Which Bounce and Grind should I choose when purchasing a golf wedge? FAQ

Posted by GolfBox on 2nd May 2018

GOLF WEDGE GRINDS AND BOUNCES FAQ

With most golfers carrying at least three wedges in their bag, it makes sense to gain an understanding of how they perform so differently after a bit of nip and tuck in the factory.

If you are clueless when it comes to wedge grinds and bounces and need the inside running on how they can improve your wedge game, read below.

My wedge play feels like a bit of a grind, but can you tell me what a wedge grind is referring to?

A grind is the contouring around the sole, heel and toe areas of a wedge. A grind can vary the width and camber of the sole.

So how is a grind good for my golf game?

Along with the bounce of the wedge, the grind will influence how the leading edge sits on the ground at address and how it behaves through impact. Grind and bounce characteristics can dramatically affect the feel, dynamics and subsequent performance of a wedge.

Grinds sound good for the sole, but what is bounce?

On the majority of wedges, the trailing edge of the sole is always lower than the leading edge. Bounce is simply the angle between the leading edge of the wedge and the lowest point on the trailing edge of the sole.

Righto, so can bounce make up for my lack of talent?

Bounce can provide a level of forgiveness by stopping the leading edge from digging in and grabbing the turf too much, instead "bouncing" the club through the turf. Bounce is also intertwined with sole grinds and loft - a grind that changes the sole camber or takes relief out of the heel or toe will alter the bounce and loft significantly.

How do I know what the bounce angle of a wedge is?

The bounce angle is the number that comes after the loft of the wedge. For example, if a wedge has 60/8 printed on the sole, it means the wedge has 60 degrees of loft and eight degrees of bounce.

Is the grind printed somewhere on the wedge too?

Yes, usually on the back or hosel of the wedge. But bear in mind there is no industry standard to categorize grinds - each manufacturer names their grinds whatever they feel like.

My chipping and wedge game is so bad it could feature on the comedy channel. Is a different grind and bounce combination the answer?

It won’t be the cure-all you’re seeking, but some shots will become a lot easier to play once the right wedge is in your mitts. You will still have to deliver the club consistently, but grinds can help you stop chunking your wedges, produce consistent clubhead speed and spin rates, make bunker shots easier and add some new shots to your repertoire around the greens.

OK, but how do I know which grind will suit my swing and game?

There are a few variables to consider before deciding on a grind and bounce for your wedge:


1. Which surface do you play on most often?

SOFT

If the ground is spongy and the bunkers fluffy, a high bounce wedge with a wide and forgiving cambered sole grind will make bunker shots simple while guarding against chunky strikes on the fairway and around the greens.

Wedge for the Job: Callaway MD4 W grind

FIRM

Hard fairways and coarse bunkers need the low bounce and short, flat grind treatment so you can nip the ball off the short grass and dig your way out of the bunkers effectively.

Wedge for the Job: Callaway MD4 C grind.

A BIT OF BOTH

Not sure? Then try one of the more versatile wedges that have a medium-width sole with a small grind along the trailing edge. It'll get the job done in most conditions.

Wedge for the Job: Callaway MD4 S grind.


2. Angle of attack. Are you a digger, sweeper or somewhere in between?

DIGGER

If you take deep, dinner plate-sized divots you’re definitely a digger - and the bane of a course superintendent. Look for a high bounce (10-14 degrees) wedge with a cambered sole that is wide at the centre and tapers off toward the trailing edge. This will balance out your steep angle of attack into the ball and level the wedge out through the turf to stop it getting too deep and funky.

Wedge for the Job: Callaway MD4 W grind

SWEEPER

If you tend to brush the turf rather than send a divot flying forward, then grab a broom - you’re a sweeper. A low bounce wedge (4-6 degrees) with a flat grind will get the leading edge spot-on through impact, so you can precisely pick the ball off the turf.

Wedge for the Job: Callaway MD4 C grind

NEUTRAL

If you’re somewhere in the middle of those two categories - your divots aren't too heavy, and aren't too light - you fall into the neutral category, also known as the Switzerland of attack angles. Try a grind that has a bit of relief out of the trailing edge - not an aggressive grind - but just enough for a bit of forgiveness, and a medium bounce (7-10 degrees). These types of wedges are the most versatile; good for full approach shots, bunker shots and for chipping and pitching around the green.

Wedges for the Job: Callaway MD4 C grind or Callaway MD4 X grind. 


3. Do you tend to open the face up around the greens or do you keep it square?

OPEN

A narrow grind that has relief out of the heel and toe area will allow the face to open or shut without the leading edge coming off the ground. This grind is ideal for high loft, high bounce options and is a top choice for lob wedges and for floating it up in the ether around the greens.

Wedges for the Job: Callaway MD4 C grind or Callaway MD4 X grind.

SQUARE

If you're not manipulating the clubface, you need a kind grind to give your square some flair: a wider sole and a grind that doesn't take so much material out of the heel or toe area. Now your wedge will have the edge and you can tame your game... OK that's enough.

Wedges for the Job: Callaway MD4 W grind or Callaway MD4 S grind.


What if I’m a sweeper who plays on soft courses, or a digger who plays on hard goat tracks?

If in doubt, go for one of the more versatile grinds. You’ll get the best of both worlds, while not sacrificing one particular characteristic over another.

Hmmm... so it sounds like grinds and bounces are worth considering?

Yes, they will help your game. Some golfers even rotate wedges with different bounces and grinds in and out of their bag depending on the conditions.

Will a different grind and bounce help when I shank my wedges?

Unfortunately no.

What about an air shot?

Umm... we're done here.


Check out the GolfBox Review on the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges which includes more information on possible grind, loft and bounce options.