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REVIEW: Scratch 53* TNC Grind


Tyk
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Scratch 1018 Forged 53* TNC Grind, KBS Pro Shaft

 

The SHORT:

 

This is a great wedge, it's a gamer and it's going to be in my bag for a long time. The weight and feel is better than any wedge I've played, the grind is beautiful, the club looks great, and performs perfectly. With all the custom options available, you can't go wrong with Scratch wedges.

 

The LONG:

 

Comparisons: I currently carry a new Cleveland CG15 50*, and Mizuno MP-R 56* & 58* that are well into their 2nd season and are due for replacement. The plan with the Scratch is to replace one of the Mizuno wedges, most likely the 56*.

 

Out of the Box:

 

It took several weeks to get the wedge with initial good communication from Ari at Scratch but then not hearing anything for quite a while. Hopefully this is an exception and not typical, had I paid for the club the delivery time and lack of communication would have been irritating.

 

This is a very clean looking wedge, a deep nickel color with a mildly reflective finish. The club has a very solid heft to it; the obligatory practice swings in the living room allow me to really feel the club head. The grind looks good, the trailing edge relief is not as severe as my Mizunos, but still allows the leading edge to sit tight to the ground when opened up. The grip: what can I say? The stock grip on this thing is almost distractingly horrible. It feels like its ½ rubber, ½ plastic. Now, I typically buy a new grip when I buy a club because I know I'm not going to play the stock grip. However; I'm not usually worried about playing a round or two with it! This grip begs to be ripped off and thrown away, and will be very soon! It's very likely that most people that order a custom wedge also specify a grip so this probably isn't an issue for most.

 

First range session:

 

Full Swing:

 

After a good warm-up I grabbed all my wedges and started off with the Scratch 53*, switching off often between the Cleveland 50* and the Mizuno 56*. This club should carry 85-90 yards, and I had a target 80 yards in front of me. Expected distance was perfect, trajectory was as expected. The ball fell right in between my other wedges right where it should. I was not hitting into a practice green so the spin was hard to judge. The clubs leading edge lays perfectly flat on the ground at address, there's little to no camber to it which is new for me but suited my eye just fine. Opening the club up was not problem, the leading edge stays tight to the ground and based on distance I'd guess the opened up loft at around 58-59* as it was carrying around 60 yards. The feel overall was excellent, very similar to my Mizuno wedges but the weighting was a bit different, either because of the head or the shaft, but the feel was good, at least as good as my Mizunos if not better, and definitely better than the Cleveland which feels light to me. I really felt like I knew where the club head was at all times and the turf interaction was excellent.

 

Around the green:

 

I started off hitting 30 balls with my previously preferred greenside weapon, my trusty Mizuno 56*. I was hitting shots from 3-30 yards off the green. I then switched to the Scratch wedge, expecting a bit of an adjustment period due to the lower loft. This was not the case. This wedge flat out performs greenside. The spin was excellent and most importantly very very predictable. The ball checks when it should and rolls out when it should. I was using a mix of Callaway Tour and Pro-Vs but pulled out a new Callaway Tour i(z) just to see what kind of damage it would do to it. The ball survived with just a hint of scuffing. My CG15 does much more damage to a ball and delivers no more noticeable spin, so good news there! The sole performs quite well out of light rough and very well off tight lies; again, that leading edge flat on the ground is very confidence inspiring at address. Opening the club up was no problem, even though the grind is not as pronounced as the Mizunos the results were as expected and the club moved through the grass perfectly.

 

 

On the Course:

 

I've played 3 or 4 rounds with this club, and it flat out performs. Funny thing; I made my first chip attempt on the course with this club, a little 20 footer from 5 feet off in the rough played to roll out. It rolled in! How's that for a sign of good things to come?

 

The spin this thing generates is exceptional and most importantly predictable. You can attack the ball with utmost confidence knowing it's going to stop, or you can play it to roll out and it will. As I get comfortable with it I'm starting to get very close to holing a lot of greenside chips. The turf interaction is perfect, I love the lesser camber and the little heel relief gives a good stable feel at address but allows the club to lay open fine.

 

Everyone I showed the club too was immediately impressed with the feel of the weight of the club, they all commented on this. I would have to say that this club rates right up there with the best wedges on the market. The finish and grind is top notch, the feel and weight is among the best I've played, and the performance is at least equal and probably better than every wedge I've hit so I'd have to give this club an A in all performance areas. I quite honestly can't think of a single thing to knock about it other than the grip, which is inconsequential.

 

Many thanks to MGS and Scratch Golf for the chance to play this club and tell you all about it! I'm a fan, and Scratch will be getting my business in the future!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I think we just hit them at a bad time. It was major championship time and probably about the busiest sales time of the year, so I'm sure a few freebies were pretty far down on the list, and I have absolutely no problem with that. I'm just glad that Ari and MGS gave us this opportunity. Now as you said, if I was a paying customer (and I most definitely will be), I would expect it to be a little different.

 

I've been so busy that I haven't been able to hit more than a few balls on the range with my wedge, but I'm hoping to hit the course on Saturday.

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Yeah, I hear ya JBones. I wasn't upset, more just eager to get the wedge. Even having never dealt with Scratch before I get the impression that the delay was an exception. Ari just seemed too on top of it early in the process for it to be typical. But, it happened, and I felt that it was a part of the overall customer service experience and that does play a role in our decisions as golfers.

 

It is a premium wedge, and they charge a premium price, especially if you want to get Tour Custom. So, it does seem to me that they should be able to handle a half dozen freebies that are going out with the specific purpose of being written about at a website they deem significant enough to give 6 free wedges to. I don't expect special treatment, I really just expect typical treatment, and I don't know know if that is what we got or if we got something different for some reason. If what we recieved was typical, then people need to be aware going in that a Forged 1018 might take 6 weeks + to recieve. That could really impact my decision making. If what we recieved was atypical, then a little better communication from Scratch through the process would have been better. Even just an email saying "hey guys, we're slammed, we regrettably have to put you off for a couple weeks". At least then we would have known, instead of several of us PMing back and forth and me PMing MGS saying "what's going on, what should we expect?"

 

It was part of it, as great as the wedge is and as happy as I am with it, it took a long time to get here and after some very good initial communication it dropped off after that and none of us knew what was goign on with them.

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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  • 2 weeks later...

The more I play this wedge the more I like it. I've been jockeying my wedges around trying to find the combo that works for me out of my Scratch 53 and Mizuno 56 and 59. I tried bagging the 53 and the 58 at first but my 56 is my go to "comfort club" and I just couldn't live without it.

 

So for the past couple rounds I've been bagging the 53 and the 56 and this has been working pretty well for me. I'm getting used to the 53 and have been using it for close chips just off the fringe and for longer chips with alot of green to work with, I use my 56 for short sided work and for higher lofted shots as the grind allows me to open it up very effectively.

 

I'm getting the Scratch 53 dialed in, I'm gaining confidence with it and starting to expect a reasonable chance of making the shorter greenside shots with it.

 

I did hit my best shot yet with it last Sunday. I was playing an alternate shot "grudge match" with a few buddies. We were 3 down through 8, my ball was wet, and my parter had put me at about 50 yards from the green on a short par 4. It was a "must win" to say the least! I was on the neighboring holes tee box with a narrow green sloped away from me about 10' downhill. To top it off there was a 40 mph driving wind coming out of the left.

 

I'd normally hit my 56 and bring it in to the front of the green from up high, but the wind made this a very dicey proposition. So I pulled the 53. I was on a teebox so I had a perfect lie, I knew I had no option but to hit a perfect shot 10' short of the pin and let the grooves and the Pro-V1 do thier job! I had to hit through the ball because I needed it to spin and spin hard! Delicate was not an option! I pulled it off! The wind caught it a bit, and I actually hit it a bit firm. I thought I was probably going to go off the back but the ball hit pin high 10' right (only because of the wind!) of the stick and stopped dead!

 

The moral of the story: New Scratch Wedge + Perfect Lie + Pro-V1 = CONTROL!!

 

We went on to lose 2 down on 18. We'll get 'em next year!

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I typically play Callaways, HX-Tour, Tour i(x) and now i(z) which imo are even less durable than the Pro-V1. I haven't noticed any big chew marks on the ball from this club, I have noticed it with my Cleveland CG15, and have noticed it even sometimes with my pitching wedge.

 

I have been very impressed with the spin this club can generate, I can really juice a full shot (about 80-90 yards) and pull it back, sometimes too much. I'm really liking it on 10-20 yard chips around the green, I can check the ball but the spin doesn't seem to pull the ball offline like it does with my 56*. Alot of this is probably the lower loft, but alot of it I think is the lack of camber in the leading edge, the club sits nice and tight to the turf which I think makes it very easy to line up straight at address, almost like looking down at a putter, which I think means I'm getting straighter backspin instead of being slightly offline and imparting back/side spin.

 

Pics added.

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I was on the putting green yesterday for an extended short game session (muchly needed!). I'd worked with my wedges already and was putting when a buddy came up. He picked up the Scratch 53* and chipped with it for a good 30 minutes. First thing he said when I asked him about was "the leading edge is different, I was chipping really well with this and I haven't been chipping well at all lately!"

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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I was on the putting green yesterday for an extended short game session (muchly needed!). I'd worked with my wedges already and was putting when a buddy came up. He picked up the Scratch 53* and chipped with it for a good 30 minutes. First thing he said when I asked him about was "the leading edge is different, I was chipping really well with this and I haven't been chipping well at all lately!"

I just got on here, so I could update my post after having a long practice session today. The more I use this wedge, the more I love it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great review!

FYI that is not the FAW grind it is the TNC grind which is the standard DS grind for the 53* (and 56*) loft. The EGG is the standard DS grind for the 58* and 60*.

 

 

Thanks Ari, I'm not surprised I had it wrong, there's a couple grinds that look pretty similar. I've edited the review to reflect the correct info so as not to confuse anyone.

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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