I recently took my shot at stamping my first set of wedges. I did some for my cousin last year after doing a few ball markers and they turned out alright. There was definitely a lot of room for improvement. I learned that I'm not the most careful and a little impatient when removing paint. Plus there were some very small areas that needed to be cleaned out.
Lesson #1 - Don't use anything metal to scrape the paint out. I used a needle and left some unsightly scratches that I didn't know how to remove from the wedge. I went through a lot of wooden toothpicks this time around.
Lesson #2 - Use acetone instead of mineral spirits when cleaning up the paint. I had to repaint some areas a few times and I tried using a q-tip to clean some paint, but they aren't the most accurate paint cleaners.
So, the lefty wedges were done back in 2018. I pretty much took a two-year hiatus and then the bug hit me again. I stamped my own wedges first and then worked on building two for my uncles and my cousin. My wife and two daughters picked their styles and colors. My wife liked the dancing letters graduated from Central Michigan, hence the color scheme, and her birthday and our wedding anniversary were on there.
My oldest would have loved for me to have bought a unicorn stamp to put on this, but I didn't have one handy! I'm really surprised that both of my girls wanted the straight letters instead of the dancing ones. Go figure!
Lesson #3 - Use tape to keep your lines straight! I used masking tape, but I had to put at least 3 layers on there so that I could rest or feel where the bottom of the stamp would be setting.
Lesson #4 - Lay your stamps out ahead of time and put them in order! If you're reusing a letter, slide it into the correct place in your layout. It will help you from having to double check your spelling.
Lesson #5 - Be confident and forceful when you're hitting your stamps! I get nervous about screwing up and tended to lean the letters a little or leave shallower impressions. You can see a few errors from trying to fix mistakes in the next couple of wedges.
My cousin works at Mississippi State and this wedge goes with that. I got the head off of ebay for about $25, the shaft from Diamond Tour for $8 and a grip for $7. All the ferrules came from Grail Golf on Ebay and they were like $8 for 12.
Lesson #6 - Don't try to get fancy and have a plan! I tried some different lettering here and didn't have an exact plan and I'm not happy with how they turned out.
My one uncle is a huge Michigan State fan so that's where the color scheme comes from. The Scratch head was brand new on Ebay from Hole Out golf for about $30, $10 for the black shaft from Diamond tour and $6 for the grip. If you're a John Wayne fan, you should recognize the quote. If not, you should really watch McLintock!
Lesson #7 – Keep your spacing even and try to figure out where your stamps should line up! I used a q-tip handle to space between words.
Lesson #8 – It’s harder to get good impressions way out toward the toe or close to the heel because you don’t have the solid hitting area underneath the wedge (especially in the heel!). So make sure you plan on being far enough in on your stamps!
Lesson #9 – Just know you aren’t Aaron Dill or Anthony Taranto! Accept the flaws and try to improve. You can make things worse by trying to fix something! Sometimes the little idiosyncrasies make the wedges that much more special!
My uncle loves everything Ireland and he needed a replacement for his 588 gunmetal special 47. So, I'm really happy how this one turned out (except for trying to make a few letters deeper and ended up combining an H and an I). Same place for the head ($30) and I ordered a wedge shaft from Hireko that didn't ship with the grips and was also the wrong size; not a great look for my first order from them. Luckily, the repair guy at my shop ordered me an NS PRO 950 to go in there for around $18 and then the grip was $7. Sticking with the Irish theme was is his favorite quote from “The Quiet Man.”