I'll start out with just a little bit about my wedge game, to help anyone with relating to my opinions in the review. I have played golf for 20 years and have been as low as a 6 handicap but am currently about a 14 handicap. My game has two major strengths: driving and green-side wedge play (except sand). I love being creative with my wedges. I have always done my best work with 56Â° or 58Â° wedges that have low leading edges and versatile grinds with low bounce. My current wedges are Cobra Tour Trusty 54Â° and 58Â° models completely stock off the rack, along with my Wilson Ci7 Gap wedge that is part of my iron set. After a couple seasons of playing them, Renegar has a tough task to try and remove them from my bag.
As I briefly alluded to above, I'm not much of a sand player. I will approach the fat part of a green and attempt a 60 ft. putt before going after a pin even remotely tucked behind a bunker. I also struggle with it due to not being able to ground the club first. I most often come in too deep and behind the ball digging into the sand way too much.
Short bunker explosion â€“ I was pleasantly surprised by the Renegar sand wedge's ability to keep from digging less than my Cobra's. I won't say that I was knocking down flag-sticks, but after a few reps I was much more consistently making it onto the green instead of staying in the bunker or flying it over everything. The added confidence it gave me allowed me to focus more on my swing and distance control without worrying about digging in for a big duff shot. The Renegar definitely won this challenge over the Cobra.
Long bunker explosion â€“ This situation played out almost identically to the short bunker explosions. My typical miss with the Cobra sand wedge when trying for longer distances is to pick it too cleanly. I am usually too focused on not digging in to avoid losing distance resulting in a zinger that flies or rolls right off the other side of the green. By this time I had gained confidence with the Renegar's sole, resulting in getting a fuller contact on the ball and more shots that stayed on the green. In both bunker situations I didn't have too many easy putts from the results, but I will ALWAYS take a medium or even long putt over staying in the bunker or chipping from the other side of the green!
Buried bunker explosion â€“ This is a situation I am a little more comfortable with using my Cobra sand wedge. It has a thin sole that cuts into sand quite well. Because of my comfort level with this shot, I would say the Renegar and the Cobra tied in this match up. The Renegar had a decent amount of spin to comfortably stop on the green softly and satisfactorily.
Pitch and Chip Play
I typically use my Wilson 50Â° gap wedge for these shots so it was quite easy to substitute the Renegar 50Â° gap wedge into its place. I've always known that having an actual wedge as compared to a set included iron of the same loft would make a beneficial difference. I've just always been too cheap to replace the Wilson with an aftermarket wedge.
30 yard Pitch and Roll â€“This was not a hard challenge for the Renegar to win. With the Renegar sitting lower to the ground it made a much nicer contact with the ball. This allowed me to really fine tune the point that I landed the ball before running it towards the cup. The Wilson Ci7 series irons were produced the last year that U-grooves were still available. It is about the only reason that I haven't upgraded irons in the last 5 years. Despite this, the Renegar gap wedge still spun and stopped shorter, and more consistently. The Renegar also allowed me much more control in altering the trajectory higher or lower and to run the ball more or less afterwards. The sole grind is just as versatile as it gets for manipulating club setup and shots.
Uphill Pitch-Chip â€“ Again the sole grind of the Renegar plays into this shots ease of execution. You can lean the shaft forward to de-loft the face a little and the initial bounce surface on the leading edge keeps you from digging into the hill to glide through and push the ball down your line. Occasionally, in the past on these shots I've been a little thin and went by the hole too far. Not once did this happen with the Renegar wedge. Also, to note: I really loved the extended length grip on the RxF for choking down on the club in this situation.
Downhill Pitch-Chip â€“ Before this review I would have never used my Wilson gap wedge on a downhill lie for anything less than a full swing shot. Its thicker GI iron sole is just not suited for it. Normally I would have opted to use my 58Â° Cobra and just flop it up to the green. But, I decided to give the Renegar gap wedge a try and play the shot more like a normal chip instead of a flop. The cut out on the sole really helped in making a swing on this and keeping under the ball without opening the face up. Another excellent result from the Renegar wedges.
Chip from Fringe â€“ My favorite club to use on these shots is actually my 3-wood. Since I don't carry a hybrid it is the only metal wood I have other than my driver. But, this is only if the green is relatively flat so I can just roll it right at the pin. I use a wedge when dealing with undulations so I can carry the ball and then roll it if necessary. I actually tried this with each of the Renegar wedges just to see which I liked best for the shot. My go to shot would usually involve my 58Â° Cobra for more height and less roll but the Renegar 50Â° wedge actually proved to be so consistent in its pitch and roll out finesse, that I have found a new favorite club for these shots.
60 yard Lob to a Tight Pin â€“ I will honestly say that on the couple courses I played over the weekend while demoing these clubs, there were really no good, tightly placed pins. The best scenario I found was a pin that was deep with not much room behind it. I walked off 60 yards, making it more like a 50 yard to the center of the green length shot. Once I started shooting, I actually found the Renegar to play a little longer than my Cobra of the same 58Â° loft.
Trying to focus on the feel of the club and contact, I have decided that it is due to the point of contact on the face, and hence, the CG location relative to that contact point. What I mean is, I feel the Cobra sits just a small amount lower than the Renegar at address. So, on a 3/4 swing shot like this the Cobra sends shots soaring into the air and they practically stay in the divot they make upon landing. The Renegar wedge sitting just that minuscule amount higher made contact at a point on the face that still achieved plenty of height and spin, but traveled just a couple more yards of carry before one-hopping to a stop. And honestly, that didn't bother me one bit. It almost made me question whether I was playing the Cobra too high into the air to get consistent distances.
The RxF was super consistent and easy to control. In fact, I may venture to say it was more consistent because a couple times I caught the Cobra a little too high on the face and shorted the distance by several yards. During a round this just translates into a longer putt, and I don't think much of it. But, now knowing what I feel is the reason why it happens, I appreciate the better trajectory of the Renegar lob wedge.
Lob from Tight Lie â€“ This shot took a little more time for me to adjust to than most of the others. I am very used to my Cobra lob wedge, and this is one of my bread and butter shots with it. I feel the Cobra sits lower and has lower bounce than the Renegar, allowing me to really use my typical shallow angle of attack to my advantage on tight lies. With the Renegar, I found that once I forced myself to get just a little bit steeper, I could use the sole grind more effectively to get under the ball without digging. If I go that steep with the Cobra, I dig too much. I was pleased with the results and spin once I made the adjustment, but I definitely need more time to really master the Renegar wedge in this shot scenario.
Flop from Rough â€“ In the cooling weather here, the grass has begun to get a little thinner. However, I did manage to find some rough that was just thick enough to play this shot. I thought starting out that my comfort level with the Cobra would shine again, but I was nicely surprised by the Renegar. When the ball is buried in the rough, I felt the Cobra had an easier time popping it out. But any time the ball sat up even a little bit in the rough, the Renegar made beautiful work on popping it out as good or better. Generally in the midst of summer my shallow angle of attack gets stuck in thick rough more often than not. That is one of the main reasons I have loved the thin cutting edge of my Cobra wedges. In this thinner fall rough I had no problems pulling shots right out and getting decent stopping spin on the green when it landed. So, I may have to wait until next season, or take a winter golf trip south, to really test the Renegar under a similar situation.
I want to thank Renegar and MGS for this awesome opportunity. I sign up for every contest and tester chance I can, but this was one that I truly wanted to be a part of. I have spent and lost too much money over the years finding wedges I thought I would like, didn't, and trading them in towards more.
I thought I was happy with my setup before this. I can say that I have found some solid clubs whose versatility in all shot situations has impressed me. I have only ever carried 12-13 clubs all my life and appreciate a club I can use in multiple situations with results as good as I found in Renegar's RxF line of wedges. The 50Â° gap wedge and 54Â° sand wedge are firmly in my bag for the foreseeable future. Until I can really play more with the 58Â° wedge I will keep it in the bag next to my Cobra Tour Trusty. I have a feeling it is only a matter of time and familiarity before the 58Â° RxF is alone in that slot as well. I will recommend these wedges to anyone who asks, and will be more than happy to let a playing partner try some shots with it, too. The technology works, the feel is great, and I hope Renegar sells a ton of them so more people can find a new life in their short games.