2 Things you Should Know about Wedges

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There are a lot of things you can keep track of with the Offcourse app on your smartphone. Most of our get a lot of value from their approach accuracy stats to find out what they can be doing to hit more greens. There’s another feature in the app that is interestingly a underused; the “What’s In The Bag” function aptly called “Your Bag.”

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The things we notice about these two statistics groups is that most Offcourse members, when they miss the green, miss short more than anywhere else. Also, most Offcourse members carry fewer than three wedges. Those two stats aren’t compatible.

There are 2 things you need to know about the wedges in your bag, or the wedges you’re about to put in your bag. Don’t worry, we’re going to take baby steps here and not get too much into grinds and bounce and all that stuff that weekend warriors don’t really need to obsess about. These wedge tips are just going to make it easier to get up and down on those short misses.

1. How many wedges?

Including your PW, at least three. The better you play and the lower your handicap is, the looser you can adhere to this “rule.” For most of us, most of our shots are played from inside 100 yards. These are all those short-of-the-green misses I’m talking about. Think about your rounds and how many shots you take trying to get up and down from inside 100. Think of all those green side lies, sometimes over bunkers and stuff. If you have a variety of wedges, you have a variety of options for how to play those shots.

Now think of all the long iron shots you’ll hit in a round. I have a 4-iron that touches earth almost as frequently as the international space station. If you insist on sticking to the “14 clubs in the bag rule,” and unless you’re playing for a giant novelty check and an interview on SportsCenter, you shouldn’t, consider ditching a long iron (not a hybrid!) to add a wedge. You could probably cash in a 3-wood or whatever as well.

2. Gaps

Do you know what the lofts on your irons are? Don’t worry if you don’t. They’re not hard to find online. I play Mizuno JPX-825 Pro irons. My set is 4-iron to PW. The loft on my PW is 45*. My old SW was a 54*. That’s a 9* gap… and that’s way too much.  Bob Vokey – yes, the guy who makes the wedges that everybody on tour seems to use – says that gaps between your wedges should be between 4 and 6*. That’s good enough for me. So I rushed out and bought three new wedges; 50*, 54*, and 58*.

One last word on wedges… don’t be obsessed with spin. Everybody loves pulling the string on those wedge shots, but rolling the ball up to the hole looks just as good on the scorecard as spinning the ball back to the hole does. Trajectory is your friend!