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Sen

What is the best Sand Wedge Ever? (Green side bunker shots only)

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Like title says, I'm finding out after 10 rounds or so I only ever use my 54 sand wedge like twice in 10 rounds. Since I'm only ever using it in the bunker, I wanna see if I can optimize that spot. I do not need anything for pitching/chipping/versatility. Purely for sand magic, whether it is stiff bunker from cheap courses or soft bunkers from the snooty ones, what sand wedge will you always rely on and never sell? Let me know, please. 

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My Dad has one that had a “sand paper-like” face on it! Hilarious! Talk about SPIN! Only had to replace your ball after every OTHER shot!!!


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My favorite sand wedge ever was a Cleveland 900 gunmetal 58*

Best wedge ever made.


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Anything round.

I liked an oval face and curved leading edge in the sand (soft sand, I mean).

Alien Ultimate, believe it or not,  was as good as anything,

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Here is a great MGS article on the best specialty sand wedges: https://mygolfspy.com/nfomercial-wedge-test-mygolfspy/

 

According to the article, the best specialty sand wedge is the C3I with Cleveland Smartsole following closely behind. A traditional wedge and the Callaway Sure Out finished in a distant 3rd and 4th respectively. 

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Interesting, doesn't look the sure out or the touredge 1 out plus are included in that testing. Judging from "internet reviews" it seems like the Tour Edge 1 out plus should have been a good contender for those chunky sand wedge line ups.

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For me it's the Cleveland Smartsole. Money for me out of a greenside bunker.

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... Since you never hit the ball on the face the only thing that matters, other than looking good to your eye of course, is the sole grind. If you get that right for your swing, any wedge will be sand magic. The fly in the ointment happens when you play in different regions than you do at home. Some Florida courses use very soft sand and the more bounce the better. Then in Phoenix most courses have little if any sand, so the less bounce the better. I have additional travel wedges I use to address those situations. 

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I can't say what's the best ever. I'd imagine each of us have or have had a few during our careers. Our wedges tend to change often too. At least as far replacement is concerned. I play what might be considered mid or low-bounce wedges. In my area I mostly play on firm bermuda turf and tight-firm bunkers mostly. However, there are two holes on my home course where the green and surrounding bunkers were redesigned a few years ago. The bunkers were poorly designed for starters and the sand.... well imagine this - you gouge-out some holes around the greens and then back up a dump truck and fill them with sand. It's like walking on sand dunes!! The sand will cover your shoes. It's ridiculous. I probably should buy myself a C3i wedge for these two holes only. Fortunately I rarely find my ball in them.

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I find it truly amazing that of all the frequent contributors to our forum,

I seem to be the only one to have a serious preference for a very curved leading edge in the sand.

Maybe age had something to do with it.

 

The old sand irons back in the day were oval-faced clubs.

Then people started hitting those higher lofted irons/wedges from the grass,

because they were now playing to stop the ball instead of running it up,

and the leading edges straightened out to accommodate that.

 

Most didn't want to take up a space in their set for a sand-specific club, but even at that,

somebody must have noticed what a curved leading edge does in the sand.

 

This must have changed long enough ago that most modern players never used a round sand iron.

 

 

 

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Interesting convos, those with a bigger sole and "cavity back" like smart sole. Do you think you had more issues controlling the distance out of the bunker? How about spin? I'd think the design makes it spin a lot less? 

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4 minutes ago, Sen said:

Interesting convos, those with a bigger sole and "cavity back" like smart sole. Do you think you had more issues controlling the distance out of the bunker? How about spin? I'd think the design makes it spin a lot less? 

 

... Sen again, out of the bunker the cavity back design is irrelevant. Since the only thing touching the sand is the sole on a standard sand shot, the determining factor for spin is technique, speed and how close to the ball you make contact. The cavity back comes into play on full swings as well as chips and pitches. 

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5 minutes ago, chisag said:

.. Sen again, out of the bunker the cavity back design is irrelevant. Since the only thing touching the sand is the sole on a standard sand shot, the determining factor for spin is technique, speed and how close to the ball you make contact. The cavity back comes into play on full swings as well as chips and pitches. 

Totally skipped what you mentioned earlier, this makes a lot of sense. Like you mentioned earlier though, AZ has many hard bunkers with the consistency of what I would say..."mud" on them. The ones that makes your club skids and spews out mud splatters instead of sand shots, do you think the design is a little more important? I too carry a relatively low bounce (6) for sand in AZ, anything bigger just make me think it'd kick up and blade the thing across the green or worse, ride the lip back and hit me in the face 🙂

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... Sure, if you are picking it clean and mishit the ball out of a hardpan lie in a Phoenix bunker, the cavity back might help some. But it is such a short shot the effect will be minimal. And of course if it is a thin layer of wet sand, you are digging with the leading edge so again the only thing hitting the ball is the wet sand and the cavity design is irrelevant. 

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The best sand iron is the one you practice with.  As in you need to practice to be a good sand player regardless of the wedge that you use.  No "magic" about it.

 

Good luck

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3 hours ago, NiftyNiblick said:

I find it truly amazing that of all the frequent contributors to our forum,

I seem to be the only one to have a serious preference for a very curved leading edge in the sand.

Maybe age had something to do with it.

 

The old sand irons back in the day were oval-faced clubs.

Then people started hitting those higher lofted irons/wedges from the grass,

because they were now playing to stop the ball instead of running it up,

and the leading edges straightened out to accommodate that.

 

Most didn't want to take up a space in their set for a sand-specific club, but even at that,

somebody must have noticed what a curved leading edge does in the sand.

 

This must have changed long enough ago that most modern players never used a round sand iron.

 

 

 

I really wouldn't know, Nifty. I started playing golf at 40. I'm 59 now. All I have ever played... and still do, is Vokey  wedges.  I use a 54* in the sand the majority of the time.

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1958  Wilson staff or older 588 Clevelands---- I am also a fan of several older Hogan Sand wedges---- The problem around here is the consistency of the sand even on the same course and sometimes between the bunkers on the same green. Lately I have been carrying a NOS Macgregor LRA 56 which is an older wedge but mine is brand new. It has basically a neutral sole grind and low bounce. Most versatile wedge I have ever seen.

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I go back and forth but the CBX is fantastic for greenside bunkers. The only reason I take it out sometimes is bc of utilization. I prefer a more traditional wedge for chipping, etc. if I’m playing a heavily bunkered course, my 58* CBX will always be there


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