, golf tips, golf lessons, free instructional golf videos, and remote coaching to help improve both your short-yardage shots and overall game. Please contact me with any questions or to sign up for a course.