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Wedge Face hardness and Ball spin


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Been wondering about spin rates and wedge hardness.

Do hard wedges eg BeCu spin the ball more than soft wedges eg forged?

Can think of reasons both ways. Has anyone hot some real data?

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I don't have any real data but that won't stop me from giving you my 0,02 USD. I would say wedge hardness has little to no impact on spin. As far as I understand modern wedge design, the spin is result of surface friction between the golf ball and non-grooved spaces on wedge face. Main objective of wedge grooves is ensuring that contact between the ball and wedge face is as clean as possible by hiding water, grass and other particles in the recessed areas of the grooves. That is evident from the fact that in perfect conditions (dry golf mat) non-grooved wedges spin the ball significantly more than grooved wedges and when you hit grooved wedge, the urethane from the golf ball in rarely wedged in the grooves but rather lioghtly coat the space between the grooves.

Considering the fact that wedge grooves and groove edges don't produce (majority of ball spin) by gripping the ball and spinning it, I don't see how wedge hardness could have any effect on wedge spin, especially considering the fact that wedge designers have to respect the same rules when designing wedges, regardless if they design soft or hard wedge.

I am ready for a pounding.

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  • Haha 1

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6 hours ago, Calvo90 said:

I don't have any real data….

I am ready for a pounding.

Like you I have no data but agree with what you said.  I personally doubt that the slight differences in metal would significantly impact the spin. 

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I have no data either but the callaway info indicates the micro grooves impart spin so maybe one type metal has more durable micro grooves?

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I’m not sure hardness, friction, and durability are necessarily correlated. Sometimes very hard things are slippery, and other times they are not.
 

The groove question reminds me of when I was looking for a new kitchen knife a while back. 

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Doubt the hardness has any significant impact. Contact with the face, sharpness and cleanliness of the grooves are going to be more important than the type of face.

As well as the manner in which then club is delivered into the ball.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do not think wedge hardness is key, but how receptive is the ball cover, in relation to the grooves, and at what angle is the club being delivered. I would think a steep angle to the ball would make for more spin, which would make it check more aggressively on the green, as opposed to a more flat delivery of the the club, whereas you would have more runout. Cover hardness would also be a key factor to this, ie, urethane vs. ionomer. The old Balata covers would get shredded from wedges back in the day, and get a cut from poor contact from the club-like a smile. Old, raw, unfinished(RTG)type wedges lose there hardness over time(5-10 years??) in my opinion more quickly vs. a finished(chrome, blackened)wedge. Also, the grooves do not stay as sharp with heavy use. I used a set of Cleveland 900 RTG wedges for 10 years, and I would sharpen the grooves at the start of each season, usually late May, but as they aged, I would sometimes have to sharpen them again in August, depending on how much I had played that season. I could see that the metal was getting fatigued, not to where you couldn't use them, as they still performed well. Just replaced them early last year, with CBX2's. I have seen wedges from others where the groove area was literally dished in a certain area from heavy use. Lots of time at garage sales, I would see that on used clubs that they would be trying to sell. Take a pass on those...

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