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What Wedges should I (a beginner) have in my bag??


Mark D
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On 7/22/2021 at 9:00 AM, Mark D said:

Hey Everyone,

I picked up golf just before Lockdown! Since then I've been having lessons and been fitted for clubs as well as gifted a few (lucky me). When it comes to my Irons, I have Wilson D7 5i - Sw with a Gw too. Max lost is 56. Should I have a 60 degree in the bag? Everyone keeps saying short game is king and I am trying to find a balance. Or tell me whats missing, if anything remembering I am a beginner. 🙂

For info, in the bag currently I have:

Mizuno STz driver - fitted

Callaway Big Birtha 3 wood - gifted

Wilson D7 irons with Pw,Gw & Sw - fitted as mentioned

Ping Darby putter - gifted - Edel en route!!

 

As you can tell from the many responses on here, wedges are quite a personal choice.  Here's a few thoughts:

  • Don't worry about a 60* wedge until you are a much better golfer and have more experience that'll help you decide if you need one.  Every beginner, I've ever seen try to play a 60 ends up doing more harm than good.
  • As others have said, chances are the wedges you have are likely fine for now (and by 'for now' I mean for the next several years)
  • I like wedges with a good bit of bounce myself so I have 2 Cleveland Smartsole 4 wedges (C - Wedge and Gap Wedge) and a Callaway Sureout 2 (58*).
  • I've learned to only use the Sure out to get out of Sand or when I have to go over something for stop VERY short (short sided).  Any other situation produces results that are just less predictable than the Clevelands.  It is rather fantastic at getting out of the sand, BTW.
  • That 'C' wedge is something some people would call a chipper.  It's similar.  I can hit that thing with a full swing and it's 120 yards consistently and it is so easy to hit (feel like I just throw the club head at the ball and good things happen).  Hit my only hole in one with it on a short par 3.  It's great for the bump and run around the greens (which is what it's really for and how I use it the most).  I used to use a 7 or 8 iron but when I bought new irons found myself struggling with consistency around the greens.  That C wedge has a shorter more upright shaft and since it's a Smartsole it has a lot of bounce.  When I score well it's often because I have a good day with this club.
  • If you turn out to be like me, getting new clubs is part of the fun of golf.  I've been looking at replacing my Gap wedge with a Cleveland CBX2 because there's a particular distance I'm looking for.  I still have enough good days with that Gap wedge, however, so it's stayed in the bag because that 30 yard shot is more important than the full swing distance gap I want to eliminate.  I swear sometimes I get something new and my scores get worse...but I still enjoy leaning and adjusting to the new gear.  This is another thing that's personal for players.  Some players hardly ever change clubs, love their stuff and just enjoy the game.  For others part of the fun is new gear in addition to player (to each their own).
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1 hour ago, elvis14 said:

Don't worry about a 60* wedge until you are a much better golfer and have more experience that'll help you decide if you need one.  Every beginner, I've ever seen try to play a 60 ends up doing more harm than good.

This right here...I'm a 3.2 handicap right now and a flop shot is one of my specialty shots and still only use my 60* when I am inside 50 yards. I cannot for the life of me hit a consistent full swing shot with my 60*. For the longest time if I was anywhere near the green I pulled my 60* and tried to play the hero fly it to the hole shot. Sometimes it worked, most times it did not. Now when I miss a green I take my 60, 56, and 52 with me and evaluate the lie and shot that will best give me a chance to get up and in. you rarely really need to hit a true flop shot and will get more consistency from something like the 56*. 

As for brands, that is very personal. I play a Cobra 60, ping 56, and titleist 52. When I tried to swap to a Ping 52 I literally shanked 40% of my shots with it and ended up giving the club away and going back to my worn out 52*. That was a year ago and I still have not replaced it. Upgrading to new wedges really only helps if A) the ones you have don't fit your game, or B) you play in a lot of wet weather. In dry conditions you still get plenty of spin from a pretty worn wedge. 

 

 

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Driver: :titelist-small: TSi4 8* w/ Tensei AV Raw White 65gr X shaft set to D-1 Hosel
3 wood: :taylormade-small: M1 13.5* Head set open w/ Fade bias weights. 
Irons: :ping-small: I-Blades PW-3i, 2* up standard length.
Wedges: :ping-small:Glide 1.0 TS 60*, :ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 ES, :titelist-small:Vokey 52* 
Putter: :ping-small: Sigma G Kushin .
Ball: Various: Testing: :titelist-small: AVX, :bridgestone-small: BX, :taylormade-small: TP5x 
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I would argue your wedges in your Wilson set are perfectly adequate for the time being. Generally speaking, most wedges you see on the shelf such as Vokey's are akin to playing a muscle back blade iron. They simply don't offer any extra forgiveness that your Wilson wedges will provide. With that said, there is nothing wrong with playing something like a Vokey, even as a beginner. 60 degree wedges generally aren't necessary but everyone is different. I would recommend not adding a wedge higher than a 56* if you have a difficult time with good turn interaction. If you swing in good way where you're relatively confident in how the club is going to interact with the ground, there really isn't any wedge you shouldn't play. Even if you aren't confident in your swing there aren't any clubs you can't play, you just won't have some of the forgiveness that set wedges or wedges like the Cleveland CBX may provide.

My general philosophy for newer golfers is that if you have a reasonably decent set of clubs, just go out and play as much golf as you can. It's okay if you don't know what you want when you start. The only way to determine what you feel you want or need is to actually get out and play. You don't need to have a an expensive or even fully fit set of clubs to start out with. You happen to have a fit set of irons which is great and the wedges in that set should give you the ability to play 98% of shots that are possible around the green. Specialty wedges offer some grinds that may give you the opportunity to play higher flop shots or play off tighter lies but the general thing that comes with most wedge grinds that allow that is less forgiveness. I personally like the PM grind wedges as the sole provides a great balance of forgiveness and playability that most other dual grind wedges don't provide. 

One thing I would say about certain things in golf, especially wedges and the short game, is to not be afraid of trying something new or more challenging. You can't learn to play a flop shot if you never try it. You can't learn to play soft landing spinny wedge shots if you never try it. Nothing wrong with having a 60* club in your bag to have fun with. Worst case scenario is that the 60* wedge or specialty wedge doesn't work real well for you and you only use it for practice. So at the end of the day, buy whatever you want and have fun but if you are trying to score well, maybe go with the higher percentage shots you know you can hit well. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So this is where I find myself.  Based on the Arccos data, I don't use the 58* (once in 7 rounds).  I don't really need a 19* club between my 3w/4h cause I can adjust my 3W swing, but the data also shows that I often miss greens short and roll into the collar of the green.  I have around 10 shots per round where I putt of the fringe/fairway or chip with 7/8i with various results.  So it looks like that would be about 10 opportunities to use the chipper.

As far as the "one trick pony" comments, I could learn to putt with my hybrid, but I prefer to carry a one trick putter 🙂

  

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Welcome to the forum and THE game. Agree with others that I would delay getting the 60 until later - if ever. I have carried a 60/12 Volkey but honestly for every shot that lands 2 feet from the pin there are 5 that are terrible. You need more practice that for me is not justified. I will use my 54 instead. 

Driver :ping-small: G400 SFT 9

3 Wood :ping-small: G400

4 Hybrid :taylormade-small: SIM2 MAX

Irons :taylormade-small: SIM2 MAX 5-AW

Wedges :vokey-small: 254/10, 260/12

Putter :ping-small: Anser 2 Cadence

Ball :taylormade-small:Tour Response

Bag Stitch SL2, :Arccos:

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/3/2021 at 5:43 PM, mariopepperdd said:

Callaway Big Birtha 3 wood - how much does it cost? really interested to know..

 

It was a hand me down from my Uncle.

MD

Playing since :Mar 2020

Driver: Mizuno STz, Fujikura Atmos Black 6 Tour Spec, Loft 10.5 - Fitted

Woods: Callaway Big Birtha 3 wood

Irons: Wilson Staff D7, Uniflex - Fitted

Wedges: Wilson Staff D7, Uniflex - Fitted

Putter: Ping Darby - Hand me down

Shot Scope V3

Handicap - 39 (unofficial)

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Even as a highish handicapper, I play the crap out of my 60*….albeit for very specific shots.  It’s really a 20 yard and in club at most; for short flop shots.  And even then, it has to be from a decent lie.   But short fairway, on an approach that just didn’t quite make it…it’s money.

it’s probably the other wedges in the bag I need to adjust a bit.  I’ve got a 60…then 54.  Probably need to trade that out for a 56 here at some point 

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Set configuration issues are hard to resolve before the aspiring player begins to make good, consistent contact. 

We don't really settle on our approach to playing until we understand what we do well.

I've seen high handicap players stripe 2-irons because they're strong and have upright swings.  

But it applies to wedges as well.

I didn't know what wedge setup was best until I was good enough to attempt to contrive shots, only to discover that I didn't have the right club for it.

Whatever you like now as a beginning player is not necessarily what you'll want two years from now.

First get to where you're happy with how you're hitting the ball.  Everything else falls into place after that.

 

 

 

 

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On 7/22/2021 at 12:44 PM, Donn lost in San Diego said:

Learn what bounce is, what it does, and have at least 1 wedge with a lot more bounce than your other wedges.  6 degrees is low, 16 is high.  Typically a sand wedge has 14 or 16 degrees bounce, so if your Wilson set includes a sand, as you say, it prob. has the big bounce.  Nothing wrong with trying a 60 degree, most golfers have 1 wedge they use the most.  I love Mizuno wedges, the grain flow forged (GFF), a theoretically superior piece of metal with highest uniformity of the molecular structure.  hoo hah!  but they feel very responsive.    I have a 6 year old 52 degree 9 bounce that is my best club.  I bot a spare too, nevermind the latest model.

A 36 handicap offering advice to a 39 handicap? Hmmmmmmmm...........

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The Wilson set likely provides more forgiveness than anything off the shelf. Sometimes less is more early in. Don’t get to inundated with learning how to hit every shot you can. If you play smart you may never need the 60deg. Some guys I see in the course can never generate that loft and will play low pitch shots or runners all day. Rarely do I see the older guys hitting high wedge shots but time after time they are in the green having a par putt while the younger guys are still messing around to get on the greens with specialty clubs

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:ping-small: G425 LST 10.5 Aldilla Rogue White 70s

:titelist-small: TS3 15.5 3W Fuji Speeder Tour Spec

:titelist-small: 818 H1 19deg Hybrid Fuji Atmos White

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal 4-PW Nippon Modus 120s

:vokey-small: SM8 50,54, and 58deg Dynamic Gold Wedge Flex

:taylormade-small:Spider Tour Putter

Vice Pro Plus White or Titleist ProV1x

:ping-small: Hoofer Stand Bag

:CaddyTek: V8 3 Wheel Push Cart

:callaway-small: 300 PRO Rangefinder

Official Nippon Regio B+ Driver Shaft Review

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

First off, welcome to the greatest golf forum/family on the planet! And welcome to the most rewarding/frustrating game on the planet.

There's definitely a lot of great advice given and as you can see, there are a hundred different ways to skin the wedge game cat. As a new golfer you're being bombarded with so many different thoughts and techniques and ideas. As you probably know, golf isn't a game of 1 particular skill set. It's a game that requires some decent mastery of multiple skills, and even sub-skills just to become decent. I like to look at golf as a game with 3 levels. Ultimately we're all trying to hit a ball from the tee to the green to the hole and move on.. but a level 3 golfer will do and see all of that much differently than a level 1. 

I Know I'll probably get reamed for saying this but get through level 1 before messing with a high-lofted wedge.. or any wedge above PW. Things like 60°, bounce, grind, etc won't make much sense to you until about level 2 or even 3. Even if you understand what these things mean, the physical application of them comes with a lot of time and practice, and feeling what these really mean.

At this stage, you're just trying to get the ball from within 50yds to somewhere on the green and you can more easily do that with a 7-PW. All the precision stuff will come later. Learn how to choke down on a club to make it shorter and just get consistent with brushing the ground to create space between the ball and ground and getting that ball effectively moving forward. Think Mr Miyagi and the Karate kid. mastering simple but effective techniques that might seem extremely basic, will eventually blossom into a quiver of skills and precision killer moves.

An example is my dad. We golf often and he sees how I'm able to work various shots with my wedge but he doesn't see how much time I've put into building my wedge game. He's not very good with his wedges at all and just won't put in the time because they're so difficult to get good at. He's bought at least 5 different wedges over the space of 2 years thinking that the next one was going to solve some issue. Finally this year I banned him from carrying anything greater than a PW. I told him to just focus on learning to move the ball with what he has. Mentally they are easier to look at and have more success more often. Well wouldn't you know it, his short game actually improved substantially. He was making more consistent contact and effectively putting the ball closer to the hole. Well then his motivation and confidence picked up. Eventually I let him earn his Gap wedge and he's taking the same baby steps with it. 

Hopefully my long-winded explanation allows you to see where I'm going with this. Golf is a game that allows you to be as creative as you'd like but make sure you know your own limitations first before you try to go deeper into the water. Otherwise you'll find yourself drowning and just not enjoying the game. 

If it means anything, I'm currently around a 6 handicap with what I consider a fairly strong wedge game. I effectively use a 56° for as my swiss army short game club. I have a 50° that I rarely use on anything but a full shot, and I pretty frequently use my 7, 9, and PW for short chip shots. While my dad (28 hdcp) is doing it to just make better contact, I'm doing the same thing but at a much higher level of play so it stays relevant as you improve. 

 

:mizuno-small: STZ 10.5* / Fujikura MotoreX F3  
:cobra-small:  F6 3 Wood 14* / Fujikura MotoreX F1 
:cobra-small:  King Utility Iron 18.5°/ Kuro Kage Black 

ERG V3 5 - P / post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg  TS-1 4 - P / :mizuno-small: T-Zoid Pro II 4 - PW
post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg  TSW Wedges - 50/6 + 56/12
:edel-golf-1:  EAS 1.0 / Grip master 2.0 
:taylormade-small: TP5x

 

 

 

 

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