You must have heard it enough that the game around the greens is “make or break”. That applies to everybody; a 18 H’capper or a touring pro. Then, it makes sense to spend an hour’s time & just 2-3% of your spend on a wedge fitting.
Here are some parameters we focus on during a wedge fitting:
1. Sole & Head Design: The wedge needs to work in-sync with your swing to get the shot you need. Once take into account the conditions of your course, it’s crucial to get the right bounce & sole width. Pair that up with your swing dynamics & voila! You won’t duff or thin a shot. For example, if you play at a course with firm conditions & tend to thin shots, you need a club with less bounce. That will help your AoA be steep on the ball, take a divot without the club skimming off the ground.
2. Shaft & Grip: Many ignore the shaft & grip you need to have in your wedges. If fit well, you should be able to deliver the right face angle & dynamic loft. That in turn controls ball flight, distance control & spin.
If you are playing 70-80g shafts in your irons but choose to go with a "off-the-shelf" 130g shaft wedge shaft, it may affect your ability to generate clubhead speed & trajectory.
3. Loft: functionality remains key! So, we take your PW as a starting point to figure out the yardages you need to hit on the course. Based on those results, we fit the loft down to the shortest wedge. There is a myth that at times, loft translates to higher spin but any club when struck from the center will get adequate amount of spin. We can optimize that with swing weight, lie, shaft, grip & minor adjustment to loft.
4. Grind: Configured for the type of shots you play around the greens and sometimes known as sole geometry. It’s not complicated but it tends to be overly emphasized over the importance of sole width & bounce. Grind effectively allows improved impact to control start direction, spin. That, in turn improves playability around the greens. For example, the S-grind from Titleist/Vokey was configured for Steve Stricker as keeps the club face, square at address.
On tours around the world, there are on-site clubfitting services, which help the players tune up their wedge setup. As a recreational golfer, you need such services even more if you wish to play your best.
Get an assessment once a year so that your short game doesn’t have to suffer. After all, it’s “make or break”!