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2019 Official Forum Member Review- Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 Wedge

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Got out and played another round with the wedges. These things continue to perform well for me and I finally took the opportunity to see how the 50 & 54 do on full shots (I don't typically use LW for full shots). They were the predicted amount longer (6~ yards) plus a few more - averaging about 10 yards longer on full shots compared to the SM5. When hit full, it did seem like the ball got up in the air a little bit higher than what I'm used to seeing, but nothing I'm too concerned with honestly. I absolutely flushed the 54 on hole #6 and I cannot describe how soft that 1020 carbon forged head felt at that particular moment - probably the closest I could come is it was like hitting a marshmallow with a pillow. It really felt that good!

While I'm at it, I wanted to share some pictures I took the other day showing the XW-1s side-by-side with the SM5s.

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After closer inspection of the soles, I was able to discern a few differences between the grinds. To start, I stated in my Stage One that the F grinds were very similar, but in actuality the Bridgestone F grind has a little more shaved off the trailing edge and is probably closer to the Vokey S grind. I also noticed a slight difference in the M grinds as the Bridgestone appears to take off just a fraction more in the heel and toe. Aside from that, you'll notice that the Bridgestone is ever so slightly thinner and has a more rounded toe section compared to the SM5. In all truthfulness though, these wedges are so close together in appearance that most people wouldn't know the difference if you removed all the superfluous shaping and badging. I'd expect this is why I've transitioned to these wedges quite well and no doubt was an intentional move by Bridgestone.

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Catching up on this one. Great start to the testers! Very nice comparison by @TR1PTIK because I was struggling to see the difference until he called out the blocky badge. These are still some very beautiful wedges so in thankful you three put together some quality photos for the write-ups. 

Wedges are tricky to test because there's just so many scenarios you have to use them. I'm most interested to see how they handle different grass textures around the green but also look forward to your assessments of ease with 50% 75% and full shots. 

Anybody dunk one yet? You know I'm a sucker for a good trick shot. 

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Catching up on this one. Great start to the testers! Very nice comparison by [mention=72813]TR1PTIK[/mention] because I was struggling to see the difference until he called out the blocky badge. These are still some very beautiful wedges so in thankful you three put together some quality photos for the write-ups. 
Wedges are tricky to test because there's just so many scenarios you have to use them. I'm most interested to see how they handle different grass textures around the green but also look forward to your assessments of ease with 50% 75% and full shots. 
Anybody dunk one yet? You know I'm a sucker for a good trick shot. 


Not during a round but I did hit a three pointer from the fringe of the practice green. Still I have yet to become a fan of these wedges. Full shots are ok but around the green the sharp leading edge has presented quite the challenge. I’m an Indian not arrow type of guy so to validate it was the wedge and not me I went back to my Callaways. The softer leading edge along with the increased bounce of the Mack Daddy’s pay tremendous dividends for me.

More specifics will follow in Phase II.


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9 hours ago, GolfSpy STUDque said:

Catching up on this one. Great start to the testers! Very nice comparison by @TR1PTIK because I was struggling to see the difference until he called out the blocky badge. These are still some very beautiful wedges so in thankful you three put together some quality photos for the write-ups. 

Wedges are tricky to test because there's just so many scenarios you have to use them. I'm most interested to see how they handle different grass textures around the green but also look forward to your assessments of ease with 50% 75% and full shots. 

Anybody dunk one yet? You know I'm a sucker for a good trick shot. 

Thanks!

I've found these to move quite well through most grasses. The only weakness I've yet to really notice is that the M grind on the 54 means I don't have a good club for fluffier lies unless I move to the 50 which might take off too much loft in some cases. This is where the Bridgestone A grind would have been helpful I think. It's just too easy to slide under the ball in some scenarios. I've hit several 1/2 and 3/4 wedge shots with these and they seem to do exactly what I need them to. I can flight them pretty much however I want. 🙂 

No dunks yet. I have hit some quality chips and pitches with these wedges though - no issue controlling distance or spin so far.

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7 hours ago, SteddyGolf said:

Full shots are ok but around the green the sharp leading edge has presented quite the challenge.

 

I hadn't paid much attention to this, but looking at the pictures I posted it does appear the leading edge is a touch sharper on the 50 & 54 compared to my SM5 52 & 56. Perhaps, the lighting could be playing tricks on me, but the 52 certainly seems to have more bevel on the leading edge than the Bridgestone 50.

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I hadn't paid much attention to this, but looking at the pictures I posted it does appear the leading edge is a touch sharper on the 50 & 54 compared to my SM5 52 & 56. Perhaps, the lighting could be playing tricks on me, but the 52 certainly seems to have more bevel on the leading edge than the Bridgestone 50.


I think what I’m discovering is how important wedge fitting is to execute an effective short game.


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9 hours ago, SteddyGolf said:

I think what I’m discovering is how important wedge fitting is to execute an effective short game.

 

Good point. I wish we had been given that opportunity. I'd be very curious to see how different our specs and experience with the clubs would be in that scenario. For me, this has definitely been a case of good fortune based on my preference for blade-ier type golf clubs. I learned the game with a set of MacGregor Blades, and I've played multiple sets of Titleist irons from the players category - 670MB, DCI 990, & 735 CM. The Nikes I game now are definitely the most forgiving irons I've had in the bag since I first started playing.

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I am also still getting used to the sharper leading edge when chipping, as mentioned in a couple of my comments about digging in sand/soft turf (better golfers might appreciate this though). I've shifted to chipping more with my 54 and the face slightly open whenever possible, whereas with my Pings I usually chipped with the 58 ES and the face close to square. 

@GolfSpy STUDque on the pitches and out to 50-75 yard shots, aside from still honing my distances, these wedges are standouts for me. I am getting more spin than with my Pings, which is nice because most places I play have hard & fast greens. I also will flush these shots more often, and the feel when you flush these is amazing (blows the Pings out of the water IMO, and I don't mean that as an insult to Ping - these Bridgestones just feel that good). 

The other main question marks I still have are around the shafts, as my ball flight is really high with these Modus 105s. They feel really smooth, I just wish I could've gotten a heavier version that might be a little more low launching. Seems like a peculiar choice of stock shaft when they are marketing to better golfers who tend to have higher swing speeds, but that's obviously just one man's opinion and buyers are free to choose other options when getting these.

I am playing tomorrow, hopefully I can report back on a dunked chip!

 

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1 hour ago, hartrick11 said:

The other main question marks I still have are around the shafts, as my ball flight is really high with these Modus 105s. They feel really smooth, I just wish I could've gotten a heavier version that might be a little more low launching. Seems like a peculiar choice of stock shaft when they are marketing to better golfers who tend to have higher swing speeds, but that's obviously just one man's opinion and buyers are free to choose other options when getting these.

I've got a rough draft ongoing for my stage two and this is exactly what I said at one point. The Modus 3 105 just doesn't make sense as a pairing with this particular club head IMO. Any of the other shafts in the Modus lineup (including Modus Wedge) would be a better fit.

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All three of you are killing this test 👏👏.

I asked last year as well but do you feel comfortable trying to open the face for a flop shot or manipulate the head for different shot shapes?

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You guys are doing a great job on this review!!  I was able to hit the Bridgestone wedges last year and I agree with @hartrick11 in that the feel was just amazing!  Would you think Bridgestone could benefit from different grind options?  Also, have any of you had to play the ball out of a bird's nest of a lie around the green?  If so, how did they do?  That was the one thing my Ping's blew everyone out of the water in.  There wasn't a bad lie they couldn't go through.

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On 4/18/2019 at 4:10 PM, Nunfa0 said:

All three of you are killing this test 👏👏.

I asked last year as well but do you feel comfortable trying to open the face for a flop shot or manipulate the head for different shot shapes?

Thank you! Yes, I feel very comfortable opening the face, hooding, toe down. Only thing I still am not comfortable with is closing the face of the M grind on chips out of tighter lies, which is I think due to how sharp the leading edge is. 

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On 4/18/2019 at 8:48 PM, goaliewales14 said:

You guys are doing a great job on this review!!  I was able to hit the Bridgestone wedges last year and I agree with @hartrick11 in that the feel was just amazing!  Would you think Bridgestone could benefit from different grind options?  Also, have any of you had to play the ball out of a bird's nest of a lie around the green?  If so, how did they do?  That was the one thing my Ping's blew everyone out of the water in.  There wasn't a bad lie they couldn't go through.

Yes they would benefit from different grind options, but given limited budgets and the fact that this is still essentially a niche club, their choice is understandable IMO. Knowing what I know now, I would’ve been interested in their “most forgiving” A grind on a 54 if available, and then M grind for the 60 (or 58 even). 

I’ve had the birds nest lie a few times and these can get through the lie with no issues, and in fact I think the sharper leading edges help here. The only thing I have had to get used to for these is the weighting which is lighter than what I prefer, and caused some distance control issues at first. 

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I played on Friday at a course that had lush, thick grass throughout, which made for perfect fairway lies and penalizing rough. I shot a 78 with 12 pars and 6 bogeys, which is a strong round for me. The interesting part was that I only hit 7 greens, so I had 5 up-and-downs, and none of those were on a crazy long putt - hellooo Bridgestone! The versatility and stopping power of the 54 and 60 shined during this round.

I still haven't made up my mind on keep vs. trade, but I do think there are certain golfers out there who would really appreciate what these wedges have to offer.

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On 4/18/2019 at 6:10 PM, Nunfa0 said:

All three of you are killing this test 👏👏.

I asked last year as well but do you feel comfortable trying to open the face for a flop shot or manipulate the head for different shot shapes?

No problem manipulating the club for different shots with M grind - it's very versatile. I feel every bit as confident opening the face on a tight fairway as I do in the sand.

On 4/18/2019 at 10:48 PM, goaliewales14 said:

You guys are doing a great job on this review!!  I was able to hit the Bridgestone wedges last year and I agree with @hartrick11 in that the feel was just amazing!  Would you think Bridgestone could benefit from different grind options?  Also, have any of you had to play the ball out of a bird's nest of a lie around the green?  If so, how did they do?  That was the one thing my Ping's blew everyone out of the water in.  There wasn't a bad lie they couldn't go through.

I'm not sure they need more sole grinds as much as they just need to offer the grinds they have in more lofts (primarily A grind). Also, they need to offer some more bounce options. All they offer currently is 8 or 10-degrees of bounce dependent on loft. A couple of 12 and even 14-degree options would be a welcomed addition. I understand why Bridgestone's current offering is so limited, but if ever they gain any momentum with these wedges and want to continue that trend, this is what will need to happen IMO.

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Another quick update on testing:

I think it's safe for me to say that these wedges will be going in the bag based on how they've performed so far, and I will certainly go into more detail about that decision when I post my Stage 2. So far, I've tested these wedges on a variety of surfaces and have not had any trouble other than that of my own making (as mentioned previously, my wedge game is not the strongest - though it is getting better).

@GolfSpy STUDque will be happy to hear that I did manage to hole a chip this past Saturday. It wasn't anything overly impressive - just a short chip from the rough - but it was a perfectly played shot that carried onto the putting surface and rolled right into the center of the cup for birdie. 😁

I do need to spend some more time on the range and in the short game area at my local course. I need to build up some confidence with the wedge game as my achilles heel is most definitely when pitching/chipping onto a green where my playing partners are standing. Rightfully so, I get very nervy over these shots because all I picture in my head is that I'm going to catch it a bit too thin and too fast then nearly take off someone's head or something. This thought process almost always results in a flubbed shot that barely leaves my shadow. 😞 Again, this is no fault of the wedges, but purely that of my own making. When the green is clear of innocent bystanders, it frees me up to be more aggressive and occasionally (like Saturday) I will hit a shot that far exceeds what I currently expect from my short game.

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I played this weekend at a course that was wet and not in great condition. You know when the rough around greens is patchy, and when you take practice chip swings the grass & dirt/mud below just gives way really easily? Not ideal! And not ideal for me with these wedges in particular. The sharp leading edges dug in on several shots from chips out to pitches. It didn't really burn me on the pitches as I was able to catch ball first, but on the chips in these conditions, when you're even a fraction off, it's chunk city. 

In fairness there is probably a good chance that the bad chips would've also been bad with other wedges given the conditions, but in my head I was mad at the clubs! 

Bigger picture as I think back on the last handful of rounds, it seems like my good chips & shots with the Bridgestone wedges are better (and feel better) than my good shots with the Pings, but the flight on full shots is higher, and the margin for error on chips is lower, and as a result my mistakes are more frequent/penalizing. My challenge now is to determine if I will just stick with the Bridgestones and plan to get better/more precise to take advantage of the versatility & enjoy the forged feel, or go back to what is basically a solid, if unspectacular, performer for me in the Pings. 

I've got one more round scheduled this weekend and two more practice sessions over the next week. I will plan to post the stage 2 review toward the end of next week.

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Got any updates for us fellas? How are they wearing?

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:30 PM, Shankster said:

Got any updates for us fellas? How are they wearing?

I'll have my Stage Two up sometime this evening, but they are working great for me! I'll offer up my detail in my official review post, but these have officially replaced my Vokeys. 🙂 

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On 5/10/2019 at 12:30 PM, Shankster said:

Got any updates for us fellas? How are they wearing?

I'm wrapping up my review as well and will include pics, but they've worn better than I expected for forged clubs. I thought the AZ desert courses I played would eat them up and I had plenty of errant shots into waste areas to test the durability, but they came out of testing looking close to new.

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