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

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Boys you are doing a fantastic job on these reviews! I also really like the updates after a round. 

Someone mentioned the 105 shaft not being a great fit. I would have to agree, the Wedge versions of the Modus however are fantastic!

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Stage 2 is up! I just need to update my video links to be embedded from instagram instead of clickable links...

Let me know if anyone has any questions.

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2 hours ago, jayjay0808 said:

Boys you are doing a fantastic job on these reviews! I also really like the updates after a round. 

Someone mentioned the 105 shaft not being a great fit. I would have to agree, the Wedge versions of the Modus however are fantastic!

Yeah, curious decision by Bridgestone. The 105 just seems too light.

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1 hour ago, hartrick11 said:

Stage 2 is up! I just need to update my video links to be embedded from instagram instead of clickable links...

Let me know if anyone has any questions.

Nice review!!! Your experience seems to mirror mine more or less. You definitely gave me some additional motivation to get my Stage Two posted tonight and some additional thoughts to consider as well. 

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On 3/28/2019 at 2:17 AM, hartrick11 said:

During the last six weeks I have played 8 full rounds of golf, in dry, hard-pan Arizona courses, lush, green Southern California courses, and one really soggy post-rainstorm track. I have also gotten in 12 separate practice sessions (two off matts, the rest on grass and short game area). This test was a ton of fun and all the focused short game practice really helped my game. I can’t thank MGS and Bridgestone enough for the opportunity to put these beauties through the paces. With that, let’s get to it!

 

Looks: (9 out of 10)

Traditionalists will love the classic look of this wedge at address. The shape, the finish, the milling, and most of the detailing could fit in just as well in 1999 as 2019. I think the “B” badging on the back is an improvement from 2018, as well as the satin finish which I think has less glare when comparing against some of the reviews from last year. The Modus shaft & Golf Pride MCC grips complement the premium look.

I deducted 1 point due to the excessive detailing on the back, which I think is a step back from last year’s model and detracts from the otherwise simple elegance these wedges seem like they are trying to evoke. First, there is no need for “Biting Rail Milled” to be etched in. Milled faces aren’t going to separate these clubs from other wedge offerings. Making a true forged wedge with premium feel for $140? THAT is what should sell the discerning golfer on Bridgestone over Vokey/Ping/TM/Callaway/Cobra. Just a thought, but if you feel the need to advertise something on the back of the club (in my book you don’t; less is more), lead with your biggest differentiator! “Biting Rail Milled” sounds like a gimmick that was cooked up in a Carlsbad marketing meeting circa 2014. Smaller nits for stamping the sole, which attracts dirt, as well as the random lines on the bottom of the back of the clubs, though these are not major issues.

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Sound & Feel: (10 out of 10)

This is a 1020 forged wedge, and as one might expect, the feel is a top, and in my opinion the top, selling point for Bridgestone. As a recent convert to forged irons, I very much appreciated the muted thud of a well-struck gap wedge that closely aligned with my iron set. For me, there is nothing in golf quite like the feeling when I know I just nutted one with a single-piece forged iron, and I’m waiting to see where my ball will land, inner excitement building to an impossible-to-contain smile when the ball lands and sticks right where I want it. These wedges deliver the goods here.

I would note that this feeling does not translate to poorly struck shots, however. The sounds became a bit clicky, letting me and my playing partners know that I’d just missed my mark, and led to a decidedly less exciting feeling & reaction on my part. I think this feedback is totally warranted (though a bit more clicky/harder feeling than my 1025 Cobra Forged CBs when mishit), and wouldn’t deduct any points, but think it warrants mentioning for those who may care.

Basic Characteristics: 18 out of 20

Accuracy – Point-and-shoot, at least when my swing is working! For full swings, as long as you aren’t too steep with the angle of attack, the blades cut right through the grass, even in thick rough. I really appreciated the sharp leading edges when I was in the tall grass – these definitely didn’t get caught up as much as my Pings do, resulting in fewer “tugs” left of target. The milled face and sharp grooves also provide plenty of spin, comparable to most other offerings I’ve tried.

Trajectory – These are high-flyers. In testing, my launch angle on full shots with the 50˚ was 33-38˚ (3-5 degrees higher than my set GW), and with the 54˚ was 40-45˚ (also about 3-5˚ higher on average than my Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 54˚ (my Ping LW is 58˚ vs. the Bridgestone 60˚, so that comparison wasn’t apples-to-apples). This was off of a mat with range balls, so exact numbers will of course vary in game conditions, but the stats did back up my experience on the course. I think the shaft choice (Modus 105) has a lot to do with this. It doesn’t make sense in my view to make a wedge targeting better golfers, who generally have higher swing speeds, and pair it with a lighter steel shaft that launches pretty high. For anyone ordering online, there are several no-upcharge shaft options so this does not need to be an issue for would-be buyers, but we were testing stock offerings.

Distance Control – I added about ½ club of distance vs my other clubs, due to trajectory being higher. I eventually was able to control these just fine as long as wind wasn’t crazy, and importantly there were no random fliers.

Workability – I would break this up into full shots & short game. For short game purposes, these are extremely workable. I loved opening the face with these, which I don’t do a ton of with my Pings. Another favorite is the toe down chip for shorter shots, utilizing the M grind’s relief. Here are a couple of videos from one of my practice sessions (note: I will update so that these are embedded).

https://www.instagram.com/mgshartrick/p/BxQj_mUF_9x/?igshid=7o00azf3vqrl

https://www.instagram.com/mgshartrick/p/BxQjioWFFwE/?igshid=h5gmxrjx7mh2

For full swings, I have two shots with these wedges – high, and higher. I am not the best at flighting down a wedge anyway, but absolutely couldn’t do it with these.

https://www.instagram.com/mgshartrick/p/BxaSGE1hQpU/?igshid=tgdpjr6sll49

Forgiveness – On full swings, hitting out by the toe would cause me to miss my target short, and hitting thin would send me off the back. If you are in the target market for these wedges, that is likely to be expected. On shorter shots like pitches & chips, I think the versatility of these clubs is a major benefit as mentioned above, but the drawback to that versatility is that they are not as forgiving as some other offerings. They can definitely dig in soft conditions or if your angle of attack is steep, especially on the 54˚ that I use for a lot of 30-60 yard pitches and tend to get steep with. Now that my testing is complete and I have a substantial dataset, I may adjust the loft on the 54˚ up to 55˚ just to add a little extra bounce, and hopefully forgiveness on stock chips where I am not laying the face open.

On-Course Performance: 25 out of 30

These clubs perform as they should. Sure, you can say that about offerings from all the OEMs really, but at $140 per club, to get that performance in a one-piece 1020 forging is quite a feat in my book. The versatile sole grind should appeal to golfers with a strong short game. If you are that type of golfer, you can do pretty much anything you want with them. For my game, I LOVE the feel, the performance on full swings, elevating out of thick rough, and chipping in firm conditions. The highlight of my testing was a 78 on Torrey Pines North where I set a personal best with 7 up-and-down saves, 5 for par and 2 to save bogey. Have I always tracked up-and-down stats this closely? No! But I feel very confident this was a high water mark for my short game.

That being said, I deducted points for ball flight being higher than ideal, and for the sole grinds requiring just a little bit more precision than I currently have. I need to keep working at my game to feel more confident using a wedge with a sharp leading edge and lower bounce in certain situations, and have had several chunks over the last few weeks, as well as overcorrection skull jobs as a result of fearing the chunk. Note – the bounce listed on all three of these is 10˚. I’ve included a side-by-side of my Ping 54 and the Bridgestone. The Ping has a higher listed bounce of 12˚, as well as additional camber on the leading edge (at least to my eye and turf interaction experience).

image.png.1dce73a83e0de7b71eec1e954383c985.png

If you have confidence in this part of your game, you can feel very confident in the performance of these clubs.

Miscellaneous: 8 out of 10

I’ve already covered my thoughts on the stock shaft offering, and my view on the busy look on the back of the clubs. I should also note that these wedges feel lighter than wedges I have used in the past. The 50˚, 54˚, and 58˚ have swing weights of D3, D3, and D4, respectively – this is lighter than Vokey and TaylorMade, and in line with Ping and Callaway, though the lighter shafts gave them a lighter overall feel than my Pings. I got used to this pretty quickly, but your mileage may vary. The other quibble I have is that they should probably have added the A grind for the 54 degree wedge as well. With modern lofted irons, more golfers use the 54 degree loft as their sand wedge than in the past. Since Bridgestone is marketing their A grind as their most forgiving, it seems like even with a limited budget, they should introduce this grind at 54 degrees in addition to the 56 degree offering. I know this is probably a slippery slope and product teams at some point need to just make tough decisions on what to produce/not produce, but to me that addition would impact a large number of would-be buyers, and wouldn’t create as much added cost as, say, adding a lefty line (sorry southpaws!).

Finally, I’d also note that the wedges are surprisingly durable – I’d expected forged wedges to wear really quickly. Below is from my last range session following 6 weeks of serious work. This includes whacking a few off of the desert floor in AZ after plenty of missed fairways!

image.png.8599184bdecc2fde7630b68cd988bb82.png

image.png.a686888d42110b806eba58b961c7be3c.png

Play it or Trade it? (17 out of 20)

All things equal, I would be happy to buy these clubs knowing what I know now. At $140 per club for a premium forged wedge, these clubs offer outstanding value. That said, all things aren’t equal! I didn’t give 20 out of 20 here because I wouldn’t buy their stock offering if I were starting from scratch. The Modus 105 shafts are too high-launch for me, but I think I’d be ecstatic with these if I had a lower-launching shaft, and Bridgestone doesn’t charge extra for many of these upgrades. In an ideal world, I would buy an F grind 50, A grind 54, and M grind 60, all with the KBS $ Taper or Modus 3 120, both of which are lower-launching, no-upcharge offerings on the Bridgestone website.

I am going to play these for another month or two before making a final decision on keep/trade. Now that I have two sets of wedges I may just game these and keep the Pings on standby in case I play a soggy course.

CONCLUSION  (87 out of 100)

These wedges can compete with the best offerings on the market, albeit with more of a limited selection befitting a niche OEM. While every wedge will have pluses and minuses and the limited grind selection may not work for every golfer, these should be contenders for players who fit Bridgestone’s target demographic. If the 2020/2021 update brings a heavier stock shaft and an additional higher bounce grind (as well as simplified graphics please!), this club would be a perfect 100/100 for me, and I think it would end up being one of those cult classic clubs that you see discussed in forums well after subsequent offerings have come out.

TL;DR

If you are a golfer with a better than average short game and want a versatile, buttery-feeling forged 1020 wedge for a price that will beat most cast offerings from the big OEMs, these will fit the bill! Just be leery of the shaft you select, as the stock offering may be too high-launch for the target audience.

Excellent work sir! 😁😎

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My Stage Two is finally up! I had some troubles trying to get photos uploaded last night, but we are good to go now! This was such a fun experience and I hope to do it again!

 

Unfortunately, I was unable to get LM data, but I will continue to work on that and hopefully have something to post soon. Game Golf data didn't pan out either. We'll save it for another forum topic, but Game Golf seems to be going downhill fast and I've already snagged a Shot Scope to tryout.

Check out the review and hit me up with any questions 🙂 

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4 hours ago, TR1PTIK said:

My Stage Two is finally up! I had some troubles trying to get photos uploaded last night, but we are good to go now! This was such a fun experience and I hope to do it again!

 

Unfortunately, I was unable to get LM data, but I will continue to work on that and hopefully have something to post soon. Game Golf data didn't pan out either. We'll save it for another forum topic, but Game Golf seems to be going downhill fast and I've already snagged a Shot Scope to tryout.

Check out the review and hit me up with any questions 🙂 

Nice work! Now I feel like I was too generous with my grades when our conclusions were so similar...

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Just now, hartrick11 said:

Nice work! Now I feel like I was too generous with my grades when our conclusions were so similar...

I think the scoring just depends on your experience and expectations. Nothing wrong with having a different score from me. 100 points is a lot to work with and we weren't really that far apart in the grand scheme of things. I think another part of it may just depend on how you feel about cast vs. forged. For me there's a difference, but not enough for me to rave about - not between Vokey and Bridgestone wedges at least. Now, if we're talking about cast, cavity back, distance irons vs. a forged players iron, well that makes a HUGE difference!

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On 3/27/2019 at 7:52 AM, Shankster said:

Curious to see how the Superman Diamond works over the Stop Sign.

Can’t wait XW-1 Squadron!

I didn't see anything but did this year's model have anything to do with the mass transfer weighting hooziewhatsit that we had in last year's models? 

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Great job on the stage two's so far! I'm actually in agreement that the back of the club is busier than necessary. I bought last year's sand wedge and love the looks of it so much better. I was surprised to find they didn't offer a different color this year, as they had a black oxide finish last year.


Sent from my SM-G955U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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13 hours ago, sirchunksalot said:

Great job on the stage two's so far! I'm actually in agreement that the back of the club is busier than necessary. I bought last year's sand wedge and love the looks of it so much better. I was surprised to find they didn't offer a different color this year, as they had a black oxide finish last year.


Sent from my SM-G955U using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

I can understand Bridgestone not wanting to do two finish options if sale volumes are too low to overcome the additional cost of having more than one color, and I think they put all of this stuff on the back of the club head to make it flashy and grab eyeballs. Unfortunately, it just signals to me that they're trying too hard. The best thing they could do to increase equipment sales (IMO) is to make clean looking clubs like they've done in the past and get them in the hands of more tour pros. With more and more guys currently willing to forgo an equipment contract, it's the perfect opportunity for OEMs like Bridgestone.

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20 hours ago, azstu324 said:

I didn't see anything but did this year's model have anything to do with the mass transfer weighting hooziewhatsit that we had in last year's models? 

Not sure if I quite understand your question, but Bridgestone did give the "B" logo a diet and moved it further up towards the top of the club which seems to have helped with sound and feel on mishits. Toe hits were still a bit clicky, but have not tested the previous year's model I'm not sure if there was a significant improvement or not.

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53 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

Not sure if I quite understand your question, but Bridgestone did give the "B" logo a diet and moved it further up towards the top of the club which seems to have helped with sound and feel on mishits. Toe hits were still a bit clicky, but have not tested the previous year's model I'm not sure if there was a significant improvement or not.

Yeah so on last year's wedge, the chunky B logo actually played a performance function as to centralize a good portion of mass to the center to help with feel on off-center hits as well as to keep the club stabilized through impact. I personally think that it made a difference in the sense that off-center shots don't feel as "poorly struck" as other wedges I've used in the past and there seems to be minimal loss of distance and feel. 

Couldn't find the actual Bridgestone info but this is from the MGS write up from last year

"A key design element with the XW-1 is the hexagonal, B-stamped mass behind the impact area, which Bridgestone calls Forged Mass Construction. The Tour B X-Blades and X-CB irons feature the same technology, which is essentially extra mass right at the sweet spot to create a more solid feel."

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39 minutes ago, azstu324 said:

Yeah so on last year's wedge, the chunky B logo actually played a performance function as to centralize a good portion of mass to the center to help with feel on off-center hits as well as to keep the club stabilized through impact. I personally think that it made a difference in the sense that off-center shots don't feel as "poorly struck" as other wedges I've used in the past and there seems to be minimal loss of distance and feel. 

Couldn't find the actual Bridgestone info but this is from the MGS write up from last year

"A key design element with the XW-1 is the hexagonal, B-stamped mass behind the impact area, which Bridgestone calls Forged Mass Construction. The Tour B X-Blades and X-CB irons feature the same technology, which is essentially extra mass right at the sweet spot to create a more solid feel."

It'd be best for one of the 2018 testers to respond, but my understanding is that some user/reviewer feedback on the previous model concluded the mass location directly in the middle of the club actually made heel and toe strikes feel and sound appreciably worse compared to other wedges. It was basically a love it or hate it proposition that Bridgestone decided to change. Strikes in the "sweet spot" are still extremely soft as one would expect from a quality one-piece forging.

Can't speak as to whether or not the club is less "stable" as a result. MOI isn't something generally considered in wedge design to the best of my knowledge. All I can say is that I found it to be comparable to the number of Titleist wedges I have played over the years and any other brands which I have tried.

Hope that helps clear it up a bit further.

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It'd be best for one of the 2018 testers to respond, but my understanding is that some user/reviewer feedback on the previous model concluded the mass location directly in the middle of the club actually made heel and toe strikes feel and sound appreciably worse compared to other wedges. It was basically a love it or hate it proposition that Bridgestone decided to change. Strikes in the "sweet spot" are still extremely soft as one would expect from a quality one-piece forging.
Can't speak as to whether or not the club is less "stable" as a result. MOI isn't something generally considered in wedge design to the best of my knowledge. All I can say is that I found it to be comparable to the number of Titleist wedges I have played over the years and any other brands which I have tried.
Hope that helps clear it up a bit further.
Oh.. yeah I was one of them I may only be speaking for myself here but I haven't had any issues in the that department with the 2018 wedges. I don't remember any of the other testers having that issue though either. Don't quote me but I believe that everyone from last year is still gaming them.

I won't say that toe or heel strikes are a constant for me so maybe my POV is a tad more skewed from the consensus. And if I were to say which strike has potential to creep in from time to time, I'd say toe strikes are more probable. The feedback of stike location is definitely present but loss of yardage or direction, trajectory, etc seem to be minimal and the feel isn't as punishing as others I've hit. I'd like to say it's due to the added mass but obviously Bridgestone has concluded differently.

the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get..

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30 minutes ago, azstu324 said:

Oh.. yeah I was one of them emoji16.png I may only be speaking for myself here but I haven't had any issues in the that department with the 2018 wedges. I don't remember any of the other testers having that issue though either. Don't quote me but I believe that everyone from last year is still gaming them.

I won't say that toe or heel strikes are a constant for me so maybe my POV is a tad more skewed from the consensus. And if I were to say which strike has potential to creep in from time to time, I'd say toe strikes are more probable. The feedback of stike location is definitely present but loss of yardage or direction, trajectory, etc seem to be minimal and the feel isn't as punishing as others I've hit. I'd like to say it's due to the added mass but obviously Bridgestone has concluded differently. emoji39.png

the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get..
 

This would be more in line with the kind of review I was referring to: https://pluggedingolf.com/bridgestone-tour-b-xw-1-wedge-review/


"If the look didn’t tell you that the Bridgestone Tour B wedge is for better players, the feel will.  The “Forged Mass” behind the sweet spot makes pure strikes feel sensational, bordering on addictive.  When you miss the center, however, the feel is firm-bordering-on-hard, and it sounds clicky, in a bad way."

My experience is more or less the same as yours performance wise - except for toe strikes. There's a lot at play potentially when I miss on the toe, but my experience has shown a weaker ball flight that falls short of the target by several yards.

Edited by TR1PTIK
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I have not been able to play the 2018 vintage either, but for this year's clubs, I would be willing to bet that the mass being more dispersed with a slimmer and repositioned "B" would lead to a larger area of the club face that retains the sweet spot feels. I still found plenty of shots making contact outside of that sweet spot, and it is still clicky when that happens, but that's not something I mind.

 

1 hour ago, TR1PTIK said:

This would be more in line with the kind of review I was referring to: https://pluggedingolf.com/bridgestone-tour-b-xw-1-wedge-review/


"If the look didn’t tell you that the Bridgestone Tour B wedge is for better players, the feel will.  The “Forged Mass” behind the sweet spot makes pure strikes feel sensational, bordering on addictive.  When you miss the center, however, the feel is firm-bordering-on-hard, and it sounds clicky, in a bad way."

My experience is more or less the same as yours performance wise - except for toe strikes. There's a lot at play potentially when I miss on the toe, but my experience has shown a weaker ball flight that falls short of the target by several yards.

 

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I think we can all agree that the B on the back stands for Butter?

I’m getting sad that mine are starting to wear out... forged wedges ruined me.

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I haven’t been keeping up with everyone’s input on purpose. I didn’t want to prejudice my review. I played a lot of golf over the past 8 weeks. And lord knows I really tried to give these wedges a fair shake. As strange as it might be I always feel a little obligated to like clubs when I’m chosen to review. I just didn’t like these wedges at all. That’s not to say I didn’t feel there were some positives but overall they didn’t work for me.

Disclaimer- I had them built slightly longer than standard the added length could have contributed to my overall opinion.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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